Why you need 6.6 billion placemats to cover QE land

Andy McSmith
antartic 300x225 Why you need 6.6 billion placemats to cover QE land

(Getty Images)

Jane Merrick, Political Editor of the Independent on Sunday, posed an important question shortly after lunch – how many placemats would it take to cover Queen Elizabeth Land? This question is not easy to answer, because Lady Clare Ltd, the Gloucestershire based makers of the bespoke mats that the Cabinet presented to the Queen during her visit to Downing Street, make mats in different sizes and Downing Street’s very detailed briefing about the visit did specify the exact measurements of the ones presented to HMQ. However, it is possible to make a reasonably accurate calculation – and always show your working, my old maths teacher used to say.

It can be reasonably assumed that the mats presented to HMQ were the larger size, measuring 298 mms by 222 mms. It would take 15 placemats of that size to cover a square metre. That is 15 million to the square kilometre. Queen Elizabeth Land is 437,000 sq kms of frozen nothingness. Therefore, it would take just over 6.6 billion bespoke Lady Clare placemats to cover Queen Elizabeth Land. QED

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