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The rumour mill grinds its victims (Prince Charles Gay)
Scotsman ^ | 11/7/03 | Dan McDougall

Posted on 11/07/2003 1:59:32 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

PRINCE Charles was looking forward to some time off. On Wednesday, after a nine-day tour of India, he flew on a chartered British Airways 767 to Muscat in Oman to stay with his polo-playing friend, the Sultan of Qaboos. Before three days of official visits, he was intending to take time out, to paint or go walking. The heir to the throne’s time in the sub-continent had garnered some headlines, among other things for his visit to a Bollywood film set and to Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum area. But back home, a storm was brewing and last night it broke – and it looks as though the prince’s next few days will be anything but relaxing.

The events of yesterday afternoon had been dramatic enough. At the High Court in London, the Guardian newspaper succeeded in having lifted a ban on it naming Michael Fawcett, the former personal assistant to Prince Charles, in relation to him obtaining an injunction against the Mail on Sunday. The Guardian said it had no intention of repeating the allegations about him that the Mail was said to want to publish: it had simply wanted to establish a principle.

“[We have] fought this action,” said Adrienne Page, QC, for Guardian Newspapers Ltd, “for no other reason than the belief that it is in the public interest that, save in the most exceptional circumstances, the press should be free to report the names of those who seek to suppress the publication of libellous statements about them by means of prior restraint.”

After the hearing, Alan Rusbridger, the newspaper’s editor, said: “We are extremely pleased with this outcome, which has significant implications for freedom of expression. The identity of those seeking libel injunctions should be a matter for public record – even when there is a connection to the Royal Family. Today’s outcome is reassuring in underlining the fact that those with links to the Royal household are subject to the laws of this country in the same way as anyone else.”

A report which appeared on the MediaGuardian website as the agreement was announced said: “This newspaper is not publishing the actual allegations. Not only do they differ from the highly-coloured rumours about Royal affairs which have surfaced recently in the tabloids: but we also have no reason to believe the allegations are true. The saga shows, however, the extraordinary lengths to which both sides are going in the current bitter battle between scandal-hungry tabloids and an increasingly-bruised Royal household.”

Rumours swirling around the Royal household have reached fever pitch in the past ten days. Last weekend, Mr Fawcett obtained an injunction against the Mail on Sunday which had been intending to publish allegations concerning the prince. The detail is known to the media and versions have been available to the public on the internet. But until last night, and Prince Charles’ dramatic intervention, it was thought that the possibility of them being published was slim. But now, if anything, the prince’s statement – which, though it fell short of naming him, was specific in pointing at his accuser – may encourage some in the media to put the whole story in the public domain.

“They must have been aware that [the prince’s] name would come into the public arena, with foreign media using it and people hearing that,” said Max Clifford, the publicist. “I can see what they are trying to do but I don’t think it’s going to be effective. There are more and more accusations and allegations out there, and if they are going to continue just to try to suppress things, which this is another example of, then they are going to find it difficult.

“The problem for them is that Paul Burrell [the former butler to Diana, Princess of Wales] has come out with revelations which obviously are proving embarrassing to the Royal Family – and he stands to make hundreds of thousands of pounds from it. In the past nobody would have dared, but he has, and is getting away with it.”

Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, thought it was a mistake to release the statement: “Given the same scenario, I would have maintained a dignified silence, this should be nothing to do with them,” he said. “The injunction was brought by a former employee. I think they should have distanced themselves from it.”

He said he did not believe the Queen was involved in the decision to issue the statement and that Clarence House had acted alone. “Sir Michael [Peat] works for the Prince of Wales and the Prince of Wales works from Clarence House, I think we have to separate the two. This is very much a Clarence House initiative with the approval of the Prince of Wales.”

Mr Arbiter added that the statement would prompt further speculation among the public which would be fired by the media. He said it was a “three-ring circus” and was not going to go away quickly.

In his book, A Royal Duty, Paul Burrell accused Prince Charles of failing to listen to him before his Old Bailey trial last year when the former butler was accused of stealing Diana’s possessions. The trial collapsed after the Queen revealed Mr Burrell had told her he was holding some of Diana’s possessions, including what have become known as the Diana tapes.

There has been much speculation over whether Mr Burrell is in possession of what Diana called “the crown jewels” – a mahogany box containing a series of letters from Prince Philip, a signet ring belonging to James Hewitt and a tape recording of a Royal valet, George Smith, in which he alleges he was raped by a trusted Royal aide. Mr Smith also claims on the tape that he witnessed an incident at a palace between a member of the Royal Family and a servant – an allegation he has said would cause irreparable damage to the monarchy.

Mr Burrell said his book, which listed nine romantic suitors of the princess, was “a tribute” to her, conceding that in 1998 he had promised never to write about the princess, but said that changed after the collapse of the Royal gifts trial. Key revelations from the book include a letter Mr Burrell claims he received from Princess Diana in which she talks of a plot to kill her. The princess allegedly wrote saying her life was at its “most dangerous” phase and she feared a certain individual was planning “an accident” in her car. The letter was written ten months before she died in an accident in a Paris road tunnel.

Another claims the Duke of Edinburgh wrote to Princess Diana telling her he and the Queen “disapproved” of the Prince of Wales’s affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. It was reported that the duke said: “I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla.”

The book also alleges Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, wrote to his sister expressing concern for her mental health, saying: “I know how manipulation and deceit are parts of the illness”.The Earl said he was angry the private correspondence was published, adding that he had never seen anything to suggest the crash in which his sister died was anything but an accident.The book gave a detailed account of the breakdown of the marriage of Prince Charles and Diana. It claimed the prince exploded with rage when he thought the princess had suspected his secret meetings with Mrs Parker Bowles, hurled a book across the room and ordered the butler to lie about his whereabouts.

The extracts reported Mr Burrell was despatched by Diana to pick up her lover, James Hewitt, and to smuggle him into Highgrove. They also gave other royal insights, including how the Queen chose Diana’s engagement ring which the Princess later allegedly described as “gaudy”.The book reportedly reveals that Diana had nine “gentleman friends” including a Hollywood star, sports legend, leading musician and a famous politician. The Princess allegedly referred to, and graded, her suitors by using a racing “trap” system and that she had no intention of marrying Dodi Fayed.Diana is said to have “never wanted a divorce” from Charles in a note she allegedly wrote to Mr Burrell on the day of her final split. She was reported to have said: “A part of me will always love Charles” and that she’d wished the Prince of Wales had “looked after me and been proud of my work”.Mr Burrell claims that after the Royal split, his wife Maria was ostracised while living at Highgrove because of her husband’s decision to work for Princess Diana. He said: “Anyone would have thought our cottage housed the plague because we were treated like outcasts.” The former butler may now enjoy some respite from public attention: today the spotlight is firmly on Clarence House and Prince Charles.

Asked last night whether the allegation should be made public so that the people could judge for themselves, Sir Michael Peat said: “Firstly it is not for me to judge what is and what isn’t in the public interest. However, I would say that anyone who is a prominent public figure like the Prince of Wales is subject to a fairly steady stream of outlandish allegations. Generally they are dismissed and treated on their merits. For some reason this one doesn’t seem to have been.”


THE allegations made by the former valet, George Smith, took up almost half the pages of the Peat report.

Sir Michael Peat was asked by Prince Charles to conduct a review of the running of his household after the collapse of the trial of the former Royal butler, Paul Burrell.

Allegations of a homosexual rape and cover-up within the prince’s household were among the most serious matters to come to light in the aftermath of the Burrell trial.

The report also examined claims that a senior aide, Michael Fawcett, had sold gifts which had been given to Prince Charles.

The prince hoped the report would clear up allegations of a "whitewash" and "improper payments" to members of Palace staff, but the rumours and particularly the allegations made by Mr Smith refused to die down.

Mr Smith, a former Welsh Guardsman, and veteran of the Falklands War, who said he was "bought out" of the military by the prince, claimed to have been raped by a senior member of the prince’s household in 1988.

Mr Smith is said to have become depressed after the incident and by the summer of 1995 was drinking heavily. He confided in a member of the prince’s staff who claimed not to have repeated the allegations to anyone.

Soon afterwards Mr Smith was sent to the Priory Clinic for treatment for his mental problems and his addiction. The prince paid for treatment but at that time had no knowledge of the allegations made by Mr Smith.

At the time, Diana, Princess of Wales, became a frequent visitor to Mr Smith at the Priory. It was then that the princess is believed to have made recordings of his allegations of a rape and a cover-up.

Allegations made by Mr Burrell suggested that Diana recorded Mr Smith’s claims.

Mr Burrell also suggested that there may have been a recording of Mr Smith’s claim that he had witnessed a sexual act between his alleged assailant and a senior member of the Royal Family.

Some have suggested this tape recording may be the "crown jewels" which Diana kept in a mahogany box and which it has been claimed contained information which could lead to the downfall of the Royal Family.

Sir Michael supported Mr Smith’s argument that he had not been taken seriously and said the allegations should have been dealt with properly by the prince’s staff.

One of the more damaging claims about the prince’s handling of the affair was that he told his solicitor, Fiona, Shackleton, in a phone call on 3 October, 1996, "he wanted this cleared up" and "George must go".

In 1996, Mr Smith received a £38,000 pay-off from his job, which he claimed was supposed to buy his silence. He was later to sell his story to a Sunday newspaper, but with the identities of those involved concealed.

However, Mr Burrell’s hints of hidden documents and secret recordings continued to keep the story alive.

Sir Michael’s report said: "The fact the allegation came to be reported initially via the Princess of Wales served to devalue it; the acrimony then existing between St James’s and Kensington Palaces was such that this was suspected to be just another ‘shot’ in the battle."

The Prince of Wales’s solicitor was said to have visited Mr Smith at home, for a meeting at which the former valet did not have legal representation.

According to minutes of the meeting, Mrs Shackleton indicated: "I’ll tell him that if he brings it into open, then we look heavily into his background etc: ruin chances of getting another job." Interviewed by police in July 2001, Mr Smith asserted that during the interview with Mrs Shackleton, "they wanted to pay me a settlement to keep my mouth shut".

Mrs Shackleton told police she was asked to make Mr Smith’s gay-rape allegation "go away" and described the affair as "the lowest point of my professional career".

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: princecharles; rumor
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1 posted on 11/07/2003 1:59:32 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
This is why monarchies never work as a lasting form of government. Monarchies are only as good as the monarch, which means that they can be very good and also very awful. The problem is that there is no realiable way to guarantee a very good monarch and simply passing the crown down to the monarch's children guarantees absolutely nothing.
2 posted on 11/07/2003 2:04:17 PM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Are they sure he is a homosexual?
Maybe he is just a metrosexual.

(crab people, crab people.) 8)
3 posted on 11/07/2003 2:05:13 PM PST by Chewbacca (Nothing burps better than bacon!)
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To: ladyinred
4 posted on 11/07/2003 2:06:28 PM PST by Lucy Lake
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To: David Hunter
Does this mean he would be the next Queen of England when his mother dies?
5 posted on 11/07/2003 2:07:13 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Sultan of Qaboos

Any questions?

6 posted on 11/07/2003 2:08:32 PM PST by EggsAckley (..........................God Bless and Keep Terri.....................)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I always thought Camilla had man-hands.
7 posted on 11/07/2003 2:10:06 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim (SSDD - Same S#it Different Democrat)
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To: EggsAckley
Any questions?

Yes, one comes to mind...does inbreeding make one gay?

8 posted on 11/07/2003 2:11:14 PM PST by ErnBatavia (Santa Ana wind and fire season runs thru late November..we're just beginning)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Paul Burrell [the former butler to Diana, Princess of Wales]

Doesn't this article make a good case for Diana's death being an accident? If she had been murdered, someone would have eliminated this Paul Burrell person before now.

9 posted on 11/07/2003 2:11:48 PM PST by Lucy Lake
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I think we understand why the Queen suddenly came to the defense of Paul the Butler during his trial for "stealing" Diana's possessions. Perhaps he told her what was in the "Crown Jewels" and she needed his trial to go away fast. Trouble is, things like this don't just "go away."
10 posted on 11/07/2003 2:13:25 PM PST by ladyinred (Talk about a revolution, look at California!!! We dumped Davis!!!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Considering he's with horseface now...
11 posted on 11/07/2003 2:16:44 PM PST by Darksheare (DemUn, "Don't attribute to intelligence what is due mainly to incompitence")
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To: Tijeras_Slim
She reminds me more of Mr. Ed
12 posted on 11/07/2003 2:17:51 PM PST by sticker
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To: Darksheare
One minute, you beat me by one minute
13 posted on 11/07/2003 2:18:49 PM PST by sticker
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
PRINCE Charles was looking forward to some time off.

Sorry. I never made it past this point; laughing too hard!

14 posted on 11/07/2003 2:19:22 PM PST by RandallFlagg ("There are worse things than crucifixion...There are teeth.")
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To: sticker
Sorry 'bout that.
It HAD to have flashed across several minds long before we found the thread.
15 posted on 11/07/2003 2:19:30 PM PST by Darksheare (DemUn, "Don't attribute to intelligence what is due mainly to incompitence")
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To: RandallFlagg
Time off from what? Polo or gluttony and debauchery?
16 posted on 11/07/2003 2:25:35 PM PST by buffyt (Can you say President Hillary? Me Neither!)
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To: Darksheare
I was surprised it wasn't about the 3rd comment
17 posted on 11/07/2003 2:25:42 PM PST by sticker
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
So the story is Prince Charles' gay lover raped another man and the Royal Family is covering it up?
18 posted on 11/07/2003 2:27:30 PM PST by jimbo123
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The prince is a queen?
19 posted on 11/07/2003 2:28:38 PM PST by Joe 6-pack
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary...

You know you're having PR problems when you need a dickie arbiter.

20 posted on 11/07/2003 2:28:56 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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