The prince, 59, had an argument with the Queen’s Master of Household, Tony Johnstone-Burt, over a request from Andrew to use some rooms in Buckingham Palace for his Pitch@Palace initiative, the Daily Mail reports. When that request was turned down, the conversation switched to the pros and cons of Andrew’s pet project that works to help entrepreneurs find new exposure and support for their business ideas.
Johnson-Burt, who like Andrew is a former naval officer, struck a nerve. But the clash dissolved quickly, the outlet adds.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson refused to confirm the name of the staffer, as they don’t discuss personnel matters, but, in a statement, they said, “Sometime ago there was a disagreement between the Duke of York and a member of staff. The disagreement was resolved and there are no ongoing issues.”
Andrew has spent several weeks distancing himself from the scandal around his former friend Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, 66, died by suicide in jail, authorities confirmed on Aug. 16. The billionaire financier was discovered in cardiac arrest nearly a month after he was arrested for allegedly sex-trafficking girls as young as 14 and died in the hospital, CNN reported at the time.
Buckingham Palace released a statement about how the Duke of York, 59, was “appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.”
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Last week, it emerged that some of his duties were being affected in the wake of the claims against Epstein.