Queen not amused by Prince Andrew's shot at palace staff
Web posted at: 11:30 p.m. EDT (0330 GMT)
LONDON (CNN) -- Britain's Prince Andrew may find himself sleeping with the corgis when he gets back from his trip to Malta.
Speaking to journalists at a reception there on Thursday, Andrew implied that Buckingham Palace aides have been misleading the media routinely "for the last 20 years" about the royal family -- and that those deceptions are part of the reason for the family's often contentious relationship with the media.
"The difficulty is trying to convince you that you are being told the truth because you can't believe you're being told the truth," Andrew was quoted as saying in the Mirror newspaper. "For the last 20 years, you probably haven't. It's like the Russians."
After British tabloids splashed his comments across their Saturday pages, the prince released a statement backpedaling from his comments. But Queen Elizabeth II was reportedly furious at her son and may even issue a formal rebuke.
"This has gone down very badly," a palace official told the Express newspaper on Sunday . "It is not in the queen's nature to confront people, but her views are bound to be made known to the Duke of York, through a letter either from herself or the Duke of Edinburgh."
Prince Andrew holds the title of Duke of York. The Duke of Edinburgh is Prince Philip, the queen's husband and Andrew's father.
Buckingham Palace released a statement Saturday which a spokesman called a clarification of Prince Andrew's remarks. He was quoted as saying that "at no stage am I aware of anyone deliberately responding incorrectly to inquiries."
"The point I was making to the journalists was that they should check royal stories with the palace before they are written," the prince said.
However, veteran royal reporters recalled that palace officials had initially denied there were problems with the marriage of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana when stories of marital strife first began to appear in the media. The couple divorced in 1996.
And in the 1970s and 1980s, the palace had a policy of routinely refusing to comment on many stories, leading to difficulties with the royal-hungry press.
The prince's comments in Malta ruffled Michael Shea, who served as the queen's press secretary from 1978 to 1987.
"I have never lied in my life. I don't know anything about it," he told the Daily Telegraph.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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