By Jane Seymour, Royal Editor
The Queen has offered the Suffolk port of Lowestoft to Spain – if they agree Gibraltar should remain a British territory.
At a state banquet at Buckingham Palace last night, she told King Felipe of Spain that Lowestoft was a key gateway to the North Sea, and a fair swap for Gibraltar’s prime spot between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
King Felipe asked his aides to review the town, and was impressed to learn it is Britain’s most easterly point, a nice reflection of Gibraltar’s spot on the southern tip of Spain.
But it is feared he may now send ambassadors to the Suffolk town, who will very quickly realise that Lowestoft is not quite the jewel in the crown that Her Majesty was portraying.
A Buckingham Palace insider said: “Gibraltar has glorious weather, warm blue seas, and a tremendous culture with loads of history.
“Lowestoft is gloomy, the sea is grey, it is full of charity shops and its only cultural high point was being the home town of rockers The Darkness.
Gibraltar has been a thorny issue with the Spanish ever since it was ceded to the British in 1713. Both countries have been arguing ever since, with regular skirmishes between naval vessels off the Rock.
The territory, which is only 6.8 square kilometres and has its own airport, has a population of 32,000, less than half that of Lowestoft, which the Suffolk Gazette revealed recently was going for City of Culture status.
But the two places do have one thing in common – they both have hundreds of apes who roam around stealing things from tourists.