Bullshit Prince Andrew didn’t know

Marina Hyde on Andrew Windsor’s claim to be shocked, shocked by the news about Jeffrey Epstein:

Or as Buckingham Palace finally put it in a statement denying any impropriety on behalf of the prince: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.”

I’m slightly sorry for the royal flunkies who had to issue this line, given that most of us are suffering eyeball strain from all the rolling we’re doing. Even so, I do feel we need further clarification on what precisely the Duke is appalled by. Is it just the “recent reports”? Because if we’re meant to believe that Prince Andrew is appalled by ALL of the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein – both the ones alleged and the ones he served actual jail time for – then allow me to treat this statement with all the dignity it deserves. To wit: BULL. SHIT. Bullshit Prince Andrew didn’t know what sort of guy his friend was when he was snapped walking with the Tier 1 sex offender, after he got out of jail, in a photo the New York Post headlined “PRINCE & PERV”. Bullshit he didn’t know why his close friend WENT TO PRISON FOR A YEAR, but kept hanging out with him anyway. Bullshit if, as Brockman recounts, he lay on his back in that guy’s house, with a Russian attending to his feet, talking over her head to men of the world about the nocturnal licence afforded to minor European royals, and he didn’t know roughly what he was swimming in. Bullshit. I get we have to pay for Andrew’s lifetime of jollies; but we don’t have to have our intelligence insulted by him.

Andrew was complaining because Prince Albert of Monaco got to go out in the evenings and nobody cares but if Andrew does he’s in big trouble. Wah. Sounds like Trump, doesn’t he.

The plain fact is that Andrew continued to be friends with Epstein even after he pleaded guilty to procuring an underage girl for prostitution. I guess it was the old she-said, he-said thing. Or as the then-Palm Beach police chief put it: “This was 50-something ‘shes’ and one ‘he’ – and the shes all basically told the same story.” Obviously, Epstein got away lightly with his grotesque plea deal, because 50-something:1 isn’t the ratio you need. Even last year, they still needed 60 accusers to stop Bill Cosby. Donald Trump’s 17:1 she-he ratio is nowhere near enough to keep him from the highest office on the planet.

As for where we go from here, perhaps a multimillion-pound royal wedding would indeed be helpful. It should be quite the opposite. Where Princess Anne pointedly didn’t, Prince Andrew demanded all the titles and trappings for his two daughters – security details, civil list money, full royal weddings – and was furious when denied some of them. Yet Beatrice and Eugenie still live like … well, princesses.

So instead of distracting from the miserable stories of the female attendees of various Epstein mansions, these gilded lives should throw them into even more shameful relief. They suggest the kind of man – and we’ve all met them – who has a two-tier view of the female sex. There is a world for their daughters, hopefully insulated from men like their friend Jeffrey, and then there is another world for the girls who service their friend Jeffrey.

Yet decent, humane people know there aren’t two kinds of women and girls – there are just women and girls.

But there aren’t as many decent, humane people as we would like there to be.

And so with the girls in the stories that swirl around Epstein and his circle, which includes the Duke: either broken, or yet-to-be-broken. But ultimately, breakable. They are all daughters, too, your Royal Highness. The Russian masseuse on your feet, the 17-year-old runaway on whose bare hip you have your hand in that fateful picture in London, the terrified 14-year-old who ran screaming from your great friend’s house in her underwear, who you must have read about at the time, because I did, and I didn’t even know the guy. And all the others.

Because there aren’t two kinds of women, the good and the slutty. There is only the one kind.

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