On Tuesday the official in charge of the Queen’s accounts, Sir Alan Reid, expressed his worries about the implications for the royal household of a decision to allow Holyrood to control nearly all crown estate assets in Scotland.
On Wednesday Reid, the keeper of the privy purse, issued an unreserved apology, saying that a briefing on royal accounts that he hosted was “never intended to be a criticism of Scotland or of the first minister or to suggest that the first minister had cast doubt on the continued funding of the monarchy”.
He said: “As we made clear at the briefing, Scotland contributes in many ways to the Treasury’s consolidated fund – out of which the sovereign grant is paid.
“We said explicitly that to imply Scotland would not pay for the monarchy was simply wrong and we accept unreservedly the assurances of the Scottish government that the sovereign grant will not be cut as a result of devolution of the crown estate.”If the palace hoped to divert attention from the meagre sums given by Treasury to support the royal establishment or the disgraceful state of Buckingham Palace, they probably succeeded. But someone twigged that they had gone too far Hence the retraction?