Prince Andrew Limps Away From Disastrous Interview Straight Into N-Word Race Row

Sara C Nelson

Prince Andrew’s interview with Emily Maitlis this weekend has already been widely panned as “disastrous” – and now the royal looks set to be engulfed in a race scandal.

According to Evening Standard columnist Rohan Silva, the Duke of York used the n-word at a Buckingham Palace meeting with him when he was a Downing Street advisor to the tech economy.

Silva, who is of Sri Lankan heritage, says the incident took place during a discussion in 2012 about trade policy, and came as he asked the prince whether the government department responsible for trade “could be doing a better job”.

He alleges Andrew replied: “Well, if you pardon the expression, that really is the n***** in the woodpile.”

Silva told the newspaper the exchange left him “reeling” and that “for a long time afterwards, I kicked myself for not confronting the prince on his choice of words.”

Palace sources issued strong denials to the newspaper, insisting he did not use the phrase and that he never would use such language.


Yet in a column published also on Monday, Silva recounts another uncomfortable exchange with the prince a year earlier, in which the royal is alleged to have interrupted him during a discussion about the tech economy by saying: “What you have got to remember, is that you’ll never get anywhere by playing the white man.” 

Rohan Silva, senior policy advisor to David Cameron, pictured in 2013 

Silva recounts looking up the definition of the phrase, and deciding: “So the point Andrew had been trying to make, I think, was that the government shouldn’t be trying to reform the EU through the slow-moving proper channels, but perhaps be a bit more cunning in forcing through change.”

The revelations come as Andrew faces a barrage of criticism following his television interview about the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal, with the royal...

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