Grant Woodward: Oh great, yet another royal freeloader for us to bankroll

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave hospital with their daughter Charlotte.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave hospital with their daughter Charlotte.
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I’VE been good. I’ve sat dutifully on the sofa watching the endless footage on Sky News. I’ve smiled weakly when my wife – maternal instinct off the Richter Scale – has said she looks a bit like our own daughter.

But sorry, for the life of me I can’t get excited about the birth of another royal sponger.

When I look at the pictures of Charlotte Windsor I don’t think ‘Aww, how cute’, I think ‘How much is this one going to cost me?’

The royals never used to bother me. They were just there in the background, a weird relic from a bygone age that had inexplicably stayed with us. Ok for a bit of novelty value and the occasional chuckle at their uncanny gift for making a complete hash of everything.

But these days I don’t find myself laughing quite so much.

The thing is (and this may come as a surprise to the saddos who follow them everywhere waving their little union jacks) most of them – shock, horror – aren’t especially nice people.

We’ve had Prince Philip making cracks about getting “slitty eyes” in China, Harry calling a fellow cadet at Sandhurst a “Paki” and when one of his employees dared to ask if her university degree might earn a promotion, Prince Charles went off on one about people getting ideas above their station.

Royalists say they’re a great advert for Britain. Really? I’m not so sure. Take Prince Andrew – and I wish someone would. Here’s a man who attracts scandal like Nicola Sturgeon attracts men with a Jimmy Krankie fetish.

He’s denied claims he sexually abused a 17-year-old who was loaned out by his pal, convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. There’s no further action on that one, but Randy Andy’s been an embarrassment to Britain for years.

There were the meetings with Colonel Gaddafi’s son. The holiday paid for by a convicted gun smuggler. The £100,000 private jet for a trip to the US. The nickname “Air Miles Andy” due to a fondness for using helicopters for journeys that would use half a tank of petrol.

His “job” as a “trade ambassador” has cost us taxpayers more than £15m in travel expenses and police protection. But then do any of them, apart from the Queen, actually do anything?

Andrew’s brother Edward is a classic royal in as much that despite being given every advantage in life he’s failed at everything.

His two Cs and a D at A-level were good enough for a place at Cambridge University, because remember, it’s one rule for us commoners and another for royals.

After that he joined the Marines and dropped out. He tried doing telly (that It’s a Royal Knockout disaster was his idea) then set up his own company which broke industry guidelines by invading the privacy of his nephew, Prince William, before being dissolved with assets of just £40. His backers lost every penny, while Edward went back to working for mummy.

And the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Edward’s niece Beatrice has left her £20,000 job working for a film company but despite having no personal income has got two homes – one of which was given a £250,000 taxpayer-funded makeover – and has been on 11 money-no-object holidays in less than six months.
 And I think that’s why I’m so hacked off. I look at my own young children and worry if they’ll be able to get a decent job when they grow up or be able to afford to buy a house. Meanwhile the royals carry on living in fantasy land.

So when I look at the pictures of Charlotte Windsor I don’t think ‘Aww, how cute’, I think ‘How much is this one going to cost me?’ Or, more pertinently, ‘How much is she going to cost my kids?’

The argument always goes that the royals bring in far more to the country through tourism than they cost us. But really people only come to see Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the hope of catching a glimpse of the Queen.

So why not bankroll the monarch, their other half and the immediate heirs but make the rest fend for themselves? It’s high time we saw how they get on in the real world. You know, the one the rest of us have to live in.

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