Then the Recession Came for the Queen's Official Swan Counter

British royalty is feeling the pinch of austerity. Her Highness needn't worry about the slashed children's benefits or dwindling welfare rolls. But the UK's new plan of pain aimed at calming international investors could wreak havoc on the accuracy of quarterly swan estimates.

The queen is freezing salaries for royal servants and aides earning more than $73,500 and reviewing all vacant slots with an eye to reducing her staff of 1,400 -- which includes a royal piper who plays under her window in the mornings and an official counter of swans. For the first time in her 58-year reign, the queen has also agreed to regular audits of royal expenditures by the same national agency that reviews education, defense and other types of government spending.

Ask your royal minstrel to read you the full story. He can find it at the Washington Post.


Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Business

Just In