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Tuesday, 4 July, 2000, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Where should the Royals live?
The Royal Family should move out of Buckingham Palace into a new, more modern building, according to UK Cabinet Office Minister, Mo Mowlam.
Dr Mowlam is quoted in a magazine as saying that the Royals should move with the times and let the palace be used as a museum and art gallery.
But where should the Queen and her family go? Would the Millennium Dome make a charming conversion, or do you think the Royals should decamp outside the capital? Send in your suggestions for a new home for the Royal Family.
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Britons should acknowledge the Royal Family not only for its role in the long history of your country, but also as a uniquely British institution that draws interest and revenue from all parts of the world.
It's very odd how most of the comments in favour of the Royals come from abroad, and most of the anti, or at least non-Royals are British. Surely that speaks volumes for the reality of living with the Royals and all the baggage that entails.
They should live in 10 Downing Street with the other royal family.
Remember what happend to the Russian Tzars?
Considering that Mo Mowlam sold her home for a sum, I understand, in excess of £500,000 and now lives in a grace-and-favour apartment in Admiralty Arch (goodness knows what market rent that would command), I think she has the devil's own cheek to make the comments she has about the Royal Family's occupation of Buckingham Palace.
The so called royal family are a bunch of parasites and religious bigots, let's be rid of them once and for all.
Milton Keynes - the newest city and it used to have concrete cows.
Palaces are buildings fit for kings. It is easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than for a camel to enter the kingdom of God.
They can all come and live at my place!
Politicians should realise that the majority of people who live in this country don't want a monarchy or a millennium dome. People want a reasonable health service, education and help for those who need it most (the homeless). Instead of pampering to the needs of the so called "Elite" let the money go to the so call "subjects".
If the Royal family were to move out of Buckingham Palace, then I suggest that they live on an isolated island away from those who loathe them, we should not serve the Royal family,
they should serve us.
The Royal Family has taken too many blows lately. For me, if the British People have had too much of the Queen, I suggest she moves over to the "Dark Continent". We have got plenty of room here for her and hers.
Oscar Ivan Saldivar, Paraguay
How sad that as we start the 21st century, a leading (and extremely popular) politician dares to make a comment regarding the British Royal Family and is duly slapped down and obviously made to apologise - but this is what happens when you are a "subject" and not a citizen"!!
I don't think that Mo Mowlam's comments on the housing of the Royals merits any answer. Why don't politicians stick to answering questions about their own particular remits? It would be much better to hear clear and honest answers to questions about health, education and housing the homeless.
Send them back to Germany where they belong.
I usually have a greater deal of respect for Ms Mowlem. However, this Government has allowed the Millennium Dome to cost in excess of £800 million from the public purse, and it will attract only 7 million visitors this year. Official residences, including the Royal palaces cost the British taxpayer £7.2 million and attract many more tourists. Ms Mowlem would do well to consider which is the better value. Perhaps she should also consider giving up her own official residence before she tries to dictate the living arrangements of others.
Why rehouse them? Just abolish this outdated institution. The suggestion that tourists only visit the palaces because of the incumbent monarch is nonsense. What about the French chateaux or the old dukes' castles in Bavaria - the queues speak for themselves? The UK is supposed to be a democracy. Many are finding this increasingly difficult to square with our position as "subjects" to a constitutional monarch. The concept of monarchy is elitist, like it or not, since the right of birth takes precedence over ability. Such an institution cannot remain in a society that is battling to remove elitism from all other facets of national life.
It beats me why anyone would ever live in London out of choice. They deserve a medal for doing so when they have other homes in much more pleasant parts of the UK.
It is interesting to follow the actions of politicians who fail. In the U.S. they concentrate on issues like drugs, law and order, foreign politics. U.K. (and also Australian) politicians are spared with such diversity, they just have to make a controversial comment on the monarchy. How cheap and unsporting of you, Dr Mowlam and co.
They should definitely be asked to move with the times a little bit. Mo is a woman who spent several years in office fighting the sort of bland assumptions that are so easy for we English to make. It is pleasing to see a little progressive thought coming from within the government.
The Millennium Dome would be ideal. What about a ROYAL ZONE?
What? The Royals move out of
Buckingham Palace? What a crazy
idea! The Royal family has always
lived at Buckingham Palace; it makes
for a major tourist attraction in
F N Archer, Hong Kong SAR, China
Everyone always wants to know what the Royals are doing. Why not house them in one of the compartments of the London Eye so we can see what they do all day?
Politicians are always so good at telling how our money should be spent. The Royals have their faults but bring in a lot more money than politicians. I would much rather have several palaces which at least look nice than a stupid dome....
I think they should continue to live in Buckingham Palace, it is a place of history, and mystic importance in world history. It would be the same as making the President of the United States move out of the White House. It is one of the prestige things of Britain, don't change it because someone politically correct wants it to change. Some things are LEFT UNCHANGED.
Let the Queen live in a council flat in a housing estate, and then she can see how the rest of the world lives.
The Royals shall stay at Buckingham Palace. They are Great History of Great Britain. This is good opportunity to show everyone your attitude to the history of the Great Britain kept splendidly so far.
Don't you think that enough money has already been wasted on irrelevant issues like this. The Queen already has a home, so for goodness sake let's start to spend some money on some serious issues. My grandfather has lived in the same house his whole life and is waiting for a hip replacement operation - now it seems irrelevant doesn't it?
The politicians should have better things to do with their time...
I'm sure some other country would be willing to provide the royals a comfortable exile, perhaps Kuwait.
The monarchy works, who wants a boring old republic? Buckingham Palace is the traditional home, why waste loads of cash on a new palace when we already have so many? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it..."
Who would all these republicans put in the Queen's place? President Two Jags?
Thelma Matuk, Germany
Being a foreigner, I am not going to say whether I am for or against. What certainly irritates me is that politicians of all latitudes look for cheap publicity by airing populist remarks, particularly when their careers are past their prime. How depressing, especially considering Dr Mowlam knew the Royals would not reply.
Give them the choice of Sandringham or Balmoral on the proviso that the whole family of parasites live there. All other properties and land to be returned to the public domain without any compensation.
I have read that London is the biggest tourist destination of the world - 30 million visitors a year. Do you know how many will go to London, if the Royal Family leaves Buckingham? Roundly zero.
John Brownlee, England
How refreshing to hear a prominent member of the Government (i.e. an elected MP) speak out against archaic inherited privilege. She is absolutely right and the Royals should move as far away as soon as possible. Well done Dr M.
I guess we should be thankful Mo did not suggest the Royal Family set up lodgings in the Dome, the shameful cost of which would have paid for royal expenditures well into the next decade.
Given that the majority of modern buildings in London are disgusting, it is far better that the Queen stays where she is. Frankly, I feel this is insulting to the Queen and that MPs should find better things to do.
Stick her on a council estate and let her see how the rest of us live!
What about 10 Downing Street? I bet Tony Blair's ego would be happy to swap residences!
Also, why do we always have to have some 'nobody cares about the Royals' fool every time they are mentioned here? Leave us alone to have a decent debate.
Chris Brown, UK
The cost of moving them would probably be higher than the amount that could be made out of the palaces!
Adrian Blewitt, England
What is Dr Mowlam ON these days to make such a silly suggestion. Not only is it extremely rude to suggest that the Windsors leave their home, but for it to become yet another museum, no doubt left for the public purse to keep in a city which already has so much 'culture'. Then there would be the cost of setting up a replacement royal residence.
One of the main arguments for keeping the monarchy has always been the effect on tourism if the Royals go! Why should getting rid of the monarchy have an effect on tourism? We'll still have the Royal palaces and the history. Countries such as France and Italy still have the tourists why should we be any different?
Matt Grubb, UK
How about Mars?
So Mo Mowlam believes that Buckingham Palace should become a museum. But it already is - stuffed full of ancient relics known as the Royal Family. The monarchy is old hat, and has no true place in C21st. Good on yer, Mo.
I'd prefer Mo Mowlam to give up politics. The Queen and her family are constantly the target of anyone who thinks it clever to attack them to further their own pathetic careers.
Who cares? Nobody pays any attention to them anymore, so why does it matter where they live?
I'm sure Westminster Council has some temporary B and B accommodation they could put them up in. The Corgis would have to go though.
The Royal family don't interfere with our lives (by not being involved in politics), so we, in turn, should not interfere with theirs. I think it's a very wicked, disgraceful and distasteful way of pleasing some members of the public on Dr Mowlam's part.
Of course they should decamp. And give all the nation's possessions supposedly held 'in trust' to the public. And that includes the millions of acres of land in Scotland and elsewhere. They could always return to the true home of the House of Windsor - Germany.
If this was anybody else, then the heading would be different -
'Families ordeal of Eviction threat'.
Buckingham Palace is our monarch's home and number one tourist attraction.
If the Royals move out then it is just another building.
Mo Mowlam should resign!
I am not a fervent monarchist or republican. I think the Royals should continue to live in Buckingham Palace, with their holiday "cottage" in Balmoral. However, it is the countless other pads which the public are sick of. People think it is ridiculous that they often seem to live alone or in pairs in enormous palaces, rather than "squeezing" into the hundreds of rooms in Buck House!
27 Jun 00 | Politics
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