It's not the first time this week that Prince Andrew is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Following a disastrous interview about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, new allegations emerged on Monday that Prince Andrew used the n-word during a 2012 meeting with political aide Rohan Silva. During the Buckingham Palace meeting, Silva alleges the Queen’s son said the racist expletive in a conversation regarding trade department improvements. When asked how the department could do a better job, Prince Andrew allegedly replied, “well, if you pardon the expression, that really is [n-word] in the woodpile.”
According to a report by The Evening Standard, the former tech adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron (who is of Sri Lankan descent) said the prince’s comments left him appalled after the meeting. “I remember distinctly how I walked blinking into the sunshine outside Buckingham Palace, reeling at the prince’s use of language,” Silva wrote in a column. “He clearly wasn’t taken to task very often by the people around him, which meant offensive language could go unchallenged.”
And, this isn't the first time Prince Andrew was accused of making racially insensitive comments. Former UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has also accused Andrew of making “unbelievable” racist comments about Arabs. On a podcast released last Saturday, Smith said she previously spoke with the prince during a state dinner at Buckingham Palace for the Saudi royal family. “The conversation left us slack jawed with the things he felt it was appropriate to say,” said Smith. While Smith didn’t specify the comments made, she said “it involved a comment about camels — it’s as worse as you can imagine.”
But, these aren’t the only remarks by Prince Andrew to draw recent and sharp criticism. On Saturday, the prince gave a rare but widely disseminated BBC interview where he said he doesn’t regret his long-time friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and showed little empathy for victims of sexual abuse. “Do I regret the fact that he [Epstein] has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes,” he said. When BBC journalist Emily Maitlis quickly rebutted his reference to Epstein’s “unbecoming” character to clarify that he is a sex offender, the Duke of York apologized and said he was just being “polite.”
The Duke of York, is in more hot water than just the Epstein interview — his most recent comment using the n-word is just adding to a laundry list of infractions that also include allegations of his own sexual misconduct.
Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Epstein of sexually abusing her while she was underage, said in court documents that Epstein made her have sex with Andrew multiple times. Although the prince claimed in the BBC interview that he never met Giuffre, a photo of them together has circulated online.
Now, growing backlash against Prince Andrew has prompted students at the University of Huddersfield to launch a campaign to remove him as the school’s chancellor. And as a result of the ongoing controversies, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Monday that accounting firm KPMG will not renew their sponsorship for an event associated with Andrew.
As Prince Andrew continues to bring controversy to the royal family with mounting claims of racist remarks and a sexual assault accusation, these allegations will serve as a litmus test for Buckingham Palace to see how serious they are about modernizing the monarchy.