Oh dear! Posh national estate agent Strutt & Parker has written a gushing guide to the Suffolk town of Framlingham, the “Queen’s second home”.
In a detailed feature on its website, it breathlessly describes how “on her 90th birthday, the Queen was gifted Framlingham Castle as her new holiday home”, and goes on to paint a glorious picture of the town and “what Her Majesty can expect from her new place in the Suffolk countryside”.
There is only one problem with this fawning piece of marketing – none of it is true.
As reported in Smashing Life in this piece at the time, the story of The Queen being given Framlingham Castle as a birthday present was a spoof by the talented team at the Suffolk Gazette.
It caused quite a sensation. Despite being written by the Suffolk Gazette Royal Correspondent Jane Seymour, and quoting a local potato farmer called Maurice Piper, many fell for the spoof, angry that the Queen was being given yet another expensive home at a time of austerity.
Republicans and anti-austerity campaigners got into a bit of a tizzy about it.
The dust died down when the truth dawned upon them, including this Scottish chap who admitted on YouTube he had just “been had by the Suffolk Gazette”.
But weeks on, and poor old Strutt & Parker, which sells expensive homes, farms and estates across Britain has put its foot in it by publishing the feature in its — wait for it — Knowledge and Research section.
It announced on Twitter yesterday “Our guide to Framlingham – the Queen’s second home #happybirthdayyourMajesty”. Realising its comical cock-up, Strutt & Parker hastily deleted the Tweet, but not before we got this screen grab,
Twits on Twitter
The original Tweet linked through to the excellent Queen living in Framlingham feature.
And in case that gets pulled down pretty soon (It has been – Ed), here’s a screen grab of that! It even explains: “The castle was chosen as the high walls give security and privacy, while the interior provides luxury living.”
The Suffolk Gazette has a glorious history of duping those who should know better. Perhaps most famously, Eamonn Holmes read out a story on Sky News about how, days before his death, David Bowie had stood up and sung to astonished diners in a Suffolk curry house.