It's not a good week to be Prince Andrew. (Was it ever?)
Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's alleged under-age sex ring "madam" has stabbed him in the back, spilling the beans about the Prince's romps with sex slaves.
He's under guard by his own security team, with orders from the Queen to stop him fleeing the country.
As if that isn't bad enough, he's being hunted by the assassins who murdered Epstein – and if they can break into a New York jail and kill Epstein behind locked steel doors, you know they're good.
At least, that's all according to this week's highly dubious tabloids, which have clearly concluded that when it comes to royal scandals, Prince Andrew is low-hanging fruit.
For centuries the British Royal Family has indulged in behavior that would have provided ample juicy fodder for today's scandal-hungry tabloids.
Henry VIII's predilection for serial marriage and decapitating wives, the murder of the princes in the tower to secure the throne for Richard III, the execution of Charles I, the multiple mistresses of Charles II, and Edward VIII relinquishing the crown for love – all would have grabbed the front page of America's supermarket tabloids, if only supermarkets (and America) had existed back in the day.
So it's no surprise that this week's tawdry tabloids are packed with fresh royal scandal.
"Prince Andrew Hunted By Epstein Killers!" screams the cover of the 'National Enquirer,' promising to reveal "What he knows and who wants him dead!"
While Federal prosecutors pursue a reluctant Andrew to submit to questioning, the 'Enquirer' reports that the 60-year-old royal has been "marked for death – after declaring he's willing to give evidence against deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein!"
This is errant nonsense: giving evidence against a deceased pedophile only threatens a corpse. It's what Andrew might reveal about those still living that could have the rich and powerful worried . . . if he knows anything about Epstein's sex slaves' entanglements with other global figures.
But there's no evidence that Andrew – who one suspects knows less about practically everything than most people – knows anything about Epstein's other powerful friends.
So, what of the 'Enquirer' promise to reveal what Andrew knows? They reveal nothing, of course.
And who wants him dead?
"A shady cabal of international money men, sex slave traffickers and powerful business figures," claims the 'Enquirer,' which seems to cover a multitude of sins without naming a single name.
The 'Globe' also devotes its cover to the Prince: "Andrew Blindsided by Epstein Madam's Testimony! Ghislaine Maxwell Tells All."
But has she?
Maxwell, who was Epstein's right-hand woman and allegedly helped recruit many of his under-age sex slaves, is now reportedly in the US witness protection program after secretly testifying to a grand jury, and "ratting out" Andrew, claims the 'Globe.'
Maxwell also allegedly claims to know where Epstein hid his spycam videos used to blackmail his wealthy friends, says the tabloid. But then it quotes an unnamed "insider" who says that Maxwell "probably" knows where the videos are, which isn't quite the same.
And if Epstein actually had been blackmailing his wealthy friends, can somebody please explain why they kept returning for sessions with his sex slaves if they knew they were being filmed for future blackmail?
"Andrew Under Lock And Key!" yells the headline on yet another story from the 'Globe,' which can't get enough of the beleaguered prince.
Forgetting that according to past reports he is supposed to be locked up under suicide watch at the Tower of London, the 'Globe' claims that Andrew's security team has been ordered by the Queen "to stop him from fleeing" Britain to evade questioning by the US Department of Justice.
And the royal scandals keep on coming.
"Meghan's a Pooper-Scooper Scofflaw!" proclaims another 'Globe' headline, claiming that Prince Harry's wife "doesn't pick up after her pup poops."
Since Meghan's every move outside her Beverly Hills home is minutely monitored by an army of paparazzi, the complete absence of photographic evidence of royal dog poop leaves the credibility of this report open to question.
Neighbors allegedly also complain that Harry and Meghan's security team "is clogging the streets near their mansion," according to the 'Globe.'
But since Harry and Meghan are living at the end of a mile-long private road behind guarded gates, the chances of their security team blocking anyone's way are negligible. It's more likely that the horde of paparazzi is blocking neighbors' driveways outside their estate.
But that's not all.
"Queen's Dogs Live in Yap of Luxury!" declares the 'Globe,' in a story that's been written hundreds of times over the past 50 years. "Elizabeth's royal corgis live in style at Buckingham Palace – in their own room!"
For crying out loud, the Queen doesn't have any corgis any more. She has two dorgis – a dachshund-corgi mix – Vulcan and Candy, giving strong evidence that the Queen is a fan of 'Star Trek' and stripper names.
'People' magazine reveals "The Royals' Secret Weapon."
Does the Queen surreptitiously keep a Challenger 2 battle tank hidden in the gardens at Buckingham Palace? No such luck.
The Royals' secret weapon is allegedly Sophie, Countess of Wessex, "mom of 2 – and confidante to the Queen" who has reportedly stepped in "to fill the void left by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle."
Sophie is a "royal key worker," says 'Majesty' magazine managing editor Joe Little, which proves why one should never speak to managing editors, because Sophie probably doesn't work with royal keys, but rather is a key royal worker.
Hollywood royalty equally comes in for tabloid scrutiny this week, and A-List names don't come much bigger than ex-spouses Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.
"Brad & Jen's Secret Daughter!" screams the headline in a sensational 'Globe' story that inexplicably doesn't merit a mention on its front page.
But the shocking secret is that Brad and Jen don't have a secret daughter!
It's Brad Pitt's niece, Sydney, and he allegedly "loves her like his own."
So how does that make her Jennifer Aniston's "secret daughter"? Sydney was born around the time Brad and Jen began dating, so an unnamed source explains: "Because of that, Jen shares a special bond with her, too." Sure she does.
The 'Globe' reports that Brad's niece is "the spitting image of the movie junk." To prove it, there's a photo of Sydney looking nothing like Brad, except for the blonde hair.
The stars are dying off in their droves this week, it appears.
"Friends Reunion Cancelled!" declares the 'Enquirer.' "287-lb Matthew Perry at Death's Door!"
The televised reunion was postponed, not canceled, because of the coronavirus pandemic, not because of Perry's weight, which judging by photos is nowhere near 287 lbs. And just because it's unhealthy to be overweight, that's hardly the same as being "at death's door."
But evidently it's a busy gateway.
"Sick Cher Knocking on Heaven's Door!" reports the 'Globe.' Maybe she's meeting Matthew Perry there?
Cher made the rookie mistake of tweeting that she couldn't attend recent anti-racism protests because she was "very, very sick." The Globe's team of psychic medical experts instantly understood that Cher was really saying she has just days to live. What other interpretation could there be?
The 'Globe' reveals: "George Clooney, 59, Plastic Surgery Shocker!"
But the "shock" is that he's allegedly thinking about plastic surgery.
The rag's cover features a "Then" and now photo of Clooney, proving that he has aged in the past 30 years. Shocking.
'Us' magazine devotes its cover to songbird and TV's 'The Voice' judge Kelly Clarkson: "Kelly's $45 Million Divorce. Why she finally called it quits."
It couldn't be more mundane: Clarkson allegedly split with husband Brandon because the pressure of work pulled them apart.
'People' magazine concurs with this diagnosis in its own report: "Kelly Clarkson: Inside her shocking divorce." But again, the reason is hardly shocking.
While 'People' gives up its cover to movie mogul Tyler Perry saying "We Must Never Give Up" and his essay on racial inequality and hope for a new dawn, the mag gleefully gives us "100 Reasons To Love America."
Among these reasons: Billie Eilish; quarantine cocktails; Demi Lovato; Crocs; Peeps; Baby Yoda; Judge Judy; grilled cheese sandwiches; and Harry & Meghan. Really?
Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Kaia Gerber wore it best (again! Seriously, she looks great in everything), that Laverne Cox "can eat six Krispy Kreme doughnuts in succession," and that the stars are just like us: they ride bikes, work out and play on the beach – all noticeably without masks this week because they don't contract viruses like other mere mortals.
The 'Globe' wins this week's contest for the worst puns with its story: "Pickle Hurler Leaves Sour Taste!" Massachusetts resident Christoph Herrmannsdoerfer was reportedly arrested for assault in Vermont for allegedly throwing a pickled cucumber from a passing car, hitting a road worker.
"What a dilly thing to do!" says the report, claiming that "things went sour" and he is "in a legal pickle," ordered to appear in court to answer for his "briny bad behavior."
Onwards and downwards . . .