An elderly British woman struggling with her heating bills who sought help from a government program to aid low-income families was told that, as queen, she wasn't the kind of individual the program was meant to assist. Ministers apologetically rejected Buckingham Palace's request for funds earmarked to help housing associations and hospitals implement energy-saving programs, according to documents obtained by the Independent.
The funds were intended to help people with low incomes, a minister explained. "I also feel a bit uneasy about the probable adverse press coverage if the palace were given a grant at the expense of, say, a hospital," he wrote in 2004. "Sorry this doesn't sound more positive." The British government, after other royal requests for more funds on top of the monarchy's annual $60 million allowance, gained more control over how it was spent, the trove of new documents has revealed. Click here for that story.