Report: Queen Elizabeth Tried to Use Public Aid Fund to Heat Her Palace

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Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett

Listen, from time to time everybody is strapped for cash and may not know how to pay their bills. Even the Queen of England!

In 2004, Elizabeth II, who is reportedly worth $551 million, had considered getting help paying the mounting utiliy bills at Buckingham Palace from a government fund intended to help low-income U.K. residents. British newspaper The Independent, found out royal aides were looking at tapping into the $94 million fund to help with bills that ran more than $1,000,000. U.K. government ministers turned her down, though, fearing it would be a public relations nightmare.

British taxpayers already pay $60 million to keep the royals living, well, royally. Still the government didn’t mind the Queen taking more money from her subjects to pay bills at Buckingham and other official residences. But officials eventually turned cold to the idea citing that the purpose behind a fund aimed at low-income citizens was to give it to low-income citizens. Plus, if it ever got out that Elizabeth was so broke she needed money from the British version of welfare, it wouldn’t be a good look.

(See TIME’s photos of the Royal families in American.)

“I also feel a bit uneasy about the probable adverse press coverage if the Palace were given a grant at the expense of say a hospital. Sorry this doesn’t sound more positive,” an official wrote.

So to reduce their costs, the Palace, came up with a plan to use a less expensive contractor that undercut what they were already paying by 6-8%, which could have saved them $227,000 if they had thought of it two years earlier, The Independent reported.

Man, what’s next Donald Trump trying to move into the Marcy Projects?