The Royal Family, the House of Windsor, in the news and on a horse
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
“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”:
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…
Such are the facts…
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?
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 crosshairs. The 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.
“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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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?
Richard and Twitter got to work:
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.
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.
You can still see traces of Prince Andrew on the website for Pitch@Palace, his beauty show for budding entrepreneurs. News is that Andrew’s company has moved from its Buckingham Palace base into new office space. The name continues, however, suggesting that a new palace needs to be found to keep the brand alive. There’s the Palace Gentlemen’s Club in New Jersey, the Tower of London or inside a used mackintosh?
PS – on his website, the Duke of York is said to be a full-time working member of the Royal Family. He stepped down from royal duties last November over his relationship with the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
How’s things with Prince Andrew? The Daily Express has the grandiose Duke Of York telling us he “WILL” talk to the FBI about his dead peado pal Jeffrey Epstein. The word ‘WILL’ is in capitals and underlined. It’s a triple vow. And then in a trice it’s nothing. This is all news from “a source” reportedly “close to” Prince Andrew. “The duke is more than happy to talk to the FBI, but he hasn’t been approached yet,” says the source. The FBI says Andrew has offered precisely zero help in their investigation.
The Daily Telegraph says royal sources “believe” the FBI’s criticism was a “publicity stunt” designed to “pile on pressure” and force the duke’s hand. (So long as it is his hand – in his coach crash TV interview Prince Andrew said the picture of him with his hand around Virginia Roberts’ waist might not be real.)
Back to the Express’s front page, and the sleazy Prince is below a picture of the late TV and radio star Nicholas Parsons (10 October 1923 – 28 January 2020). The charming, erudite, gracious and lovely Parsons is dressed in a top hat, like a proper gent. But the boy from Grantham could only dream of such a rank. True-born gentlemen of honour, like Prince Andrew, get titles, palaces and billionaire pals. The rest of us can only pretend.
The papers all lead with Harry and Meghan’s meeting with his grandma, the Queen. But what kind of picture will sum up the news that she says they can settle in Canada?
The Metro and Telegraph lead with an image of familial love. Although with Her Majesty’s “reluctance” to agree to the Sussex’s resignation to the fore, the Telegraph’s kiss has a Mafia feel.
The Sun shows a beaming Harry and Meghan waving us a cheerio – she turning her back on being an also-ran in the Princess Anne brood mare stakes; he eschewing the chance to be the next Prince Eddie or Andy. The Queen is stoic.
There are three people in this relationship – and only one of them is happy on the Express’s cover. Harry has the mien of a London estate agent wondering about his bonus; the Queen looks fierce; Meghan is chuffed to bits. The Guardian also shows only one of them smiling – Meghan.
The Mail can’t bare to look at the couple’s faces as they upset the matriarch. They can go. They are no longer relevant. And you can read about their irrelevancy over eight pages.
The Times opts for an image of Prince William’s chin and mouth. He is tight-lipped. “Defender,” says the legend on his car. Wills is the big winner here. Harry and Meghan can flog perfumes and a range of Canadian products: weed, syrup and wood. But it will be Wills who gets to see his head on coins and stamps in the coming years. He gets the real money.
And the Star? It goes for three puns.
Next up: will Meghan play herself in The Crown? And can a chocolate teapot ever really replace Harry?
By now you’ll be wondering what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been up to. Well, after a six-week holiday (Canada) and resignation from the Family to become full-time celebrities, they’ve been upsetting Prince Charles and Prince William. The Mail reports that both are “incandescent with rag”. Which rag is not said. But let’s hope it’s not that one!
Kate Middleton is 38.
Royals are lining up to replace The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have announced they will step back as “senior” royals and work to become financially independent. It’s the moment the Yorks have been waiting for, surely.
Princess Eugenie cost us a few million in security when she married last year in a televised event. But Eugenie never gelled with the public. Prince Andrew honourably tried to promote his girls and keep the York torch burning by appearing on the BBC in a one-on-one interview. It had worked for Diana when she sat down to chat with Martin Bashir. But whereas Diana came across as likeable, abused and isolated, he came across as an entailed prig who’d been mates with a prolific paedophile.
Diana perished in a car crash. Andrew created a car crash of his own and tried to creep away unscathed.
Maybe Meghan Markle’s abdication from guest editing Vogue as a Royal to guest editing Vogue as a celebrity, becoming the kind of Hollywood star Liz Hurley pretends to be as Harry demures and self-deprecates at her side, can provide the distraction Andrew needs to get away and push his kids and brand to the fore?
The Mail has 17 pages on Harry and Meghan’s decision to do what those in the know call “not the done thing”. People who know what done things are include: anyone who says “gels”; anyone who can recognise a horse from a pony; anyone who knows which spoon is proper to scoop out a serving wench’s foetus. The rest of us wonder why any one of these minted toffs are on the public payroll and if the Sussex’s pile we paid a couple of million quid to do up will now provide shelter for the homeless?
Meanwhile, what of Princess Beatrice, the other Yorkie, notable until now for having once worn a hat modelled on a vampire quid’s entrails, eating a pizza and, well, anyone got anything else? But worry not because Beatrice’s story is to swell. She is to marry a property developer. Neither the BBC nor ITV plan to broadcast the wedding live. But in this busy media landscape they’re not all, and any one of Netflix, Amazon or Dave could step in and fill the void between reruns of Cash in the Attic.
Farewell, then, Meghan and Harry. Your leaving is a new beginning for the Royal Family. And if you can take the rest of the hanger-ones and freeloaders with you, perhaps as part of a US trade deal with the post-Brexit UK, we’ll consider the chlorinated chicken a fair exchange for Princess Michael of Kent.
Andrew refutes allegation he had sex with a then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts – now Virginia Giuffre.
Giuffre alleges Prince Andrew sweated profusely before the alleged sexual encounter she was “forced” into. But he says he wasn’t able to sweat at the time. The New York Post delivers a great headline:
Having issued the time-honoured non-denial denial, confronted with a televised Q&A into his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (now conveniently dead), innocent Prince Andrew duly gave us the sympathetic backstory.
He could not have been engaged in a sweaty dance with a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at a London night club because he cannot sweat. Why not? Is he a lizard?
He didn’t respond to that rumour, but he did lick his eyeballs and tell the world via the BBC’s Newsnight show that he has a “peculiar media condition which is that I don’t sweat or didn’t sweat at the time.” Was he dancing the ‘dry hump’ at London’s Tramp disco with the young Virginia Roberts, as she was then known before changing into the more tongue-trying Virginia Giuffre? He didn’t sweat “at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War, when I was shot at, and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat.”
C’est la guerre.
Perhaps that’s why he chose to conduct the interview in a room at Buckingham Palace vast enough to have its own postcode and an ambient temperature low enough to ensure that cold blue blood stays chilled.
Highlights are many. And Andrew explained his way though the more with the following:
Why had he stayed at the Epstein’s pad for four days?
Prince Andrew: “It was a convenient place to stay”
But why four days?
PA: “… at the time it felt like it was the honourable and right thing to do.”
What about that photo with his arm around Virginia’s waist?
PA: “I don’t believe it’s a picture of me”
PA: “I don’t believe it’s a picture of me in London because when I go out in London I wear a suit and a tie… Nobody can prove whether or not that photo has been doctored, but I don’t recollect the photo ever being taken.”
If Andrew were a politician or some other public figure we could eject, things would be interesting. But he speaks as a man who acts with impunity. One is just too honourable. It’s all pretty unpleasant. But the real shocker is that with an election looming, not one leading party thinks it a good idea of tells Andrew and the other aristo spares to, in the word of his mummy, “Naff orf!”
Prince Andrew says he cannot recall if he ever met Virginia Roberts – now Virginia Giuffre. He tells the BBC’s Newsnight he has “no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever”. He tells interviewer Emily Maitlis he has nothing to hide.
That’s Virginia Roberts with Andrew in the above photo.
Virginia Giuffre alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on Epstein’s private island off the coast of Florida when he she was 17 – making her underage and the sex a crime according to Florida law.
Virginia Giuffre claims she was “forced” to have sex with Prince Andrew three times between 1999 and 2002. He denies ever having had sex with her. That much he remembers.
The media tucks in to the man once dubbed ‘Randy Andy’ who hung out with Epstein, a convicted peadophile. Epstein took his own life while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. That we know because official sources tell us that’s what happened. That’s why Epstein’s dead and unable to act as Andrew’s character witness.
The papers tuck in:
And we’re left to wonder: why is Prince Andrew speaking now?
We love Harry and Maghan, don’t we? You don’t turn out in the wind and rain to wave flags and cheer for just anyone. But the heir’s former spare and his wife have fallen out of love with us. We can’t do right by them. The couple outlined their issues with the plebs in ITV’s Harry and Meghan: An African Journey. This was woe-is-me TV set against the backdrop of Africa, the go-to place for any jobbing celebs in need of a photogenic poverty backdrop.
Sure they arrived in Malawi by private jet, with platoons of staff, wardrobes of the finest schmutter, hand gels and more jewellery than a company of Namibian miners can stuff down his pants, but their location, the poor, dry Africa of Western made-for-TV audiences, is shorthand for “I feel”. If you want to look caring, a saviour in chinos, head to Africa with a film crew and crumble dust in your fingers. You can use your privilege to raise awareness for things most Africans might well care about less than you do (cheap protein; coal-fired power stations; the tabloid press; buying trees to purify private jet travel; editing Vogue; and inequality).
Away from the palaces, jets and celebrity mates, Harry and Meghan are just like the best of us. And if we were even half decent, we should ask Meghan if she is okay. If Meghan were an athlete, no end of BBC pundits and ex-pros would line up to ask her ‘How does it feel?’. But being a Duchess is tougher than running through the rain in Gateshead. And that’s not a snide comment. It’s true. There are less big game royals than there are champion British athletes (but not champion British tennis players, who are positively regal). And at that rarified level, life must be peculiar. Meghan is a new mum and a new wife living in a new country. We can all relate to her in parts. We can sympathise. One writer says Royals’ “freedom of choice about their lives is almost as constrained as a slave’s”.
It’s not them. It’s us. Maybe ITV can help? Maybe between the ads for discount supermarkets and debt, we can get to the heart of why Meghan is “existing not living”. Can posho news anchor Tom Bradby can tap a blue vein for emotion?
No worries. Tom delivered. He lowered his voice like a guest whispering at a Royal wedding (he’s been to many). ‘How do you feel?’ he asked? “Any woman when you’re pregnant you’re vulnerable,” says Meghan. “And thank you for asking, not a lot of people have asked if I’m OK.”
Why not? My hunch is it’s because most of don’t care. We’re not callous, just not bothered by what the nth in line to the throne and his misses get up to unless its gossipy or weird, preferably both. Meghan’s problem with us might be rooted in not who she married but what she married. They’re not the main event. We’d be happy to ignore them and let them get on with things – but what with all the court cases, photoshoots, TV shows and magazine work, they won’t let us…
Is Prince Harry a celebrity, an activist or a royal? Right now he’s a litigant, suing the Mail on Sunday for allegedly “bullying” his wife, Meghan.
Harry and his acolytes often portray the Sussexes as victims. “Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better,” opined US TV host Ellen DeGeneres. “The way people treat her [Meghan] is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while,” echoed the pop star Pink.
Harry, and presumably Meghan, are upset by the paper’s decision to publish a handwritten letter from Meghan to her father, Thomas Markle, sent shortly after she and Prince Harry got married in 2018. Did you read it? Was it interesting? Good gossip? How did the Mail on Sunday come by it?
Harry’s eye-wateringly expensive lawyers claim the paper and its parent company misused private information, infringed copyright and breached the Data Protection Act 2018. The Mail on Sunday’s report, they allege, was a crime. Ah, so now you want to read it. Nothing sells like contraband and scandal. (The paper denies any wrongdoing.)
Says Harry in a long statement:
As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more.
Harry, a democrat in a crown, wants the media to be responsible? What does that mean? Shouldn’t the media be daring, proactive and print what the rich and powerful don’t want you to know? Isn’t the rest just PR?
This is Harry who takes private jets to reach the pulpit from where he preaches about the need to conserve the planet’s resources. “Harry said that he often woke up and felt overwhelmed by too many problems in the world and that sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed in the mornings because of all the issues, but he wanted to use their platform to enable grass-roots change and to try and create a better society,” South African student Peter Oki, 18, told a Daily Telegraph reporter.
Harry is a man besieged. You could place a small pea under Harry’s mattress and he’d not get a wink of sleep.
“Every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference,” Harry and Meghan guffed on Instagram. They could have added ‘yours’ not ‘ours’. It’s not easy being green when you’re dipped in gold.
Under the headline “Tough Life“, one publication looked at Harry’s campaign for eco-tourism – which given his jet-set lifestyle and palacial homes – the taxpayer generously paid £2.4m to do up their ‘official’ residence – sounded a bit too much telling the oiks to know our place:
His comments followed a summer of controversy after it emerged that he and Meghan had taken four private jets in the space of 11 days to cruise between London, a super-premium villa in Ibiza, and Elton John’s fabulous home in the south of France.
Days before news of the private flights leaked out, Harry, in the course of a lengthy interview with Vogue, had fretted about global warming and pledged to only have two children for environmental reasons.
Harry and Meghan’s high-carbon habits were in stark contrast to William and Kate, who took their family to Scotland on a budget airline.
And now he’s suing the press. He’s upset that the same people he wants to reduce their carbon footprints – replace sun-kissed package trips to the Spanish costas with a drab weekend on a British camp site – get their news in the tabloids. Harry, an ambulatory laser light, wants the tabloids be be “responsible”. He wants readers to only see “responsible” things.
The tabloids love a fight. And many readers love the tabloids. Harry may well have picked the wrong battle. He adds – and look out for his desire to rescue us, the slack-jawed dolts, from the written word sent downmarket:
I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.
This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media. The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question. In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.
The Mail on Sunday spokesperson tells everyone: “We categorically deny that the duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”
The rest of us might wonder if the purpose of the monarchy is to bind the nation, entertain us or protect the plebs from knowing too much. And we would if we were not too busy working…
The Sunday Times leads with news that Jeremy Corbyn’s senior aide Andrew Fisher has resigned. Who? Fisher, we learn, was head of policy and author of the party’s last election manifesto. He’s now reportedly of the mind that Labour “will not win” a general election.
A memo apparently has him telling colleagues: “I no longer have faith we will succeed.” He says Corbyn’s team is compsite blend of a “lack of professionalism, competence and human decency”. He can no longer stomach their “blizzard of lies and excuses”. The paper also notes:
He also claimed “class war” has gripped the upper echelons of the party — a dig at Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s senior aide, who was educated at Winchester and Oxford.
The Guardian, on the other hand, looks over Fisher’s CV, writing:
The 40-year-old has been a controversial figure within the Labour movement. He was suspended from Labour in 2015 for apparently supporting a Class War candidate against Emily Benn, Tony Benn’s granddaughter, in the general election, and Benn called for him to be expelled. He also appeared in a video saying he had “very violent, bloody nightmares” about hitting former Labour cabinet minister James Purnell.
The Mirror is taking names?
Sources say only seven people had obtained the bombshell memo before it was leaked to the Sunday Times.
Multiple Labour sources confirmed Mr Fisher’s resignation, saying he still remained loyal to Mr Corbyn personally.
Nothing screams loyalty more than a resignation. But he did it to be loyal – honest:
A more anodyne statement was later circulated in Mr Fisher’s name saying he would resign by the end of the year to spend more time with his young family.
The Sun tells its readers:
“It comes amid rumours that the Labour boss himself, who is now 70, could quit because he’s under “incredible pressure”.
And the Times notes:
Sources say Milne and Karie Murphy, Corbyn’s gatekeeper, are also concerned Corbyn might be forced to stand down after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation into whether Labour is institutionally anti-semitic.
The EHRC has emails that, it is claimed, will cause resignations among Corbyn’s closest aides.
“You’d be rationally frightened of a 70-year-old man dropping down dead,” said an ally. “But the more rational fear is that only those people know what the EHRC has. When that report comes out they are all finished. It’s about planning for what happens if they get decapitated.”
Blame the Jews, then. And ditch Queen, say Labour members in YouGov poll
Form an orderly queue at the guillotines – the Sunday Times also reports: “Ditch Queen, say Labour members in YouGov poll.”
The story of Jeffrey Epstein’s relationship with Prince Andrew did not die when the convicted paedophile took his own life. The Sun and Mirror lead with the words of Virginia Giuffre (formerly Victoria Roberts) and her claims of sex with the Duke of York when she was 17 years old. She’s gone on the record with NBC News. She claims Epstein “trafficked” her to the duke. Prince Andrew denies “any form of sexual contact or relationship” with Ms Giuffre.
Why Epstein would have done such a thing is left limply hanging like a tired Prince Albert. Did Epstein like to rub away his minted mates’ money, titles and gongs to see the flawed, bestial human beneath – to prove in some way that they were just like him and that he belonged in their company?
Giuffre claims Ghislaine Maxwell, a friend of Epstein, told her: “I want you to do for him what you do for Epstein.” Ms Maxwell has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Guiffre alleges that following the directive she had sex with Andrew in the toilet at Epstein’s pad and then in the bedroom. Afterwards she says he straightened his top hat and tails and said ‘thank you’.
Giuffre says she claims she could not believe a royal could behave in such a manner. Does she expect flowers, too, from men of hereditary distinction? Cue eye rolling…
Woman Accuses Epstein of Repeated Rapes and Assaults in New Lawsuit. “A woman at the center of sex-trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the former financier’s estate, describing in graphic detail for the first time her alleged recruitment at age 14 to perform sex acts for him. Since Mr. Epstein’s suicide in August, at least six women have filed lawsuits seeking compensation for what they allege are damages sustained from years of sexual abuse. The suit filed in federal court in Manhattan by “Jane Doe” appears to be the first brought by one of the three unidentified minor victims featured in the criminal indictment charging Mr. Epstein in July.”
Such are the facts…
Prince Andrew has issued a statement about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. It’s utter bilge. Quite extraordinary nonsense.
“I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know.”
Andrew seems to be saying that when he hung out with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the Prince thought the American billionaire was a really good bloke, but after the convicted paedophile was arrested on suspicion of molesting lots more children (see: Epstein’s “lifestyle”), the Prince come to realise that Epstein might not be the top person he thought him to be when he had been in prison for over a year during the course of their friendship for having sex with a 14-year-old.
That, says the Prince, is “closure”. And that, dear readers, is the best the finest minds among the Palace’s contingent of PRs can muster. The allegations are worse than the actual crime? Andrew’s in a bigger hole than even he can fill.
Before he was “appalled” by Jeffrey Epstein’s corpse and the financier’s “alleged crimes”, Prince Andrew was seen getting a foot massage from a young woman at Epstein’s apartment. Writing in the New Republic, Evgeny Morozov paints a tableaux of what life is like for Randy Andy in one of those distilled culture war moments. You, the civilised, think ‘who is that pompous twat in the suit’. Entitled knobs think: keep the lower orders in their place?
Last time I visited his house (the largest private residence in NYC), I walked in to find him in a sweatsuit and a British guy in a suit with suspenders, getting foot massages from two young well-dressed Russian women. After grilling me for a while about cyber-security, the Brit, named Andy, was commenting on the Swedish authorities and the charges against Julian Assange.
“We think they’re liberal in Sweden, but it’s more like Northern England as opposed to Southern Europe,” he said. “In Monaco, Albert works 12 hours a day but at 9pm, when he goes out, he does whatever he wants, and nobody cares. But, if I do it, I’m in big trouble.” At that point I realized that the recipient of Irina’s foot massage was his Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
Indeed, a week later, on a slow news day, the cover of the NYPost had a full-page photo of Jeffrey and Andrew walking in Central Park under the headline: “The Prince and the Perv.” (That was the end of Andrew’s role at the UK trade ambassador.)
It’s not just the word that the foot rubbers are young women and the bores all middle-aged blokes, but that the women are “well-dressed’, their clothes adding a mask of decency to the sleaze, like stashing your porn in a Smythson briefcase and hiring expensive lawyers to muzzle accusers.
Anyhow, Andrew is “appalled by recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes”. Whether Andrew is more of less appalled by Epstein’s 2008 conviction of sex with a 14-year-old is not known. All we know is that in 2010, they were hanging out in New York together…