Coining it in the name of the birthday girl

PUBLISHED: 12:40 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

I CAN T image that the Queen will celebrate her 80th birthday tomorrow (Friday) by joining her loyal subjects as they play their favourite sedentary game – but she might feel at home if she did. Although the personification of regal at state and public fu

I CAN'T image that the Queen will celebrate her 80th birthday tomorrow (Friday) by joining her loyal subjects as they play their favourite sedentary game - but she might feel at home if she did.

Although the personification of regal at state and public functions, the Queen is said to be quite down to earth in her more private moments which tends to endear her to people.

So one can suppose that she would join in the fun if she went to a bingo session.

As a young lady, perhaps the princess destined to become queen enjoyed with her family the popular parlour game which was then known as lotto or housey-housey.

It has become big business these days, of course.

One of the main operators is Gala Bingo which, just for tomorrow, is introducing a bit of royal bingo lingo by encouraging winners to call out "Palace" instead of "House" when all their numbers come up.

Thinking about it, there are some tidy sums of money to be won so maybe the Queen will be tempted to pop in to the bingo hall nearest Windsor or Sandringham if she happens to be passing.

You've got to be in it to win it, Your Majesty. When it comes to numbers, the Queen has visited Australia 15 times, she has launched 23 ships, has 30 godchildren, has attended 34 Royal Variety performances - how she has to suffer in the name of duty - and is the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror.

And one cannot count the billions of coins on which depictions of her head have appeared over the past 50 plus years. It's not going to happen, but what if the powers-that-be decided that the Queen's head should no longer grace coins. What would replace her?

Wallace and Grommit, say 58.7 per cent of people asked in a survey.

Other quirky facts revealed include less than a third of the British public would pick up a 2p if they saw it lying on the pavement but 81 per cent would snatch up a £1 coin - surprisingly more than would bother to pick up a £2 coin.

Amazingly, seven per cent of those questioned claimed to actually throw money away (they can throw it my way if they like).

The majority of people identified the need for a £5 coin while one in five said they would like to see a 25p piece.

Nearly four million people keep coins in a jar and over two million have a piggy bank.

It is reckoned that there is £380m of loose change lying around in people's homes. I wonder how much of it could be found in Buckingham Palace.

Looking to the future, more than one in 10 people thought that we would not be using coins at all in 10 years time although 60 per cent could not imagine a world without coins.

But getting rid of them would certainly save a lot of trouser pockets from being worn away.

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