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Kew Palace hasn’t been occupied since 1844, according to public records. However, this didn’t stop the BBC from requesting a TV licence fee after an urgent letter landed on the doorstep the late King George III’s old home.
Rachel Mackay, the manager of Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) at Kew, including Kew Palace and the Great Pagoda tweeted out the hilarious blunder as royal fans mocked the BBC for the error.
The HRP manager shared a photo of the letter addressed to the royal residence.
On the front of the letter was the TV licence logo, with the words “action required immediately” on the front.
It seems this wasn’t the first time the corporation had made the mistake.
Ms Mackay tweeted: “Oh good, it’s the time of year where I have to explain to the TV Licensing Authority why King George III hasn’t paid his TV licence since 1820”.
A flood of replies poured in as social media users began to mock the amusing error.
One response read: “Seriously? This is brilliant. Must be a little marketing play you could do in the museum with this.”
A second added: “They could send someone in a early 19th century outfit to the TV Licensing office, and pretend they don’t know what a TV is it how this letter was written so neatly,etc.”
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Some users shared their own experiences with licence fees in the comments section.
One user wrote: “Had one of these letters every few months for about 15 years.
“I replied twice to say I didn’t have a TV, but you took no notice and threatening letters kept coming. So now I just bin them.
“Still don’t have a TV so I don’t see why I should respond.”
A second added: “It is because their databases are a complete mess, and are predicated on the bogus concept that every private dwelling the UK should have a TV licence.”
The tweet gained thousands of likes and retweets, with the official Historic Royal Palaces twitter account weighing in on the amusing blunder.
They tweeted: “George III loved receiving mail at #KewPalace, especially from his many children, so we’re disappointed to see that he’s been neglecting to keep up with all his correspondences.”
Kew Palace has not been occupied by a royal for almost 200 years.
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Its royal occupation lasted from around 1728 until 1818, with a final short-lived occupation in 1844.
From their early years, King George III and his eldest brother lived in the old house, also now known as Kew Palace.
It is cared for by an independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces, which receives no funding from the Government or the Crown.
The Palace is normally open to visitors, but has been closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic until 2021.
However, it was recently announced that the Queen will reopen some of her famous royal residences to the public.
John Barnes CEO of HRP previously confirmed the gardens at Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle would welcome visitors again from June.
Hampton Court Palace is a royal residence in the borough of Richmond upon Thames, and was famously a favourite of King Henry VIII.
Meanwhile Hillsborough Castle and Gardens is the official residence of The Queen in Northern Ireland.
Kensington Palace Gardens in the Royal Borough of Chelsea, is one of the most popular attractions and home to Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children.
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