With the Queen’s approaching 90th birthday looking set to dominate national headlines this spring, a new initiative has been launched to encourage the aging sovereign’s subjects to clean up her litter strewn realm.
Dubbed ‘Clean for the Queen’ and organised by Country Life magazine the scheme has been launched to clear up Britain in time for Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday. Despite the royal family’s rocketing approval ratings, the new campaign went down less than well on Twitter. In fact, many highlighted the fact that while the scheme was encouraging Briton’s to clean the streets out of the goodness of their own hearts, the Queen herself, up until recently, failed to pay her own workers the minimum wage in return for cleaning Buckingham Palace.
The Queen is now committed to paying her workers the new Living Wage, which will come into force in April. Staff at her palaces around the country will be paid at least £7.85 an hour, 21 per cent higher than the compulsory National Minimum Wage. While staff at her palaces in the capital will receive the London Living Wage of at least £9.15 an hour.
It was revealed in 2012, before the creation of the Tory government’s showstopping Living Wage policy, that the monarch only paid her cleaners a miserly £6.67 per hour, well under the recommended 2012 London living wage of £8.55.
The Queen’s new-found generosity did not impress those railing against ‘Clean for the Queen’ on Twitter. “Very funny spoof, @cleanforqueen. You almost had me believing you were a real thing”, wrote @LFBarfe on the site and anti-monarchy pressure group Republic risked the Tower by tweeting, “Instead of #CleanForTheQueen, we should clean up our democracy, ridding it of its hereditary and unelected positions once and for all.”
Not all the tweets were negative though, some acknowledged that any scheme that aims to make the UK a little more pristine is a good thing, even if it is inspired by hereditary monarchy.