The “keep calm” tendencies of Buckingham Palace that usually help the royals weather the storm of bad press and allegations is not the route being chosen to handle the allegations brought against Prince Andrew.
Instead, Andrew is being ardently defended by the palace against the news which broke last week, linking him to a sex scandal that apparently transpired more than a decade ago. The scandal involved a then-underage American woman and a chief financier, who allegedly forced the woman to have sex with Andrew on more than one occasion.
Although the meat of the story has just recently surfaced by way of court papers due to a civil suit filed against financier Epstein in Florida, some of the elements of the story are not new. In fact, Vanity Fair was made aware of many of them years ago. The publication apparently pulled the incriminating information regarding Epstein.
Vicky Ward, the journalist assigned to write about Epstein, is haunted by the information she discovered during the interview. She recounts the experience in her article for The Daily Beast, and leaves readers with her views on the importance of bringing the truth to light.
“There are some injustices that maybe only time can right. And perhaps now is the time. Things happened then that simply shouldn’t have, and if I don’t talk about them, then probably no one will.”
So if there is so much evidence against Epstein, and Prince Andrew has been included in the court documents, why is Buckingham Palace taking defensive action when, in the past, the royals have simply refused to comment in regards to scandals involving their own?
CBC News shares the view that perhaps the reasons for the House of Windsor’s strong stance on defending Andrew has to do with their hopes to maintain their run of “relatively good publicity of late.”
The marriage of Prince William — who is second-in-line to the throne — to Kate Middleton, and the arrival of their first child with one on the way, has all been such positive and upbeat news for the royals. It has drawn a new appeal to the family and gained favor not only from the British public, but on a global scale. Prince Andrew’s sinister scandal is something that risks shattering the present rosy status of the royals.
Mark Borkowski, a British public relations expert who has worked with a number of big names, indicates his own surprise at the palace’s response to the allegations, as CBC communicates.
“I can’t remember such rebuttals and three denials to date, which in royal parlance is a record I think. The prince is driving them pretty hard to refute these allegations and that’s what they’re doing.”
The Palace has emphatically denied all claims, and this seems to be causing British media to question whether they are true. The denials also may be linked to the fact that Andrew really isn’t as close to the crown and the family as he once was.
Borkowski indicates Andrew “isn’t an A-lister” in the family, and has sadly become the “slightly embarrassing uncle.”
As the Star notes, “The prince, who is Queen Elizabeth II’s second son and fifth in line to the throne, has been dogged for years over his relationship with Epstein.”
In 2011, Andrew relinquished his role as a U.K. trade ambassador due to the controversy that surrounded relations with American billionaire Epstein.
And then there is also the possibility that the claims are entirely untrue. Andrew has found support from Sarah Ferguson, his ex-wife, who earlier this week referred to the prince as “the greatest man there is.”
In addition, London Mayor Boris Johnson had kind words about Prince Andrew.
“Prince Andrew does a huge amount of unsung and unheralded work for this country. People go on and on about [him] but I have seen that guy get out there and sell this country, trying to help British firms to get business around the world.”
Prince Andrew is no newcomer to controversy, and neither is the Royal Family. The details will unfold soon enough.
[Feature image via Channel 4 News]