The royal family has reportedly been called to an emergency meeting over a $194 million scandal involving Prince Charles’ famed art collection.
A fed-up Queen Elizabeth is said to have rallied her various offspring for a tense meeting, berating their attitudes towards the monarchy, and actions which almost undid the institution this year, according to New Idea magazine.
From Prince Andrew’s alleged involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein case, to Harry and Meghan’s private jet debacle, and now the heir himself unwittingly displaying forged art, it looks like 2019 may rival the infamous ‘annus horribilis’ of 1992.
The latest scandal comes after The Mail on Sunday reported three artworks that were loaned to Dumfries House, the headquarters of Charles’ charity the Prince’s Foundation, were actually forgeries – as revealed by the art forger himself, Tony Tetro.
A Monet waterlily study, Picasso’s At the Beach, and a Dali depicting the crucifixion that were hanging in the Prince’s collection are all said to be fakes created by Tetro, and the originals are collectively insured for an estimated $194 million.
The copies had been loaned to the Prince’s Foundation by James Stunt, the ex-husband of Formula 1 heiress Petra Ecclestone, who has apologised publicly to Charles, and the foundation has returned them.
Now a source quoted by New Idea, says the Queen put her foot down in a meeting ahead of the festive season, reportedly saying that making a ‘mockery’ of the monarchy would no longer be tolerated.
A year of scandal
Of course, the height of the family’s trials this year have been accusations linking Prince Andrew to the Jeffrey Epstein controversy.
Although Prince Andrew insists he knew nothing of what he calls Epstein’s ‘abhorrent’ crimes during their decade-long friendship, one of the broker’s most high-profile victims had a different claim.
Virginia Roberts claimed she was forced to have sex with the royal when she was aged just 17, and that the pair were famously pictured together during the period in question.
“He knows exactly what he’s done, and I hope he comes clean about it,” she recently told media.
Meghan and Harry have obviously courted plenty of controversy on a lower level this year, with a recent documentary confronting the press head-on.
Backlash to harsh coverage of the pair’s approach to their son Archie’s privacy was behind much of the drama this year, as were the private jets the pair used over the summer, at least one of which was loaned by good friend Elton John.
As the tumultuous year comes to an end, and Christmas approaches, it seems likely the Queen is counting the days until the family can safely put 2019 behind them.
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