Page last updated at 01:00 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Queen's shop removes golliwog toy

Golly doll from the 1960s
Golliwog dolls date back for over 100 years

Managers of a gift shop on the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk have apologised after they were found to be selling golliwog toys.

The dolls have now been withdrawn from sale and a spokesman said the managers "did not intend to offend anyone".

The news came after Carol Thatcher was axed from The One Show after referring to a tennis player as a "golliwog".

The BBC said on Wednesday evening that "a few hundred" viewers had complained about its decision.

The 9.99 golliwog toys had been on sale in the Sandringham shop for more than a year.

A spokesman for the 20,000-acre estate said: "The management of the shop have said they did not intend to offend anyone by selling this product and have apologised if any offence has been caused.

"The shop will immediately review its purchasing policy."

Buckingham Palace has stressed that the Queen is not personally involved in deciding what is sold in the shop.

Sandringham has been a retreat for British monarchs since 1862 and welcomes more than 250,000 visitors every year.

'Outrageous'

The news comes after a spokeswoman for Carol Thatcher accused the BBC of being motivated by animosity towards her mother, former prime minister Lady Thatcher.

Miss Thatcher was removed from her job as roving reporter on The One Show after she refused to issue an unconditional apology for her remark, made during an off-air conversation about the Australian Open tennis tournament.

A BBC spokesman said: "The notion that this matter is in any way linked to her family is just silly."

Miss Thatcher is now demanding an apology from the corporation over her treatment.

Carol Thatcher
Carol Thatcher has not been banned from the BBC as a whole

On Wednesday, her agent Ali Gunn said it was "absolutely outrageous" that her client's private conversation had been leaked to the public.

But the BBC spokesman rejected the idea that it was made in private.

"Carol made the remark in a busy green room with national celebrities and journalists present," he said.



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