In a the week the IMF warned France over its deficit and limp economic growth it emerged that President Sarkozy has installed state of the art ovens onto the presidential jet to the tune of £70,000. We are less than a year away from the French presidential elections and this spending may further underline the view of many in France that Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni are a touch remote.
I'm not advocating the scrapping of the French presidential jet - not least as our ministers increasingly have to hitch a lift to summits on French ministerial planes - but a little frugality in tough times might just help Sarko as the French move to an election footing. The contrast with our royal family is stark. As well as only costing each person 51p a year, the Crown Estate which manages the Queen's property portfolio (to use just one example) made a profit last year of £230 million. The total cost of the French presidency is 112.7million euro a year.
The lavish decadence of French royalty was a root cause of its revolution. Plus ça change as the French might say or perhaps, in May next year, they will wave au revoir to Sarkozy?