Here are some photos of King Charles at the formal “welcome” ceremony at Balmoral Castle on Monday. This ceremony was done much later than QEII used to do, partly because QEII liked to be “in residence” officially in Balmoral by late July, whereas Charles has been staying at Birkhall so as to allow for more tourism at Balmoral. Charles just has so many properties, palaces, castles, halls, cottages and mansions at his disposal now, there’s no way he can ever spend enough time in each one. Oh well.
On Monday, the Metropolitan Police also announced that King Charles had been cleared of all potential charges in the years-long “cash-for-honours” scandal. The investigation was slow-walked and it was largely an exercise in bureaucratic ass-covering. There was never any chance that Charles would ever have to face consequences for passing out knighthoods and British citizenship papers to anyone who gave him a suitcase full of cash. I was surprised that the Daily Beast’s Royalist column even bothered to cover it, and to be critical of King Charles. Here’s the important part of the Royalist column:
After [Michael Fawcett’s] letter was published, a complaint was made to the police by former MP and cabinet minister Norman Baker. Investigations proceeded slowly and the king was never interviewed despite saying he was willing to co-operate. On Monday, the police quietly announced that they would not be proceeding with the investigation. They did not say why.
Baker condemned the decision not to proceed as evidence of corruption and double standards. He told The Daily Beast: “It’s an open and shut case. People were condemned out of their own mouths. The letter said, give us some money, and we’ll help you with your application for citizenship and a further honor. I mean, that that was there in black and white. I think the U.K., sadly, is more corrupt than it used to be. And I think it’s also a place where vested interests are not challenged as much as they should be. The fact that people get away with it has probably encouraged others. There is a message here; that if you’re an important person, and you have got friends in the right places, then you can get away with things.” He said a normal person would have gotten a “very different result.”
Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, an organization that campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy, told The Daily Beast: “If you look at the letter from Michael Fawcett, the evidence couldn’t be clearer. He was very clearly and explicitly saying, ‘We will help you get an honour in response to the donation.’ Fawcett couldn’t possibly promise an honour without the knowledge and support of Charles. So the notion that the police would drop the investigation without having even spoken to Charles is absurd. I think Charles will have learned a helpful lesson from this, which is that he can do what he likes without any fear of consequences.”
“This is not the first time the Met have ignored accusations against the royals. When Charles was accused of having received €3 million in cash from a Qatari politician, for example, the police should have investigated that, because there are laws about bringing money into the country, and there are laws around money laundering. But they just ignored it. And, of course, Virginia Roberts reported Andrew to the Met many years ago, and they ignored that as well,” he said. “I think it reflects very badly on the royals. Charles is someone who clearly has no concerns about living by the standards that the rest of us have to live by.”
[From The Daily Beast]
While I understand why we still need to make a show of gathering critical statements about police corruption and royal double-standards, I do have to wonder if this is performative at every level? Absolutely nothing happened to Prince Andrew, you know? Andrew’s crimes were about rape, human trafficking and Jeffrey Epstein. Charles’s crimes are also sleazy, but in a completely different way. Anyway, I’m not surprised that nothing happened. That was the whole point of Clarence House strategically leaking those stories before Charles became king.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph’s sources insist that Charles will never, ever work with Michael Fawcett again. We’ll see.
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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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