Leaks and blushes for the royal family
It was not the ideal week for the royal family as it gears up for the big wedding on April 29.
While media coverage of the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and fiancee Kate Middleton has been gushing generally, there was embarrassment by association this week as the newspapers laid into William’s uncle Prince Andrew for his friendship with New York financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was jailed in 2008 for child sex offences.
His alleged links to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam and the son of Tunisia’s ousted president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, also have come under media scrutiny and led to calls for Andrew to lose his voluntary position as a special representative for a government body promoting British businesses abroad, a role he has held since 2001.
I would hazard a guess that Her Majesty the Queen is far from happy about the revelations and press coverage, which underline the ongoing tensions between the monarchy and the media, however willing newspapers and broadcasters appear to be to embrace the young royal couple and the big wedding day.
More irritating to the couple itself, however, is likely to be the report in the Sunday Times saying that Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton will design Middleton’s wedding dress. Clarence House has set great store by keeping the designer of one of fashion’s most important commissions a secret, and the McQueen label has denied the report. The identity of the designer is not due to be confirmed until the day of the wedding via the couple’s official website.
So despite a visit by William and Middleton to Belfast on Wednesday, it was rearguard action for their representatives this week.