Royal row: How US ambassador attacked Prince Andrew’s ‘neuralgic patriotism’

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PRINCE ANDREW was accused of “neuralgic patriotism” by the US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan after allegedly making inflammatory comments during a meeting, leaked documents revealed.

In correspondence published on WikiLeaks, Tatiana Gfoeller described Andrew’s “cocky” conversations at a two-hour brunch with British and American businessmen in 2008. The Duke of York was in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, acting as the UK’s trade envoy promoting British business interests abroad. He did not make a good impression on Ms Gfoeller, who said he “verged on rude” with his comments about Americans.

In the leaked cable she said: “[Prince Andrew] reacted with almost neuralgic patriotism whenever any comparison between the United States and United Kingdom came up.

“For example, one British businessman noted that despite the ‘overwhelming might of the American economy compared to ours’ the amount of American and British investment in Kyrgyzstan was similar.

“Snapped the Duke: ‘No surprise there. Americans don’t understand geography. Never have.

“’In the UK, we have the best geography teachers in the world!’”

Prince Andrew in Image GETTY
Prince Andrew in Image GETTY

Prince Andrew in 2011 (Image: GETTY)

US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Tatiana Gfoeller centre Image GETTY
US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Tatiana Gfoeller centre Image GETTY

US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Tatiana Gfoeller (centre) (Image: GETTY)

While this assertion may be a sure-fire way to rub people up the wrong way, Andrew did not stop there.

He also allegedly expressed annoyance at the Serious Fraud Office’s inquiry into UK-Saudi arms sales over alleged bribes to Saudi royals and officials.

Ms Gfoeller said: “He railed at British anti-corruption investigators, who had the ‘idiocy’ of almost scuttling the Al-Yamama deal [between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia].

“He went on to ‘these [expletive] journalists, especially form the National Guardian who poke their noses everywhere and (presumably) make it harder for British businessmen to do business.”

Prince Andrew held the role of “special representative” for Trade and Investment from 2001 until his resignation in 2011.

In this time, he was criticised multiple times for his behaviour as well as his friendships with unsavoury characters.

For example, the prince was friendly with American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Mr Epstein, who served 13 months in prison for soliciting a 14-year old for prostitution, was arrested again this month on charges of sex trafficking minors.

As well as being friends with Mr Epstein, Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson admitted to accepting £15,000 from the him to pay off her debts.

The Duke of York was also accused of taking lavish trips abroad, branded “entitled” and “greedy” by royal expert Katie Nicholl.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK