30 MARCH 2008

She's one of the richest women in the world, yet the Queen remains acutely aware of any financial pressures facing her subjects. So much so that the caring monarch has reportedly cancelled a glamorous party in sympathy with those feeling the need to tighten their belts a little more.

"It is a great shame," a friend of the British monarch told the The Mail on Sunday, adding: "The Queen always puts her jollifications after everything else has been considered."

Around 60 guests were expected to join the monarch, Prince Philip and their family this weekend to celebrate the couple's 60-year marriage, claimed the newspaper. The fancy Ritz bash was originally meant to be held last November. However, it was postponed as the Queen had to attend the Commonwealth Conference in Uganda. Official commitments have meant this was the first weekend available for all the family.

"The party… was about giving something back to the Queen," said a source at the luxury hotel, adding that the monarch had been "absolutely delighted" that her friends wanted to throw her such a bash.

The celebration would have come at the end of a busy time for the Queen, who turns 82 in April. On Wednesday, she hosted a day of full events to welcome French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla, to the country on a state visit.

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The celebration would have come at the end of a particularly busy time for the 81-year-old monarch. This week saw her host a day of events ending with a grand state banquet - for which she personally checked all the details - for the visit of France's President Nicolas SarkozyPhoto: © Getty Images
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Married 60 years ago, the couple have taken their roles as heads of state seriously, something which has kept them so busy they have not yet been able to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary in full style Photo: © Getty Images