The following is a transcript from a recent teleconference between House of Windsor CEO Her Majesty Elizabeth II and selected analysts and media.
Good morning, and thank you for joining us on this call. As you no doubt are aware, our current financial situation is less than satisfactory. The headlines have been both sensational and dismal. Our royal reserves have fallen from a high of 35 million pounds on 2001 to 1 million pounds today. And though we have cut costs, clearly we have not cut deep enough, nor fast enough.
Rest assured: We are not amused.
Our purpose today is to give you a brief overview of our plans for dealing with this…er…situation. Said plans have two main thrusts; let us begin with cost control.
We are currently investigating a variety of measures designed to both provide one-time as well as enduring savings. This includes—but is not limited to—staff re-sizing, reduction in ceremonial paraphernalia, sales and/or leasing of royal land and buildings, etc. Several schemes are currently being discussed, such as:
- A cross-marketing arrangement with Nike to provide ceremonial robes, uniforms and other clothing items at no cost to the Royal Household, in return for prominent yet tasteful placement of their “Swoosh” logo.
- Replacing the Royal Train and aircraft by using commercial rail and air services. Given the leadership shown by British airlines in the low-price market, we believe there may be significant savings in air travel. And British Rail must certainly be less expensive than the current Royal Train cost of 200,000 pounds per annum.
- The existing fleet of Rolls Royces and Land Rovers may be replaced by more economical British vehicles. We are given to understand that Vauxhall produces a perfectly serviceable line of vehicles.
One further area for savings is in the repair of the various Royal palaces and other properties, some of which are in quite dire straits, indeed. In return for no-cost repairs, providers of said services will be allowed to feature these projects in their advertising and marketing efforts, as well as placing large signs with their company name and phone number on the Royal grounds.
At the same time, we will endeavor to increase revenues in the future. We have secured the services of a number of experts in tourism attractions, including representatives of Disney, Six Flags and Graceland, as well as Mr. E.F. “Buddy” Whippingwell, the former head of the Branson Tourism Office. The goal is to discover methods and manners in which we might improve the experience and number of visitors to our various properties.
Initial thoughts include:
- Offering carriage and horse rides during ceremonial parades.
- Expanding gift shops to all Royal properties, including authentic replica royal garb.
- “Spend a Day With A Royal”
- Creating Royal Food Courts in all properties, with fine dining, lighter fare and snack options created by the Royal Kitchens.
- “Adopt a Corgi”
- A reality show tentatively called “Liz’s World”.
A further effort is currently underway to inventory the contents of all Royal households. Once complete, we will categorize each item as “Essential”, “Historic”, “Nice To Have” and “Expendable”. The items in the latter category will be offered to the public as part of an annual “Queen’s Garage Sale” on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
As should be abundantly clear, we are leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to get our financial House of Windsor in order. You will see evidence of our efforts very soon. But let us be clear: this is a long-term effort that will require our full attention and much resiliency.
Let frugality be our watchword. Let creativity be our sword and shield. Let no one doubt our resolve.
We shall prevail.
Now, if you will excuse us, we must meet with a representative of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in regard to some overdrafts.
HRH The Queen departed without taking questions.
Today’s Fact Cetera
The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth 2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.