The queen has sensationally won a game of poker against the treasury that is set to cost the taxpayer an eye-watering £1 billion pounds.
So desperate is the new government to raise money that George Osbourne invited her majesty to No11 for a 'cordial' game of cards in the hope of topping up government coffers, but failed to anticipate the monarch's savvy hustling skills.
Things started in the normal fashion with a one 'guinea' blind which had been the tradition since 1812 but ended in Osbourne betting the keys to the MoD, Home Office and Foreign Office and then losing.
So what happened?
Osbourne started with 8 and 10 of hearts, QE2 2 sixes. 'The flop' was a teasing 2, 3 and 7 of hearts. Osbourne up'ed the stakes to £100,000,000 for the home office and the queen duly matched - asking that a dozen 'old masters' be brought to the table - meanwhile requesting some sunglasses, chewing tobacco and a spit bowl.
The 'turn' card was a 6 of spades. With his 'flush' in the bag, the chancellor went for broke - adding the MoD in the pot. QE2 with equally deep pockets calmly added the deeds to Australia.
And so it was 'to the river card'. In a haze of smoke and tension, down it dropped - yet another 6. The Lord of the Dominions stayed calm, even with her '4 or a kind' she sipped her sherry as gently as any sunlit Monday morning. But Osbourne had to make a play, handing over the foreign office in the process. Sadly for the taxpayer - the rest is history.
The following morning Osbourne, still clothed on his bathroom floor, called Mervyn King - "HMQ has the keys to most of Whitehall but she doesn't want any of it. Can you courier £1 billion to SW1A 1AA and let everyone in please? Sorry, I won't ask again."