Prince Andrew ‘used N-word’ in Buckingham Palace meeting, Downing Street adviser claims

Former adviser to David Cameron claims Duke of York used offensive language during discussion about government department for international trade

Harry Cockburn
Monday 18 November 2019 13:58
Prince Andrew: I stayed at convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's house because I am 'too honorable'

Prince Andrew has been accused of using the N-word during a meeting at Buckingham Palace with a Downing Street adviser of Sri-Lankan descent.

Coming in the wake of the royal’s “car crash” interview with the BBC about his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the allegation was made by Rohan Silva, an adviser to former prime minister David Cameron.

He claims that at a 2012 meeting in Buckingham Palace, when he asked the Duke of York whether the government’s department responsible for international trade “could be doing a better job”, the prince responded: “Well, if you’ll pardon the expression, that really is the n***** in the woodpile.”

Writing in the Evening Standard, Mr Silva said: “The meeting ended shortly afterwards, and I remember distinctly how I walked blinking into the sunshine outside Buckingham Palace, reeling at the prince’s use of language.”

He also said the prince had used other antiquated language. During an earlier conversation about the European Union’s spending and whether it could be made more transparent, Mr Silva claims the prince told him: “What you have got to remember, is that you’ll never get anywhere by playing the white man.”

Mr Silva said he was unfamiliar with the expression, and when he looked it up, understood it was “an old-fashioned saying, used during colonial times, meaning that only white people can be trusted to follow the rules, unlike dark-skinned natives”.

According to the Evening Standard, unnamed palace sources “categorically denied that Andrew ever used the phrase, insisting he would never use such language”.

The Independent has contacted the palace for comment.

Since giving his widely criticised BBC interview, the prince has reportedly described it as a “great success”.

He is believed to have been a driving force in the decision to take part in the public grilling from the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, during which he said he did not regret his relationship with Epstein as it had “seriously beneficial outcomes” for him.

His attempt to set the record straight has been widely condemned for its unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse.

Labour politicians have called for the prince to give evidence to US investigators about his long-standing friendship with the disgraced billionaire financier.

Barry Gardiner, the shadow trade secretary, said the Duke of York testifying under oath was “the right thing to do”.

And Jack Dromey, the shadow pensions minister, told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour the duke “should be utterly ashamed of himself”.

Mr Dromey said: “I thought it was utterly disgraceful and to be absolutely frank, he is a disgrace.”

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