Last Wednesday, delegates from Coburg, Germany drove over 600 miles to personally deliver a Christmas tree for Her Majesty to Windsor Castle. Instead of receiving a royal thank you for their efforts and kind gesture, they were slapped with parking fines. Before the official unveiling of the tree last Saturday, which was placed near a statue of Queen Victoria on Castle Hill near Windsor castle, the delegates found parking tickets on their windscreens. One vehicle, a white Mercedes Benz minivan with ‘Christmas tree express for the Queen’ was given a penalty notice while unloading at a hotel in the High Street; whilst the other, a green mini with the same slogan written in German on the bonnet was also ticketed in a coach lot.
The delegates were understandably furious when they alerted local officials to the tickets before turning around to make their journey home to the birthplace of Queen Elizabeth’s great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert. Representatives from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead quickly back-tracked and cancelled the tickets, telling the Daily Express that the vehicles: “had not breached parking permissions, as thought by their overzealous workers.” Paul Roach, a spokesman of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council, said: “Two vehicles connected with the Coburg delegation were mistakenly given penalty charge notices.” However when the council realised this mistake, an apology was issued and the fines were cancelled: “soon after” they were issued. “I have spoken to colleagues in Germany and they are aware of the circumstances and that the guys were just doing their job.”
According to the Daily Express, the German delegates were more understanding once the fines were cancelled, but the council didn’t comment on the matter further. Buckingham Palace has yet to release a statement regarding the fines and the borough’s handling of them.