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Don’t let them eat cake: Queen cancels holiday party for staff

Queen Elizabeth has canceled a planned Christmas party at Buckingham Palace after deciding it would be inappropriate to celebrate as ordinary Britons feel the pinch from tough economic times.
/ Source: TODAY staff and wire

Queen Elizabeth has canceled a planned Christmas party for her staffers after deciding it would be inappropriate to celebrate as ordinary Britons feel the pinch from tough economic times.

The royal household thought the event at Buckingham Palace, paid for by the Queen herself and usually staged every two years, would be unseemly as Britons cope with deep public spending cuts to bring down a record peacetime budget deficit.

More than 400 staffers from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Windsor Castle and more than 200 privately employed employees of the Queen’s estates were expected to be invited and allowed to bring a guest, The Sun reported.

View images from the extraordinary life of Queen Elizabeth II.

"It's the first time in memory the party's been canceled," one unnamed worker told the Sun. "We're all devastated as it's a great night when everyone lets their hair down.

"It's normal to see the Queen dancing with a footman or Prince Philip waltzing with a maid."

The Christmas shindig, planned for Dec. 13, cost 50,000 pounds, or about $79,000.

"The queen is acutely aware of the difficult economic circumstances facing the country," a palace spokeswoman said on Thursday.

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