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Queen invests in Web firm

Gawd bless you, Ma'am

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HRH the Queen is hoping to make a quick buck from the dot.com frenzy by investing £100,000 in a UK web company. Her Majesty instructed the stockbroker to the Privy Purse to buy shares in the Millennium Mapping Company - the outfit putting together an online aerial photo of the UK. Her holding represents around five per cent of the Hampshire-based business, and makes her one of 41 major shareholders. These include former brewing magnate Sam Whitbread, and Tristram Cary and Joe Studholme – who founded the company last February, today's Sun newspaper reported. A Buckingham Palace representative refused to confirm whether the deal was a one-off, but it is believed to be the first time the Royals have dipped into their fortune for a business venture. The Queen decided to make the investment after the company made her its figurehead. Staunch monarchists that they are, the makers of the Millennium Map had decided to dedicate their site to the Queen. But today the company refused to comment on its regal shareholder. "It's great," grinned one representative. "But we can't comment on investors. If the Queen wants to say anything about it, that's her decision." Unfortunately, Her Majesty declined to give The Register an exclusive interview regarding her views on the Web. But investment analysts were reported to be applauding her nose for business. "The prices of Internet firms are soaring. I would expect this mapping firm to go public, and with Internet start-ups the sky's the limit," said one senior advisor with bankers HSBC. From tomorrow, The Register will be dedicating itself to The Sultan of Brunei. ® Related Stories: Hi-tech loses favour with HRH

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