If Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan really want to attain the financial independence they desire, they could do worse than launching a weekly Royal Scandal magazine.
There’s clearly a fortune to be made and a surfeit of material, judging by the acres of newsprint dedicated to Royal shenanigans in this week’s tabloids.
“Prince Andrew Attempts Suicide!” screams the cover of the ‘Globe,’ whose endless run of Royal exclusives can only be the result of an army of paid high-level courtier informants in every Royal palace and estate who monitor every conversation among the Windsor clan, and have listening devices planted in every Royal bedroom.
It’s hard to imagine how else they discovered Andrew’s “secret overdose nightmare."
It’s an impressive undercover operation and you have to admire the way they beat the Fleet Street Royal press pack week after week.
Admittedly, the ‘Globe' cover photo of Prince Andrew does look suspiciously Photoshopped to emphasize his ashen pallor and intensify the dark circles under his eyes, but that’s only fair when reporting on his “secret overdose nightmare.”
Andrew was "Brought back from the DEAD as new sex scandal EXPLODES,” the rag claims. A doctor and nurse “sworn to secrecy” - but clearly in the employ of the ‘Globe’ - pumped Andrew’s stomach after he was found by a bodyguard unconscious on the floor at Windsor’s Royal Lodge, with “his life hanging by a thread . . . with foam bubbling from his lips.” An empty bottle of prescription painkillers was allegedly found beside him.
There’s no mention of Andrew being taken to hospital, which you’d think would be a necessary precaution for someone of his stature, or of the likely dialysis of his blood to flush out the meds, or of the suicide watch he’d be under if such an attempt actually happened.
Frankly, it’s hard not to suspect that the Queen is personally feeding information to the media to sway public opinion in her favor.
That would explain ‘Us’ magazine’s story that reveals Her Majesty’s inner-most thoughts: “The Queen’s Revenge. ENOUGH! Demands immediate ‘MEGXIT’ with STRICT RULES. Strips Harry & Meghan’s ROYAL TITLES. Plans to crown Kate the NEW QUEEN.”
Once again, the Queen seems to be getting carried away with her own sense of omnipotent infallibility,
But despite the story apparently being fed to its headline-writers from Her Majesty’s lips, the story inside ‘Us’ doesn’t suggest for a single second that Kate is about to be crowned Queen, especially since Charles is next in line to the throne, and his wife Camilla might have a thing or two to say about that.
And though Harry & Meghan will no longer be known as His & Her Royal Highnesses, they have retained their Royal titles, and will continue as Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex. You can tell the Queen is behind this story leak because Meghan is accused of orchestrating the family rift. The Queen allegedly “blames Meghan for pulling the strings behind the scenes,” which seems like the pot calling the kettle black.
"An unnamed insider says that Harry is henpecked by his domineering wife: “The Queen thinks he’s being controlled like Meghan’s personal puppet, and it’s really nothing short of pitiful.”
You can see the Queen’s fingerprints all over the ‘National Enquirer’ cover story: “My family is NOT for sale! Queen Kills Meghan’s $1B Royal Payday! Bans duchess’ business peddling ROYAL brands. Harry’s RAGING wife threatens TV tell-all.”
Unnamed “high-level courtiers” and a “senior aide” warn that Meghan could “embarrass her royal in-laws by starring in a raunchy movie and play a sexy stripper like Jennifer Lopez did in ‘Hustlers.’ Right. That’s going to happen. Don’t be surprised if next week we’re told that the Queen has bought the rights to ‘Deep Throat’ just to make sure Meghan can’t star in a remake.
Meanwhile, the Queen is clearly pushing the family values of slavishly obedient Prince William and Duchess Kate, who according to the ‘Enquirer' “spice up their love life” by setting aside two nights a week to “relax, enjoy a home-cooked meal, then snuggle on the couch and have early nights” claims a source. How racy. That’ll spice up any love life.
Back in the real world, the ‘Enquirer’ tells us: “Elton John May Never Sing Again!”
Or he may sing again. He’s had a bout of pneumonia, which isn’t exactly known for ending singing careers - unless it kills you. Which of course is precisely where the ‘Globe’ goes with its story: “Fears Elton Has Months To Live.”
He is evidently “so frail he’ll be dead by September!” Or he won’t. How serious is his illness? An insider reveals: “He’s been told to slow down his schedule.” Well, it doesn’t get more life-or-death than that.
The tabloid obsession with celebrities’ weight continues unabated.
“Holy Cow!” proclaims a particularly cruel ‘Enquirer’ headline. "Baywatch Babe Packs On 100 Lbs!” Evidently actress Yasmine Bleeth isn’t allowed to age gracefully. Once a Baywatch Babe, always a Baywatch Babe, the Enquirer seems to believe. No doubt that the health-conscious rag’s editorial staff all look and weight the same as they did in their twenties.
The ‘Globe’ notes “once-beautiful” actress Ashley Judd’s “swollen face,” apparently the result of medication and Botox injections to treat crippling “siege migraine” headaches.
The rag then attacks “women-hating savages” who have criticized Judd’s “puffy puss.” They’re all heart.
The ‘Enquirer’ continues its commitment to public service with Week Five of its never-ending feature on “perv priests,” filling another two pages with the small-print names of dead and defrocked men of Catholic cloth. This alphabetical state-by-state trawl through “America’s Dirty Clergy" is still only up to Minnesota, promising weeks more lists of disgraced sexual abusers. Since the ‘Enquirer’ isn’t outing a single priest who hasn’t already been publicly identified, it’s really one of the publication’s more enervating features in recent memory.
As an antidote to all that sleaze ‘People’ mag brings us a saccharine collection of feel-good interviews in which celebrities are just so gosh-darn wholesome and aw-shucks good to know.
Comedy star Melissa McCarthy is this week’s cover girl, with the sage advice: “Life is short. Just be yourself.” She talks about “finding laughter every day . . and why we should celebrate each other’s quirks.”
Perhaps she should talk to the Queen about finding laughter in Harry & Meghan’s shenanigans, and celebrating her second son’s quirky friendship with a disgraced pedophile billionaire.
Rocker Sting tells ‘People’ mag “What I know,” most of which sounds like advice from a self-help app on his smart phone: He never forgets where he came from, stays grounded, and lives life without regrets, rather like a living Hallmark card.
Recovering alcoholic Ben Affleck, playing a recovering alcoholic in his latest movie ‘The Way Back,’ reminds us that he’s a recovering alcoholic in his AA-tinged interview with ‘People,’ confessing the realization: "You can get better. You can change your life.”
But apparently you can’t stop talking about it. ‘People’ mag is just the latest stop on Affleck's continuing self-recrimination-filled, make-amends, apologize-for-everything sobriety sob-a-thon, reading like an ode to Step 4 and Step 9 of the 12 step program.
If you’ve ever seen a Ben Affleck movie expect a phone call from him any day now apologizing for any harm he may have inflicted on you, and offering to make amends.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative squad at ‘Us’ to tell us that La La Anthony wore it best, that Keke Palmer is “starting cooking classes soon” (news you can use!), that actress D’Arcy Carden carries gum, keys and gold-painted toy dinosaurs in her Chloé Vick tote, and that the stars are just like us: they carry their luggage, shop for groceries, and feed parking meters, just as they do every damn week. If the paparazzi could be bothered hanging out anywhere but airports, supermarkets and high streets, we’d have some more interesting shots of the stars behaving like regular folk.
As if the coronavirus isn’t scary enough, the ‘Globe’ brings us yet one more thing to worry about: “Your Cash Could Kill You!” Explaining that “the real danger to YOU AND AMERICA is U.S. currency - which fuels China’s huge black market - returning to our shores and triggering national panic and economic chaos.”
Under this Doomsday scenario, “Getting a couple of dollar bills in change at a local store could KILL YOU.” And that’s in capital letters because presumably it wouldn’t be scary enough if it was just going to “kill you.”
Surely it can’t be long before some heavenly-inspired Televangelist instructs true believers to send him all their tainted cash to be prayed over and spiritually cleansed of all disease for the greater glory of the Lord. Amen to that.
Onwards and downwards . . .