Monday, 24 May 2010

Another Royal Scandal

Another story that is grist to the republican mill over the last few days has been that the Duke of York has been dropped in the soup by his ex wife. He faced fresh controversy over his role as British business ambassador last night after it emerged Sarah Ferguson had been caught on camera offering access to him in exchange for £500,000.

There were fears that his position as Special Representative for International Trade and Investment had been compromised. That is the sinecure job that seems to be passed from one member of the royal family to another. The previous incumbent was the Duke of Kent who passed it to Andy in 2001.

The Prince, 50, arrived in Britain yesterday after visiting Malaysia to promote industry. He is expected to meet advisers at Buckingham Palace today and also to speak to representatives of the UK Trade & Investment department, which he represents. Time for a lot of damage limitation I think.

The Duchess of York, also 50, said she was “devastated” after being filmed by the News of the World, which is owned by News International, parent company of The Times. “I very deeply regret the situation and the embarrassment caused,” she said yesterday. “It is true that my financial situation is under stress”. I see, devastated at being caught offering access to an unelected holder of a government sinecure for a few hundred thousand to beef up your personal wealth.

“However, that is no excuse for a serious lapse in judgment and I am very sorry that this has happened, she continued. I can confirm that the Duke of York was not aware or involved in any of the discussions that occurred.” Lapse in judgment? No Sarah cynical attempt to grab money from your position I think.

Undercover footage showed Sarah, suggesting that half a million pounds would “open doors” before confirming that she was referring to her former husband, who met the “most amazing people”. Claiming that she was broke, she accepted $40,000 (£27,600) in cash. She gave the reporter her bank details for future payments, adding “then you open up all the channels . . . then you meet Andrew and that’s fine. And that’s when you really open up whatever you want.”

She insisted that the Prince was “whiter than white” but also claimed to have discussed her plans with him. “Andrew said to me, ‘Tell him £500,000’. He knows that he’s had to underwrite me up to now because I’ve got no money. So if you want to meet him, look after me and he’ll look after you . . . you’ll get it back tenfold.” The newspaper added that the Prince had no knowledge of the deal. So he did know then or at least suspected.

The Duchess ignored reporters’ questions when she arrived in Los Angeles yesterday after an American Airlines flight from Heathrow at 2.15pm (10.15pm GMT). She is attending an awards ceremony organised by the children’s charity Variety.

Last night UK Trade & Investment said that the issue was a matter for Buckingham Palace and backed the Prince’s work. Stephen Alambritis, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The timing of this couldn’t be worse and this whole affair may affect the ability of the Prince to clinch those vital deals. When the pound is so weak and following the recent uncertainty about the election, his job is even more important than ever.” Not that old chestnut about the Prince opening doors to investment because he is a prince is it? How do the Americans manage without a royal family to be the richest and most powerful country in the world without a load of royal hangers on to open all these doors to trade that would otherwise be slammed in republican faces? And the Chinese, and the French and the Germans. And do the Japanese royal family rush around the world prostituting themselves for a few million quid? The fact of the matter is if British expertise and goods were so good we would not need a royal salesman would we?

He urged UK Trade & Investment and the Prince’s office to show that he was “above all this”. “Intrigue is not the way we do business.” Are you joking what about the Al Yamamah arms deal that set a bench mark in terms of bribery and corruption?

Last year the Prince, nicknamed Airmiles Andy, was paid £130,000 in expenses. He does not receive a salary. This year he was criticised for using a £1 million golfing villa in Abu Dhabi.

This is the problem when you have grasping royals and their hangers on, like this. Their personal unelected influence is, and always will be a magnet for corruption.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I wonder how much she's already made? The NOTW wouldn't have done this without knowing she was open for business.

    Who cares anyway? Foreign ex-royal tries to keep up the champagne lifestyle by selling access to ex-husband currently in a find-him-a-job job.

    At least she's showing a little enterprise and getting private cash. He's flying around the world on jollies and attending tea and sticky buns events at our expense.

  3. Scandals that happen in North America Bugger:¬)

  4. The News of the World has no right to bring our monarchs relatives and family into disrepute. This is cynical, tabloid gutter journalism of the worst type.

    That said, the Duke of York surely cannot be held to account for the behaviour of his wife; unless we're saying that she's not able to make independent thoughtful decisions? Now that would not do at all eh? What with the feminist revolution and all...

  5. I beg your pardon bugger I didn't notice that typo. Oops! I also had another answer which I posted and deleted. So sorry to anyone who saw that as well.

    I will go correct that title. But I don't think doing that will alter it on folks blog lists so I am going to look like a right prune!

  6. Doug: who knows how much she has made. Plenty I imagine but I suppose this is all just the tip of the iceberg and they are probably all at it. As I say royalty breeds scandal of one sort or another. And we can;t get rid of them even if the royal in question divorces them.

  7. Dean: do you really think she would be selling access to her husband without him knowing. How does she do that then? Introduce complete strangers to him in passing in the corridor or over the breakfast table. Does he not notice this string of strangers introduced by her and all lobbying for arms contracts and not smell a rat?

  8. I was confused about what she could possibly buy in Britain with the reported bag full of American $20 bills. But on the morning news here, I saw her arriving in California. So all came clear.

  9. It seems likely to me that Andrew knew about it. I mean, how on earth does the NOTW know that he is whiter than white? Because Duchess Sarah told them? Oh well, that OK then. Must be true if Her Grace said it.

    It's not that long ago that Princess Pushy got herself into the same sort of situation with some bloke from one of the red tops.

    Of course she's pretty far down the pecking order in terms of position (although the Queen is reported to have said of her that she was "too posh for us...."

    Then there's the scandal (or scanadal as Munguin might have it, lol, I know only too well how easy it is to do that Munguin, you prune!) of Her Grace's kids, royal highnesses both, and all the money THEY cost us in return for absolutely nothing! They don't even open things or go talk to old people in homes to cheer them up, and yet they cost millions a year for us to keep. They have, however, it is reported, been subsidising their mother... and with what, we might ask? Where did they get the money.... Saturday job at Tescos like most other girls of their age working their way through uni? Nope, I thought not.

    In view of austerity measures pressed upon the rest of us by the new politics (admittedly as a result of the incompetence of the old politics) could we see them taken off the gravy train?

    As for Sarah... what can you say? She only got £15,000 a year as a divorce settlement? She should have got herself better lawyers, silly woman. But you know many people in the UK live on far less than that, and pay taxes, and get the bus to work, and bring up kids on it. So why not Sarah Ferguson?

    But, in her defence,, if Andrew was hanging about in my lobby press (hall cupboard for the non Scots), I’d try to sell him as well. He must take up a hell of a lot of room. C’est un peu rond!

  10. Danny. Mate, your money spends anywhere, seeing as it's kinda owned and backed by China, but, that aside, I could spend dollars even in the colonial outpost of Scotland.

    Anyways I think Her Duchessness doesn't much care, as long as it's money. She'd take it in Chadian Central African Francs!!

  11. There is no evidence that her husband is in any way implicated, indeed it could be very easy to introduce people; access can be done without him knowing.

    Whether it be parties, cocktail evenings, or a 'favour' to his wifes friend type thing, if he is guilty of anything it is being too innocent, and gullible. Hardly scandalous charges.

    Lets all direct fire where it is due, and in this case it is not due at the family of Her Majesty.

  12. Dean: how does she get access to him then?

    I’m sorry Dean you are stretching credulity too far to expect us to believe that old air-miles is not involved.

    Can you explain what she meant when she said, and I quote:
    “Andrew said to me, ‘Tell him £500,000’. He knows that he’s had to underwrite me up to now because I’ve got no money. So if you want to meet him, look after me and he’ll look after you . . . you’ll get it back tenfold.”

    That seems pretty clear to me that he knew what she was up to and even suggested the amount she should charge.

  13. Dean:

    If Andrew didn't know about this, how on earth was the deal sealed? Sarah doesn't attend the functions with Andrew, she doesn't organise his schedules, and she has no connections (having been dumped by the royals) to ensure that invitiations are issued, so how could see make sure that the payer got his/her meeting?

    The only connections Sarah has with Andrew is the fact they share a house and, of course, their daughters.

    Is it a family business?

  14. To be fair to Fergie she did look and sound pished. I reckon the phoney pharoh from the NOTW could have given her one if he'd wanted and she wouldn't have noticed.

    You can take US dollars to a bank and they will change them into any currency you want. Or you can have it put into your bank account if you prefer. Just thought I'd help you out there ; )

  15. I didn't have an e-mail address to tell you.

  16. Bugger: No need to take it down I think it was quite funny really. I spelled scandal scanadal for those who don't know what we are talking about btw

  17. Better a mate point it out Munguin, than the whole world think that you're a daft old prune!

    Of course, on a post recently I managed to spell 'minimus' as 'mimimus'.... easy done, even I could do it!!!!

  18. Anon:

    Being pissed isn't an excuse for anything at any time.

  19. Och, its just another right royal muck up! I mean honestly, it puts those of us who are [perhaps too] loyal in some rather silly positions, as we defend them!

    The problem here is that she was drunk, making silly claims [false, if we believe Andrew], and she has money worries. Its all rather sad, pittiable really [I realise that was spelt wrong before the 'word police' attack me lol].

  20. tris

    Yes I appreciate that. If only I could stop myself from posting on blogs after a few ales ;)
    It's a mitigating circumstance though. Especially with someone like Fergie who is unable to cope on her own.
    Fergie isn't capable of looking after herself and shouldn't really be allowed to go to meetings unsupervised. Despite earning millions ( £2m from weight watchers alone) she is homeless and depends on the support from others.
    I don't know if it's a mental illness or just feeble mindness but something isn't right here. In a different era she would potter about in the garden or go horse riding while her aristocratic hubby would take care of her. She's out there on her own and sinking.
    Millions of single women manage to juggle work and children and do ok so something is seriously wrong with her mental well being. Accentuated by drinking and being very gullible.

  21. I'm not sure that being drunk is that good an excuse. It tends not to wash that well when us ordinary folk attempt to employ it. You know the I was drunk and urinated on a war memorial defence!

    And neither does the I've got money worries gambit either come to think of it. You know the I'm sorry I embezzeled all that money but I'm skint!

  22. No sympathy at all. Prince Randy gets a lot of money for playing golf and shagging about.
    Trouble is he's not as good as Tiger at either of them.
    Although he's probably better than Edward.
    Anyhoo, who's money is it anyway?
    Aye, ours.

  23. Did ah no read that the paper set Fergie up cos they'd heard that she wis in the market, that is tae say, that she wis used tae daein' this. So, has she been declarin' this income ah wonder? An' have the banks made it difficult fer her tae deposit aw thae dollar bills, oan account o' the money launderin' possibilities?

    As there's obvious financial gain tae be had for someone buyin' influence, has Fergie no committed a crime in the procurement o' undisclosed preference?

    We should save oor pity fer her wee lassies. Whit a shame tae bring tae their heids.

  24. Greed pure greed and this woman has lost any credibility that she ever had. It's hard to say if her ex husband new about any of this or not but I find it hard to believe that he was totally in the dark.

    The News of the World is trash but sometimes it can come out with good trash when it is trashing trash.

  25. I remember the Spitting image puppet of Fergie! Did it not grunt like a pig?

  26. Anon, I tend to agree with Munguin and Conan, and I have more sympathy for Dean than I do for her. He goes around loyally defending the royals, and people like Fergie and Andy just let him (and millions of others down. (Btw, that's not meant in the least to sound patronising Dean. I accept completely that you're a royalist as much as I'm a republican and it must be hard work trying to defend this kind of nonsense.)

    She's not even aristocratic; she could, and should have been ready to work for a living the same as the rest of us. Instead she managed to get her hands on Andy, whom I understand was something of a catch. She became royal and she messed it up and disgraced herself in an incident that involved some old bald rich guy and toes, if I remember rightly. Sarah York is a fun person; she was a breath of fresh air into the royal family, but that was taking fun a step too far. At least Princess Margaret waited till she was divorced before she started that kind of nonsense. In fairness Kind Edward VII didn't bother much with that kind of nicety, but that was before the News of the World!

    She can't live on the kind of money that most of us would consider a fortune many times over. Despite selling her name to all sorts of people, she's still broke.

    You kindly call it mental illness. I call it living beyond her means. She says she has £15,000 a year from the royals as a settlement. Good for her. Loads of people live on that; pensioners get about £6,000 a year.

    She's not mentally ill, she's just an irresponsible stupid woman who should learn to live on £15,000 a year, or get a bloody job.

    And although I'm a republican, I think she should stop embarrassing the head of state of Scotland with her idiotic antics. At 50 it’s not amusing or excusable.

  27. Dean

    I read your first comment and I was going to respond to it but now I have also read your last comment and I think you are being very honest in it. If you like something/someone and they do wrong then it is hard to accept that they have done so.

    I'm personally not a Royal fan but they were great in Spitting Image.

  28. Hey Sophia, sweetness. You've been a stranger recently...welcome back. :)

    I think her kids have managed to learn a good deal from our duchess. One of them recently got £2,000,000 out of us to do up an apartment in St James' Palace. Now if only I could get that, my apartment would look quite nice.

  29. Allan: Likewise matey.... Welcome back to the Republic.

    I was tongue tied trying to read that sentence about trash, but in the end I got the meaning... LOL. bet it was hard to type!

  30. Yes, it really is people like Sarah York who damage the institution of monarchy - and it is the institution rather than the individuals which I can say I am 'loyal' towards.

    All I can say is this; poor bleeding Bess II, what did she do to deserve a family like this? All those years married to Prince Phillip [who wasnt actually meant to ever get a 'prince' title btw]...and she is landed with the most inefficient, idiotic, dysfunctional bunch of twits imaginable. She really doesn't deserve it. All I can say is thank God for her grandchildren William and Harry who, despite their own mistakes, seemn much more - well honest and capable than their erstwhile elder generations.

  31. Tris

    I had a long weekend off from work and I was having withdrawal symptoms from not reading Munguins Republic lol.

    Lol my last sentence was a bit of a keyboard twister!

  32. LOL Allan... don't tell George Osborne it's addictive... he'll tax it!

    Nice to have you back mate.

  33. tris

    She is in a bit of a tricky position though. We want our Royals to be 'Royal' and that costs a lot of money. She hasn't the werewithal to save and plan so quickly runs out of money and becomes reckless. It can't be long before she is declared bankrupt with court cases pending here and in the US for failing to settle her debts.
    I'm surprised she only gets £15K a year divorce settlement. What happened to the £15m that Andy got for the big rundown mansion he sold to the Kazakhstan gangster ? Thought she might have got some of that cash.

  34. Anon:

    She was kicked out of the royal family so she doesn't have to be royal any more, so that's not an excuse. She could have dropped the Duchess nonsense and gone and got a job.

    I don't understand the £15,000. I suspect that it's not true. The royals are not generous but it would be surprising if their press people wouldn't foresee a storm if Diana got £20 million and she only got £15,000 a year.

    She flies everywhere first class, likes to drive a Bentley, and I'll bet she doesn't like a corned beef sandwich or even a £10 Chinese buffet for dinner!

    You generously describe this as mental illness. It sounds more like daftness to me. We all have a budget to live within.

    As you point out she once got £2m from Weightwatchers, and she spent it. I dare say that her share of the ghastly mansion sale went on new clothes from the top designers; first class flights; 5 star hotels and all the other things that she can't afford any more.

    If someone gave me £2 m I'd make it last me the rest of my life.

  35. tris

    Being an ex Royal isn't like being an ex bus driver. Like Diana she was actually more hounded once she went solo. In Diana's case hounded to death. Fergie is living with the second heir to the throne and is the mother of heir No 5 and 6 so is an ideal target for scamsters and terrorists. She wouldn't live long if she tried to switch to a nrmal lifestyle. Every scamster and gangster and terrorist would be out to get her. Apart from living in the Tower of London or being murdered as in Diana's case she'll have to be bailed out with millins every couple of years and will have to travel first class with an entourage of flunkeys and protection teams. Sadly that's the reality of the situation.

  36. No sorry Anon. I can’t agree with any of that:

    Let’s call a spade a spade. We're living in times of austerity. We're told that there will be hospital closures; ordinary people's wages and hours are being cut; and there is much worse to come. Bailing out Duchess Sarah isn’t even vaguely an option unless the royals do it from their own pockets in which case it’s a family affair.

    If she’s hounded .... tough cheese. She should have thought about that before she treated her marriage to an heir to the throne as if it was just some ordinary marriage where you could mess about, suck a few toes, have some cross words, go stay with mother for a few weeks and thenit would be OK.

    (Incidentally, Andy's actually 4th behind Charlie and the lads, and her two little expenses junkies, are indeed, 5th and 6th, although you'd never think it from the way they behave.

    Seriously, if these people want to be treated like royals, as if they were in fact different in some real way from Mrs McGinty who works in the chip shop, then they really should try to act as if they are different. At least in public.

    She has courted publicity. If she had taken her divorce settlement and gone and lived quietly in the country, acknowledging that she had embarrassed the country and the monarch with her sexual shenanigans, got on with her life, eating sleeping and doing a spot of gardening, got herself a wee job in a craft shop like other upper-class women, then no one would have paid that much attention to her. No one does to the Duchess of Kent, Katherine Worsley, whom I believe doesn’t call herself a duchess and gets on with her life quietly, and without recourse to royal funds, status or the like.

    Fergie is a self publicist and a bit of a tart. Let’s be honest.

  37. tris

    Well personally I'd close down the whole monarchy system. As long as it exists we will never get rid of the class structure. Power and privilege shouldn't depend on who gave birth to you. It should depend on hard work and your contribution to society.
    Getting back to Fergie. The toe sucking incident was nearly a year after they announced an official seperation. The marriage was over and they were living apart.
    She'll have to be bailed out by someone. Hopefully the monarchy but probably the tax payer. She can't be dragged through the courts. It's just not the done thing.
    Like I said previously she's not of sound mind. 'Princess of Pork' headlines and 24/7 media attention has sent her bonkers. It did the same to Diana who suffered similar headlines which is why she was probably topped before she married Dodi and had muslim kids.
    I wouldn't go for walks in woods or trips to Paris if I was in her shoes.

  38. I actually don't see why she has to be bailed out. If she can't cope with life why wouldn't she just go to a mental hospital like the rest of us would ahve to.

    Why on earth would we bail the greedy tart out?

    If in the end she dies, so what? People die every day because of neglect in the UK, why on earth should her life be worth more than someone else's... we have to bail her out with a couple of a million every few years.... No way!

  39. I don't think we should be encouraging state murder because someone becomes an irritant. There are enough suspicious deaths as it is ( Dr David Kelly, Princess Di, Robin Cook etc ).
    I think in the end the Royal Family will be seen to help her out although it will be with secret funding from taxpayers. That's the way things are unfortunately. Nothing you can do about it.

  40. Well, I wasn't really suggesting that the state murder her, but that they leave her to her own devices. Other people who can't cope with their budget end up losing their homes, and on the streets... Is her arse a different shape that she wouldn't fit in a cardboard box? It’s good enough for other people who are mentally ill.

    What I'm really saying is that we can't have anyone hold us to ransom over the fact that they only like Bentleys and the better brands of champagne, even if they were once having sexual relations with, amongst others, Andrew. Leave her to it, and if she dies, she dies. Thousands of other people do.

  41. As long as we have a monarchy then we'll have to pay for it. That's how it works unfortunately. I doubt if her arse is a different shape from any other woman's but as she's a ginger I bet it's whiter than a white thing ! Apart from the big red plook ; )

  42. You paint a lovely picture Anon. Thanks; that's put me off my supper......grrrrrrrrr

    The royal family have been at great pains to point out that she is not royal, has no royal titles, styles or status and they totally disown her.

    Can't see HM the Q digging in her very deep pockets for her. She'll just have to find herself a boyfriend..... she'd done it on a regular basis before. I should think she'll do it again.

  43. I must admit I've always fancied her. Posh and ginger and full of energy. Luvvly jubbly !
    The Royals may have disowned her but the scandal if she was topped by drug dealers while trying to live on a scheme in Kilmarnock would finish off the Royal family for good. " Failing to protect the mother of Beatrice and Eugine, callous again after Diana etc etc.. the press would have a field day and the whole monarchy would be despised."
    Rightly or wrongly that's exactly how things would pan out. So she'll be bailed out and will go on spending.

  44. If you fancy her why don't you take her in Anon? ;¬)

    As to the rest of your scenario, all I couold think when I read it was.....who gives a damn really....?

    Let's just dump the lot of them as soon as the Queen goes. I can think of almost nothing more horrific than Charlie getting his hands on teh crown and that ghastly crocodile bing Queen Mrs Parker-Bowels.

  45. This is a republican blog and it reserves the right to criticise royals, lords, the titled, the noble and the would be noble.

    Anon are you in the habit of fancying ginger mingers who you admit have mental health issues and no money? She sure don’t have the looks as far as I am concerned and she certainly don’t have the books either.

  46. Hey!! Munguin!!! Ah'll hae less o' yer cheek aboot gingers wi' mental health issues an' nae money. Yer talkin' aboot a lot o' Scots there, masel included. We dinnae take kindly tae bein' lumped in wi' a corrupt graspin' floosie wi' inflated ideas o' her ain importance.

    Ah'm lucky mind, at least ah've got the looks.

  47. Sophia I didn't mean you, we all know that you are as sane as a lord and swimming in loot. Are you attached?

  48. Just tae masel Munguin, just tae masel.

  49. tris
    I don't really want a 'bidie in' thanks.
    In my defence I was a bit drunk last night when waxing lyrical about Fergie!
    But she was quite nice a few years ago. Looks a bit hagard now though ( I know - pot kettle etc ). Not for her the face lifts and botox injections like Anthea Redfern of give us a twirl fame. Heck did you see Anthea on 'Come Dine With Me' celebrity special the other night ? Terrifying. Especially with Michael Barrymore chasing after her. Her boobs and face didn't look like they were hers. Just hanging on there for dear life.
    Sophia's pic looks quite nice. Can't understand a word you write though which is a pity. Could wade through it to find out I suppose but life's way too short ; )

  50. Ah Anon... I guess you'd have to be a bit on the drunk side to fancy Fergie. Frankly at any time for me. But then I've never liked fat birds!

    Nah mate. I'm not a tv person. It sits for most of its existence in the corner of my room and I forget it's there. I only remember about it when I look at the cost of the BBC licence every month. So I don't even know who Anthea Redfern is. I've heard of mr Barrymore though...something about a lad and a swimming pool and loads of drugs.

    As for Sophia. Gorgeous I'd say... and well worth the translation into English, because not only is it very witty and clever, it's also just jam-packed full of common sense, of which there is far too little in the world.

    I suspect there are a lot of Anons who leave posts here, I wish you'd sign yourselves at the end with some name, any name, so I could distinguish one from the other.....

  51. tris

    I'll try and get one of those google monikers and throw off my 'anon' moniker .
    I must be showing my age. Anthea Redfern was the famous wife of Bruce Forsyth and used to introduce the contestants on 'The Generation Game in the 1970's.' Brucie's catchphrase was 'give us a twirl Anthea' and she would duly twirl showing off her new dress and nice legs.
    Well it was exciting for a sex starved adolescent in dreary 70's Scotland !