Labour’s Kensington and Chelsea MP Emma Dent Coad has compared the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and her relatives to American reality TV family the Kardashians.
Dent Coad hit out at the royal family while speaking at the annual conference of the anti-monarchist campaign group Republic in Newcastle on Saturday.
The newly minted Labour MP snatched Britain’s wealthiest constituency from the Tories in the June 8 general election. The area contains Kensington Palace, the official royal residence of Prince William and the Duchess, meaning she is officially the couple’s representative in Parliament.
However, this didn’t stop her criticizing what she called the Middletons’ “film star” status.
“I say the Middletons are like the Kardashians now, because they are such film stars. It just shows how much it has all changed,” said Dent Coad, the Daily Mail reports.
The republican said she “despises” the fact that taxpayer money is used to fund the Crown. She would rather see David and Victoria Beckham in Buckingham Palace than the Middletons, as at least they have “earned their own money.”
She also hit out at the “hysterical” incoherence of some Tory members, who support funding the monarchy while calling its members “vulgar.”
“A lot of the disaffected Tories who are so sprightly around the narrative of Kensington Palace have described the Cambridges as vulgar, which is hysterical really,” Dent Coad said.
Her Kensington constituency is also home to Grenfell Tower, the residential block where at least 80 of the area’s poorest residents died in a fire in June. Dent Coad says she turned down an invitation to the meet the Queen following the tragedy.
She also refused to pledge an oath to Her Majesty in Parliament upon taking office.
Republic claims the monarchy costs the taxpayer £345 million (US$450) a year – the equivalent of 17,000 more police officers or 15,000 teachers.
In June, it emerged that the Queen’s income is due to double to almost £82 million in order to cover expenses for “essential works” in the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace. That is up 167 percent on her income in 2012.
Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Alan Reid defended public funding of the royal family, saying it costs very little in the grand scheme.
“When you look at these accounts, the bottom line is the Sovereign Grant last year equated to 65p per person, per annum, in the United Kingdom.
“That’s the price of a first class stamp,” he said, according to the BBC.
“Consider that against what the Queen does and represents for this country, I believe it represents excellent value for money.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who arrived in Warsaw on Monday as part of a European charm offensive, are planning to build a two-story basement extension to Kensington Palace for their staff.
However, the £24 million plan is thought to be in breach of Kensington and Chelsea construction regulations. There have been calls for the council to make an “exception” for the royals.