The British Royal Family is a blank canvas on which the tabloids feel free to paint whatever sordid soap operatic scandals they care to invent.
Thanks to the Royals’ inbred insularity, reluctance to comment publicly, and predilection for putting their feet in their mouths whenever possible, speculation passes as fact, and they get what they deserve in this week’s tabloids.
“British Monarchy Is Facing The End!” screams the ‘Globe,' which reports that Prince Andrew’s sex scandal combined with Prince Harry and Meghan’s “high-spending and publicity-seeking” are “the last straw for the British tax-payers” who help financially support the Royals to the tune of $86 million a year.
Critics of the monarchy are indeed questioning the value of taxpayers buoying up the beleaguered palace-dwellers, but that’s hardly new, dating back at least to King John facing his critics at Runnymede in 1215.
The ‘National Enquirer’ views the Royal shenanigans as if an episode of TV’s ‘The Apprentice,’ with its cover story on the Queen’s blunt message to Prince Andrew: “You’re Fired! William named King to save monarchy after Andrew sex scandal.”
Fact-free and ignoring (yet again) the 1701 Act of Settlement that mandates the line of Royal succession, the grammatically-challenged story claims: “Dying Queen passes over Charles & fires scandalous Andrew to save the monarchy.”
Prince Andrew’s ill-judged friendship with disgraced pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is the subject of the ‘Globe’ cover story: “Chilling Cover-Up Exposed! Epstein Murder Files Vanish From FBI Vault!” It’s quaint that the ‘Globe’ imagines that FBI files are kept in a vault, and that it thinks that the FBI doesn’t keep its documents in duplicate or triplicate in varying locations or in traceable computer files.
“Government insiders say the FBI’s 381-page dossier on Epstein was deleted from the agency’s internal computer system,” reports the ‘Globe,’ oblivious to the reality that such a dossier must run into thousands of pages, and that files can be removed from “All Eyes” access without disappearing or being the subject of a cover-up.
An Epstein book author wonders where all the hidden camera videos and evidence seized by the FBI in raids on Epstein’s homes has gone, asking: “Where are those videos? Why is the FBI hiding all this evidence?”
But since when has the FBI shared with the public evidence gathered in an ongoing investigation? The ‘Globe’ failing to know where the FBI keeps its files doesn’t amount to a cover-up either, even though the rag concludes that the “chilling cover-up protects pedophiles’ fat cat friends dragged into nightmare probe."
‘Us’ magazine, aware that the Royals traditionally sell well, devotes its cover story to Prince Andrew’s scandal from the perspective of his ex-wife: “Duchess Fergie - Standing By Her Man. Divorced for 23 years - but still disgraced Prince Andrew’s No.1 supporter. The reason why will shock you!”
No, it won’t. As if ‘Us’ even understands the real reason.
The shocking motivation for her loyalty, according to the rag? “He’s the father of her children - she’ll always carry a torch for him,” says an unnamed insider.
In what universe is that shocking? Or the real inspiration for her standing by her ex-man?
The real reason for Fergie’s dogged loyalty in the face of her ex-husband's unmitigated appalling behavior is, of course, that Prince Andrew is Fergie’s meal ticket. Without Andrew she is simply a disgraced embarrassment to the Royal Family - long ostracized by the Queen for scandals from having her toes sucked by a lover to selling access to Andrew - and would lose what little entrée she has left to respectable society.
“What Does Fergie Know?” begs the ‘Us’ feature headline. The answer: ‘Us has no idea. But they’re willing to gamble: An unnamed “palace source” tells ‘Us’: “If there are any hidden secrets that could haunt the royal family, it’s a fair bet that Andrew would have confided them to Fergie.” Or maybe not. However close the exes remain, is it conceivable that Andrew might have any reason not to disclose the full sordid details of his love life to the mother of his children? It’s a fair bet that he’d keep his mouth shut, rather than gushing to Fergie: “You won’t believe the under-age sex slave I slept with last night!"
‘Us’ goes full-on Royal sycophant mode with its story: “Catherine the Great. Sources say the Duchess of Cambridge will make a mighty queen.” And ‘Us’ sources are never wrong, are they? It’s most likely the prelude to a Hail Mary appeal for an interview with the Duchess. Good luck with that.
It’s hard to resist the ‘Globe’ headline: “Why Mary Poppins Watched an Orgy!” Sadly, the story doesn’t live up to expectations. An extensive study of the collected works of ‘Mary Poppins’ author P.L. Travers’s complete oeuvre finds no mention of Mary Poppins even discussing an orgy, let alone watching one (though a spoonful of sugar might help Mary Poppins go down.)
Instead, the story tells how Mary Poppins actress Julie Andrews attended an orgy. Except it wasn’t an orgy - it was an orgy scene for the Dudley Moore movie ’10’ filmed by Andrews’ husband Blake Edwards in 1980. That’s 39 years ago, which counts as breaking news for the ‘Globe,’
British musician Nick Endacott, aged 51, claims that an Ancestry.co.uk DNA search found that he was a “100 per cent match” to be the son of Bee Gees’ late co-star Maurice Gibb, reports the ‘Globe.' Endacott, given up for adoption at birth, insists that he has no desire to pursue the Bee Gee’s fortune, saying: “I’ve never been interested in money. I just wanted to know who my dad is.”
But that doesn’t stop the ‘Enquirer’ from claiming: “Last Bee Gee fears love child cash grab!” Which makes little sense. The last surviving member of the band, Barry Gibb, would have nothing to fear from Endacott making any claims on brother Maurice Gibb’s estate, since Endacott couldn’t possibly go after any of the other Bee Gees’ fortunes.
Interesting to note that stable-mate sister rag the ‘Globe’ reports the same story about Gibb’s alleged love child, but notes that Endacott “insists he’s not ‘interested’ in Gibb’s estate.” Indeed.
Equally dubious is the ‘Enquirer’ story: “Jessica Chastain Suicide Shocker!”
No, the ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Molly’s Game’ actress has not killed herself.
It’s her younger sister who allegedly committed suicide in 2003. It only took the ‘Enquirer’ 16 years to figure that out. Breaking news at its freshest. Lest you think it’s just-unearthed information, it’s worth recalling that Chastain discussed her sister’s suicide numerous times since 2014, and the suicide was publicly revealed by other family members long before then.
The ‘Enquirer’ tells us that country singer Trish Yearwood is “digging own grave - with a knife & fork!” having allegedly gained “a scale-crunching 52 pounds.” Wouldn’t it be easier to dig with a spoon? Just asking.
Songbird Celine Dion initially “didn’t want to record” ‘Titanic’ theme song ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ reports the ‘Globe.’ Which is exactly what she said in May 2017, when she revealed: “I didn’t want to do it.” That sound you hear is news breaking.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative squad at ‘Us’ mag to tell us that Gwyneth Paltrow wore it best, that Elizabeth Perkins still owns “the custom-made dress I wore when I jumped on the trampoline in ‘Big,’” that singer Kesha carries lip balm, healing crystals, a Room 237 keychain and a note from her mom in her Gucci Zumi purse, and that the stars are just like us: they eat hot dogs, buy electronics and play games. Thrilling, as ever.
Old West outlaw Billy The Kid never robbed a bank or held up a train, earning notoriety for at least nine murders but hardly earning a fortune from his primary criminal endeavors as a cattle rustler. It’s ironic then that the ‘Enquirer’ reports that a rare authenticated photo of Billy The Kid playing cards in 1877 is likely to fetch up to $1 million at auction. If only he’d banked a few selfies back in the day he could have retired early, with less loss of life.
It’s more ironic still that the auction ended almost two weeks before the ‘Enquirer’ ran this story, with the photo failing to meet its $600,000 reserve price and being withdrawn from sale.
Apparently even daylight robbery has its limits for Billy The Kid, 138 years after his death.
Onwards and downwards . . .