Prince Andrew’s public role has often attracted controversy but his private life is even more intriguing

I can reveal the Queen’s second son has been holding secret talks at Buckingham Palace with Father Michael Seed, the celebrity priest who helped convert Tony Blair, former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe and the Duchess of Kent to Roman Catholicism.

It seems unlikely that Andrew, whose mother is Supreme Governor of the Church of England, would consider going over to Rome, so what was Fr Michael doing at the Palace?

‘I really cannot make any comment as I am a priest,’ he tells me.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillips and Prince Charles Arrivals at the 60th Anniversary Coronation Service Photo (C) Getty Images, AP, Rex, PA
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillips and Prince Charles Arrivals at the 60th Anniversary Coronation Service Photo (C) GQueen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillips and Prince Charles Arrivals at the 60th Anniversary Coronation Service Photo (C) Getty Images, AP, Rex, PAetty Images, AP, Rex, PA

Adding to the intrigue, the meetings were not recorded in the Court Circular, the official record of royal engagements.

Fr Michael, who is one of Britain’s most prominent Catholic priests, hit the headlines five years ago when he admitted arranging papal knighthoods for wealthy businessmen for money.

Papal knighthoods are awarded to laymen and women for conspicuous service to the Church and society.

They are among the highest honours the Pope can bestow. Fr Michael, who has taken a vow of poverty, denied profiting from any of the deals.

Wedding gift The Berkshire mansion was given to Prince Andrew and his bride following their wedding in 1986
Wedding gift The Berkshire mansion was given to Prince Andrew and his bride following their wedding in 1986

But the Franciscan friar agreed that trying to solicit funds from tycoons could be seen as ‘morally wrong’.

He is the priest who helped convert Tony Blair and the Duchess of Kent to Roman Catholicism
He is the priest who helped convert Tony Blair and the Duchess of Kent to Roman Catholicism

A very colourful character, the former ecumenical adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster held the party to launch his memoirs, Sinners And Saints: The Irreverent Diaries Of Britain’s Most Controversial Priest, at Stringfellows strip club in Soho. And he marked the 25th anniversary of his ordination with a champagne party at a racy club, with entertainment provided by men dressed as nuns.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman refuses to discuss Andrew’s meetings with Fr Michael.

1986, London, England, UK Prince Andrew is seen kissing Sarah Photo (C) Getty Images
1986, London, England, UK Prince Andrew is seen kissing Sarah Photo (C) Getty Images

‘Only official meetings are recorded in the Court Circular,’ the spokesman says.

‘We cannot comment on private meetings any member of the Royal Family may or may not have had.’

Royal visit Prince Andrew will travel to Papua New Guinean capital Port Moresby to open tRoyal visit Prince Andrew will travel to Papua New Guinean capital Port Moresby to open the Pacific Gamese Pacific Games
Royal visit Prince Andrew will travel to Papua New Guinean capital Port Moresby to open the Pacific Games

Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE

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