Buckingham Palace won’t comment on the Prince Michael of Kent situation

Chelsea Flower Show 2018 - Press Day

Royal reporters approached Buckingham Palace for comment on the Prince Michael of Kent situation over the weekend, and BP refused to comment… on the record. The story broke on Saturday that the Times of London had done an investigative sting operation where journalists posed as a foreign business, and they sought Prince Michael’s “help” with massaging business deals in Russia. Michael and his business partner boasted of their close access to Vladimir Putin’s regime and indicated that Michael was something of Her Majesty’s roving ambassador to Russia. Russia, which is still under huge sanctions for their authoritarian state and more.

So, Buckingham Palace won’t comment on the record, but royal sources will point out that Michael is not a full-time working royal, and that his consulting-firm business has been well-known for decades. There are no “blind-sided the palace” or “how could he even dream of being half-in, half-out” stories, which… that speaks volumes to me. Prince Michael lives in Kensington Palace in a spacious apartment, represents the Queen on some-odd 100 engagements a year and receives royal protection. And the palace is just shrugging and ignoring this mess.

Although he is not a working royal and does not receive income from the Sovereign Grant — a status that effectively forces him to earn a crust as a ‘business consultant’ — Prince Michael does still carry out regular engagements on behalf of Her Majesty. His personal website suggests that in a typical year he makes 100 official appearances ‘for charities and other non-profit organisations’, plus ‘a further 245 a year for Royal Family, diplomatic, military or Masonic functions’.

In the months before the Covid lockdown, he appeared in the Court Circular representing the Crown at events to celebrate Remembrance Day, along with Trooping the Colour, a Royal Garden Party and a State banquet attended by (then) U.S. President Donald Trump. Prince Michael is, in other words, at least a peripheral member of the Firm who (while pursuing a career) simultaneously retains significant perks and privileges, such as occasional police protection and the right to sometimes stay at British embassies while abroad, including on trips to Russia.

What’s more, unlike Prince Harry, who was forced to surrender royal and military patronages before he was allowed to pursue a commercial career, he has been allowed to keep several honorific roles. Michael is, for example, patron of dozens of charities and trade bodies, from Battersea Dogs Home to the Institute Of The Motor Industry. He also boasts five honorary military positions, including as Senior Colonel of the Kings Royal Hussars, whose troops have (rather ironically) spent the past two years in Estonia, where they are supposed to be NATO’s first line of defence against a potential Russian invasion of Europe.

To hold such posts while seeking lobbying work as what Lord Reading described as a ‘friend of Russia’ is at best awkward, and at worst a catastrophic error of judgment. Some might argue that it also undermines Britain’s national interest, and, therefore, places the Royal Family in a deeply awkward position.

‘The Palace’s position on this is that Prince Michael isn’t a working royal, so they don’t speak for him, and vice versa, but I don’t think that is really good enough,’ said a royal insider yesterday. ‘It’s similar to what they were saying last year when [Princess Anne’s son] Peter Phillips agreed to star in a Chinese milk advert. The problem, for the Palace, is that this is way more sinister because of the sort of people he was dealing with, and the things he seemed prepared to do and say. For example, for his business partner to claim that he’s the Queen’s “unofficial ambassador” to Moscow is firstly completely untrue, and secondly a massive insult to the real British ambassador.’

Adding to the ugly whiff is the fact that Prince Michael and his associates appear to have conceded, during negotiations with the fake company, to keep his lobbying work in Russia under wraps on the basis that it would be considered unethical.

‘This is kind of slightly discreet,’ Lord Reading told the undercover reporters at one point during negotiations. ‘We’re talking relatively discreetly here because we wouldn’t want the world to know that he is seeing Putin purely for business reasons.’

Little wonder Prince Michael’s PR man Simon Astaire spent yesterday arguing that he’d done nothing wrong, saying in a statement that he barely knows President Putin (‘They last met in 2003 and he has had no contact with him or his office since then’) and arguing that he’s ‘proud of all the work he has done for UK- Russia trade’. Mr Astaire appeared to blame at least some of the kerfuffle on the Prince’s business partner Lord Reading for allegedly exaggerating the degree to which the royal was prepared to lobby Russians on behalf of a commercial client. ‘Lord Reading is a good friend, who made suggestions which Prince Michael would not have wanted, or been able, to fulfil.’

[From The Daily Mail]

The Marquess of Reading has already dutifully fallen on his sword and issued a statement claiming that he “overpromised” and it’s all on him. The Mail then did some actual research on Michael’s consulting film company Cantium Services. Michael funnels his “consultancy work” through Cantium, and has recorded “making £2.2 million in the past five years, largely from fees. However most of that money was paid out via salaries, meaning it operated at a small loss and avoided having to pay corporation tax.” This is so shady. And yeah… Buckingham Palace doesn’t get to shrug and pretend that this isn’t happening. Michael represented the Crown during state functions, he has honorary military titles, he lives in KP and he gets taxpayer security. So hypocritical.

Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

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96 Responses to “Buckingham Palace won’t comment on the Prince Michael of Kent situation”

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  1. MangoAngelesque says:

    At least that article made a passing mention of the hypocrisy toward Harry and his military titles.

    • Couch potato says:

      Yes, I was actually a bit surprised by that. And also mentioning the numbers of engagements he’s making for the crown. He’s not a working royal, but he attends more engagements for the crown than the full time working Cambridges

      • Jais says:

        I don’t think they mentioned the tax funded security though and that’s what I’m really curious about.

      • JT says:

        I’m surprised they mentioned Harry’s treatment as well; they typically like to pretend that they had no other option but to strip Harry of everything. And you have this guy who is pretty damn close to treason, enjoying all of the perks of the son of the future king, a while being a non-working royal. Ok. Meanwhile, in most years Kate has only done about 116 events as full time royal, as much as Prince Michael. It’s clear there isn’t actually any real distinction for who is and isn’t repping the family and who gets the perks because of it. Except for Harry.

  2. Willow says:

    Putin has puppets everywhere. Trump in the US. Prince Michael in the UK. You can’t help but be horrified and impressed at the same time.

    • Me says:

      So if Trump had just paid Prince Michael, Trump would have gotten his Moscow hotel and we could have been spared the last few years…

      • Laura says:

        You need to start getting paid for your insight and advice if you don’t already! Who wouldn’t have all chipped in a little for that hotel at this point? :)

      • Winter Day says:

        I would have gladly contributed $10, via PayPal, and then some if it would have prevented Trump from running for President.

  3. Oh_Hey says:

    See guys it’s fine. He’s totally fine because *checks notes* he’s the white and British and not a former actress. He’s one of the Queen’s favorites so it totally on the level /s

    • Doulton says:

      Also it’s essential to remember that Prince Michael’s mother, Princess Marina, was ROYAL and the Queen Mum was only an aristo. He’s got more royal blood racing through his veins than she has (nb Princess Marina evidently thought she was the star DIL of George V and Queen Mary because the rest of their sons had not married royalty). And blood is important to these people (cf Beatrice and Eugenie, the “Blood Princesses).

  4. GR says:

    Also he seems to be a Mason? Or at least attends a lot of “Masonic functions.”

    • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

      @GR My father is a Mason. I have many friends who are Masons. The Masons do a huge amount for charity – the second-largest organisation in the UK. Let’s not make out all Masons to be sinister crooks based on sensationalist TV, shall we?

    • anotherlily says:

      He’s a high-ranking Mason. His brother the Duke of Kent is the highest ranking Mason in the UK.
      https://freemasonrymatters.co.uk/freemasonry/the-duke-of-kent-celebrates-55-years-of-being-a-freemason/

    • RoyalBlue says:

      Yup. Do not underestimate the influence of the freemasons. They, like the royals, love to present the guise that all their main purpose now is charity.

      • Imara219 says:

        Also, Freemasons are made of various levels, and the higher the level more “intriguing” the “work”, “functions”, and “duties”. As a high-ranking Freemason supported by the Crown this shows a level of nauseous duplicity.

  5. Eleonor says:

    Correct me if I am wrong: wasn’t his wife the one with the blackface brooch?

    • S808 says:

      Yup.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Yes, she of the Blackamoor brooch AND the stateside kerfuffle where she told Black diners to “go back to the colonies” AND purported owner of two black sheep she named Venus and Serena.

      • Talia says:

        And the literal Nazi SS officer father.

      • Mac says:

        She doesn’t get to choose her father but she does get to choose not to be racist.

        Interesting side note, her father was kicked out of the Nazi party and SS because his wife was suspected of spying for the British.

      • Lindsay says:

        So even Princess Michael’s Nazi father likely was a better person than Princess Michael.

      • FicklePickle says:

        It’s probably important to note that her father was also a notorious drunk who regularly insulted high-ranking members of the Nazi government for their lack of aristocratic blood (calling Himmler a ‘chicken farmer’ is the only specific insult I can find), and just generally had a long history of poor conduct on good days and drunken misconduct on most days.

        Him being in the Nazi party and the SS WAS probably a net positive for the British simply by being a persistent distraction that they constantly had to manage. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the suspicions were either nowhere near enough to get him kicked out on their own or were entirely made up as an excuse to rid themselves of a persistent ‘problem’ officer.

    • Cessily says:

      Yes, his divorcée wife.

      • notasugarhere says:

        She has many faults, but why single out the fact that she was married before? Do you hold that against Letizia and Meghan too?

      • Cessily says:

        No the point was that it is constantly pointed out in regards to Meghan. I think if you have read any of my other posts I am very supportive of Meghan. If that offends you I apologize.
        I tried to add something that was not mentioned in the thread that was a prominent criticism of the tabloids when it came to Meghan.
        I will refrain from commenting in conversation threads in the future.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Cessily, I hope you continue posting, because I enjoy your posts. I think the real issue is that there are Keen fans who post here trying to undermine perspectives. I think that’s what notasugarhere might have been responding to. I didn’t know that she was divorced. So, now I see another piece of the BM narrative that just proves once again that the BM is racist.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Yes, S&S, that was my point.

      • The Recluse says:

        I remember reading way back in the 80′s how the Royal Family regarded Princess Michael as a bit of snob, something about her being too grand for us.

  6. Lauren says:

    That they are choosing not to comment on this matter is beyond stupid. You just need basic math skills to realize that BP has a huge PR problem with this guy. If his company is operating at a loss because he has made only 2.2 million £ in the last 5 years, who is paying for his 120k rent for his KP apartments? That’s 7.2 million £ for those 5 years alone. So if he cannot afford his rent who is paying? The Queen? With what money? From the Sovereign grant or her personal money? Yeah, shady AF. If someone were to start turning stones over this could get ugly fast, but they will not do that for the white royal and his horrible nazi wife. But please look at Harry and Meghan living in their 14 million dollar mansion paid with their own money.

    • Alexandria says:

      Lmao which white UK journalist is going to ask these specific questions? They harp so much on their English standards and BBC integrity but now we all know it’s just rubbish. I’ve long stopped following BBC. And so called English journalist Mxx Fxxxxx even had the caucasity to post a Tiktok about checking your sources. He didn’t have the same energy when writing about Meghan eh!? I did not even bother commenting and just clicked on Not Interested.

    • Cessily says:

      I read that they rented the KP home for decades for 69£ a week, until the public back lash. I don’t know rental costs in Britain but I do not know many (any) places in the world you could rent a comparable property for that cost.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Cessily, I though that they weren’t paying any rent actually and that is when everyone got their panties in a twist so now they have to pay rent?
        Also, how unethical is it for Michael to be in a relationship with Putin all the while as I read that Prince Micheal also is involved in the Russian involvement with a close country? I am sorry but I can’t find the source of the name of the country, but I know I read it this late last night. I will try to find it!

      • Cessily says:

        “Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have finally agreed to pay the £120,000 rent on their Kensington Palace apartment.

        The Queen has been personally subsidising her cousin and his wife – to the tune of £10,000-a-month – for the last six years. But they have been told that she will not pay after 2009.

        Until 2002 the Kents had been paying only a ‘peppercorn rent’, rumoured to be around £69 a week, for their five-bedroom, five-reception room home at the palace in London.“

        What I saw/read in a screenshot.. it was a tabloid so the source that needs to be stated.

      • Sid says:

        Even that £120,000 annual rent doesn’t sound like much when you consider all the perks that could come with being able to live in Kensington Palace. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t the entire palace grounds covered by 24-7 security? That is a nice perk right there. Also, does everyone pay all their own utilities or is that covered in the general maintenance costs of the palace (i.e. paid by the Sovereign Grant)? Another potentially nice perk. These folks have it pretty darn good.

      • Becks1 says:

        even without the security – 10k a month for a 5 bedroom, “5 reception room” apartment in London seems like a steal. I dont know anything really about London real estate except that its generally expensive, right?

      • notasugarhere says:

        The Queen also hid one of her Bowes-Lyon cousins in an apartment at KP on the taxpayer. Ditto Margaret Rhodes and her cottage at Windsor Castle, which was never put through a formal Crown Estate lease.

    • anotherlily says:

      The market rent was £120,000 a year in 2009.

    • Mac says:

      IMHO, Buckingham Palace should refer all media inquires to PMK’s office. This is entirely on him.

      I own a small business and it can be tax advantageous to operate at a loss sometimes. Just because they have a loss doesn’t mean PMK didn’t earn a huge salary.

      • Chaine says:

        Plus how many businesses that operate “at a loss” have had the front end advantage of free Royal protection escort and staying for free at an ambassadorial residence on their business trips…

      • Lucky Charm says:

        “IMHO, Buckingham Palace should refer all media inquires to PMK’s office.”
        I must need more coffee because I read PMK and thought you meant Kris Jenner (Pimp Mama Kris or PMK), and thought: Wow, she does have really good media PR but this is a little much to ask, LOL!

      • Steph says:

        Omg. I’m so used to PMK standing for Pimp Mama Kris that I thought this meant Pimp Mama Keen and was confused at what they had to do with it. 😂

    • MissMarirose says:

      The business is operating at a loss because of how much it pays to its owners/employees in salaries, according to the article. So, if Michael is getting a salary, that’s how he’s paying his rent. The business itself doesn’t pay for residential rent.

      Basically, what the Mail is implying is that the business is paying big amounts in salaries to avoid having to pay corporation taxes.

  7. Yup, Me says:

    Well what can be expected when one is royal adjacent and one has been forced (FORCED! I say) to earn one’s way in the cruel and vicious world? It’s so hard when one would much prefer to just receive money from the queen’s many offshore accounts and happily enjoy a life of uselessness, unearned advantage and bigotry wielded against others. Like back in the good old days of one’s in laws when a special friendship with a dictator was understood and (quietly) celebrated.

    This is really an issue of poor manners more than anything else.

  8. Jan says:

    The Queen pays his rent from her private funds (taxpayers).

    • BayTampaBay says:

      How does Prince Michael of Kent get palace funded security?

      Is this only when he is representing QEII? Is the palace security due to the fact that home is at Kensington Palace and all Kensington Palace has security just like any high rise building in NYC or Private Condominium Community on Florida?

      Could someone with more knowledge than me on how this all works please elaborate?

      • Sid says:

        Apparently the article said he gets palace funded security when he represents the Queen on foreign trips. That is in addition to being able to live in Kensington Palace, which as you said would come with its own grounds security.

  9. Cecilia says:

    Once again, the double standards are glaringly obvious and the limited outrage about this really tells you that something is rotten at the core of British society. Chris ship also went out of his way to defend michael (or more the monarchy it seemed)

    I want to watch the doc about this on channel 4 tonight but i live outside of the UK

    • Becks1 says:

      All the RRs had their clear talking points which is why its so “funny” that BP won’t release an official statement – they definitely had people talking to the RRs to defend this. That’s why i’m surprised this article seems to push back on that even a little bit.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        It makes me think they are in bed with the russians. there have been rumors of them infiltrating. if they have pee tapes of Drump then they may have other compromising video of royal family members. hoping secretly for a long range photo/video of a man with a crown of bald, and a long pointy nose who resembles Mr Burns from the Simpsons, tending to rose 🌹 bushes.

    • aquarius64 says:

      The RRs are only out for job security. If the BRF goes down they are jobless.

  10. Myra says:

    We all know that the decision to strip Harry of everything was due to racism. They decided to punish him for choosing her over the monarchy.

    Before Meghan, royals could use their titles as they wished, even the divorcees. Scandals were brushed aside. There were no investigations of bullying or of any illicit activities. Jewelries of questionable provenance were very much welcomed. Selling access to royalty was the norm, as long as you were discreet about it. For Meghan, and Meghan alone, all sorts of rules and protocols were introduced. Harry was just guilty by association.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Racism and punishment!

    • swirlmamad says:

      Harry was “tarnished” in their eyes by deigning to marry and procreate with a black woman. Therefore, he needed to be punished accordingly. As*holes.

    • equality says:

      Even the ones without titles benefit. Peter’s company was paid big bucks to organize the Queen’s 90th. Zara has endorsements with Land Rover and none of the other members of her Olympic team that won the silver medal are getting big endorsements like she is. It’s only a problem if Harry benefits.

  11. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    He’s not a black American woman. That’s all that matters to the Palaces.

  12. Sofia says:

    If his company primarily operates on losses then how does he pay “market rent” for a place in Kensington. Kensington isn’t cheap at all so there’s got to be money from somewhere? Or does Princess Michael’s novels fund their expensive lifestyles?

  13. Amy Bee says:

    Given that his company operates at a loss, it means that the Queen is funding him.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @Amy Bea – Not necessarily. The company, according to the article, functions at a loss as all proceeds are paid-out as salaries. This is a very common occurrence in the USA, especially with smaller service companies.

      • anotherlily says:

        He will pay himself a salary from the company.

      • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

        Exactly. If it comes in at £2.2M you can be sure he draws that £2M for himself as “salary”, and leaves the £200K for “operating expenses”.

  14. Harla says:

    If his business is running at a loss how exactly is he paying market price for a huge KP apartment?!?!

    • Talia says:

      I think the Queen pays out of her private funds for their accommodation but in any event, the ‘running at a loss’ is after all salaries including his own. He could be paying himself millions each year as an employee of the firm, leaving minimal assets and therefore a ‘loss’. It’s a tax thing.

      • Lolo says:

        There was a story a few years ago where a tabloid illegally accessed a member of the BRF’s bank details and discovered that he had a 200K overdraft. I think the story is a warning shot to the BRF.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I doubt the Queen is paying out of her private funds, but rather using the Sovereign Grant without anyone able to know otherwise. This is why the secrecy around the SG needs to be revoked.

  15. Snuffles says:

    I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg with that family. Most of them are probably completely corrupt.

  16. MarJo says:

    Another nail in the coffin of Charles III, the last monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  17. Becks1 says:

    Let’s also remember that he’s still HRH Prince Michael of Kent. and his wife uses “HRH” on the covers of her books.

    I am surprised that the DM actually talked about this as compared to Harry. It just highlights how hypocritical they were when it came to Harry. Harry and Meghan were clearly looking at people like Prince Michael and thinking that could be a sort of model for them (minus the shady business dealings obviously.) And the whole “oh NO it would be too complicated and hard!” was always just pure BS.

    • JT says:

      Maybe the DM is pissed about it. The royals couldn’t find a way to keep Harry but are bending over backwards to fund this budget czar and Princess Blackamoor in between all of their questionable dealings. The press needs Harry, and Meghan incidentally. The BM has been losing out big time and I imagine the huge success of VaxLive reminded them of that. Harry could’ve been Beyoncé the way the crowd responded to him and Meghan was mentioned everywhere. There might be more of this poking of the bear to come as the BM gets more frustrated.

    • Sid says:

      The Fail might be salty over Jason Knauf and the BRF basically throwing them under the bus by claiming he never said he had any copyright interests in Meghan’s letter. I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to see little digs at the BRF and Co.

  18. swirlmamad says:

    They’ll use this to say “see, we don’t comment on ANYTHING so we didn’t need to comment on Meghan.” Yes, yes you did — you needed to acknowledge and condemn what was happening to Meghan, and you DAMN sure need to address this. They may be royal, but they’re all a bunch of crooks.

  19. Abena Asantewaa says:

    I have been in the book business in London, for almost 30years, I swear to God, I have not come accros any of Princess Michael of Kent’s books, they are not that popular to stock; Demand and Supply. The blatant hypocrisy is phenomenal!, I am gobsmacked!

  20. SarahCS says:

    To the point about his company running at a slight loss and therefore avoiding paying corporation tax at 19% of profits they also mention that this is due to salaries. So he’s pay-rolling himself and others more than the business is making to avoid corporation tax presumably because they have enough tax dodges to not have to pay heavy income tax on those salaries.

    For most people running a business here we’re not rich enough to have these ways around paying what’s due to the state (nor do I think we should, someone has to pay to keep our society functioning).

  21. Lori says:

    And yet “tears over tights” nearly brought a nation to its knees and was the beginning of a 2 year smear campaign. Go figure.

  22. OriginalLala says:

    The BRF just keeping showing us who they really are – when are we gonna get rid of them ? it’s time.

  23. Calibration says:

    But MEGHAN!

  24. Merricat says:

    This is what the British royal family represents in the plain light of day.

  25. Desert Lizard says:

    What ridiculous ish are they going to fling at Meghan to take this off the front page? I used to admire the RF so much, thought how amazing it would be to be part of that history and lineage. Now I see them for what they are – arrogant, delusional, bullying grifters who will do absolutely anything to protect their station in life from the great unwashed.

  26. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    But Harry and that Meghan……

  27. ABritGuest says:

    Hang on why isn’t BP announcing an investigation into these serious allegations?

    • MsIam says:

      I guess nobody cried? Or was “completely shattered”?

    • RoyalBlue says:

      they won’t because charles, fergie, sophie and andrew have all done pay for play in the past. this is standard operating procedure for the corrupt crew.

      now they circle the wagons, lay low and wait for the story to disappear.

  28. MsIam says:

    Weren’t the courtiers worried the Sussexes would do something that could “disgrace” the queen and not “uphold her values” if they were not under the “control” of the palace? Then they have this trash running around right under their noses. Yeah I bet they have “no comment”. I can see why Harry was upset about the one year review and how he said others were not subject to the same oversight.

  29. aquarius64 says:

    The Windsors can’t escape this if they tried. This is a real royal scandal with national security implications. I imagine Harry and Meghan are sharing a bowl of popcorn watching the karma bus getting revved up, ready to run over the BRF.

  30. elfie says:

    Of course they are ignoring it, they don’t want to stop blaming a certain American actress from ruining their prince and bringing shame to their noble house. Like the way they totally ignore Prince Pedo who is still hiding from the FBI.

  31. Chaine says:

    Why have generations of British people put up with the thousand-year funding of this exorbitant band of grifters and their carousing?!!

  32. BnLurkN4eva says:

    I guess only HnM can’t work and be royals.

  33. Sumodo1 says:

    Wait, what about Michael’s “Captain Obvious” commercials?

    • h-barista says:

      😂
      Edited: @Coco—Def a cross between Captain Obvious and the Gorton Fisherman

  34. Coco says:

    Well, he had to supplement his income as the Gorton’s Fisherman somehow.

  35. Monica says:

    Every time I see his wench of a wife I reflexively look for her Blackamoor brooch.

  36. lemontwist says:

    Definitely not surprised that they haven’t commented yet!  I’ll give it a few days.
    Just like when the Oprah interview aired, they’re probably trying to strategize some kind of plausible deniability in the face of real evidence of the shady behavior going on behind closed palace gates.  All their behavior up to this point has now backed them into a corner and I think they’re screwed.

    Option A – Don’t say anything:
    Sure they’ve already dispatched ‘sources’ to prime the media off the record.  But in comparison to their recent official response to an, ahem.. unsubstantiated and far less severe claim involving the Meghan the DOS, a lack of official response from the palace in the face of video evidence would be an unequivocally clear and timely example of the double standards they hold dear.  

    Option B – Make a statement:
    On the other hand, how could they admit in *any* way that this happened under their roof??  They’ve already been making an international bonfire of their reputation by protecting Andrew. And here we go now with another member under the same umbrella of privilege and protection (the same which they revoked from H&M) who is conducting shady international business for financial gain. 
    They are both shady illegal grifters, each with their own even worse spin on it. In Micheal’s case it’s treason, in Andrew’s case it’s child sex trafficking.   How would they reconcile condemning but not the other? 

    I’m hoping for the second option because I want to see the try, and the inevitable failure.  Maybe BP can borrow the new crisis PR heads from CH and KP.