•   
  •   

World Rock-bottom royals: Why Prince Andrew catastrophe is their worst scandal of all

02:01  05 december  2019
02:01  05 december  2019 Source:   independent.ie

Sarah Ferguson just sent personal letters to fans amid Prince Andrew scandal

  Sarah Ferguson just sent personal letters to fans amid Prince Andrew scandal Sarah Ferguson is going above and beyond for her fans, sending personal letters to them all while the world watches her ex-husband Prince Andrew as he steps back from public duties following his explosive BBC interview. While the world still reels from Prince Andrew's disastrous BBC interview, his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, has been putting in some extra effort for her admirers.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York et al. posing for a picture: Prince Andrew pictured with Virginia Roberts Prince Andrew pictured with Virginia Roberts Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Is there any wonder we are fascinated by the British royal family? On the one hand, they're held to an oddly high standard and seem to exist on a different plane of reality altogether (remember how Meghan Markle broke the internet by, eh, closing a car door?).

And despite this scrutiny, they seem completely impervious to the rules and moral code by which the rest of us are governed. The Firm has long had form in weathering scandals, from the ridiculously inane to the nauseating. But it's safe to say they've come up against their most horrific one yet.

Meghan Markle's uncle calls her 'immature' in scathing interview

  Meghan Markle's uncle calls her 'immature' in scathing interview Meghan Markle's uncle has come under fire for calling his niece "immature" following rumours she and sister-in-law Kate Middleton have had a falling out. Mike Markle, 80, who lives in Florida, has told Woman magazine he believe Meghan has been acting immaturely towards family members since becoming a member of the Royal Family.

A quick recap on those previous scandals, in case they've escaped recent memory (although really, how could they?): there was the time when Edward VIII fell for an American divorcee and abdicated from the throne, paving the way for George VI. A little later on, speculation was rife that Prince Philip had grown close to a Russian ballerina called Galine Ulanova, a theory resurrected from relative obscurity in the second season of The Crown.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York wearing a black hat: Prince Andrew. Photo: Getty Images Prince Andrew. Photo: Getty Images

In the '80s, Prince Charles raised eyebrows when he got a bit puzzled about being 'in love, or whatever that means', in front of his wife Diana and a global TV audience of millions. She then slapped on the woebegone eyeliner for her infamous 'there were three of us in this marriage' interview with Martin Bashir. During 'Squidgygate', Diana was once again in the firing line after recordings of private phone conversations with a friend were leaked to the press. In them, she likens her circumstances to those of an EastEnders character, and admits she might be pregnant. In a divorce packed with shocks, this was considered a low-point in the War of the Waleses. In the August of 1992, Sarah Ferguson, ex of Prince Andrew, was photographed during an infamous toe-sucking incident with an American businessman. Add Nazi fancy dress, bribery, private jet travel, naked photos and Thomas Markle's staged paparazzi shots into the bubbling cauldron, and it's a wonder the royals, to paraphrase Meghan Markle herself, have survived, never mind thrived.

A royal facial deformity is linked to inbreeding

  A royal facial deformity is linked to inbreeding The 'Habsburg jaw' condition can be attributed to inbreeding, the study suggestsThe 'Habsburg jaw' caused the lower jaw to protrude significantly above the upper jaw, resulting in a distinct chin clearly visible in historical portraits of the family's members.

Yet much of this has been reported, and disseminated by the wider public, in a relatively light spirit. Most of those scandals were the result of romance, ridiculousness or the folly of youth. It's all fanciful, entertaining stuff, watching them get to grips with their privilege and their emotional diarrhoea. The royals are just so kooky and dysfunctional, but it's part of their unique appeal. And, as we've seen countless other times in the realm of power and celebrity, the more entitled one acts, the more impervious to criticism one becomes.

No matter what has been thrown at the family in the last few decades, they have survived, thanks to the queen's mantra, 'never complain, never explain'. The golden rule is to keep calm and carry on. Apologies are for plebs.

a close up of Sarah Ferguson: Sarah Ferguson was photographed having her toes sucked Sarah Ferguson was photographed having her toes sucked

Yet it seems increasingly likely in the last couple of weeks that Prince Andrew isn't going to get away with his version of events when it comes to his friendship with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Only recently has the full extent of Epstein's catalogue of crimes and horrific wrongdoings come to light, and with it, Andrew's alleged role in it all.

In Prince Andrew Scandal, Prince Charles Emerges as Monarch-in-Waiting

  In Prince Andrew Scandal, Prince Charles Emerges as Monarch-in-Waiting When Queen Elizabeth II welcomes President Trump and other world leaders to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO, it will be another testament to her extraordinary longevity: She acceded to the throne only three years after the alliance was formed. Yet it will also showcase the House of Windsor at a wistful turning point, with the 93-year-old queen fading into history as her 71-year-old son and heir, Prince Charles, moves aggressively to assert his control, most conspicuously in trying to mop up the recent scandal that engulfed his younger brother Prince Andrew.

Never mind an apology; Prince Andrew will be lucky to escape investigation by several law enforcement agencies.

Where we have laughed along to the unending parade of royal misdemeanours, there's nothing at all humorous about this particular royal scandal.

Not that there weren't some unintentionally humorous moments in Prince Andrew's BBC interview with Emily Maitlis. As he was grilled on his friendship with alleged trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, not to mention alleged encounters between the prince and one of Epstein's 17-year-old charges Virginia Roberts, Prince Andrew made so many gaffes that it was hard to keep up.

Firstly, the Prince deemed the interview - which wasn't so much a car crash as a Formula One pile-up - a success. Deluded doesn't quite begin to cover it, frankly.

Diana, Princess of Wales who is smiling and looking at the camera: Shocking: Princess Diana discussed her marriage in a TV interview Shocking: Princess Diana discussed her marriage in a TV interview

Asked about his whereabouts on the date of one of these supposed encounters, the prince countered that he was at a children's party at a Pizza Express in Woking. It was a very unusual place for him to be as a royal, he conceded, which is precisely why he remembered it.

For some reason, Rod Stewart has weighed in on Harry and Meghan's Christmas plans

  For some reason, Rod Stewart has weighed in on Harry and Meghan's Christmas plans By now, you've probably heard Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be spending Christmas with the rest of the royal family this year. Last month, Buckingham Palace confirmed the couple would be skipping the annual festivities at Sandringham in favour of spending Christmas with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.

One of Epsteins' victims had mentioned a recollection of Prince Andrew sweating. His denial bordered on the bizarre: owing to an adrenal condition brought on by his role in the Falklands war, the prince claims that he was unable to sweat at the time. The internet couldn't find pictures of a sweaty Randy Andy quick enough.

Clearly, he's never heard the maxim 'if you tell the truth, you don't need to have that good a memory'.

Denying that it was he in a photo clasping onto teenager Virginia Roberts, Andrew offered that he was "not one to, as it were, hug, and public displays of affection are not something that I do".

Perhaps Andrew's biggest gaffe was not acknowledging the trafficked victims of Jeffrey Epstein, preferring instead to dig in and swear that he had no recollection whatsoever of meeting Roberts. Where most people would strive very quickly to distance themselves from someone in Epstein's position, Andrew instead reflected that he didn't regret his relationship with the disgraced billionaire financier, as it had "seriously beneficial outcomes" for him. His problem, as he saw it, was that he was 'too honourable' in not breaking the association.

SECOND Jeffrey Epstein victim claims she had sex with Prince Andrew: Duke of York faces shock new allegations as lawyers for women trafficked by the US paedophile launch 'rigorous investigation'

  SECOND Jeffrey Epstein victim claims she had sex with Prince Andrew: Duke of York faces shock new allegations as lawyers for women trafficked by the US paedophile launch 'rigorous investigation' The woman claims she was abused by billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke of York has denied having slept with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell's Belgravia home.A second woman who was allegedly abused by billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has claimed she had sex with Prince Andrew.

As catastrophic, ill-advised royal interviews went, Prince Andrew's was a serious watershed moment for the royal family.

But on Monday, Virginia Roberts revealed her own version of events to BBC Panorama's Darragh McIntyre, and the entire scandal didn't seem at all humorous anymore.

With body language that telegraphed vulnerability and anguish, Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre, a mother of three) recounted her first meetings with Epstein, his 'girlfriend' Ghislaine Maxwell, and her pal, Prince Andrew.

Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall posing for the camera: Prince Charles steps out with Camilla for the first time Prince Charles steps out with Camilla for the first time

Roberts was a vulnerable teenager, who had already endured years of abuse and exploitation since the age of seven. She found herself working at Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort as a teen. Maxwell offered her the chance to 'train up' as a massage therapist.

"They seemed like nice people so I trusted them, and I told them that I had a really hard time in my life up until then," she said. "That was the worst thing I could have told them because they knew how vulnerable I was."

Roberts' recollections of her sexual encounters with Epstein and Prince Andrew were vivid and all too authentic, with little of the self-serving bluster that the prince exhibited. Crucially, Roberts' interview was filmed before Prince Andrew's interview with Maitlis, although many of the same topics and conceits surface, time and time again.

Related: Best images of royalty in 2019

It's rare that alleged victims are offered a platform like this to tell their story, and Roberts, along with another, Sarah Ransome, proved to be eloquent and strikingly affecting.

"He knows what happened. I know what happened," Roberts said. "And there's only one of us telling the truth, and I know that's me."

Certainly, that Andrew has been stripped of his royal duties and put on effective gardening leave by his own mother, suggests that the Palace rightly see this is as a gravely serious matter. It's not being treated as the family's other catalogue of scandals, put it that way.

Prince Andrew has been subpoenaed by five accusers to testify as a witness to what he saw in Epstein's properties.

He has noted his willingness to co-operate with law enforcement bodies and help with enquiries 'if required'.

After Robert's moment in front of the world, it's looking increasingly likely that he may well have to.

'Long and difficult road ahead': Sydney couple back home after surviving eruption .
"It was a huge relief" to find out his parents were alive, said the son of Nick and Marion London as he opened up about the challenges they face after suffering burns to over 50 per cent of their bodies.The son of two of the victims of Monday's White Island disaster has opened up about his "gentle giant" father and his mother who is the "very definition of kindness and care," as the pair fight for their lives after being flown back to Australia.

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!