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Meghan and Harry want a messy divorce

By now you’ll be wondering what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been getting up to since leaving the UK. Well, after the separation, they’ve being going gung-ho to secure the rights to the the narrative in the divorce. As Helen Lewis put it in an excellent take on the mess, the two sides – Meghan and Harry v The Royals – have a set of fighting rules:

But who is to blame? Meghan’s version goes like this: The Queen was lovely, but the wider institution of the monarchy – known colloquially as “The Firm” or “The Palace”—failed to help her as she was ripped apart by the British press. Worse, she sometimes felt that courtiers were actively working against her. An incident in which Meghan was accused of making her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, cry over a bridesmaid’s dress was, she said, reported in the press the wrong way around. Kate made her cry, but then apologized, and all was forgiven. But the Palace wouldn’t go on the record with a correction. “They were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” Meghan said, “but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.” The Palace refused to give her son, Archie, a title and a security detail—and there were some “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be.” The mix of racism, isolation, and intrusion she endured drove Meghan to suicidal thoughts.

The royal narrative is that the Windsors receive millions from British taxpayers, and fulfill a public role. They can’t limit access to their lives to sympathetic listeners like Oprah. They must be accountable. Playing by those rules, you’d be mad to contest every false rumor printed about you, and declaring war on the press is counterproductive. Far better to keep your head down and let your work speak for itself. Can you see the difference in the two views? Members of the Royal Family accept a level of scrutiny and partisan attack usually directed at politicians. Meghan and Harry want to be treated like celebrities.

meghan harry tabloids

One day on from that Oprah interview and the couple keep their media stock high by issuing a newly released photo. She looks radiant and so California. Harry looks like he avoiding the sun. Does she need him as a person to carve out a new career as an influence, lifestyle force, or just the title?

But this is love. We all get it that the money and maybe even the fame are attractions when you marry Harry. But who’d want that level focus on their life that comes with tying yourself to the Firm? Meghan has this covered. “The most important title I will ever have is Mom,” she told Oprah. But Duchess, without the title, would we tune in? How many of tuned in to Suits hoping to learn your opinions on global warming and rescue chickens? “I went into it naively,” the 30-something divorcee with experience of Hollywood casting calls and family rifts told Oprah. “I didn’t do any research about what that would mean. I’ve never looked up my husband online.”

On 6 September 1997, Diana’s brother told everyone watching her funeral how his sister’s “particular brand of magic” needed no royal title to legitimise it. But without it, she’d have been a nice Sloane Ranger, an unlikely president of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, patron of the Natural History Museum, Nelson Mandela’s teatime companion, president of the Royal Academy of Music and patron of Turning Point, a health and social care organisation – Diana famously visited its project in London for people with HIV/AIDS in 1992. She later established and led fundraising campaigns for AIDS research. Doors open when you’re a Royal. Diana was possessed of skill and grace, she had charm and charisma. Had Harry been more graceful, he’d have stood a better chance of keeping his ties to the British military, something he is said to have wanted. Now he just looks a bit drippy; a tad whiney; more than a bit dull. “His skill set (flying helicopters, shaking hands with mayors) seems oddly redundant in their new life of podcasts and Netflix deals,” quips Lewis.

Maybe Harry should have briefed “naive” Meghan better? Must be hard to namecheck Princess Diana, as they did within five minutes of the interview’s start, and not be aware that for her it wasn’t all celebrity mates, yachts and Paris?

The scrutiny on Diana was intense. A tabloid editor’s job was to press f9 on the keyboard and deliver a Diana shocker.

Shocks keep coming:

Hard stuff for Harry to read that and then worry how such scrutiny could affect his wife. And he was already unhappy before he met Meghan. Now woke but once lambasted for laking about in Nazi fancy dress and calling a soldier  “our little Paki friend“, Harry is married to a professional LA habitué. Oprah and Meghan share the same cultural values: self-promotion is good; making it all about me is good; new money is great; and the past really is another country. For Harry, it’s where he was born and bred.

Posted: 9th, March 2021 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Craigslist ad: Looking for white Fiat Uno in Santa Barbara

On Craigslist, an advertiser in the Santa Monica area of California – where Harry Windsor and Meghan live – is “looking for a white Fiat Uno”.

Previously:

A sick advert, surely.

Posted: 8th, March 2021 | In: Key Posts, Royal Family | Comment


Prince Harry cut off financially by his family – he’s 36!

Prince Harry tells Oprah Winfrey that at age just 36 he was cut his family “literally cut me off financially”. Prince Harry is literally 36 years old.

And that wasn’t all. As poorer Harry and emotionally authentic Meghan knifed the monarchy from the lush grounds of a Santa Monica mansion, he bemoaned the “colonial undertones” of the modern media. That’s Harry. He dressed as a Nazi for laughs, says he loves his granny (head of the Commonwealth) and served in the occupation of Afghanistan.

Posted: 8th, March 2021 | In: Royal Family | Comment


Blood diamonds: Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview is beyond satire

When they tire of telling us via their PRs, lawyers, Netflix, Spotify, photoshoots and Oprah Winfrey about the horror of media intrusion, Prince Harry and Meghan Windsor, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, may reflect on why it was the media is obsessed with them.

Today’s Meghan missive reaches us via The Times, in which she is the subject of a story that alleges the American was rude to Palace staff, was accused of “bullying” and this:

The Times can reveal that the duchess wore earrings to a 2018 event that were a wedding gift from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said by the US to have approved the murder of the Jamal Khashoggi.

The dinner took place three weeks after the killing.

Blood diamonds? In 2019, the UK imported a million metric tons of crude oil. She wears Saudi goods mined underground, you stick the country’s produce in your car. Who is the more guilty? The Sussexes busy lawyers are dismissive of the “spurious allegations regarding the use of gifts loaned to The Duchess by The Crown”.

The Times goes for it:

After a newspaper revealed that a PA had left after only six months, it is understood that the duchess became extremely concerned about the number of stories in the press about staff leaving. Her lawyers state that she did not read the press…

When the duchess wore the earrings in Fiji given by the crown prince she told aides who were preparing to brief the media about her outfit for the state dinner that they had been “borrowed” from a jeweller, a source said, an explanation that was widely reported. This was three weeks after the murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Lawyers for the duchess said she may have stated they were borrowed but did not say they were borrowed from a jeweller and denied that she had misled anyone about their provenance.

Following it? Lost the will to live? Or are you wondering if everything to do with the Royal Family is beyond parody? Get this anecdote from Tory MP Michael Ellis, via the Telegraph’s Michael Deacon:

Before any more is said, let is be placed on the record that the supremely gorgeous, never wrong, rich and highly intelligent Duchess (also very litigious – ed) says it’s untrue she bullied anyone. Well, a spokesman for the Sussexes says it’s all part of a “smear campaign” and the duchess is “saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma”. These are “defamatory claims” “based on misleading and harmful misinformation”. To which the media says: “Phew! Thank god she didn’t ignore it and start training in to be a nurse.”

Meghan Windsor bullying

We are told that two Sussex PAs left their jobs:

Both PAs signed non-disclosure agreements. There is no suggestion that Meghan tried to prevent them from speaking. Lawyers for the duke and duchess stated that she had no knowledge of the agreements and that they believed staff to be comfortable and happy.

No knowledge is not the same thing as saying the NDAs do not exist.

In late 2017, after Harry and Meghan’s engagement was announced, a senior aide spoke to the couple about the difficulties caused by their treatment of staff. People needed to be treated well and with some understanding, even when they were not performing to their standards, they were told. Meghan is said to have replied: “It’s not my job to coddle people.”

Are you more bothered by alleged non-coddling or Prince Andrew’s antics? Are you amazed we are supposed to look up to these people, of whom only one matters – and she’s sat on the throne? So what do we get?

One former staff member said: “I had unpleasant experiences with her. I would definitely say humiliated.”

After Jason Knauf, the couple’s communications secretary, made his bullying complaint, another member of staff was worried about spending time with her the next day because she feared that Meghan was about to find out. “This is why I feel sick,” they said.

Another time there was a row about whether Meghan had been told that the media would be present at an event. When she rang the aide, they rang back but she did not pick up. “I feel terrified,” the source said. “I can’t stop shaking.”

An unnamed source adds:

“There were a lot of broken people. Young women were broken by their behaviour.”

The Times editorialises:

The issue boils down to whether Meghan was a demanding boss with high standards, or a bully. Did her team fail her or did she ask the impossible?

To help us decide a source (again unnamed) is quoted: “Everyone knew that the institution would be judged by her happiness,” a source said. “The mistake they made was thinking she wanted to be happy. She wanted to be rejected because she was obsessed with that narrative from day one.”

And it must be noted: “Lawyers for the duchess said this was entirely wrong. The duchess wished to fit in and be accepted and had left her life in North America to commit herself to her new role.”

Lawyers are said to be delighted.


Posted: 3rd, March 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Prince Harry attends Oprah while Philip so sick

How can Prince Harry go ahead with his ‘o me miserum’ interview with US TV empress Oprah Winfrey when his grandfather is “so sick”? The Mail’s Richard Kay’s question is rhetorical. He provides no list of alternative answers. The inference is that only one response is needed: Harry’s a traitor. A dead grandparent is ok for getting a day off school, and it should stop you from going on the telly to talk about your mum.

The Telegraph is the only other mainstream paper to lead with the Oprah interview, in which Harry comes over wetter than an otter’s pocket. The former lad who dressed as a Nazi for laughs, used the word “Paki” and got naked playing pool in Las Vegas is now middle-aged, woke and taking time out from whatever it is he does to talk about his “incredibly hard” life. No need to editorialise. The episode is needy, entitled and narcissistic. It’s pretty what being a celeb is all about.

The Telegraph quotes an unnamed source saying the Palace is worried about Philip’s ailing health (he’s 99) and couldn’t give a stuff about Harry and Meghan’s’s televised chat with Oprah Winfrey. It does this on its front page. No comment is very much a comment. The Telegraph expects its readers to care.

Should Philip die the day Harry and Meghan attend to Oprah airs, there will be much weeping and wailing at a smart residence in one of LA’s gated ghettos. The old sod will have stolen their limelight. And then the real problems begin for Harry should it dawn on Oprah and Hollywood bigshots that the big scoop was rubbish, serving up a moist tissue to a tired, struggling, impoverished and cynical public. The Harry & Meghan show is the spin-off soap opera no-one watched. Because without the rest of The Munsters, Harry and Meghan are pretty uninteresting. All eyes on the funeral, then, when absentees will be newsworthy.

Posted: 2nd, March 2021 | In: News, Royal Family | Comment


Toodle Pip: Daily Star mocks Harry and Meghan

Prince Harry and Meghan Windsor are no longer working royals. Someone else born to rule will get the job of pulling the little ropes to open small curtains on commemorative plaques, inspect soldiers and riding horses in public. The Daily Star wonders how the country will manage without the “publicity shy” couple.

Posted: 20th, February 2021 | In: Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Harry and Meghan are Duke and Duchess in a country that gave us true royalty like Prince, The King and Zsa Zsa Gabor

Where do the Duke and Duchess of Sussex rank in the USA, a country that gave us Prince, The King (Elvis), King (a town in North Carolina (see above The Count (of Sesame Street), The Godfather of Soul and Emperor Norton, a citizen of San Francisco, California, who proclaimed himself “Norton I, Emperor of the United States” in 1859? Harry and Meghan will not work as members of the Royal Family. The spare to the heir and his wife have no duties to fulfil connected to their titles. They cannot hold their honorary commands and patronages and live in California. A series of cataclysmic events could still result in Harry becoming King. But that seems unlikely. They could become the King and Queen of Netflix and Podcasts. Or name their forthcoming child Empress, Princess or Queen.

Right now, Harry and Meghan resemble extras from a dull Hollywood soap opera. Not quite as regal as Zsa Zsa Gabor and less grand than Dynasty’s Prince Michael of Moldoiva. But maybe one day popular enough to appear at Caesar’s Palace casino in Las Vegas.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s being handed back to the Queen:

Harry:

Captain General, the Royal Marines
Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington
Commodore-in-Chief, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving
President, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
Patron, the Rugby Football Union
Patron, the Rugby Football League

Meghan:

Vice-President, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
Patron, the Royal National Theatre
Patron, the Association of Commonwealth Universities

Posted: 19th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Daily Express leads with terrible Prince Philip photo; Diana might be dead

The Duke of Edinburgh has been resting in a London hospital. He’s 99. Prince Philip’s trips to hospital are not infrequent. But it’s easy news. It helps newspapers tread water whilst Philip’s obituary they’ve had primed and ready to go for decades gathers dust. But do they like Phil? Specifically, does the Daily Express likes him?

This is how the Telegraph, Mail and Sun lead with news of Phil’s latest trip to the doctors. He looks fresh-faced and spry.

And here’s Philip on the cover of the Daily Express. He looks decidedly ill. For added spite, the paper’s slapped him next to a picture of a smiling Princess Diana, her face radiant, and a picture of her sons, one of whom is actually pointing in his direction.

What can it all mean from the paper that brought you this news:

daily express diana philip

Posted: 18th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Daily Star mocks Meghan And Harry over second baby press release

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (who they?) are expecting a second child. It’s front-page news. Nearly all national UK papers lead with a photo the pair released to media on Valentine’s Day. For many readers, the Daily Star nails it.

In other news, Aussie mag New Idea (aka No Idea but so long as you read bilge about those two we’ll right it) says “it’s all over”.

Posted: 15th, February 2021 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


PR and privacy beats public interest: Duchess Meghan defeats the Mail

Markle letter high court

Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, struck a blow for the little people when she took on the Daily Mail on Sunday and won her high court privacy case. The aristocrat says “we have all won”.

She brought the claim against Associated Newspapers over its publication of extracts from her letter to her father. He had passed it to the paper. Judge Mr Justice Warby said Meghan had a “reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private”. The Mail countered that publishing the letter was in the public interest.

“One’s correspondence with others is presumptively private in nature,” said Warby. “…Taken as a whole the disclosures were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful. There is no prospect that a different judgment would be reached after a trial.” The Mail never got to test the matter in open court.

Warby ruled that the letter that appeared beneath the headline “Revealed: the letter showing true tragedy of Meghan’s rift with a father she says has ‘broken her heart into a million pieces” was “a long-form telling-off”, “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”

Markle letter high court

The Sun calls the ruling “a blow against press freedom”. The Daily Mail says its publishers are considering an appeal. It would be useful to discover what it all means going forward.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens tells the BBC: “If you can’t effectively report on leaked letters then in those circumstances the media holding people to account is going to be hampered. Essentially this judgement in its widest context puts manacles on the media… This is a letter that could have easily been published in the United States and you are in a situation where going forward people will leak these letters to media in America.”

How did we all win, as Meghan put it? Isn’t this a win for the rich and powerful, those born to rule?

“Thomas Markle makes the allegation that she created an attack through PR and her friends,” says Stephens, now popping up in the Mail. “Thomas Markle makes the allegation that she created an attack through PR and her friends. If that’s right it means rich and powerful people who can afford PR and representation will be able to curate their reputations without the media being able to expose that.”

Joshua Rosenberg writes in the Telegraph:

Warby’s ruling reinforces the law without changing it. There will still be cases where a newspaper’s freedom of expression outweighs a letter-writer’s right to privacy – especially if the writer is a public figure. But this was not one of them.

The Duchess of Sussex has issued a statement – something we are allowed to report:

These tactics (and those of their sister publications MailOnline and the Daily Mail) are not new; in fact, they’ve been going on for far too long without consequence.

For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep. The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news.

What The Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite. We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain.

One item on the court’s agenda remains to be decided. The judge says publication of the letter infringed the duchess’s copyright. But he says the issue of whether Meghan was “the sole author” of the letter or Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was a “co-author” should be determined at a trial.

Will it be? If it is found that personal and private letters to her dad were authored for co-authored by her staff, you might wonder what the purpose of the letter really was? And the tabloids will have yet another Meghan and Harry news story to use when they press f9 on the keyboard and let us all know what two toffs living in LA are up to when the toffs are not telling us what they’re up. And on the game goes…

Posted: 12th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Queen’s Consent makes a mockery of democracy

Queen's consent

Is Her Majesty the Queen an elitist? The Guardian has seen papers from 1973 suggesting Liz’s personal lawyers “successfully lobbied ministers to change a draft law in order to conceal her private wealth”. It’s to do with ‘Queen’s Consent’, which Buckingham Palace calls a “purely formal” process – or what you cynics might call a well-designed loophole. The paper says in seeing the proposed rule change that would affect her, Her Maj was able to debate it and possibly get it altered it in her favour before agreeing to it. Says the BBC: “A revision to the draft law subsequently enabled her as a head of state to sidestep the new regulations.” The Palace is dismissive:

“Queen’s consent is a parliamentary process, with the role of sovereign purely formal. Consent is always granted by the monarch where requested by government. Any assertion that the sovereign has blocked legislation is simply incorrect.

“Whether Queen’s consent is required is decided by parliament, independently from the royal household, in matters that would affect Crown interests, including personal property and personal interests of the monarch.

“If consent is required, draft legislation is, by convention, put to the sovereign to grant solely on advice of ministers and as a matter of public record.”

Good job we’re living in a democracy where we are all equals, right?

Posted: 8th, February 2021 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Money, Royal Family | Comment


Having sex through a keyhole with tubby Prince Andrew

The Mail has an “explosive dossier” on Prince Andrew and a woman who claims she had sex with him when she was a teenager, Virginia Giuffre Roberts. It is “a bombshell” Daily Mail investigation circling the claim Roberts was trafficked to London by the prince’s paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein when she was just 17 and forced to have sex with him.

You’ll quickly form the idea that there’s a lot of hearsay and titillation in the Mail’s Whoopee Cushion. But the hope is that the bit about the alleged sex will get readers panting.

And what of the facts? The paper’s headline suggests that the bath Roberts says she and Andrew had sex in might be too small for penetration. The Mail combines sex and alleged sex crimes with looking around someone else’s home. A fetish that might be on the fringes of the web is mainstream.

We’re going prowlin’ and peepin’ because “an exclusive through-the-keyhole view shows the bathroom in Ghislaine Maxwell’s mews house in Belgravia.” Don’t worry. She’s not in the tub. Maxwell, another of Andrew’s old muckers, is locked inside the US justice system. She faces six counts of recruiting and grooming girls and young women to be sexually abused by both her and Epstein. Prince Andrew told the BBC that he had first met Epstein through his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell in 1999. That’s them and Roberts in the photo above.

Inside the house where Virginia Roberts and Prince Andrew had ‘sex in the bath’ – so is the tub REALLY too small for two people to fit like Ghislaine Maxwell claims?

Dressing up reporters as chickens is one thing but surely the Mail didn’t mock up the Maxwell backroom and encourage two hacks to play the parts of Andrew and his alleged victim? No. Rules on social distancing forbid such things. They just looked at old planning records:

We have found a floorplan of the bathroom, taken from a 1987 planning application. We have also had access to much more recent images of the room. There are two observations. One is that the bathroom is indeed ‘small’, as both sides agree; cramped, if one wished to perform anything other than solo ablutions.

Oh, hark at the language. “One.” Is solo “ablutions” faux posho for masturbation?

The historic plan shows a ‘standard size’ — 5ft 6in by 2ft 4in — alcove bath, boxed in on two sides by walls and on a third by the back of the airing cupboard. The remaining 36 sq ft is largely taken up by a bidet, a lavatory and large sink. It is very bijou.

If size matters, should we also be told Andrew’s dimensions and also those of his alleged. victim? And given what we know about sex, isn’t the sink large enough – or the keyhole?

Andrew denies any wrongdoing. His “only defence against Miss Roberts’ detailed accusations remains blunt denial” says the Mail. Which makes you wonder if the paper’s explosive dossier went off in a confined space, the protected prince would be covered in anything but the stench of his own glory hole.

Posted: 12th, December 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Daily Telegraph launches hatchet into Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre

Look out! Prince Andrew is back. But he’s not the main thrust of Daily Telegraph‘s story. That honour befalls Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the American who says she was brought to the UK from the US aged 17 by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2001 to have sex with his friend Prince Andrew. She told BBC Panorama Prince Andrew was “the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life” and “his sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere”.

She says she had sex with Andrew three times: “I knew I had to keep him happy, because it’s what Jeffrey and Ghislaine (Maxwell, Epstein’s then girlfriend) would expect from me.”

Andrew then went on the telly and said that he didn’t remember meeting Virginia Guiffre, that photo of him with his arm around her bare midriff taken by Epstein at Ms Maxwell’s London flat might be fake. Oh, and he had a medical condition at the time that meant he did not sweat.

And so the story about an alleged teenaged victim of a very entitled and wealthy middle-aged man being “on the game”. Camilla Tominey raises the hatchet and starts to chip away at the accuser’s image. She is billed as Andrew’s “chief accuser”. Is she really the head of a posse? Aren’t all his accusers of equal weight? But you lop off the head and kill the body, maybe?

Prince Andrew’s chief accuser was a prostitute who lied about her age and was paid “half a million” by Jeffrey Epstein, new court papers allege.

How old was she when she allegedly turned to sex work? She claims she was 17 when Andrew had sex with her. So that would be 16? Or was she 15 when she entered sex work?

Virginia Roberts Giuffre (37), who claims to have had sex with Andrew three times when she was 17, was allegedly “on the game for about a year” before she met Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of sex trafficking her and a number of other young women in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

You might at this point feel some sympathy for Virginia Roberts Giuffre. You might consider sex work a sound career chose for a 15/16-year-old. But the story is presented to shape your thinking:

Ms Giuffre has always insisted she is a victim and was never a willing participant. She claims the men who abused her have been using their wealth and influence to keep her quiet.

Can’t an alleged sex worker be a victim of a sex crime, especially one so young? And then we read a list of accusations against the accuser.

Allegations contained in newly filed legal documents claim that Ms Giuffre was 16, not 15, when she first met Ms Maxwell in Florida. She is also accused of changing a story about meeting Donald Trump and that she confused one of the men accused of being involved in sex trafficking, allegedly a Harvard professor, with another professor. The Harvard professor vehemently denies the allegations.

Teenagers, eh. Some get to plan huge weddings with desirable bachelors, like Andrew’s daughter Beatrice, who for her wedding was plated in the Queen’s Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, made by Boucheron in 1919, featuring brilliant and rose-cut diamonds, pave set in platinum, with six emeralds on either side. They get horses, palaces and maids.

In 2011, Edward Klein wrote in Vanity Fair:

Among other things, Andrew has been accused of hosting a lunch at Buckingham Palace for Mohamed Sakher El Materi, the billionaire son-in-law of the now deposed Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and of accepting a gift of a $30,000 gold necklace for his daughter Beatrice from a convicted Libyan gun smuggler. (A spokesman for the Palace says it doesn’t comment on private gifts to members of the royal family.)

Some teens get the lot. Other teens get to be labelled “prostitutes” in the Press, a word that stings with accusation.

The claims emerged in a transcript of a conversation between Sharon Churcher, the journalist who first revealed Ms Giuffre to be an Epstein victim in a 2011 newspaper interview, and Tony Lyons, a New York publisher.

So she was a victim of Epstein’s. That was “revealed”. Epstein died in mysterious circumstances whilst awaiting trial in New York prison cell. We can’t ask him. So what do we know?

Ms Churcher admits that Ms Giuffre “got paid” for the interview, in which she says she was recruited by Ms Maxwell to become Epstein’s masseuse.

Referring to Ms Giuffre, Ms Churcher said: “She took a year off (her age). Apparently she was 16, not 15, when she was recruited (by Epstein). But she’d be on the game for about a year then.”

“Because you see, Epstein paid her off. She had settled with Epstein. She’d taken half a million, I think,” Ms Churcher said.

So much for what she “admits”. Do we know anything more of Ms Churcher? Do we get to see the entire conversation between her and Mr Lyons, whose “Skyhorse group has published books by Alan Dershowitz, Epstein’s former lawyer who Ms Giuffre claimed she was trafficked to six times as a minor.” The lawyer denies any wrongdoing.

Chuck Cooper, representing Ms Giuffre, said: “We look forward to taking Ms Churcher’s deposition under oath.”

Representatives for Mr Dershowitz declined to comment​​. Representatives for Ms Churcher did not respond to a request for comment.

The good things about the writer’s take on the case is that we realise it matters how the story is presented – and we all get to be reminded of a story Andrew would like dead and buried. You know, like Epstein is.

Posted: 9th, December 2020 | In: Broadsheets, News, Royal Family | Comment


Prince William needs a German or Greek passport

Prince William Brexit

A new biopic starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana needs a Prince William – and only actors with British-European passport holders can apply. If you’ve only got a post-Brexit British passport, you cannot audition for the tole. Apparently it’s something to do with the film’s financing.

But it doe make me wonder: does the future King William qualify for a German passport?

Posted: 26th, November 2020 | In: Film, Money, News, Politicians, Royal Family, Strange But True | Comment


Prince Harry and Meghan new Netflix series revealed

The Daily Star is upset. “Show us the money!” it demands. It’s a story about the LA-based Dook and Dutch-ass of Sussex-shire. The paper says they must repay the £2.4m British taxpayers forked out to do up Frogmore Cottage, their official UK residence. They have the cash, having secured a £75m Netflix deal.

The tabloid is outraged. But online, before you read about the Star’s demands for the greedy feckers to pay us back our dough, we read about those, er, trolls unable to appreciate the good work done by the minted hereditary titled toffs’ tireless campaign for equality. A pox on those “nasty keyboard warriors”:

In the tabloid world, Harry and Meghan are now people who you either like or don’t like. You cannot ignore them. It’s not allowed. And the Sussexes would not have it any other way.

“Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” says the couple. “As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.” Words that surely chime with many new parents pointing a phone camera at their little ‘un and dreaming of a £250 windfall from You’ve Been Framed.

Those Harry and Meghan TV schedules in full:

The Woke Awake Club – rise and shine with Archie

Harry’s Half Hour – Live cam footage of Harry trying to work out how you can be a hereditary peer and a champion for equality without being conflicted. Much hilarity ensues

Grandma’s Army – a look at various weaponry used to maintain social order in the UK, Commonwealth and British protectorates

Palace Break – Harry Windsor plans to bust his brother Wills Windsor out of a prison of living hell

The Frown – Meghan looks disapprovingly at footage of the Royal Family

Posted: 5th, September 2020 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Daily Express Megan Markle obsession makes Princess Diana statue blush

“Brought back together by mum,” says the Daily Mirror. It’s a story about Prince Wills and Harry Baseball Cap. A royal insider says moves to erect a statue to Princess Diana to mark what wold have been her 60th birthday will “help to heal old wounds”. The Express guesses that Wills and Harry will both be in attendance when the statue is unveiled. And Meghan Markle might be there, too. Today the Express has a scoop: “Meghan Markle’s obsession with Princess Diana exposed by former childhood friend”:

Meghan Markle Daily Express

That just one of many Meghan Markle stories published by the Daily Express today – move that cold be called obsessive:

No fewer than 13 stories today on Meghan Markle – that’s not including the many more Express articles than namecheck her for SEO purposes.

As for being obsessed with Diana, well…

princess diana daily express

Such are the facts…

Posted: 29th, August 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Jeffrey Epstein and Princess Diana: tabloid gold

The Daily Mail hits gold with news linking Princess Diana to Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein. “Princess Diana Bridesmaid was guest on Epstein island: Clemmie Hambro who took two trips on paedophile’s private jet says ‘I was young, naive and lucky to escape’.” Paedos and Princess Diana. This is tabloid gold. (Jimmy Savile is away.)

Was Clementine lucky to escape the paedophile’s clutches? Didn’t Jeffrey Epstein only abuse the poor and naive, not the minted and connected? Clemmie – posho name, posho connections – is the great grand-daughter of Sir Winston Churchill. His paternal great-grandfather, Carl Joachim Hambro, founded the Hambro Bank. She took the jaunts in 1999, when she was 23-years-old and employed at the Christie’s auction house in New York.

Clemmie Hambro took two flights on the paedophile’s jet. She went to Epstein’s luxury homes “where he spent many years abusing young girls. One of them was on Little St James in the US Virgin Islands, known to locals as Paedo Island.”

Innocent Clemmie, whose name appears in the dead paedophile’s flight records, has issued a statement:

“The first flight was a work trip with female colleagues to look at Epstein’s new home in Santa Fe to discuss what art he was going to buy. The second trip, to Little St James, was a personal invitation, which I thought would be fun to accept, but I didn’t know anyone there, didn’t really enjoy myself, and never went back. My heart breaks for all the survivors, now I know what happened on that island.In the course of those two trips, I was not abused, nor did I see anyone abused, or anything untoward happen, with minors or otherwise. I have been completely horrified about the revelations of his conduct since then. I was clearly very lucky, my heart goes out to those who were abused by him, and I trust they get the justice they so deserve.”

Lucky? To travel the world by private jet, flogging art to the mega-rich? Or lucky that as a 23-year-old woman she was not abused by a paedophile?

Posted: 6th, August 2020 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Prince Andrew: some of my friends might be child abusers

The media term for Ghislaine Maxwell is “British socialite”. Even when the elite are nicked for their alleged parts in heinous crimes we doff the cap and present them as something above the norm. A socialite translates as someone who likes to mess about and have fun whilst being stinking rich. Do the same whilst poor and you might be called a party animal, piss-head or shameless. Maxwell is the ‘British socialite’ accused of helping her former lover, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, abuse of minors. It’s alleged she helped to recruit and groom victims known to be underage. Ghislaine Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing.

The Daily Mirror, the paper Maxwell’s dad used to own, leads with that familiar photo of one of Epstein and Maxwell’s pals with his arm about the then teenage Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Roberts Giuffre. She says Epstein abused her and made her have sex with another of their social circle, the ‘British socialite’ Prince Andrew. Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims she was trafficked to London and forced to have sex with the duke in Ms Maxwell’s Belgravia home. Like Maxwell, Randy Andy has denied any wrongdoing. Prince Andrew also says he was too honourable to break off his friendship with a convicted paedo who put him up whenever he was in New York.

The media is excited. How we enjoy seeing the high and mighty taken down. Papers are as aroused as a toff in a harem of desperate young women. But let’s stick to the facts. Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise.

The Times says the Duke of York has been drawn further into the Jeffrey Epstein story. The Telegraph says Prince Andrew is in the crosshairsThe Guardian says Andrew must be feeling the pressure. Audrey Strauss, acting US attorney for the southern district of New York, says to Andrew, hey, “come and talk to us”. God bless America, where even a pampered prince can be RSVP-ed. “We would like to have the benefit of his statement,” says Strauss, “our doors remain open and we would welcome him coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement.”

Andrew ‘s people say he’s cooperating fully. But it can be hard to see the Prince through the ranks of lawyers and PR handlers surrounding him. Does the US Department of Justice want to question the toff in person, under oath, in a magistrates’ court? Will Andrew do that? Has he anywhere to stay for the night in NYC now that Epstein is dead? Problems mount for the Queen’s favourite son.

Posted: 3rd, July 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Introducing The Prince Andrew Jeffrey Epstein Commemorative Mug

Michael Epstein Prince Andrew

“To commemorate a sweat-free and honourable relationship” some bright spark has created the Prince Andrew – Jeffrey Epstein souvenir mug. It was a “special relationship” – until the billionaire paedophile apparently killed himself inside a maximum security New York prison where he was awaiting trial for more depraved crimes. It was a suicide we’re told nobody witnessed on CCTV. What Andrew saw and didn’t see has yet to be tested in a court of law.

Posted: 10th, May 2020 | In: News, Royal Family | Comment


Newspaper editor begs to be on Harry and Meghan’s censorship list

Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have banned tabloid newspapers and the wrong kind of readers from keeping up to date with their wokeness, branding (Archie of Archewell) and trips to Sicily (mode of travel: barefoot), Vancouver (seaplane), the south of France (Rocket Man), Davos (hot air), and Los Angeles (flying yoga mat), journalists on other titles look on with envy. Why can’t Harry and Meghan ban us from receiving press releases about their lives and elitism, they wail. Former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore has issued such a plea.

Posted: 22nd, April 2020 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Tabloid readers flock to buy Vogue for news of Harry and Meghan as former royals ban the Sun, Express, Mirror and Mail from doing their PR

prince harry meghan
Harry and Meghan – live cam

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion”. The couple, now living in LA and functioning as the ambulatory Archewell brand, tell four of the main British tabloids, The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Mirror, they are above such things. They are beginning “a new media relations policy”. They tell the media:

“It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print – even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason. When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.”

From now on the tabloids will have to rely on gossip, paparazzi photos and ‘sources’ close to the couple for news. Yeah. Plus ca change. Harry and Meghan will bar the media they don’t like from receiving official updates and photographs. The four newspapers of the apocalypse will not receive the couples press releases telling of their unique inspiring love and where you can buy their news range of scented candles. The papers will have to wait for other approved organs to publish the PR before splashing the statements across their web pages. The papers will also be banned from attending official Archewell events.

Tabloid readers will be distraught at the news and flock to buy Vogue and therein read of the couple’s wonderful lives and where to get their merchandise.

Posted: 20th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Prince William says Britain is ‘best’ in a crisis and coronavirus is media hype

Prince William coronavirus
Smile and wave, just smile and wave

Prince William says Britain is “at its best” when people are suffering. How he knows this is moot. “I think Britain is at its best, weirdly, when we’re in a crisis,” says Wills. “We all pull together and that community spirit and that community feel comes rushing back quicker than anything else.” A week earlier, Wills, who belongs to the very rich landed community, was at a reception at Guinness Storehouse. He told a medic: “Does it seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment? Is it being a little bit hyped up, do you think, in the media?”

It’s he kind of bone-headed comment that gets people’s backs up.

Smile and wave, Will, stick to the smile and wave…

Posted: 13th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Coronavirus: Queen urges ‘self-discipline and resolve’ – Prince Andrew leads by example

Queen coronavirus
The Queen during The International Driving Grand Prix at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Her Majesty the Queen says to endure the coronavirus crisis we need “self-discipline and resolve”. Prince Andrew, how has been self-isolating from Royal duties and the FBI leads by example.

“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” says Her Maj. “A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all. And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.”

Anyone feeling trapped, vulnerable and isolated should not try to track down Andrew for company, should he be staying on a billionaire’s private island, which he isn’t, and call 0800PrincessDiana and ask for Squidgy.

Posted: 5th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Prince Charles and his faceless friend open the Nightingale hospital for Coronavirus

Prince Charles Nightingale hospital

When Prince Charles opened the Nightingale Hospital in London that will deal with coronavirus patients Richard Little noticed something behind him. There on the dressing table was a framed photo of a ghost. Or is it a smudge? What or who is it?

Prince Charles Nightingale hospita

Richard and Twitter got to work:

Cilla Black By @ReactionsTo2023

Rod Hull @ReactionsTo2023
By @raghard

Posted: 4th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Prince Harry and Meghan: ghost voters and big banks

In January, Prince Harry (not HRH) sat down for talks with Saad-Eddine El Othmani, prime minister of Morocco, Peter Mutharika, president of Malawi and Filipe Nyusi, president of Mozambique at the UK-Africa investment conference. It was one of his last jobs as a working royal. The Mail says that after the formal chats: “The VIPs then rushed to a private room at the Intercontinental Hotel for an informal ‘catch-up’ chat – but unusually they insisted no No 10 or Palace aides were present to ensure the talks were kept private.”

What could they have to talk about they don’t want the commoners to know? Private Eye reports that Mr Nyusi might not be everyone’s cup of fair-trade, organic tea. His election last year was, we’re told, marred by “violence and a climate of fear”. Votes in Gaza province “exceeded the number of dual inhabitant by 300,000”.

Observers noted several incidents across the country where people were found trying to enter polling stations with extra ballots marked for Frelimo.

On Friday, the US embassy expressed “significant concerns regarding problems and irregularities” during the voting and counting which “raise questions about the integrity of these procedures and their vulnerability to possible fraudulent acts.”

The European Union’s election observation mission said “an unlevel playing field was evident throughout the campaign. The ruling party dominated the campaign in all provinces and benefitted from the advantages of incumbency.”

The Eye quips: “Just the sort of ‘progressive’ type a modern real wants to rub shoulders with.” But, of course, Harry did it out of duty. It was a State-run function.

Another Harry appointment, one attended in a private capacity with his wife Meghan, was hosted by JP Morgan in Miami. A “source” told the New York Post’s Page Six, the couple “headlined” the bank’s Alternative Investment Summit. “It was all very hush-hush, with a lot of security,” we’re told. The Mirror says Harry and Meghan could have been paid £400,000 for supporting the event.

JP Morgan:

In November 2013, JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank, agreed to pay a then-record $13 billion fine to federal and state authorities in order to settle claims that it had misled investors in the years leading up to the financial crisis.

Trying to earn enough money to maintain your lifestyle might not be all that easy for post-royal Harry and Meghan, a couple so ethically right that he says buying fruit in plastic is “a dirty habit”. Spin the wheel, and hold your nose. Or retain as nurses.

Posted: 12th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, Money, News, Politicians, Royal Family | Comment