What REALLY made Prince Andrew lose his rag with aide: Royal turned on Queen’s Master of Household because he couldn’t book a room at Buckingham Palace for event
- Prince Andrew is said to have turned on ex-Naval officer Tony Johnstone-Burt
- Duke of York wanted to book a room for an initiative which helps entrepreneurs
- He was told it was ‘fully booked’ which Prince Andrew was fine with at the time
- Rift started after Mr Johnstone-Burt spoke his mind about Pitch@Palace
Prince Andrew exchanged heated words with the Queen’s Master of the Household, ex-Naval officer Tony Johnstone-Burt (pictured)
The altercation between the Duke of York and a member of the Royal Household has been the talk of Buckingham Palace in the past few weeks.
However, I can reveal the real reason for the dispute — which was a minor tiff rather than a full-blown confrontation — and the identity of Prince Andrew’s antagonist.
HRH exchanged heated words with the Queen’s Master of the Household, ex-Naval officer Tony Johnstone-Burt, who is in charge of Buckingham Palace’s ‘below stairs’ operations.
My sources tell me the dispute happened after Prince Andrew asked Johnstone-Burt if it was possible to book a room at the Buckingham Palace for his Pitch@Palace initiative, which helps connect entrepreneurs with potential patrons.
However, he was informed it was fully booked.
Andrew has endured months of scrutiny over his friendship with the disgraced paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, which might explain his tetchiness. Prince Andrew is pictured at a golf club in County Antrim on Monday
‘Andrew was fine with that, but the aide then started speaking his mind about Pitch@Palace,’ says my source.
‘It was like poking a bear. HRH turned on him and accused him of not listening and getting the wrong end of the stick.
‘Andrew told him to go and have a word with his private secretary. It was more handbags than hand grenades.’
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on what the row was about, but in a statement confirmed that incident had taken place.
‘Some time 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,’ a spokesman said.
Johnstone-Burt, who has worked at the palace for six years, is responsible for 250 staff covering catering, housekeeping, entertainment, maintenance and administration.
He is also in charge of a £370 million, ten-year re-fit of the Queen’s official London residence.
Johnstone-Burt, who has worked at the palace for six years, is responsible for 250 staff covering catering, housekeeping, entertainment, maintenance and administration. He is pictured with Her Majesty the Queen above
Johnstone-Burt joined the Royal Navy in 1977 and served in the Falklands before eventually being promoted to vice-admiral and becoming the Chief of Staff to Nato’s Supreme Allied Command Transformation at Norfolk, Virginia.
He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath by the Queen in 2013.
Andrew has endured months of scrutiny over his friendship with the disgraced paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, which might explain his tetchiness.