Posted on Mar 8, 2016

    A Town In Kent Reckons The Queen Owes It £8 Billion

    "We don't want to be unreasonable..."

    Welcome to Sandwich. Tony Kershaw /

    Sandwich, a small town in Kent, is home to a group of local historians called The Breakfast Club, which meets every week at Haven's Cafe.

    One of its members, 74-year-old Ron Coleman, recently found out that Queen Elizabeth I visited the town in 1572.

    Tony Kershaw / Tony Kershaw /

    OK, so why is this important?

    Well, while visiting the town – entertained by "great festivity and rejoicing", according to records found by Coleman – the Queen promised to look over a petition to dredge the town's river and, crucially, help towards the cost.

    Print Collector / Getty Images

    The monarchy never coughed up, however, and the group believes the town is now owed approximately £8 billion once inflation and the interest accumulated over the past 444 years are factored in.

    "We are sorry to bother you, we know how very busy you are," the group wrote in a letter addressed to the current Queen, Elizabeth II, before explaining the awkward circumstances around the alleged outstanding debt.

    The group ended the plea with: "We hope we are not being too pushy, but is there any word yet please?" and signed it "your loyal and obedient servants". Tony Kershaw /

    The Breakfast Club claims it eventually received a letter from Queen Elizabeth II's lady-in-waiting Philippa de Pass.

    Chris Davey / Chris Davey /

    In the letter, de Pass wrote that although the Queen was "interested" to hear about Elizabeth I's visit, she was still "unable to respond" personally.

    "Her Majesty hopes you have enjoyed looking at the activities and records written so very many years ago," de Pass wrote, adding: "I am to send you the Queen's good wishes and thank you for your thought for Her Majesty in writing as you did."

    The local historians are not taking no for an answer.

    "We had almost lost hope when the reply came but we were pleasantly surprised, and indeed honoured, that she responded," Coleman told news agency SWNS.

    But, he continued, "If Her Majesty believes that a polite brush-off is going to settle the issue I fear she is going to be very disappointed."

    He added: "We don't want to be unreasonable and suggest that our present mayor should settle for £7 billion."

    Your move, Your Highness.

    Afp / AFP / Getty Images

    Buckingham Palace had not responded to BuzzFeed News' request for comment at the time of publication.

    Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Rose Troup Buchanan at

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