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Monday, 13 November, 2000, 11:41 GMT
Mobiles are a Royal turn off
The Queen
The Queen is not amused by mobile phones at work
The Queen has banned servants at the royal palaces from carrying phones while they are on duty.

A memo has been sent to stewards, pages and footmen by the Master Of The Queen's Household, Vice-Admiral Tom Blackburn requesting that mobiles are switched off while staff are work.


No one wants mobile phones going off during a state banquet

Palace spokesman
The ban was reportedly prompted by several mobile phones ringing during a major banquet held for foreign dignitaries.

It said customised melodies, such as the Hawaii Five-O theme music and Colonel Bogey stretched the Queen's patience to breaking point, according to The Sun.

The mobile ban applies to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham in Norfolk, Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and at Balmoral in the Scottish Highlands.

Good manners

Royal staff with desk jobs who may need mobiles and pagers for their work, are allowed to keep them switched on.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "No one wants mobile phones going off during a state banquet.

"This is really a case of common sense and good manners.

Mobile phone user
Over 50%of the population now own a mobile
"The memo was to formalise a position that has existed for some time. In the past, it's been verbal guidance."

Staff are free to use their mobiles during breaks and pay phones are available for emergencies, said the palace spokesman.

Figures released from the four mobile network operators in July confirmed that more than half the UK population now own a mobile.

About 300 people work at Buckingham Palace alone.

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See also:

13 Nov 00 | UK
Hung up on mobile phones
04 Jul 00 | Business
Mobiles 'owned by 50% of UK'
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