It’s said that the Queen almost never carries cash. Not, I think, because she’s sick of the sight of her own head, but because she doesn’t often need it. Except when she places a few coins on the collection plate at Sunday morning service, there are others who make her payments for her.
But we’re all Queens now, in the sense that we don’t need to carry cash either. We don’t travel with our own Treasurers, but if we’re travelling with plastic cards, we rarely need cash in our pockets. Technology has made us near equals.
I spent this weekend in London and I can’t think of an occasion when I needed cash. Train tickets, London Underground, Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer, the Curzon Cinema (Testament of Youth – very good), Leon, Starbucks, Waterstones for books, the Tate Britain – none required cash.
The marvellous thing about it is that you feel you’re not spending real money at all. I fear, though, that the reckoning, as always, will come. And don’t be tempted to think that you are the equal of Her Majesty when it comes to spending power.
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