London, June 29 : Looks like The Queen is on a shopping spree - after becoming the proud owner of a drive-through McDonald's burger restaurant, Her Majesty is on a lookout for a private jet now.
A small executive aircraft for the Queen, such as a Gulfstream or Learjet, would cost taxpayers about 5million pounds to 10million pounds. It would also be available to Gordon Brown and senior ministers.
While the rest of the country is being squeezed by rising prices, the Department for Transport has agreed that the palace can draw up its own specifications for the plane.
They are expected to include a bar, catering facilities and in-flight entertainment systems, as well as up to 12 seats to accommodate courtiers, officials and the Queen.
Senior members of the royal family will also be able to use the plane, including Prince William, who recently gained his pilot's licence and used an RAF helicopter to attend a stag party on the Isle of Wight.
The plane will be used for internal flights and short trips abroad. The royals will have to charter larger planes or book seats on scheduled flights for long-haul trips.
"We are currently working with the Department for Transport to identify an appropriate aircraft for the use of members of the royal family and ministers," Times Online quoted a spokesman for the Queen, as saying.
"We are in the early stages of this review and no decisions on the type of aircraft have been taken as yet," the spokesman added.