BRITAIN’S PRINCE ANDREW shocked the United States’ ambassador to Kyrgyzstan with “rude” and “cocky” remarks made at a business lunch with American and Canadian investors, it has emerged.
New documents contained in the latest releases from whisleblowing website WikiLeaks include a brief written by Tatiana Gfoeller, Washington’s ambassador to the central Asian state, in which she expressed shock at some of the blunt opinions offered by Andrew – the third child of Queen Elizabeth – during their lunchtime meeting.
In a briefing written to her Washington superiors and published by the Guardian, Gfoeller wrote that Andrew had been “astonishingly candid” and that “the discussion at time verged on the rude (from the British side).”
Andrew had complained about the “idiocy” of anti-corruption investigators who had almost hampered an arms deal between a British arms manufacturer and the Saudi Arabian government, and criticised journalists from the Guardian newspaper “who poke their noses everywhere” for their part in investigating the deal.
Further, after another attendee at the meeting complained of how the local business environment was so corrupt that individual high-ranking officials expected to be given a cut of any business profits, the prince remarked that the situation “sounded exactly like France”.
He also “reacted with almost neuralgic patriotism whenever any comparison between the US and UK came up.”
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment, though former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind told BBC Radio 4 that the comments were “unwise”, explaining that anyone in the public eye “has to take into account that even remarks they make in a private context may end up on the public table.”