Our social, political, religious, educational and financial institutions are founded on the notion that they are principled and trustworthy and that those principals are manifest in the individuals who represent these institutions.
It is increasingly apparent, however, that the presumption of trust and the notion of exemplary moral and ethical conduct of many institutions, is nothing but a thin, gold plated veneer over extremely base metal.
In virtually all instances, our venerable institutions prove to be more greedy and salacious than trustworthy and patrician.
Rather than these institutions being incorruptible, they instead present an ideal opportunity and provide cover for self-indulgence, greed and criminal behaviour.
Whether it is the British Royal Family, the Vatican or the White House, representatives of these and many other institutions, enjoy the mystique and privilege accorded the institution, while remaining unrestrained by the codes that those institutions claim to espouse.
In a high-profile scandal to reemerge following the arrest of billionaire and registered sex offender, Jeffery Epstein, and his apparent suicide while in custody, is Prince Andrew’s association with Epstein and the Prince’s relations with a 17-year-old girl in 2001.
No one, not even Buckingham Palace can offer a plausible explanation as to why Prince Andrew was at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts, who just flew in with Epstein and Maxwell from the U.S., on Epstein’s private jet.
Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly procured underage girls for Epstein and his associates, and in recently released documents from a defamation suit Roberts, now called Virginia Giuffre, brought against Maxwell, Giuffre said she was ‘trafficked’ to Prince Andrew.
Flight logs show that Epstein, Maxwell and Giuffre flew to London on Epstein’s private plane.
However, no one can explain why a convicted sex offender and his girlfriend, an alleged madam, brought a 17-year-old American girl to London.
It does not reflect well on a 59-year-old man, under suspicion for criminal sexual conduct, to attempt to normalize his image by orchestrating photo-ops of going to church with his mother and vacationing with his ex-wife.
Those photo-ops with mother and ex-wife are far less compelling than the photograph of Andrew, his arm around a 17-year-old girl, at Maxwell’s home in London in 2001.
More serious accusations aside, it is still puzzling how Prince Andrew could wind up slumming it with rich low-life like Epstein, even continuing to meet with him, after Epstein became a convicted and registered sex offender.
In the same way, that we trust a university professor to be an exemplary figure offering academic instruction and mentorship, or that we assume a church minister has a strong sense of vocation, we should also expect a prince to be inherently regal in word and deed, otherwise why should he enjoy such elevated status and immense privilege.