Sometimes, it seems that having a monarch might not be such a terrible thing after all and that the colonies, in all their democratic zeal to help Boston stop paying taxes, might have made a huge miscalculation by not remaining within the domain of the British Crown with all its fancy ceremonies and affordable housing giveaways. According to the Telegraph, the Queen is currently mulling over a plan for all land at Balmoral, her privately-owned estate in Aberdeenshire (whose ground I imagine to be teeming with hobbits, unicorns, and wood nymphs), to be used for building low-cost properties that would ideally help young people get their feet wet in the housing market.
The plan, which seems pretty pragmatic, has already earmarked a specific plot of land near the Prince of Whales' retreat at Birkhall. Houses in the low-cost development would be built partly by young families themselves in order to keep costs down, as well as demonstrate, according to Hank Dittmar, head of the Prince's Foundation for Community Building, "how self-built homes can increase the supply of housing more widely for people who live and work in rural communities, within a pattern that also complements the sensitive natural environment." Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased the 49,000-acre estate in 1848, and it has remained the place where the Royal Family most likes to go on retreat and have sprawling Risk tournaments.