February 08, 2008

His original name was Battenberg, but his great uncle changed it to Mountbatten and his grandfather to Windsor. He is now Andrew Windsor, and his royal title is HRH Prince Andrew. He is the Queen of England’s second son, a spoiled, rather thick, toothy, and overweight golf fanatic whose wife ran off with an American “financial adviser” who was photographed sucking her toes in St. Tropez 15 years or so ago. He and Sarah Ferguson are now divorced, and he is on the prowl for dumb blondes and for rich people with private jets or yachts. One of his buddies, Jeffrey Epstein, is about to go on trial for paying under-age girls lots o’ moolah to go to bed with him. Epstein was Andrew’s host in Thailand a couple of years ago, which is, to say the least, lese majeste on the part of the freeloader.

I had the bad luck to be seated one away from him at a dinner last summer in St. Tropez, and charming he is not. He began by announcing how much he hates the media, probably the only thing he and I have in common, and it was downhill from then on. When a young Oriental woman came to sit between us after dinner, I immediately recognized what she was after and told her I was a producer of Chinese westerns. He seemed peeved, as she became more interested in the producer rather than the prince. (Titles, alas, will only go so far nowadays.) As I write, Andrew Windsor is in the United States and already in hot water. The irony is that although he put his foot in it, as is his tendency to do, what he said was right on the money. He claimed that America had failed to heed British advice about the war in Iraq. In essence, he said that George W. cocked up the endgame, refusing to take post-conflict advice from the Brits. The trouble is that royals are never supposed to comment on matters political. Not to mention that Tony Blair was as gung ho as Bush was to attack probably the greatest enemy of Osama and the Taliban, the secular Saddam Hussein, now looking up at the mess we made from somewhere in that sauna-like place below.

Andrew is in America promoting British interests in the guise of a “special trade ambassador.” The Southern moguls (he is covering the south and another bureaucrook is doing the northern rounds) he will meet are Republicans by inclination and most likely pro-war and supporters of Bush. The last thing they want to hear is that England does not approve. The British, of course, are experts at changing history. Indian partition in 1947 was mishandled by Andrew’s great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, and it was done in a manner that makes post-war Iraq look like the smoothest transition ever. Mountbatten was in a hurry to get back to cooler climates, pronounced India free, agreed on partition, and after three million deaths, further announced it a great success. The only thing he did not do was land on an aircraft carrier and declare mission accomplished.

But never mind. It is not the first time that some thick but hungry Englishman has landed on these shores looking for handouts. America cannot feed all its poor, but it has always opened its cellars and kitchens to the British upper classes. One more won’t make any difference, and you southern ladies make sure and curtsy when you meet the buffoon.

P.S. Due to a clerical error last week, I described John (four pizzas) Podhoretz as “two pizzas.” I have fired the person who committed this foul deed and have sent some heavies around his house to shoot his dog and beat up his parents. I apologize and assure loyal Taki readers that this will never happen again. The last time Podhoretz was known as two pizzas was when he was six months old.


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