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“Stressed” and “worried” Andrew’s legal strategy not working
Well, duh. The Telegraph reports that the palace is getting concerned by Prince Andrew’s legal strategy in the face of Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s allegations that he sexually abused her when she was 17. Unsurprising, really, given it appears to consist of hiding behind his mother in Balmoral, sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting, “I can’t hear you.”
The paper says that courtiers have now finally come to understand that a “wall of silence” from Andrew is harming the monarchy.
Andrew, 61, is now said to be “stressed” and “worried” about the case, the paper says.
A royal source told the Telegraph: “There is growing disquiet over the advice being given to the duke by his London legal team in the face of this potentially highly damaging lawsuit, which also has wider reputational implications for the institution of the monarchy.
“The legal team’s wall of silence and policy of evasion only adds to the impression [that] the Duke has something to hide and there is widespread concern that things have been allowed to get to this point.”
The paper said there was “astonishment” that Andrew only retained an American lawyer as recently as two weeks ago.
Right now, the position is that Giuffre’s team says they have served the lawsuit at Andrew’s home in Windsor, but his legal team say they haven’t. On Friday, as reported by the BBC, a U.S. judge, seemingly impatient with Prince Andrew’s game of hide-and-seek, said the papers could be considered served if they were delivered to Andrew’s L.A. lawyer Andrew Brettler.
Meanwhile, his daughter, the heavily pregnant Princess Beatrice, was admitted to a London hospital Friday, her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi reportedly with her. The question: will Andrew break cover to be with her?
The answer: maybe.
A Balmoral “insider” told The Sun: “Prince Andrew obviously hasn’t wanted to leave Balmoral when lawyers are still trying to serve the lawsuit papers, but his daughter comes first, and he will want to be there for her. He could end up staying on the estate and waiting for Beatrice to come to him once she’s given birth. But I’m sure he will want to go to her.”
Prince Charles reportedly met key fixer nine times
Prince Charles has stoutly claimed he had “no knowledge” of the cash for donors scandal that has rocked his foundation in recent weeks. However, the credibility of that position is strained afresh by the revelation in The Sunday Times today that Charles met William Bortrick, the publisher who acted as a paid fixer for donors, no fewer than nine times.
Bortrick’s extensive personal acquaintance with Charles will, as The Sunday Times delicately puts it, “inevitably pose questions of Charles, including what he knew and when, and whether he was aware of Bortrick’s status as a paid consultant.”
The Sunday Times has listed nine separate occasions on which Charles met Bortrick, who is the publisher of the elite genealogy manual Burke’s Peerage, which is now an online-only publication. Bortrick appears to have developed a profitable sideline, getting a cut for introducing wealthy donors to Charles, and using his firm as a conduit for their cash. He is said to have connected Charles with donors, including a Saudi billionaire and a Russian banker.
The Sunday Times says their meetings have taken place “in England, Scotland, and Saudi Arabia over the past seven years,” and adds that in addition to attending multiple dinners for donors, Bortrick and Charles “took an intimate stroll” in the grounds of the Castle of Mey, the late Queen Mother’s home in Scotland, the maintenance and restoration of which is one of Charles’ pet projects.
Bortrick is understood to have made Charles’ acquaintance through his friendship with Michael Fawcett, Charles’ closest aide who was forced to resign earlier this month as chief executive of the foundation over the scandal.
The Sunday Times said it had asked three times whether Charles knew that Bortrick was paid for his work on behalf of wealthy individuals, but his office declined to comment, instead reissuing a previous statement saying: “The Prince of Wales has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honors or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities, and fully supports the independent investigation now under way by the Prince’s Foundation.”
Prince Philip told Harry to “come back alive” from Afghanistan
The Mail reports that Prince Harry told a new BBC documentary that Prince Philip “was very matter of fact” before his grandson served in Afghanistan, “and just said, ‘Make sure you come back alive...’ Then, when I came back, there wasn’t a deep level of discussion, more a case of, ‘Well, you made it. How was it?’ That’s how he was. He was very much a listener, he sort of set the scene for you to be able to share as much as you wanted to share, but he would never probe.”
The documentary, intended by the BBC as a tribute to Philip, features interviews with all the leading royals (including scandal-hit Prince Andrew), apart from the queen. Apparently, Sophie, Duchess of Wessex, and others talk about his love of cooking, his love of British culinary TV stars the Hairy Bikers, and barbecuing in particular. Prince William says, “I can safely say there’s never been a case of food poisoning in the family that’s attributed to the Duke of Edinburgh.”
This week in royal history
A year ago this week, Harry and Meghan encouraged Americans to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Appearing on TV as part of the unveiling of the “2020 Time 100,” Meghan said: “Every four years, we are told the same thing, that this is the most important election of our lifetime,” Meghan said. “But this one is. When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. Your voice is a reminder that you matter, because you do, and you deserve to be heard.”
Harry, criticizing the presentation and consumption of information online, said that when “one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially. It’s time to not only reflect, but act. As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity.”
Then-President Trump, responding to a questioner who incorrectly stated that Meghan was encouraging people to vote for Joe Biden, said: “I’m not a fan of hers, and I would say this—and she probably has heard that—but, I wish a lot of luck to Harry, because he’s going to need it.”
If Andrew does break cover to visit Beatrice in hospital, will agents acting for star lawyer David Boies finally be able to serve the prince? And will they record the moment for posterity (and the tabloids)?