THE Queen is demanding a 20% increase in the civil list so she can buy herself a really fancy new hat and refurbish some of her old ones.
According to Buckingham Palace accounts, by 2012 the Queen will be greeting shoppers at the Windsor branch of Tesco and taking in sailors unless we give her a £40 million hat fund immediately.
In recent years the Royal Household has struggled to keep pace with the wear and tear on the sovereign's hat collection. Last month the entire left-hand side of one of the blue hats was cordoned-off by engineers who said it is dangerously close to being completely unwearable.
Published accounts show the Queen costs each UK citizen 69p per year, with just four of the pence being used for the purchase and maintenance of hats, balaclavas and ear muffs.
Bill McKay, a mentally handicapped royalist from Hatfield, said he had heard that the Queen was excellent value for money.
"She works very hard with those horses, scrubbing their hooves and flushing their backsides twice a day. The least she deserves is a really nice hat."
He added: "And remember this – abolishing their monarchy left the French with nothing more than lots of beautiful palaces and the biggest tourist industry in the world."
A Buckingham Palace source insisted budgets were under strain, adding: "Philip is forced to launch five times the average national wage worth of buckshot into some geese every year, and bribing footmen to keep schtum about all the bumming isn't cheap either."
But Tom Booker, a man who has had just about enough of this from Peterborough, said: "I know it could actually kill her, but perhaps she could live in one house that's only three or four times the size of mine instead of eight houses that are all 40 times the size of mine.
"Then we could sell the eight houses, buy her a nice vicarage in Berkshire with a staff cottage and an acre of garden and use the rest of the money to build a state of the art hospital for sick children. Or is that communism?"