The Royal family are understood to be benefiting from a leasing arrangement by German car manufacturer Audi which could offer them up to a 60 per cent discount on their cars.
As valued customers, the Royals are able to take advantage of the company’s VIP terms and conditions – meaning their cars are also personally delivered.
Such favourable leasing arrangements are not available to ordinary motorists and shows why the Royals have favoured the manufacturer over the last decade.
This Audi A6 being driver by Charles, with wife Camilla, is one of a number of models the Royals have leased with up to a 60% discount
The Prince of Wales owns several models, including an A8 limousine that cost £92,500 and a pair of Allroad estate for personal use by himself and the Duchess of Cornwall.
He has also purchased two A4’s for his staff.
Prince William drives a S4 saloon which has a 4.2 litre engine while his fiancee Kate Middleton owns a silver A3 model. Prince Harry also owns a diesel A3.
The deal with the company may also explain why its head of PR Jon Zamett has been invited to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding at the end of the month.
The manufacturer is understood to be investing thousands of pounds in boosting its image – and getting close to the Royals.
They have made large donations to charities that are supported by the Princes and signed an agreement in 2005 to sponsor the English polo squad.
Princes William and Harry have a chat as they get into William’s 4.2 litre S4 saloon
Kate Middleton and a friend watch a polo match as an Audi 4×4 sits on top of the hill. Miss Middleton has previously bought an A3 model
Marketing experts say that offering their cars at competitive rates could offer unique prestige.
Ian Stephens, of Saffron Brand Consultants, told the Times: ‘Giving away cars is a bit sensitive.
‘If you rent them at a discount you get around concerns over bribery or corruptions and still gain the association.’
‘Audi are competing against other German and luxury brands that are established in the UK market, and they’ve always been outsiders. They are trying to buy their way into the establishment.’
Audi has recruited stars such as singer Justin Timberlake to boost its brand and advertise its A1 model
Royals are not the only targets of Audi’s campaign.
In a document shown to the Times newspaper, the carmaker is specifically targeting individuals for discounts who ‘will directly impact the brand image’.
This has included sports figures, politicians and celebrities.
Recently, singer Justin Timberlake has fronted adverts for the A1 model while former cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’ has become a company ambassador in the Middle East.
A spokesman for the company said: ‘We provide VIPs with a service when it is inconvenient for them to go to a dealer.’
‘We have fleet buyers who will buy more than one car – it’s appropriate for them to have a discount.’
The spokesman would not comment on specific cases involving the Royals.
A Clarence House spokesman added that ‘of course’ Prince Charles paid for his cars but would not discuss any terms.
Today i Visited the stone circle in Avebury which is something i wanted to do for a long time. To my surprise on touching one of the stones i got a slight electric shock something which has been reported before due to the energy the stones emit.
The circles are much bigger than they appear in pictures and i was also surprised to see how many of the stones were missing and had markers in there place.
In the past 50 years, 50 dogs have randomly leapt to their death from this bridge in Scotland.
All of the ‘suicides’ happened at the same spot, between the final two parapets on the right-hand side of the bridge, and almost all have been on clear, sunny days.
All the dogs were long-nosed breeds such as labradors, collies and retrievers.
The animals fell 50 feet onto the waterfalls below.
A couple of animals have survived.
However terrifyingly when they were rescued and taken back to the bridge by their owners they jumped again.
Rumours have long circulated that the bridge and nearby Overtoun House are haunted.
In 1994, local man Kevin Moy threw his baby son to his death from the bridge, claiming he thought the child was the anti-Christ.
Shortly after he tried to end his own life with an unsuccessful suicide attempt from the same bridge.
Darren Graham form the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals calls it a ‘heartbreaking mystery’.
The Kecksburg UFO incident occurred on December 9, 1965, at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, United States. A large, brilliant fireball was seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada. It streaked over the Detroit, Michigan – Windsor, Canada area, reportedly dropped hot metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, starting some grass fires, and caused sonic booms in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. It was generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor after authorities discounted other proposed explanations such as a plane crash, errant missile test, or reentering satellite debris. However, eyewitnesses in the small village of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, claimed something crashed in the woods. A boy said he saw the object land; his mother saw a wisp of blue smoke arising from the woods and alerted authorities. Another reported feeling a vibration and “a thump” about the time the object reportedly landed. Others from Kecksburg, including local volunteer fire department members, reported finding an object in the shape of an acorn and about as large as a Volkswagen Beetle. Writing resembling Egyptian hieroglyphs was also said to be in a band around the base of the object. Witnesses further reported that intense military presence, most notably the United States Army, secured the area, ordered civilians out, and then removed an object on a flatbed truck. The military claimed they searched the woods and found “absolutely nothing.”
The Tribune-Review from nearby Greensburg which had a reporter at the scene ran an article the next morning, “Unidentified Flying Object Falls near Kecksburg—Army Ropes off Area”. The article continued, “The area where the object landed was immediately sealed off on the order of U.S. Army and State Police officials, reportedly in anticipation of a ‘close inspection’ of whatever may have fallen … State Police officials there ordered the area roped off to await the expected arrival of both U.S. Army engineers and possibly, civilian scientists.” However, a later edition of the newspaper stated that nothing had been found after authorities searched the area.
The official explanation of the widely seen fireball was that it was a mid-sized meteor. However speculation as to the identity of the Kecksburg object (if there was one—reports vary) range from alien craft to debris from Kosmos 96, a Soviet space probe intended for Venus but which failed and never left the Earth’s atmosphere.
Similarities have been drawn between the Kecksburg incident and the Roswell UFO incident, leading to the former being referred to as “Pennsylvania’s Roswell.”
Beatles legend has it that Paul McCartney secretly died in 1966, at the height of the band’s fame, and that the other three members covered it up by hiring someone who looked and sang like him.
Beatlemaniacs point to numerous clues in the band’s later albums as proof of this. The Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album is, they claim, awash with “Paul is dead” clues such as the lyrics to A Day in the Life, which featured the line “He blew his mind out in a car” and the recorded phrase “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him,” which becomes evident only when the song is played backward. Lennon also mumbled, “I buried Paul” at the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever” although he later denied there was any hidden meaning in the lyrics and what he was actually saying was “cranberry sauce”.
Much is also made of The Beatles’ use of imagery after 1966. The original cover of 1966’s Yesterday and Today album featured the Beatles posed amid raw meat and dismembered doll parts – “symbolising McCartney’s gruesome accident” says Time Magazine. The magazine also claims that “if fans placed a mirror in front of the Sgt Pepper album cover, the words Lonely Hearts on the drum logo could be read as “1 ONE 1 X HE DIE 1 ONE 1.”
Most famously, there is the Abbey Road album cover in which John Lennon, dressed in white, leads a “funeral” procession across the street. Ringo follows in black as a mourner with George in jeans representing a grave digger. Paul McCartney walks out of step with the rest of band and barefoot as, some had it, he would have no need of shoes in the afterlife.