Trouble hangs over the British royal family

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LONDON (Sputnik) – This is a historic year for the British monarchy, which celebrates the long reign of Elizabeth II, but the prelude to the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne is fraught with calamities and family problems.

Elizabeth II is the longest-serving monarch in British history, but her Platinum Jubilee is still shrouded in dark clouds. To her constant concern for her health – logical considering that she turns 96 in April – scandalous missteps of the central nucleus of the Windsor house are added.

Persistent COVID symptoms

For now, the queen has canceled several public events since it was confirmed on February 20 that she had tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, Buckingham Palace communiquĂ©s reiterate that he has “mild, cold-like symptoms” and that he is performing “light duties” on his official schedule.

He suspended, however, several of the virtual meetings that he has been accustomed to presiding over since he retired to Windsor Castle to get through the pandemic. It is her favorite residence in the vicinity of the British capital, and in her chapel the farewell funeral of her husband Felipe, Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9, 2021, was officiated.

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About three miles from the castle, in another royal mansion in Windsor Great Park, lives Prince Andrew, Duke of York. The second son of the queen closed, on the 15th, an out-of-court agreement with which he avoided testifying and appearing in court to respond to harmful accusations of pedophilia.

damaged reputation

Andrés did not admit any responsibility in the alleged rape and sexual abuse reported by the American Virginia Giuffre, but agreed to compensate her with an estimated 10 million pounds (about 12 million euros).

He managed to park, at least temporarily, the allegations of sexual harassment of minors that have haunted him for more than a decade. In the process, he lost his military honours, royal patronages and royal duties, and may soon be stripped of the badge of the Duchy of York. Andrés did not purge his reputation by agreeing with his claimant and nobody predicts his return to the functions of the Royal House.

investigate the heir

The pact document was still dripping ink when another alarm went off in the palace. At the center of the hurricane is Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the Crown. Scotland Yard investigates alleged crimes of honors in exchange for donations on The Prince’s Foundationthe entity that encompasses its charitable initiatives and philanthropic projects.

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The allegations focus on an old and faithful assistant to the prince, Michael Fawcett, who ran the foundation until his resignation last November as a result of the scandal. Fawcett is recognized for his expertise in attracting millionaire donations, but well-founded suspicions of influence peddling have surfaced.

“I can pretty much get by with no one except Michael,” the Prince of Wales once declared. The indispensable servant still controls the future of the heir. Police have become interested in a letter in which Fawcett thanks the “generosity” of Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, a Saudi businessman who donated around 1.5 million pounds to Carlos’ charity. “I am pleased to confirm, confidentially, that we are willing and happy to support you in your application for citizenship,” Fawcett writes.

The offer of cooperation extends not only to the processing of a British passport, but even of an Empire knighthood. The queen’s eldest son denies any involvement or complicity in the alleged crime. “The Prince of Wales has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honors or British citizenship as a basis for donations to his charities,” his Clarence House office said.

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The official statement also underlines Carlos’ willingness to “completely support the investigation” of Scotland Yard. It is possible that the future king will be questioned by the police. Or, as biographer Tom Bower warns, “the testimony of his former valet will be central to his fate.”

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Trouble hangs over the British royal family