The Duchess of York has been filmed offering to sell her services in helping people avoid her ex-father-in-law Prince Philip, for £500,000.
The sting operation recorded the Duchess offering her Duke-avoidance services to a fake businessman, and reportedly has her outlining a number of costed options to ensure any royal visit would not be ruined by an encounter with Prince Philip.
As one royal correspondent noted, “Hundreds of people get to meet the Queen each year as a result of some altruistic action on their part, but one unfortunate consequence of such a ‘reward’ is that you’re likely to spend time with Prince Philip as well.”
“Fortunately, the Duchess has perfected the art of luring him away from such events with the promise of racist jokes and the opportunity to shoot small furry things – and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to charge for such a valuable service.”
“Yes, some might say that she shouldn’t be making money from her position, but you speak to any one of the thousands of people who’ve had the misfortune of meeting Prince Philip in person, and ask them if they would have liked the paid option of avoiding him entirely. You’d have an awful lot of takers.”
The Duchess was reported to have told one group of businessmen invited to the palace, “Look after me, and I’ll look after you… by keeping Phil the Greek entertained in another room. You wouldn’t even know he was in the building.”
“For ten grand I’ll keep him chatting on the other side of the room, for fifty I’ll make sure he’s in a different part of the building altogether.”
“The gold service is £500k, for which I’ll willingly take him away from the palace to a country residence where he can shoot animals and spout racist epithets to his heart’s content.”
“Of course, you could always just keep your money and run the risk that he might want to engage you in conversation, ruining what would otherwise have been a truly memorable day.”
As one former visitor to the palace said, “I’d have happily paid the money, but the Women’s Institute budget doesn’t stretch to bribing members of the royal family, unfortunately.”