The Sussex squaddies have for some months complained why the British Royal Family was shielding the Duke of York and the news media were somehow covering up for friendship with a pedophile and taking part in underage sexual abuses.
In circumstances that beggars belief, the conservative-leaning newspapers avoided the Duke of York’s scandal and instead concentrated on the young Sussexes with negative stories until now. The Sussexes are good news for the Royal Family and UK plc (everyone knows that), but these newspapers began a narrative in 2016 and nothing would change that, even if it meant lying, abusing and manipulating facts.
However, bad karma came calling and somehow Prince Andrew decided to tell his side of the sordid friendship with Jeffrey Epstein to defend and deny. The Duke’s BBC 2 Newsnight interview was a sort of bad karma come home to roost. Prince Andrew was advised not to do the interview by his public relations handler but chose to do it. Negotiations to do the interview took six months – during the period the Duchess was being pilloried after the birth of Master Archie – by the newspapers. In the end, the public relations handler quit two weeks ago for being ignored.
The interesting aside to this is that perhaps Prince Andrew saw the overwhelming support the Sussexes garnered following the premiere of their Africa Tour documentary and thought that the interview could do for him too. He could not have been more wrong. The general reaction has been a total condemnation for doing the interview. He though, says he does not regret it and feels, he put his side of the story the best possible way and succeeded. No one sees it that way. The US view is that he should do that to the FBI and thence to a Court of law.
Although he denied the underage sex allegation, there was no empathy with the young girls, who were trafficked and passed among Epstein’s friends to molest from country to country. He showed no remorse whatsoever. He ended with more questions to answer than he thought the interview would absolve him. Andrew has always been bolshie and arrogant and so does not surprise me.
The conservative media, although reported the interview with gusto in all its torrid details, are perhaps incensed that there is now a new punchbag (Prince Andrew), they did not want in town and that the Duchess of Sussex is now out of reach and has been since the Sussexes decided to sue the tabloids.
The point is that the Duchess of Sussex has never done anything wrong. Since the world got to know about her romance with the Duke, she has not put a step out of place or said anything to embarrass anyone. The couple have not been seen at any of the high party circuits that go on in London and in Europe. Her only ‘crime’ has been to be lumbered with a disappointing father and hellish siblings whose sole purposes have been to help her enemies and to make money off her back.
With the legal case against the Mail Newspaper Group coming up, the Sussexes have laid it out there that they are not going to brook any more nonsense. In one of my pieces, when I started my opinions here, I wrote that the Mail on Sunday, in a bid to tarnish the Duchess, sent a journalist to New York to dish out the most depraving lies a newspaper could make up during her Baby Shower event organised by her old friends early this year.
That journalist listed a whole lot of items, including hotel and restaurant costs he claimed amounted to a little over US$ 500,000.00 (the Duchess denies the cost). That appalling man even followed the Duchess to a New York airport to report on the plane she returned home with. I said then that the Mail on Sunday reporter exaggerated what he thought he saw just to damn the Duchess. No establishment worth its name, either a hotel or a restaurant, would divulge what their prominent customer was served with and the cost to an English reporter. And there can be no one as prominent in the last three years, than the Duchess of Sussex on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Mail on Sunday even ventured to interfere in the relationship between the Duchess and her mum by reporting that she had ignored her mum and not invited her to the Baby Shower event (they condemned the event anyway), instead inviting her influential friends. The Duchess makes it clear in her Court complaint that was a lie. The mum was invited, a plane ticket was to be sent, but an engagement she had stopped it. That story hurt the Duchess terribly, but these editors do not care that what they print or these days, put on-line cause so much pain to fellow human beings.
In her High Court case, the Duchess has listed the Mail on Sunday’s New York article, sited the heinous reporting of her enormous work with the women of Grenfell Tower (where she was accused of aiding Muslim terrorists), a report on the cost of additions to Frogmore Cottage refurbishment and others, beside the main issue of infringing her copyright case and the European Union Human Rights.
Her lawyers are claiming an accusation in the Mail on Sunday that, the Duchess’s love of avocados encouraged murder in South America, was part of a pattern to paint the Duchess as a dangerous and untrustworthy person not to be part of the Royal Family. Why the editor of that paper hates the Duchess so much, is very difficult to fathom. It can only be put down to her ethnicity and being American. He can also be condemned as a racist thug.
The impression one now gets is that the Sussexes are determined not to be bullied into silence and acquiescence anymore, which is terrific news for their supporters. They would fight fire with fire, as no one, officially or otherwise, would fight their battles for them. Tacit support alone and passivity are not enough to deter destructive newspaper editors.
Tabloid and conservative editors fear their victims taking the fight to them. They have been horribly surprised that part of the Royal Family is prepared to take them to Court over lies, they would normally get away with. There was incredulity at first, but subsequent Court files by their lawyers suggest a wider legal net has been cast. The Court cases and the tremendous public support have shown the newspapers that they are dealing with 21st-century young royals, who are prepared to defend themselves. Bravo to the Sussexes.