Monday, May 24, 2010
The Duchess of York is not having a good week
... and it's her own damn fault, say a great many people on both sides of the Atlantic. The Duchess, the former wife of Prince Andrew -- who happens to be an unpaid trade ambassador for the U.K. -- was caught in a sting set up by a British tabloid as she tried to sell access to her former husband. (The video is here.) The scandal hit the papers this weekend, and now Sarah is tearfully apologizing to the press for her involvement in this scheme.
I think it's interesting how The News of the World, the tabloid that set up the sting, has positioned Prince Andrew as an innocent bystander in this mess, even though Sarah Ferguson (that's the Duchess) suggests that Andrew knows about her wheeling-and-dealing and even suggested the £500,000 figure as Sarah's payout. Of course, Sarah could by lying through her teeth, but she could be telling the truth -- after all, they've got an oddly close relationship for a divorced couple. At any rate, supposedly The News of the World has a staunch Royalist readership, so this could be the reason they're letting the royals off scot free on this scandal.
Knives are drawn for Sarah this week, and I wonder how she'll get through this mess. Reports have been flying about for the past couple months that she's on the verge of bankruptcy. And yes, I will admit I feel a bit sorry for her even though her latest downfall is down to her own poor decision making (what the hell was she thinking? Did she learn nothing from the Countess of Wessex's experience with The News of the World?) and she's got so many advantages that regular folks don't have. I'm reading comments sections of newspapers where readers are telling her to get a job or go live on a council estate. A job, yes, is a great idea -- she should do what Jackie Kennedy did and get an editor job in London! -- but other than that, she can hardly disappear into the woodwork and become a regular person, can she? She'll forever be associated -- good or bad -- with the royal family, and there will always be expectations of her. That's got to be a lot to live up to, especially when you lack the budget (or class, many would argue) to do so. I don't envy her at all.
And my last musing on the matter -- this would be a fine week for the royal family to announce an engagement, don't you think? Add your comments below.