Late last year, the UK tabloids feasted on a report about Prince Harry telling palace staffers “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets”, supposedly when they were planning their wedding. It was days and days, if not weeks, of this on the front pages. Earlier this week, it was reported that Prince Andrew got into a fight with a staff member at Buckingham Palace. The Daily Mail called it a “raging bust-up” and used the word “altercation”. Buckingham Palace had to deny that the situation was physical but also had to confirm that there was indeed a “verbal dispute” that occurred between Andrew and the then-unnamed staff member

We’re now hearing who it was and what it was about. Andrew’s “verbal dispute” was with the Queen’s Master of Household, Tony Johnstone-Burt, an ex-Naval officer. Apparently Andrew wanted to book a space at Buckingham Palace for his Pitch@Palace initiative (we’ll come back to this in a minute) but the schedule wouldn’t allow for it – and Andrew was fine with this but Tony Johnstone-Burt allegedly continued with a comment about Pitch@Palace that Andrew took exception to.

Oh, so it’s TONY’s fault now? 

That’s how this Daily Mail article is reading. Like a clarification, on Prince Andrew’s behalf, that he wasn’t the one who picked the fight: 

Prince Andrew was informed the room was not available and was said to have been fine with the decision until Mr Johnstone-Burt - the Queen's Head of Household -  continued to speak his mind about his project. But it has now been revealed that the dispute was nothing but a minor tiff, rather than a full-blown confrontation, as had previously been reported. 

The pair then started arguing with one another, and the Duke was said to have gotten 'very cross'.   

Speaking to the Daily Mail's Sebastian Shakespeare a source said: ‘Andrew was fine with that, but the aide then started speaking his mind about Pitch@Palace.'

‘It was like poking a bear. HRH turned on him and accused him of not listening and getting the wrong end of the stick.
‘Andrew told him to go and have a word with his private secretary. It was more handbags than hand grenades.’

First of all, f-ck your sexist expressions, like “handbags and hand grenades”. Second, why are we bending over backwards to defend Andrew like he wouldn’t be the type to lose his sh-t over being denied what he wants? And third…


Prince Andrew has to personally ask the Queen’s Master of Household for a reservation? Prince Andrew has to make his own reservations? Does he use Open Table? LOLOLOLOL

Sorry, I don’t mean to laugh at my own joke, it’s just that between this and Andrew butler-ing at the home of his friend Jeffrey Epstein, the registered sex offender, rapist, and pedophile, and the fact that Prince Charles has apparently been pretty tight on how much money his brother gets from the royal purse, it must suck to be the dude with the title, loving the luxe life, but without the means to support it. So the fight was over a reservation, understandable. We all get pissed when we want a table at 7pm on a Friday night but there are no spots left. This is a common experience. That’s the key word though: “common”. Not typically a word we use to describe a child of Queen Elizabeth. 

Is that why he enjoyed Epstein’s company so much? Or was it the other bonuses, like the foot rubs from Russian girls? 

As for Pitch@Palace, it’s “an initiative founded by The Duke of York to support entrepreneurs with the amplification and acceleration of their business ideas. Pitch@Palace does this by connecting some of the most innovative start-up business in the country with potential investors and supporters, including angels, mentors and key business contacts”. 

That’s really interesting because, well, here’s how Bill Gates described Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that was published just this week – via CNBC:

“I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him. I didn’t go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach or any of that,” Gates told the newspaper in an interview published Tuesday. “There were people around him who were saying, hey, if you want to raise money for global health and get more philanthropy, he knows a lot of rich people.”

One of the question marks about Epstein has been his connection to powerful people in tech and his donations to Harvard and other academic institutions that are now under scrutiny for accepting his money. Ronan Farrow wrote about this in The New Yorker last week. There was a whole network of tech players looking for funding and Jeffrey was part of that and that’s how he’d be introduced to influential people and how they’d be introduced to him – which, of course, is how networking actually works: you have an idea about a business, you need face time with the people who have money to fund your business, and you find someone to make the introduction. 

Is it at all possible that the Queen’s Master of Household, Tony Johnstone-Burt, when approached by Prince Andrew to make a reservation at Buckingham Palace, rejected the request…and remarked that, maybe, it wasn’t the best time to have a networking event at Her Majesty’s main castle right now because, um, there’s just a small drama that’s going down right now involving a notorious now-dead networking millionaire who happened to be friends with Prince Andrew? 


That can’t be it. 

Prince Andrew and Buckingham Palace have vehemently denied for years that he had anything to do with Jeffrey Epstein’s grossness. This is a minor story. We don’t need to devote all this column space to this story about the beloved second son of the Queen who has always made smart decisions.