The royals are an absolute shambles but it’s still all Meghan’s fault
While Meghan Markle battles it out with the tabloids in court, the sinister antics from the rest of the family fly under the radar.
Today, November 16, marks two years since Prince Andrew’s famously tragic interview with Emily Maitlis on BBC Newsnight, where he spoke about his old friend sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, how he’s medically unable to sweat and denied allegations that he had sex with Virginia Giuffre when she was 17 years old. He has since stepped down from public duties, didn’t get a military promotion on his 60th birthday, wasn’t in any of the publicly released photographs at his daughters wedding and apparently the rest of the family never want him back in the public eye. Poor fella. Oh, there’s also the trial coming next year on Virginia Giuffre’s allegations that Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell told her to have sex with the Prince at Epstein’s home in New York and other locations. Prince Andrew said he’d never met her, despite that photograph we’ve all seen a million times of them together, and is being represented by the guy defending Armie Hammer over his cannibal rape case. Chef’s kiss. In the filing asking a US judge to dismiss the lawsuit, Virginia Giuffre is accused of seeking “another payday” at Prince Andrew’s expense, that she has “milk[ed] the publicity” and that her pursuance of justice is distracting resources from real victims of abuse. Rather than being medically unable to sweat, he seems medically unable to make a single correct move.
Which brings us back to today, when Prince Andrews celebrated his two year anniversary since his Newsnight interview with a new jewel in his crown. The source of Prince Andrew’s wealth to fund his luxurious lifestyle has long been a mystery – he receives a €23,000 Navy pension and Mum gives him €296,000 a year. Today, Bloomberg News says that bank documents suggest that a Tory donor and friend David Rowland paid off the Prince’s €1.7 million bank loan. Rowland is said to have transferred the money to Prince Andrew days after the Prince had borrowed a similar amount from a bank the Rowlands bought in 2009. Lovely.
Now, speaking of donations, let’s have a look at what Charles has been up to. When he’s not at COP26 telling us all to do better, he’s been battling his own dodgy donor situation. At the moment, when the royals are not taking private jets and helicopters, they are busy leaning in on the climate crisis. Prince William had a crack at the billionaire space race, which is a bit awkward considering it includes Richard Branson, who was at his wedding. Someone forgot to email the new royal climate strategy to Princess Anne – she took three helicopters in 12 days while her family members were busy plugging the climate crisis. The Queen is especially frustrated by it all – she was overheard at the Welsh parliament ahead of the climate conference giving out about the world leaders who hadn’t confirmed to attend. “It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do,” she said. Dead right, Queen. Actions speak louder than words. Except that this year, the Queen’s lawyers lobbied the Scottish government in secret to change a draft law to exempt her private estates from a carbon-cutting initiative. Meaning that she – one of the largest landowners in Scotland – is the only person in all of Scotland excused from a green energy rule. But back to Charles.
His aide told a Saudi donor he’d be delighted to give him a hand securing an OBE, for a mere £10 million donation. The Times reports that the aide, Michael Fawcett wrote that the prince would back the donor’s application for British citizenship. The Saudi billionaire was made a CBE, a higher honour than OBE by Charles in November 2016. Fawcett, The Times states, wrote to the Saudi billionaire’s representatives to say there were “three possibilities” for donations to Charles’ house – a “one-off” sum of £350,000 for a “designer bridge”; £325,000 a year to fund education and training initiatives; or £10 million to “design and build houses” in the area. Fawcett also wrote that Charles supported the donor’s bid for a British passport. The Prince of Wales of course had no knowledge. Although he had no knowledge of the cash-for-honours scandal, he did however meet the man who received money to secure the CBE for the Saudi billionaire and who brokered a personal thank-you letter from Charles to a Russian donor nine times. The Times reports that a Russian businessman seeking British citizenship, Dmitry Leus , gave a six-figure donation to Prince Charles’ charity, which the Prince’s Foundation’s ethics committee returned because of concerns about the Russian donor’s background – he had been found guilty in Russia of money-laundering but his conviction was overturned. The money instead went to another charity that Charles is a patron of, Children & the Arts. According to The Times, “Children & the Arts said it had no idea that any money had come to it from Leus, that they had not sent him any letter and that it was in the process of being wound up.”
Is it any wonder the Queen isn’t feeling well these days?
But hang on a minute. Don’t let these stories of dodgy donations, victim-blaming, sexual abuse and greenwashing distract you from the real problem maker at the heart of the royal family – Meghan Markle.
As you probably already know, she’s in court at the moment with The Mail On Sunday over the publication of a letter she wrote to her dad asking him to stop speaking to the press. She has actually already won this battle – in February a High Court judge ruled that The Mail on Sunday had invaded her privacy when it published the letter, but the newspaper is seeking to overturn that, saying that it should go to trial. Emails and texts between her and her former communications secretary Jason Knauf have been disclosed in court about the letter and the book written about the duke and duchess of Sussex, Finding Freedom. Knauf says the couple had “authorised specific co-operation in writing” and says Meghan gave him “background reminders” for the authors, leading Meghan to apologise to the court, and the tabloids to explode with glee. Knauf also says that Meghan showed him the letter and asked “a specific question regarding addressing Mr Markle as ‘daddy’ in the letter, saying, ‘Given I’ve only ever called him daddy it may make sense to open as such (despite him being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings’.”
The Mail on Sunday lawyers argue that this shows that “the letter was written and crafted with readership in mind, and indeed she was happy for the public to read it if Mr Markle were to leak it.”
One text that Meghan sent Knauf also suggests that the royal family were behind her decision to write the letter in the first place. “The catalyst for my doing this is seeing how much pain this is causing H,” it reads. “Even after a week with his dad and endlessly explaining the situation, his family seem to forget the context — and revert to ‘can’t she just go and see him and make him stop?’ They fundamentally don’t understand so at least by writing H will be able to say to his family … ‘she wrote him a letter and he’s still doing it’. By taking this form of action I protect my husband from this constant berating …” Now, once again, her privacy and family relationships have been invaded.
Buckingham Palace have also said they are continuing to investigate claims that Meghan bullied royal staff. The original complaint was made by Knauf.
Last month, we learned from a report by analytics service Bot Sentinel that a small group of Twitter accounts were responsible for the majority of harassment faced by Meghan and Harry. Just 83 accounts with a potential reach of 17 million users were responsible for 70 per cent of hateful content about the duke and duchess of Sussex. “Are these people who hate her?” the company’s CEO asked Buzzfeed News. “Is it racism? Are they trying to hurt [Harry and Meghan’s] credibility? Your guess is as good as ours.”
“There’s no motive.”
In an effort to get justice for the invasion of her privacy, she’s been exploited again. Once again, Meghan’s every move and word is used against her. But in comparison to the rest of the family’s antics of late, what is she getting dragged through the mud, once again, for?