The Prime Minister's royal weekend at Balmoral keeps on giving.

Britain's Daily Mail has put its own spin on Claire Trevett's picture of Mr Key with the Queen in the castle sitting room. The Herald's deputy political editor got a snap that British photographers would gladly swap for their long lenses - which might explain the criticism that has followed.

Yesterday, the Mail sniped about Mr Key: "He is totally chuffed to bits, glowing nuclear pink with pleasure, at being snapped with the Queen in her private sitting room.

"She, on the other hand, has her head bowed, deep in thought. Perhaps she is having second thoughts about letting this galloping colonial clot through the front door?"


The Mail couldn't resist a dig at the sitting room decor, saying the image showed how dated the Queen's residence seemed, with special mention to "the wild profusion of china knicky-knackies and a general air of mothballs and pet hair. Readers - who lives in a house like this?"