Scobie: Prince Harry wasn’t protected because he challenged the system

Omid Scobie was on a tear this weekend! He was one of the reporters breaking the story about Prince Harry’s statement about wanting to pay for his own police protection. Scobie also closely followed the Prince Andrew situation for years, and Scobie has been one of the few reporters saying “wow, y’all treated Harry worse than a credibly accused sexual predator.” Scobie wrote his latest piece in the i paper, and you can read it here. He says that he had drinks with a Buckingham Palace aide the day after Prince Andrew “stepped back” from public duties in November 2019, and the aide claimed “he’s on his own now, he’s not our problem anymore.” Except, as we all know, Andrew was still getting money from the Queen, still plotting his comeback and he still had all of his patronages and his HRH. Here’s part of Scobie’s piece:

Finally removing her favourite child from the family business was no doubt a tough decision for the Queen – a rare moment where the monarch’s life as a public servant was forced to trump motherly instinct. But given the timing, let’s not pretend that this was the royal institution finally putting its foot down over the ninth-in-line’s actions.

Had Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed Virginia Giuffre’s civil lawsuit last week, you can guarantee that the Duke would still be His Royal Highness. And there lies the problem. Andrew’s punishment was not because he failed to uphold the values that the Queen and members of the Royal Family strive to promote and live by. If that were the case, then the Prince’s complete lack of empathy towards the child victims of his close sex offender pal Jeffrey Epstein and false promises to co-operate with US law enforcement investigations would have been enough to see him booted out long ago. Instead, it was the threat to Brand Windsor and the family business that finally forced the institution’s hand.

For the public watching this saga play out, the ring of protection around Andrew has been confusing, especially when you compare his treatment to Prince Harry, who – love or loathe him – simply wanted to remove his family from an unhealthy environment.

There was no sympathetic support behind palace walls for the Duke of Sussex. Instead, he was publicly dragged over the coals and stripped of his every achievement and royal privilege before setting one foot out of the country. The royal establishment has long spoken of its need to reflect modern day ethics. But when the selfish behaviour of a pompous prince is quietly protected in a way that Harry wasn’t, simply because Andrew doesn’t challenge the system, it is clear that this is an institution whose moral compass is in desperate need of repair.

The Sussexes were forced to become 100 per cent self-sufficient after stepping back from their royal roles, but Andrew – though a short list of honours worse off – will continue to luxuriate in nearly all of the trappings of royal life. The Grade II-listed roof above his head in Windsor remains his, as does the taxpayer-funded £300,000-a-year security team that sources say the Queen will ensure he will not lose.

And though the Palace has been quick to point out that the monarch will not be covering his legal costs, it won’t like it when I point out that it is still the funds from the sale of Andrew’s £13m Swiss chalet, which the Queen helped to pay for, that will cover the massive bills for his defence against Ms Giuffre’s rape allegations (which the Duke denies).

…By continuing to support her son behind the scenes, I’m afraid that she also risks doing great damage to her legacy. While the monarch may have managed to keep calm and navigate the royal ship through a kaleidoscope of controversies over the decades, what lies ahead in a US courtroom could be the storm that capsizes it.

[From i news]

Scobie wasn’t ripping anyone apart and he wasn’t making any arguments which all of us haven’t made a million times already. And yet, it does feel notable. Like the start of something, the start of a larger reckoning and an authentic accounting of how Harry was treated versus how Andrew was treated and why that was. I would argue that there was a lot more to it than Andrew “doesn’t challenge the system.” Harry was pushed out – exiled, even – because he continued to choose his Black wife over his privilege. He chose growth, therapy, healing and his wife and child over being the convenient scapegoat and doormat for his brother, father and grandmother.

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52 Responses to “Scobie: Prince Harry wasn’t protected because he challenged the system”

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  1. Merricat says:

    I hear the people of York don’t want Andrew attached to their city a moment longer.

    • Jaded says:

      I saw that — a senior member of of the York City Council has begun a campaign to strip Prince Andrew of his title, and a Labour MP for York Central stated it was ‘untenable for the Duke of York to cling onto his title another day longer’. At least Toronto got rid of its original name “York” a longgggg time ago, and the much smaller city of North York was amalgamated into the Toronto megacity in 1998. I can see this happening all over the Commonwealth.

    • The Recluse says:

      I hope they succeed.

    • RoyalAssassin says:

      Noted in the British press y’day also how the Navy was disturbed at having to honour him at the beginning of their gatherings, and so it was formally ceased. They hated doing it because of his “conduct unbecoming an officer.” The tide has turned.

      Update: oops sorry, glitch with comments and first one wasn’t showing

  2. Cessily says:

    I hope it opens the gate for more of these stories. It is 2022 the Royal family should to be held accountable for their actions and journalists should be investigating and printing those stories.

  3. fluffybunny says:

    The BRF outside of Harry have no morals to uphold.

  4. Amy Bee says:

    Until members of the royal rota and other segments of the British media recognise the disparities and double standards in the treatment of Harry and Andrew, there will be no reckoning. Scobie will remain in the wilderness and ostracised by his colleagues in the rota.

    • Jais says:

      I mean I think they recognize it…they would just never actually write about it, invisible contract and all. But where are the independent journalists of the UK? Twitter seems like the only place to get dissenting views of the royal family. Don’t know much about i-paper but am happy they put up this article and hope there’s more where it came from.

    • Amy Bee says:

      One thing I would agree with Scobie is Andrew got protection because he was seen as loyal to the Queen and the monarchy. Harry’s desire to live a different life outside of the Royal Family is seen by his family as disloyal.

      • Lux says:

        Yup. H&M threatened to expose the unsavory underbelly of the Royal institution. Andrew IS the unsavory underbelly.

        Clearly H&M’s sin was more egregious *rolls eyes*

  5. Justplainme says:

    I wish CNN had a better reporter than Max Foster in the UK. He just repeats the the rr print without question.

  6. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Omid certainly detonated a bomb right in the middle of Brand Windsor. I am here for it.

  7. BothSidesNow says:

    I applaud Scobie for always pointing out the obvious whereas others are happily on the bandwagon of hatred vile lies by other reporters. The BRF and the RR’s deserve each other. I would also like to include Bobble Head Johnson as he is just as morally inept as the rest of the BRF. Why he has not sacked boggles my mind! But I guess TQ is not in favor of a new PM that will serve the Britain citizens properly.

    • RoyalAssassin says:

      Yeah, but any time he’s mentioned, the comment bots and trolls are all “typical of Meghan’s friend,” and the slashing begins

  8. TeamAwesome says:

    Like, I expect them all to be cold blooded assholes, but I can’t believe there isn’t SOMEONE on staff that realizes how terrible they look!!

    • RoyalAssassin says:

      This is possibly the most alarming aspect of every single piece of shit story that comes out: WTF are these cloud-brained dolts thinking, that they’re winning the one-upmanship gig they began? “Deluded” doesn’t even BEGIN to cover it…

  9. Becks1 says:

    I’m glad Omid said it out loud, so many have been thinking it, and its something that pretty much everyone outside the royal sphere and RRs can see is obvious – the difference in how Andrew is being treated vs Harry. Andrew gets to keep his security while Harry is fighting for the right to PAY for his own security when he’s in the UK.

    the more reporters that keep calling out the discrepancy, the more of a problem it will be for the royals, and that’s good.

  10. girl_ninja says:

    To me Omid always gets the assignment right. This is news concerning the BRF and it must be reported.

    • The Hench says:

      This x 1000. The difference between the way Harry and Andrew have been treated by the Royal family and the reasons for that different treatment highlight starkly the moral vacuum at the heart of the Royal family.

      • SomeChick says:

        the Guardian has also had several articles making this point, one from before his patronages were yanked. love to see it.

    • RoyalAssassin says:

      I’m hoping that this is the sign of this topic being their main force and focus: Harry came out swinging, not with accusations or stories or anything else, but with simple truth revelations, re his offer to pay for his own security being rejected. Nothing else: just outing their bullshit. And now the comparison gig is up: everyone is speaking of it, and I hope it drives on, harder and harder, until the village-idiot clan realises they’ve screwed up irreversibly and the public is on it.

  11. Lady Digby says:

    Today’s I newspaper printed 2 readers letter agreeing with Omit. One concluded that “for years TQ welcomed PA into her household while thee allegations (which he denies) were widely known’ ” Same reader added RF moral compass is absent. Onlookers can see how one prince accused of serious charges has been protected and pampered for years whilst the other has been thrown to the wolves for marrying a biracial woman. RF rely on traditional deferential respect for her Madge because she is so old and can’t be upset at all. Sorry but that has worn thin with a lot of the population and at the end of this reign there needs to be review into whether they are still VFM and would another model such as an elected head of state be cheaper, more effective and accountable?

  12. Eurydice says:

    Ok, good for Scobie. But I think he’s obscuring or ignoring exactly what is the system that was challenged and not challenged. Going by Andrew’s actions, it seems that any sort of behavior is acceptable – you can be a pedophile, hobnob with sex traffickers and rapists, make shady deals and accept dubious money. Going by other RF actions – you can be an adulterer, sell influence, you can be lazy and rude and ignorant, you can become “part time” just by refusing to work, you can be a bully to your staff, you can be an embarrassment in public. You can challenge the “unspoken contract” with the press. And you can even marry the wrong woman.

    So what is left? What is this system that Harry challenged? He married a woman of color.

    • Mslove says:

      They’re mad Harry married & begot children with a biracial woman. Andrew didn’t marry Virginia, therefore it’s all good.

    • Jais says:

      Well, I guess Harry has challenged their eugenecist special blood belief that they are so special they can be bullies and pedophiles and still get their security paid for.

    • The Hench says:

      Harry did three things wrong.

      He refused to accept his place in the hierarchy as the whipping boy and scapegoat for William, he married a woman who outshone everyone else in the Royal family ( also part of the first point) and last, but not least, he opted to leave the family rather than obey their rules and allow his wife to be sacrificed to protect William and Kate.

      Had he agreed to operate inside the family and submit to the hierarchy he could have, as Andrew has demonstrated, have done anything shady and/or illegal and they would have closed ranks around him. As Scobie’s headline summarises, his crime was “to challenge the system”.

    • windyriver says:

      I have a slightly different take. Don’t think the central issues are, Harry bucked the system, or married a biracial woman, though obviously both have been major problems for many people in the Firm.

      I think the basic issue is, Charles desperately needed Harry to stay, because he knows his reign, and the future of the monarchy, is in trouble with only lazy, temperamental, poorly prepared Will, and his equally useless consort, to rely on. Charles, and I think it was mostly Charles’ doing, dumped every punishment he could think of on Harry, to prevent him from establishing a life outside the RF, and force him to return. Will just flat out hates Harry, and since Harry wasn’t letting himself be used anymore, just wanted him gone. I think he’s the one who torpedoed any possibility of half in/half out. And Meghan’s biggest transgression isn’t that she’s biracial, it’s that she gave Harry what he needed to see reality, and leave.

      There’s so much dirty laundry among the Windsors, past and present; everyone around them is used to it by now. How Andrew’s been handled through the years is typical – few consequences, downplay and deflect details that get out, wait for the public to forget. Even if he’d been a model citizen, once Will and Harry were born, the most Andrew would be in the monarchy is another body doing engagements. That he’s the worst kind of scum, while Harry was just trying to protect his family, is irrelevant. Harry is intrinsic to the monarchy’s future, and the Firm has thrown everything they could at him to stop him walking away in the first place, and punishing him once he did. Thankfully, the absolute hypocrisy of this contrasting treatment is now clear to everyone.

      • Tessa says:

        Charles mistake was not reining William in.

      • Eurydice says:

        An interesting take. But I think if Charles was so desperate to keep Harry, he would have done something positive to keep him.

      • Lux says:

        I actually think Meghan’s greatest “transgression” was being a natural at a life of service and being so popular and attune to the needs of her patronages that she could actually help them. She made the others look bad, so they used her race, her nationality and her past career as an actress against her. Granted the press was doing that from the start and they reflect the disgusting biases of the RF, but if Meghan had been less than exemplary (a la Fergie), they would’ve gleefully kept her in the fold (ie. Not having to tell her to be 50% less or threaten to exile them to “Africa”)

  13. SourcesclosetoKate says:

    When the head honcho hangs himself and the pimp spends the rest of her life in prison, their biggest client Andrew thought this would be no biggie, talk about burying your head in the sand. I wonder how much of taxpayers money went towards these gross activities and how much went towards getting him out of this jam and saving Brand Windsor. If I was Harry I would never forgive them.

    • Christine says:

      I feel like this needs to be the headline. I’ll write it, “Prince Andrew’s pimp, dead from suicide at 66. Prince Andrew’s madame, sentenced to prison. England continues to be unbothered.”

  14. Lionel says:

    Great article by Scobie, I agree the tone seems different. But here’s my question: does it make sense that £300K is the entire cost of Andrew’s security? That just doesn’t seem like a lot for highly-trained 24/7 protection. (Or maybe it doesn’t include his home security because that’s baked into the blanket Windsor security bill?) I’m asking bc the BM is reporting this rather low cost for Andrew, in the face of public outrage, while simultaneously ginning up the lie that Harry is asking for millions of pounds worth of security for himself on the rare occasions when he visits.

  15. Emma says:

    Andrew isn’t just credibly accused (a term I actually dislike because it implies women make false accusations to any significant degree — WHICH THEY DON’T — and the academic literature bears this out — and YES, I have a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies). Like do you say Epstein was “credibly accused”? No, because it’s kinda obvious. Andrew, also kinda obvious!

    He is literally under FBI investigation and the subject of a highly publicized U.S. court case. He was close friends with Epstein and Maxwell. Come on!

  16. Mslove says:

    Harry got treated differently because he “lowered himself “ by marrying a biracial American. Andrew, on the other hand, befriended sex traffickers and lied about raping VG. The RF doesn’t consider that “lowering yourself.”
    They’ll pretend to cut Andrew off and act outraged, but they will never apologize and they will protect him to the bitter end.

  17. Over it says:

    Andrew got and will continue to get protection and all the perks because he is white, married white and behaving white.

    • Christine says:


      Harry has behaved with more class than the rest of the family combined, but Andrew is white, and he doesn’t threaten anyone with non-white, it’s cool to rape teenagers, apparently.

  18. Lila says:

    Great article by Scobie. It’s nice seeing those sentiments in print.

  19. serena says:

    The more I read about the comparison british media make between pedo-rapist Andrew and Harry and the unfairness with how H&M were treated, the more I get mad. I used to give TQ a pass because of her age and that she’s badly advised but fck that, fck them all.
    I hope the whole RF, H&M excluded of course, and all the aides really get dragged to hell and back.

    • equality says:

      If the “poor Queen” can’t handle the pressure of things going on in her own family and country she needs to step aside.

  20. 2cents says:

    In my opinion Omid is the savvy journalist among the mediocre British royal reporters. I didn’t buy his book Finding Freedom but I admired the way he promoted it in the US market despite criticism from his colleagues in the UK, boldly and fairly reporting about the Sussexes in print and on screen. The British rota reporters clearly envied his commercial success.

    His article is a great read and another smart move. He continues to follow the money train. As the Windsor brand implodes the demand for royal news will increase in the US this year with Andrew’s coming trial and the popular Sussexes stepping up their engagements in 2022.

    He stands a good chance to upgrade his journalistic profile in the US. The rest of the British royal reporters are left to produce more propaganda garbage in a decreasing UK royal market. I hope that in the near future Omid will dare to write a comprehensive book about the invisible contract and expose all its secret mechanisms.

  21. MA says:

    Agree with Kaiser, it’s more than just living outside the system. Other royals are doing what Harry and Meghan wanted to. They wanted to follow the model of the Duke of Kent or other European royal families. The problem is there was a double standard for everything the Sussexes wanted to do, driven by racism and jealousy plus the sociopathic royals wanted complete control over their convenient whipping boy.

  22. Sue Denim says:

    I wonder how safe Andrew is at this point, physically I mean…. That just occurred to me…

  23. Nic919 says:

    Great article but the fact that it was published in something called I paper and not Vanity Fair says a lot too.

  24. equality says:

    Will wants the attention Harry brings but he wants it to reflect back on him by using Harry as the third wheel with him and Kate. That way he can pretend the attention is for him and not Harry. With Harry out with Meghan and getting more attention he couldn’t handle it. Meghan also likely put a stop to W&K stealing all H’s ideas and claiming them and didn’t allow Kate to claim credit for her work.

    • North of Boston says:

      “Follow the money” works here too!

      Remember when H & M started putting firewalls around funds raise specifically for particular Sussex charities within the joint charitable foundation.

      There was all kinds of Cambridge acting out way back when over that, since it meant MEEn and Keen could no longer raid the Sussex fundraising till to make themselves look good.

  25. Tessa says:

    Andrew behaved dishonorably but it took YEARS before the Queen took action. Didn’t he “challenge the system” so to speak?