For the past year or so, we’ve been discussing (in depth) all of the shenanigans and criminality around Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. As soon as Jeffrey Epstein became big news again in 2019, Andrew began getting all kinds of unsavory headlines. Those headlines have only gotten worse after Epstein’s suspicious death in a New York jail cell. The issue isn’t merely that Andrew is a sexual predator who abused victims of human trafficking from Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, although we can agree that all of that is quite horrible.
Andrew’s completely sketchy finances have also gotten some attention, especially since no one knows how he “made” his fortune, how much he’s worth, and how thoroughly he abused his position as “the Queen’s favorite son” AND “British trade ambassador” to line his own pockets. Just last week, we even discussed the bizarre story of how Andrew and his ex-wife somehow purchased a Swiss chalet, only to lapse on a $6 million payment. Now they’re in arrears and being sued. These criminal and financial issues have come into sharper relief when compared to the Sussexes, who have been the victims of a huge smear campaign over nothing, all while Andrew has been protected at all costs by the Queen and the establishment.
I’ve been waiting for some notable publication to really start pulling at all of these threads. Finally, it’s happened. The Financial Times ran a fascinating story about Andrew’s questionable Pitch@Palace charity, and how that charity seemingly gave hush money to Andrew’s former private secretary. From FT:
Prince Andrew has suffered further embarrassment after the charities regulator questioned £350,000 of payments to his former private secretary. The Charity Commission, which regulates non-profit organisations in England and Wales, intervened over payments made to Amanda Thirsk, Prince Andrew’s long-serving private secretary who left shortly after his disastrous interview with BBC Newsnight last year.
Ms Thirsk was a trustee of the prince’s umbrella organisation, the Prince Andrew Charitable Trust (PACT), as well as a director of its profitmaking subsidiaries, including Pitch@Palace, his venture for introducing entrepreneurs and investors. The Charity Commission tightly controls the use of philanthropic funds to pay trustees. According to PACT’s annual report, the regulator “raised a concern about remuneration paid to one of the Trustees . . . which the Commission considered to be an unauthorised Trustee benefit”. As a result, a total of £355,297 — relating to five years of payments to Ms Thirsk — was repaid by the Duke of York’s household.
To be clear, we already knew that Thirsk got paid off – it was widely reported when Thirsk left her position in Andrew’s office, because his office was shut down following his BBC interview and subsequent “step down from royal duties.” We knew that Thirsk arranged some kind of exit package for herself. It was just assumed that the money came from Andrew, the Queen or some other royal office fund. But her payoff came from the Pitch @Palace charity funds. And when the charity regulator discovered that, Andrew had to reimburse his sad Pitch@Palace charity. One barrister told FT: “Most charities are supersensitive to the need to comply with the strict laws around trustee benefit. It is unfathomable to me that a grown-up charity like Prince Andrew’s Charitable Trust got this so wrong.”
What’s also interesting is that FT started to pull at the larger thread – they note that Andrew has “unusual finances. He does not receive a direct public grant and instead has relied on income from his commercial activities.” Commercial activities you say? You mean, he’s somehow allowed to be an HRH, a Duke, AND get an income from commercial activities? All while “using” his royal title and “palace” in a halfway charitable endeavor which is issuing payoffs to former staff? Petty Betty is shook. So are all of the royal reporters who screamed and cried about Prince Harry and Meghan sullying the precious royal title by daring to dream of making a separate income. Also: Andrew did all of that for years, he only had to “step away” from his royal duties when he f–ked up his lies about his friendship with a dead pedophile and human trafficker.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and WENN.