When the Queen Mother died in 2002, at the age of 101, the chatelaine of five royal residences and with a vast retinue of more than a hundred servants, the astonishing scale of her expenditure - on haute couture, millinery, jewellery, a stable of 12 racehorses, vintage champagne and lavish entertainment in the manner of a bygone era - had left behind debts of more than £7million, making her arguably the greatest royal spendthrift since the opulent Versailles heyday of Marie Antoinette.
The Queen Mum, saluting herself as CinC, Queen Mum's Own Highlanders
Marie Antoinette, barely distinguishable
Incidentally, M-A was plagued throughout her life and into death by rumours and lies about what a spendthrift she was, among other calumnies. The parallels are more fitting than the disgraceful Daily Mail could know.