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Forget Iran. In Britain, WikiLeaks focus is on details about Prince Andrew.

WikiLeaks' diplomatic cables revealed how Prince Andrew, in his role as a UK trade ambassador, criticized France and America and condemned 'idiotic' British anticorruption investigators.

By Correspondent / November 30, 2010

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, watches a flypast from the waterfront of the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. The prince, in his role as a UK trade ambassador, often meets with his royal counterparts in the Gulf states.




As many watchers of British diplomatic efforts would agree, Prince Andrew isn’t exactly noted for his wisdom when it comes to foreign policy.

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Nor – to the embarrassment of many who believe that the fourth in line to the throne is the wrong person to continue acting as a high-profile United Kingdom trade ambassador – is he any stranger to diplomatic gaffes. Previous slips have included a blunt statement that Washington should have listened more to London's advice on the Iraq War.

Even so, the prince was under the spotlight again today in the wake of revelations from the controversial website WikiLeaks that a US ambassador in Kyrgyzstan had found him to be “cocky” and verging on the rude. Leaked cables recounted how the prince criticized France and America and condemned "idiotic" British anticorruption investigators during one of his excursions abroad.

Dubbed by the press as "air-miles Andy" in honor of his tax-funded globe-trotting ways, the leaks have once again shed an unwelcome light on the prince, while fueling argument that royals such as Andrew and his brother, Prince Charles, should temper their apparent eagerness to go beyond their officially symbolic roles.

“He will be very upset that something like this has come out,” Dickie Arbiter, a former press secretary to Queen Elizabeth, told Sky News.

Although Mr. Arbiter insisted that the prince was regarded as a success in his ambassadorial role, which includes smoothing relations with royal counterparts in the Gulf states, he added that Andrew was “frustrated” by the job.

“He should not get politically involved, but the trouble is that the job he is doing is a political job. He is beating the drum for British industry,” said Arbiter.

'Idiocy' of British anticorruption investigators

WikiLeaks, which calls itself a "media organization" devoted to revealing secret documents, provided the unprecedented cache of 251,287 diplomatic cables weeks ago to Der Spiegel, El País, Le Monde, and the Guardian (which in turn passed it along to The New York Times). Only about 300 cables are viewable so far on, which began posting the documents Sunday.

The WikiLeaks documents reveal how the US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Tatiana Gfoeller, described Prince Andrew boasting "cockily" about British influence in central Asia in an expletive-laden discussion with British businessmen.


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