The Queen's Hiding Her Ivory Stash

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Queen's so old now that she can remember back to the days when it was considered the norm to pop off to Africa or India for a month and come home laden with skins, horns, tusks, shrunken heads, dried-out penises, a handful of fresh slaves and all manner of other exotic collectibles, hence there's quite a bit of dodgy material lurking in the royal collection.

In particular, a lovely little gong owned by the royal family is having to go into long term storage, until such time that the world is flooded with elephants and ivory is allowed to be sold again. The gong in its twin tusk surround, previously on display at  Sandringham House and handed over as a gift from India 140 years ago, actually breaks current laws about displaying uncut ivory for commercial gain, a rule introduced by the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Act that wants to limit the market for bits of dead elephant.

Breaking this rule comes with a maximum penalty of two years in prison, which would be quite awkward for her majesty, although presumably her good public service record would see her out on parole in as little as eight months. [The Times]


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