It’s been a pretty shocking week for Queen Elizabeth II’s son Prince Andrew — but from looking at the news, you wouldn’t necessarily know it. Twitter would be a better bet, as Twitter is raging over media ignoring Prince Andrew allegations and slamming Meghan Markle for inane “missteps” in the same breath. The allegations in question come from legal documents pertaining to the criminal case against late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. One of these documents, unsealed on August 9, contains allegations against Andrew. But the royal family and UK media alike seem far more interested in sweeping those allegations under the rug while continuing to criticize Meghan for eating açai or editing an issue of Vogue.
The allegations against Andrew come from Johanna Sjoberg’s deposition in a 2015 lawsuit against Epstein. Sjoberg accuses Andrew of having groped her at Epstein’s New York City residence when she was 21. Andrew has also previously been accused of being involved in Epstein’s trafficking of underage girls, with Virginia Roberts claiming Epstein paid her to have sex with the royal multiple times. Andrew has denied any sexual relations with Roberts.
When media outlets reached out for comment, Buckingham Palace released the following statement: “This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which The Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.” That isn’t the only way the Palace has supported Andrew: his mother, Queen Elizabeth, was seen going to church with Andrew on Sunday, which many are taking as a sign of solidarity. For some on Twitter, this alone was enough to raise eyebrows. “Buckingham Palace statement defending Prince Andrew’s connection to the [#Epstein] sex scandal w/ minors makes me sick,” one tweet reads. And why couldn’t @RoyalFamily make a statement in defending Duchess Meghan against lies & racism.”
While UK media has slowly started to cover these allegations — particularly as new details emerge — they were noticeably slow to do so. And by noticeably, we mean Twitter picked up on it immediately, and were swift to draw a comparison between how Andrew is being treated by the media, and how Meghan is typically treated by the media for even the most minor or made-up offense. “#Meghan has tea & cupcake party with Amal Clooney & Serena Williams. Outrage for months,” one user writes. “Andrew has parties with #Epstein in which we can safely say that tea didn’t figure..what happens? Swept under carpet & everyone returns to dissing Meghan’s nail varnish?”
Obviously, Twitter is incensed by the hypocrisy of a media that claims to care about living up to “royal protocol,” while ignoring criminal allegations against another member of the royal family. The allegations against Andrew remain just that — allegations — but there is something to be said for a media that cracks down equally on all royals, particularly when it has been coming down so hard on Meghan alone.
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