LAST year, after the death of Prince Philip, we were subjected to wall-to-wall nauseating royalist sycophancy on every TV channel, which even if you are not a religious person was quite enough to make you get down on your knees and thank god for your best friend's Netflix password.

The British media went into full-on "isn't he maaaarvelous" mode about an elderly upper-class man whose main achievements in life were marrying well, making a series of racist and offensive remarks and for the most part keeping the rumours of his many extramarital affairs out of the papers thanks to the aforementioned sycophancy of the British media. 

Having survived the Royalgasm Philipfest of 2021, you might have been looking forward to a bit of a respite from obligatory Nicholas Witchellry oiling its way over your TV screens in 2022, all the more so since recent months have not been good for the carefully curated public image of the Windsor family. 

There is the ongoing disgrace that is Prince Andrew, who clearly continues to enjoy the full support of the royal household and the massive public funds at its disposal in his extremely expensive legal battles against Virginia Giuffre, who alleges that she was sexually trafficked by the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was aged 17. Epstein's girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, a close friend of the prince, who is alleged to have introduced the prince to Virginia Giuffre, was convicted last week of sex trafficking offences. Prince Andrew denies all the allegations made against him. 

Andrew is a person of interest in the criminal investigation into Epstein's affairs; US authorities have filed a mutual legal assistance request to the UK in order to formally interrogate him, a request which the royal household continues to do all it can to block. 

Then there is the continuing saga of the very public falling out of Prince Harry and his wife with the rest of the family, complete with accusations of racism on the part of senior royals and the allegation that Meghan Markle was thrown under the bus by Prince William, who was seeking to distract attention from widespread rumours of his own less-than-gentlemanly behaviour – rumours which exploded all over social media just before the New Year.

The National:

William and his wife may or may not enjoy the fairytale marriage which the British press is so keen to feed to us, that's a matter for them. However, it's a matter for all of us that the couple had a meeting with former prime minister Gordon Brown reportedly in order to discuss ways that they can intervene on behalf of the anti-independence side in Scotland's constitutional debate. It appears that where Scotland is concerned, the Windsors have the same definition of political neutrality as the BBC.

This year, the Queen is awarding a new medal, the Platinum Jubilee medal, to frontline members of the emergency services, as well as the Armed Forces, in order to "show the monarch's gratitude for their public service". One of the recipients is to be Prince Andrew, whose public service, when he is not in consultation with his lawyers, largely consists of taking private helicopter trips at public expense in order to go and play golf.

Although given their recent difficulties the Windsors could certainly benefit from a period of shutting up and keeping out of the limelight, 2022 is set to be another year of royalist monarchigasms. It's the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and the BBC is already softening us up for a month-long festival of industrial-strength sycophancy in which the many and manifest shortcomings of the Windsors will be carefully airbrushed away. Make sure you've got your best friend's Netflix password at the ready.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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