Queen cancels Christmas party for her staff

Buckingham Palace
Image caption Staff at Buckingham Palace are thought to be disappointed by the cancellation

The Queen has scrapped a Christmas party for her staff because of the "difficult financial circumstances" facing the nation.

Every two years the Queen pays for a celebration at Buckingham Palace for the 600 members of the Royal Household.

But a spokesman said: "The Queen is acutely aware of the difficult economic circumstances facing the country.

"It was decided it was appropriate for the Royal Household to show restraint and not hold the party this year."

The Sun newspaper claimed the party would have been held on 13 December and would have cost around £50,000.

At previous Christmas parties the Queen, Prince Philip and other members of the Royal Family have mixed with staff and even hit the dancefloor.