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One's staff are revolting

For centuries, the British Royal Family have been regularly inconvenienced by the pesky problem of peasants in revolt. They might not refer to the British public as peasants any more, but it does seem as if the Monarchy are still having a spot of bother with their subjects.

What a blow to The Firm's touchy feely modern image it was, when workers at Windsor Castle threatened to strike this week, complaining of the hardships of working at below a "living wage" and the "appalling" rates of pay they receive. Uniformed staff at Windsor castle are paid as little as £14,400 per year, and have warned that they plan the first ever industrial action against the Royal Collection Trust at the end of April, if their hallowed employees don't dig deeper into the coffers. That means no more unpaid overtime. (Apparently Castle staff are regularly expected to put in extra hours for free.)

Kings and Queens might not have the best track record, historically speaking, in the areas of equal opportunities and fair pay, but you'd imagine Windsor 2.0, with it's commoner princess and progressive values, might be beyond the days of working the servants to the bone for pittance. But at least the staff can take comfort in the fact that complaining is unlikely to get them thrown into the dungeon these days.

Julia Molony

Sunday Independent