The Queen has reflected the concerns of ordinary people up and down the country by asking why the credit crunch caught economic experts by surprise.
During a briefing as she inaugurated a new building at the London School of Economics, the monarch inquired: "Why did nobody notice?".
Her question was directed at Professor Luis Garicano, who responded: "At every stage, someone was relying on somebody else; and everyone thought they were doing the right thing."
The royal, who normally doesn't opine on economic or political matters, responded by describing the current situation as "awful".
Her Majesty's own portfolio of investments has fallen, in line with the 25 per cent losses recorded recently by the London stock market.
Despite the sober theme to the visit, the atmosphere outside the LSE building was upbeat. The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, was greeted by students, tourists and cheering schoolchildren waving Union flags.