Ryan Parry from the Daily Mirror got a job in the Palace back in 2003 looking to uncover flaws in their security. He worked there for two months and was well-placed to hear all kinds of gossip and stories about the Royal Family. One of the more scandalous stories he reported from his time inside Palace walls was one that a senior footman told him after he went to wake Andrew up one morning.
Mr Parry told the documentary ‘Royal Servants’, uploaded to YouTube in 2011, that the footman reportedly went to open the curtains and said “Good morning your Royal Highness” ‒ to which Andrew replied: “F*** off!”
The journalist said: “As part of a footman’s duty you had to, first of all, take a calling tray into a royals’ private bedroom.
“And on one occasion, I remember one of the more senior footmen telling me he took this tray into the Duke of York’s bedroom, opened the curtains and said: ‘Good morning your Royal Highness’ and he was greeted with a ‘f*** off’.”
According to Mr Parry, this was not a one-off either – Andrew had a reputation among staff for being coarse and demanding.
Staff at the gates of the Palace commented on how Andrew would fly past them in his Aston Martin so fast that even the police stood back.
Andrew, who has recently been in the spotlight for his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has stepped back from royal duties.
However, the Duke of York, who allegedly had a toy replica of Monkey – the mascot of the former company ITV Digital – in his room, was not the only member of the Royal Family who seemed to have a temper.
Princess Anne allegedly berated a clumsy member of the household as a “f***ing incompetent t***”.
Mr Parry, who won a ‘Scoop of the Year’ award for his ‘Intruder at the Palace’ report, heard numerous other tidbits that made for salacious reading.
For example, he was responsible for laying the Queen’s breakfast table and described how she would feed toast to her corgis and even managed to take a sneaky picture of Tupperware on the table.
Prince Philip would apparently sit at the breakfast table, a transistor radio arranged at precisely the right angle next to his Tupperware box of dried porridge oats and a pile of newspapers.
Mr Parry told the documentary: “The Tupperware was probably one of the more famous things about the whole story, that’s what people picked up on.”
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One former servant – Paul Kidd, royal butler from 1975 to 1982 – accused the reporter of planting the Tupperware on the Queen’s table.
He said: “The Queen uses Tupperware when she goes out for picnic lunches – we would drive ahead in the Range Rovers with the baskets with the flasks and the plastic knives and forks, the throwaway disposable plastic cups you get on British Rail, and Tupperware with the lettuce, tomatoes etc in.
“They are the only occasions when the queen uses her Tupperware – for outdoor purposes, it’s a common sense usage of Tupperware.
“I had to laugh, it was quite funny in a sense, but it was made really to make the Queen and members of her family look pathetic.”
However, the pictures were taken many years after Mr Kidd left the service of the Royal Family and it was pointed out that there had been a lot of royal cost-cutting in recent years.
In the 10 years up to the report there had been a £50million cut, including extravagances like the Royal Yacht Britannia – and Mr Parry argued the Tupperware was evidence of this too.
He defended himself, saying: “I literally had a three second pocket to take that picture, so to find Tupperware from somewhere and fill it with porridge oats, and stick it in front of the Queen’s china plate – I think that’s frankly ridiculous.”
Even more shocking to the public than the Tupperware was how Mr Parry managed to snag his job in the first place and what it said about Palace security.
The reporter spotted the trainee footman job advertised on the Palace’s website, asking for someone who had “good communication skills, be able to work unsupervised and within a team” while retaining a “friendly, police disposition”.
When he applied for the job, he compiled a fake CV with experience he did not have and omitted the fact he was a journalist – but he used his real name and the Palace did not even carry out a basic check on that.
Mr Parry explained: “It was literally a case of typing my name into a Google search engine and the third item that comes up is: Daily Mirror journalist exposes shocking security scandal at Wimbledon.
“Now it doesn’t take a genius to work out that that’s a basic check.”
For his references, he used a former university lecturer and a made-up director from a paint firm he claimed he was the office manager for.
When the Palace attempted to call somewhere Mr Parry had claimed he was a bartender – when in fact he had been a glass collector – they discovered that the landlord had left years ago.
Instead of asking for an alternative reference, the Palace recruiter asked the barmaid to give the telephone to one of the regulars who said “yeah, I know him” when the barmaid shouted his name.
This, apparently, sufficed as checking his references.