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21 August 2016


Mike Evans

The Windsors do not own Buckingham Palace, nor even Windsor Castle. The Queen does own Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House, neither of which is publicly funded. The art you mention is part of the Royal Collection, "which is held in trust by The Queen as Sovereign for her successors and the nation. It is not owned by her as a private individual." (Royal Collection website)

So, having established that your issues around inheritance, ownership and private wealth are irrelevant, your remaining issue would appear to be around access and cost.

First let us consider that the vast majority of museums in London are entirely free with the exception of special exhibitions. Contrast this with the situation in the USA, or Europe where just about everywhere charges. Secondly, whilst it is possible to access these parts of Buckingham Palace for a short period of the year when they are not used for state functions, the White House and its art collection is scarcely more accessible. Whist tours there are free they must be booked a month in advance through one's senator, or for foreigners, through one's embassy in Washington. Places are strictly limited, and your booking can be cancelled at any time at short notice.

I have to agree with you about the ghastly gilded table though. Just goes to show how tastes change I guess. I suppose Napoleon must have liked it which is odd for someone swept to power on a wave of revolution by a country's poor don't you think?

Sue Katz

Wowsie! Let a girl wallow in her emotions please. This treatise ought to have wider exposure. Thanks for it all! And for the unity ending, especially. (Just a small point: The USA sucks. The cost of museums in my own town keeps me out of them - except when I order a library pass well ahead of time. There's no competition between the countries. Many things there are worse; many things here are.) Love ya

Mike Evans

Heh - I wasn't attempting a competition, and I'm not a Monarchist as such, it's just that I think the evidence that any of the alternatives are better is thin to say the least.

Oh - and I love you too. That's why I wrote it.


I love this. How are your poor feet holding up?

I did this tour with Mother a couple of years ago (the frocks that time were from the coronation), and suffered similar qualms. What made it all worthwhile for me was seeing the Artemisia Gentileschi self-portrait.

Sue Katz

They change around the paintings on display because they have a gazillion of precious works. I didn't see that one. Did you see the Rembrandt? As for my feet, still not right. Thanks.

Sue Kelman

I lived in the UK from 1973-74 as a reporter in East Anglia. I was regularly and firmly chastized (notice the British spelling) for making light of the royal fam. It was OK for them to take the mickey, but not moi. They even made me sit in front of a telly to then write a piece about one 'Yank's' impression of the wedding of Princess Anne. Boring, mostly. Still, my year in Colchester was great and I even had a 10-year old Mini Cooper before they were chic. It drove like a little red anchovie can. Cheers!

Sue Katz

Well, I can certainly understand an unwillingness for us to ridicule someone else's institutions - but the British royal family does make it so easy to do.

Sue Katz

I'm away for some time. I will have intermittent email, but if you haven't heard from me, consider re-sending your message at the beginning of September. All the best, Sue

Sue Katz

I'm away for some time. I will have intermittent email, but if you haven't heard from me, consider re-sending your message at the beginning of September. All the best, Sue

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