Category Archives: Royal Family

Should the Royal Household take anti-racism training from the charity whose boss it abused?

As This Writer suggested in a previous article:

Mandu Reid, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, has told Sky News that Meghan Markle’s claims of racism within the royal household have been “validated”.

It comes after Lady Susan Hussey, the godmother of Prince William, asked charity boss Ngozi Fulani at Buckingham Palace “what part of Africa are you from?”.

I really like the moment in this clip in which Ms Reid said she didn’t want Lady Hussey to step down, but to step up – acknowledge that racism exists in the Royal Household and that they will take steps to remove it.

Perhaps they could start by taking training from Sistah Space, the charity to which Ms Fulani belongs. It’s what that organisation does.

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Palace race incident was at supposed ‘safe space’ event

Charitable: Ngozi Fulani has said she would not like to see Lady Susan Hussey “vilified” because of her ill-chosen words.

At first, I thought this was a story about Prince Harry’s wife Meghan, and in a way it is.

She denounced racism in the Royal Household some time ago. I seem to recall she took a lot of stick for it – but now it seems she is vindicated after a charity representative from an ethnic minority was repeatedly asked where she was “really” from, by Prince William’s godmother.

Lady Susan Hussey, resigned after she repeatedly asked that question of Ngozi Fulani, a black British charity boss, at an event to support the Queen Consort’s campaign against domestic violence at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (November 29).

Ms Fulani recounted how said Lady Hussey, 83, approached her and moved her hair to one side to allow her to read her name tag – which some might say was already extremely presumptuous; high-handed.

Then – well, here’s Ms Fulani’s own account:

Lady SH: Where are you from?
Me: Sistah Space.
SH: No, where do you come from?
Me: We’re based in Hackney.
SH: No, what part of Africa are YOU from?
Me: I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records.
SH: Well, you must know where you’re from. I spent time in France. Where are you from?
Me: Here, UK.
SH: No, but what Nationality are you?
Me: I am born here and am British.
SH: No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?
Me: ‘My people’? Lady, what is this?
SH: Oh I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you’re from. When did you first come here?
Me: Lady! I am a British national, my parents came here in the 50s when-
SH: Oh, I knew we’d get there in the end. You’re Caribbean!
Me: No, lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality.
SH: Oh, so you’re from…

Ms Fulani said she believed the member of the Royal Household was trying to make her denounce her British citizenship, and the incident had led her to question how a situation like this could happen in a space “supposed to protect women against all kinds of violence”.

She said: “Although it’s not physical violence, it is an abuse.”

She added, charitably, that she did not want to see Lady Hussey “vilified” over her behaviour.

But that was always going to happen, I think – especially after some ill-advised Royal supporters chipped in to support Lady Hussey with the excuse that “she’s 83”:

George Stephens’s point is extremely strong – if also strongly-worded.

This Writer’s mother is of the same generation and would never treat another person in such a way. It simply would not occur to her.

I would say it was people of the generation before hers who may have displayed casual racism because they didn’t know any better. Most of them have passed away and that kind of behaviour should have passed with them.

If members of the Royal Household are displaying such traits, then it raises serious questions about standards there.

If I were from an ethnic minority, or an organisation that includes ethnic minorities in any way, I would certainly be having second thoughts about attending any Royal event in the future.

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As others see us: ‘racism is as British as a cup of tea’

Before you point out that tea comes from India and China – isn’t it ironic?

Here’s the UK’s first professor of Black Studies, Kehinde Andrews, talking about the differences in perception of the late Queen Elizabeth II within his own originally-Jamaican family, and concluding that the Monarchy is a symbol of white supremacy that should not be mourned, but rather abolished.

He says this is the perfect time to discuss whether and when the Monarchy should end – which is also ironic, considering the number of people who have been arrested for voicing their objection to it – and indeed the larger number who have been physically attacked for doing the same.

Here’s the clip:

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Monarchist talk show host insults caller who calls him ‘subservient’

This being a bank holiday weekend, This Writer is either otherwise occupied or almost totally incapacitated, so I’m putting up material that has interested me – and I hope it interests you. Make of it what you will:

Actually I do have something to say about this. Yesterday (Sunday), I met a friend who showed me the injuries he had suffered at the hands of a member of the armed forces who had taken offence when he had voiced anti-Monarchist sentiments in a pub.

My friend had not been threatening in his behaviour but this serviceman had taken it upon himself to attack and injure him – for a reason that would not stand up in court.

This is not acceptable behaviour in a country whose leaders still claim to uphold the principle of free speech.

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The accession racket? King Charles won’t pay inheritance tax from the Queen

King Charles III: is he laughing all the way to the bank?

Don’t you find it odd that, the more money you have, the fewer taxes you pay?

Look at the new King, Charles III. He’s not paying any inheritance tax on the Crown Estate’s £15.2 billion in assets, which include the royal archives and the royal collection of paintings, which cannot be sold by the King and are surrendered to the government in return for a grant.

In all, 25 per cent of profits from the Crown Estate are given to the royal family as the Sovereign Grant.

The rest of us would pay 40 per cent of any assets valued at more than £325,000. But we can’t complain, can we? The King is already paying 75 per cent of his assets to the government, from the look of it.

But wait – there’s more:

Separately, Charles also inherits from the Queen the Duchy of Lancaster, a private estate that includes portfolio of lands, properties and assets held in trust for the sovereign.

He is exempt from inheritance tax on these assets, among others, in order to preserve “a degree of financial independence from the government of the day”.

But if he’s already getting profits from more than £6 billion in assets in the Crown Estate, why does he need this? It made around £22 million in revenue in 2021.

It is allowed because, under an agreement with the John Major Tory government in 1993, assets passed from a former to a current sovereign are exempt from taxation.

But the then-Queen agreed to pay income tax voluntarily around that time, and Charles III has agreed to do the same.

Assets passed from the former Queen to anybody else are liable for Inheritance Tax.

It isn’t a perfect system, is it?

That being said, This Writer would like to see documentary evidence showing what the state would receive if there were no agreements with the government, compared with what it receives as it is.

Who benefits the most?

Source: King Charles will not pay tax on inheritance from the Queen | King Charles III | The Guardian

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Police are arresting people for free-speech protests against the monarchy – due to Tory law

People across the UK are being arrested for exercising what should be their free-speech right to protest against the continuing existence of the monarchy.

Police are able to do this because Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act allows them to arrest people who are deemed to be causing a disturbance, or simply to be annoying.

This is the Tory boot stamping on your face, of course. Royalists may approve of republicans being silenced, but will they be as happy when they’re on the receiving end of this repression?

Here’s the evidence:

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The Queen has died. The UK will now enter 12 days of national mourning

If you don’t know that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away peacefully at Balmoral, aged 96, the longest-serving UK monarch – and has been succeeded by her eldest son, who becomes King Charles III… well, you do now.

Not being particularly a monarchist, but not being much of a republican either (I can see advantages in having a functioning royal family, in terms of tourism, at the very least), I don’t really know how I feel about it.

Both of their paths crossed mine at various points in my reporting career. I didn’t mind her. I don’t mind the new King, either – although I think he may have more to say than she ever did. He says he won’t “meddle”; well, we’ll see.

I can’t say I met them as such, but I was able to get a feel for their personalities.

The first time I saw Elizabeth II in person was at a service for charities at St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol. I was with the press (obviously) in the south entrance and she entered with Prince Philip (the late Duke of Edinburgh) via the north door. They looked like the number “10”.

She caught sight of me. I had a filthy big grin on my face (as usual) so I was probably easy to pick out. I got a radiant royal smile in return. And yes, I felt privileged.

The second – and last – time was in 2002, during the Golden Jubilee celebrations. She visited the Mid Wales village of Dolau by train. I was running a different news website at the time so I popped up to get some pictures (I was hoping to put one of them up alongside this article but wasn’t able to find it).

The crowd was enormous, so it seemed to me that she was well-loved.

The first time I covered anything done by the new King was at a business park in Hartcliffe (Bristol again), where he chatted with a carpenter.

“How do you manage to do all that and keep all your fingers?” the then-prince asked the woodworking gentleman – who promptly lifted up both his hands, revealing the remnants and stumps of numerous fingers, and said: “I haven’t!”

Next time was 1997 (I think) when the Second Severn Crossing was opened. He was walking along the bridge when the military types started firing a 21-gun salute over the side – behind him.

The instant the first volley was set off – and without missing a step – he went straight up into the air.

(I’m sure there was another occasion between this and the next one, but I can’t remember it at the moment.)

Finally, he and his wife – now the Queen Consort – visited the smallest town in England and Wales – Llanwrtyd Wells – some time around 2010 and I covered the event as a freelancer.

He pulled a few pints in a local pub, had a meeting with local businesspeople (behind closed doors), and then visited a local butcher’s shop. I was just casually standing next to the queue outside, chatting and trying to avoid the gaze of the black-suited bodyguards all around.

He stopped and, rather charmingly, asked if he should join the end of the queue (which would have put him next to me). I waved him along, and everyone else did the same.

That’s the limit of my recollections. Have you ever met either the former or the new monarch? Was your experience more revealing about them than mine? If so, feel free to get in touch via the “comment” box.

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Prince Andrew settles sexual abuse lawsuit out of court – leaving serious questions unanswered

Settlement: Prince Andrew (the accused) and Victoria Giuffre (the accuser). To the right (trimmed out of this version of the image) is Ghislaine Maxwell, now convicted of trafficking underage children to Jeffrey Epstein for sexual abuse. Andrew now says he “regrets” his association with Epstein. It has been claimed – but not proved – that the image is a fake.

Prince Andrew has reached an out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre that will end her abuse claim against him – but will leave questions about his own conduct hanging in the air.

Ms Giuffre had brought a case of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the Prince.

It was claimed she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and others to Andrew, who was alleged to have sexually abused her when she was under the age of 18. Court documents referred to three separate occasions in which Ms Giuffre accused him of sexual misconduct.

She had claimed the Prince had sex with her against her will at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home.

She also alleged he forced her to engage in sex acts against her will at Epstein’s mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

And he was also alleged to have sexually abused Giuffre during a visit to Epstein’s private island, Little St James.

Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed but it appears to involve substantial sums of money including a large donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights. This amount may be revealed when the charity’s annual reports are released.

He has stated that he accepts that she suffered, both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.

The Prince has not admitted any guilt or apologised for any of his behaviour.

But he has acknowledged that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked “countless” young girls over many years and has said he “regrets” his association with that man.

To demonstrate this regret, he has pledged to support the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and to support its victims.

There appears to be nothing in the settlement – no non-disclosure agreement – stopping Ms Giuffre from publishing her claims in the future.

International lawyers have said they think Andrew’s lawyers were left with little option other than to make a deal, considering the weakness of his legal position and fears over his performance in the witness stand.

They have said the settlement may cost him at least £10 million, in line with settlements of previous cases involving wealthy individuals.

The agreement raises more questions than it answers.

Most obviously, Prince Andrew’s personal reputation has not just been dragged through, but has arguably been drowned in the mud – as has that of the UK’s Royal Family, by association.

Adverse publicity has already led to Andrew being stripped of all his royal patronages and military affiliations, with the Queen’s approval. He has also agreed to stop using the style His Royal Highness in an official capacity.

It had been feared that a court case would overshadow the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations this year, with details of the Prince’s personal life examined and his denials of ever meeting Ms Giuffre challenged.

If an agreement could have been reached, why did this not happen earlier?

Is it because the Prince was facing the prospect of sitting for a deposition – giving sworn evidence – at which he would have been questioned under oath by Ms Giuffre’s legal team? Did he have reason to fear the possibility that information may be uncovered that he doesn’t want to see the light of day?

Who is paying? It has been alleged that the Queen herself has put up some of the money for Andrew’s defence, and his representatives have declined to comment on the source of funds for the donation. Ultimately, are the citizens of the UK paying to whitewash this privileged man’s name?

Does Prince Andrew think this will all go away now, and he can resume work as a member of the Royal Family as if the court case didn’t happen? Commentators are already saying that this is unlikely – meaning his future is still in doubt.

York MP Rachael Maskell has called for him to stop using his title as the Duke of York, to show respect for the people of the city.

And concern has been raised over the possibility of him appearing alongside the rest of the Royal Family at the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service next month; with vindication impossible if a trial does not happen, it is not known whether the claims of sexual assault were accurate – and this may overshadow the occasion if Andrew is allowed to participate.

Perhaps the Prince hoped that, by reaching a settlement, he would be able to draw a line under these accusations and move on.

In fact, it seems he has merely extended the controversy well into the future.

Source: Prince Andrew settles sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre – live updates

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Media reporters have DEFINITELY been hiding evidence of #DowningStreetParties. And what else?

Slack by name: if he was a proper reporter, James Slack would have published a story about the Downing Street parties as soon as he went back to work at The Sun. He didn’t – for reasons that, while obvious, are unacceptable.

Well, there it is. There can’t be any doubt that the media have been suppressing evidence of the lockdown-busting parties at Downing Street now, because one of them was for the current deputy editor-in-chief of The Sun – who attended it.

James Slack’s first duty as a news reporter would have been to report that the prime minister was allowing such parties to take place, in contempt of the rules that he had imposed on everybody else.

Reporters have a duty to act in the public interest.

He didn’t – for perfectly understandable but entirely unacceptable reasons: he was at the party on the night of April 16-17, 2021 (it was his leaving party), and he was at the party of May 15 the year before (he appears in the photograph that has been released to the press.

Considering the networks of contacts that all political reporters in Westminster must have, it seems highly unlikely to This Writer that others were kept unaware of it. I doubt the party organisers would have been able to do so and, to be honest, I think it is highly likely that they were invited – especially to an event for somebody who is an industry colleague.

So people like Laura Kuenssberg and Robert Peston should be asked where they were that night, too. Peston in particular, because of course he worked with Allegra Stratton, the former Downing Street press secretary who resigned after a video clip was publicised showing her laughing about an alleged party there on December 18, 2020.

And we, the public, need to examine their reports now with extreme scepticism.

Slack himself joins Johnson as another two-faced liar who has only apologised because his transgression has been revealed to us. If it had not, then he would have merrily kept it hidden for the rest of his career. Instead, he tells us: “This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility.” Weasel words.

The other party was for someone described as one of Johnson’s personal photographers. It is alleged that staff were sent out to a nearby shop carrying a suitcase, and brought it back filled with bottles of wine.

The party in the Downing Street basement, with a laptop computer blaring out music from atop a photocopier, is said to have linked up with the event for Slack, continuing until well after midnight.

At the time, England was under “Step Two” restrictions, meaning that people were banned from socialising indoors with those from other households. Indoor gatherings and gatherings of more than six people outdoors were unlawful, unless “reasonably necessary for work”. There were also fixed penalty notices of up to £10,000 for individuals organising unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people.

This information has been released to us now because somebody has decided it is to their advantage. I would suggest that this person would be somebody in the Conservative government who sees an opportunity to grab power from Johnson.

We certainly should not believe that anybody is innocent of such machinations if they speak up in support of Johnson now; it is entirely possible for a person to be supportive in public while stabbing somebody in the back privately.

The current revelations are doubly offensive to the Queen, of course. Firstly, there is the clear offence that two events, in which people partied, laughed and joked in close contact with each other, took place at a time of national mourning, the day before she had to sit alone at the socially-distanced funeral of her husband of 73 years.

Secondly, though, this is the second time prime minister Boris Johnson has made a fool of her; the first was when he persuaded her to prorogue Parliament on the basis of a lie he told so he could bypass an obstacle to his (now revealed to be entirely useless) Brexit deal.

If she doesn’t absolutely hate Johnson by now, she must be superhuman indeed.

It is said that Johnson was not at the parties of April 2021 – but you’d have to be a fool to think he wasn’t aware of them, after all the others.

Today’s revelations bring the current total number of parties being investigated by civil servant Sue Gray – who is, let’s remember, an employee of Boris Johnson and not an independent investigator at all – to 12.

One has to question whether there is another strategy here – to leak new information about parties out at intervals, so Ms Gray’s investigation can never be concluded.

To those of us watching from outside, it’s beginning to seem as though Downing Street was a party venue from the moment the first lockdown began, right up to last Christmas, at the very least.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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#PrinceAndrew to face US #sexualassault civil case. Here are the reasons

Accused and accuser: Prince Andrew (left) and Virginia Giuffre (right). She alleges that he committed sexual assault and battery against her at a time when she was still legally a child.

A judge in the United States has thrown out Prince Andrew’s attempt to have Virginia Giuffre’s civil case against him for sexual assault dismissed.

Judge Lewis Kaplan took a week to think about it, but has now “denied in all respects” the Duke of York’s motion to have the case dismissed.

A civil trial will take place later this year.

Here’s Channel 4 News to explain in more detail:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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