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Labour MP: Queen is concerned about inequality in UK

A Labour MP has claimed the Queen had expressed concern about levels of inequality and poverty in the UK.

Yasmin Qureshi, who represents Boston South East, was speaking in Parliament after this afternoon's Budget.

"Even Her Majesty, who is not exactly known for getting involved in political issues of the day, has expressed concern about the level of poverty and the situation of the poor people," she said.

Read: Osborne: Budget for 'makers, doers and savers'

Even the Queen enjoys pancakes on Shrove Tuesday

Pancakes were on the menu at Buckingham Palace this Shrove Tuesday although the Queen admitted that she did not make them herself.

The Queen attends a reception at St James's Palace Credit: Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

The monarch revealed her choice of dinner during a reception for the Christ Church Cathedral Music Trust held at St James's Palace.

John Briggs, registrar at Christ Church cathedral, asked the Queen if she had enjoyed pancakes at the request of his four-year-old son.

"My little boy was very upset that he couldn't come with me to see the Queen, but he told me to ask her a question on his behalf. He wanted to know if she had pancakes today, and she said 'yes' but that she didn't make them herself," said Mr Briggs.

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Queen reveals she keeps her Bafta on top of the TV

The Queen has revealed she cannot helping looking at her Bafta Award, which she keeps on top of her television.

Her Majesty, who received an honorary Bafta last year in recognition of her contribution to the TV and film industry, made the revelation as she spoke to 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen.

Asked by actress Jane Horrocks what she had received her Bafta for, the Queen laughed, "Can you not guess? I've only done one thing!" to which Lenny Henry joked, "This is Helen Mirren, she's brilliant."

Bafta chairman John Willis previously dubbed the Queen "the most memorable Bond girl yet" for her role at the London Olympics Opening Ceremony.

The 2014 Bafta Awards: Winners and Losers

Read: Queen and Kate meet the stars at palace reception

Queen and Kate meet the stars at palace reception

Dame Helen Mirren speaks to the Queen as Sir David Attenborough looks on.
Dame Helen Mirren speaks to the Queen as Sir David Attenborough looks on. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge met some of Hollywood's leading actors tonight as Buckingham Palace hosted a reception celebrating the UK's dramatic arts.

Actress Uma Thurman and the Duchess of Cambridge.c
Actress Uma Thurman and the Duchess of Cambridge. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The event featured a who's who of leading film makers, entertainers and actors including director Steve McQueen and actresses Uma Thurman and Helena Bonham Carter.

The Queen and Joan Collins at the Buckingham Palace reception.
The Queen and Joan Collins at the Buckingham Palace reception. Credit: David Crump/Daily Mail/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The night was hosted by the Queen in her capacity as patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, also known as Rada.

Kate meets Sir Trevor Nunn and Helena Bonham Carter.
Kate meets Sir Trevor Nunn and Helena Bonham Carter. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Duchess of Cambridge joined her for the evening wearing a striking red Alexander McQueen dress.

Kate borrows Queen's diamonds for charity gala

The Duchess wore a dazzling diamond necklace loaned by the Queen.
The Duchess wore a dazzling diamond necklace loaned by the Queen. Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

The Duchess of Cambridge returned to the spotlight as she joined a star studded guest list for a fundraising night in aid of the National Portrait Gallery.

Kate stepped out for her first engagement of the year wearing a dark-coloured Jenny Packham floor length dress.

The night was billed as a black-tie do with a "sparkle" and the Duchess followed the theme by wearing a dazzling diamond necklace loaned by the Queen.

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives for The Portrait Gala 2014.
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives for The Portrait Gala 2014. Credit: Ian Vogler/The Daily Mirror/PA Wire

The fabulous piece was a wedding gift given to the Queen to mark her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in November 1947.

Known as the Nizam of Hyderabad it was created by Cartier in the 1930s and has been worn by the monarch throughout her life and for many formal portraits.

Among the guests for the gala dinner was actress Elizabeth Hurley, rock star Bryan Adams, actor Alan Rickman and artist Grayson Perry.

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Queen to visit Normandy for 70th anniversary

The Queen will visit Normandy in June.
The Queen will visit Normandy in June. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The Queen will make a State visit to France from 5th - 7th June to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

After a visit to Normandy the Queen who will be accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh will attend State Visit events in Paris and be received at the Elysee Palace by President Hollande.

PM reveals his chats to the Queen are 'very useful'

The Prime Minister has revealed that he finds talking politics with the Queen very useful as she is "always" up to speed and has "heard it all before".

Queen Elizabeth ll is greeted by Prime Minister David Cameron
Queen Elizabeth ll is greeted by Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street Credit: Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

Discussing his weekly Buckingham Palace audiences with the monarch, David Cameron divulged that he was very aware the Queen has worked with 11 Prime Ministers before him.

"You are very conscious as Prime Minister that I am her 12th," he told BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright Show.

"She started with Winston Churchill and she has heard it all before. I think prime ministers find it very valuable to try and explain the difficult decisions and problems the country faces in the presence of someone who's heard and seen all these problems before," he added.

Cameron also said the Queen was "always" up to speed, adding "you have to make sure you are well-informed too if I can put it that way".

Royal palaces 'cost an absolute fortune' to maintain

Robert Jobson
Robert Jobson said Buckingham Palace needed major renovation work. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

Royal palaces "cost an absolute fortune" to maintain so it is not surprising the Queen's household has spent as much as it has done, a royal expert told Daybreak.

Robert Jobson defended Her Majesty for not doing more to reduce costs as palaces were already crumbling due to lack of upkeep.

"Basically, these buildings cost an absolute fortune to maintain, [Buckingham] palace in particular is crumbling in certain areas, has not been rewired since the 50s, certain rooms are not even decorated. This is a national monument in my opinion."

He continued: "It could possibly be opened to the public but the truth is that there has been a cut in real terms and so they had to spend the money where they could."

Watch: Renting Buckingham Palace 'could make more money'

Renting Buckingham Palace 'could make more money'

Buckingham Palace could be used to make more money for repairs Margaret Hodge, Public Accounts Committee chair has said.

Hodge also spoke of repairs needed at the royal residence, such as the boiler which has served the palace almost as long as the Queen and should be replaced due to the increasing costs of running it according the sixty-year-old appliance.

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