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Prince Andrew spoke 'cockily' at a business brunch in Kyrgyzstan, a leaked WikiLeaks cable claimed. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Prince Andrew launched a scathing attack on British anticorruption investigators, journalists and the French during an "astonishingly candid" performance at an official engagement that shocked a US diplomat.
Prince Andrew (right) talks to Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi ambassador to the UK, in Jeddah in 2005. Photograph: Zainal Abd Halim/Reuters Few of even his closest friends would ever describe the Queen's second son as Prince Charming. Prince Andrew does brusque, blunt and boorish, but very rarely charming, especially to those in inferior social positions to himself and to journalists – even those who go to interview him about his mission as Britain's special representative for international trade. It is an occupation that takes the Duke of York around the world at taxpayers' expense and often by the most expensive form of transport.
Prince Andrew's Sunninghill Park mansion. An exiled Kazakh businessman has alleged laundered money was used to buy it for £3m over the asking price. Photograph: Rex Features Prince Andrew 's dealings with the allegedly corrupt regime in Kazakhstan are already causing him awkward publicity. One exiled businessman seeking asylum in Britain is alleging in a high court battle that laundered money was used to buy the prince's former house at Sunninghill Park in 2007, for £3m over the asking price. The 12-bedroom mansion, provided by the Queen for Andrew and Sarah Ferguson after their marriage in 1986, was bought through apparently concealed links to a series of offshore companies.
Prince Andrew, left, at a recent military air display in Abu Dhabi. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images Prince Andrew used his royal position to demand a special briefing from the Serious Fraud Office weeks before launching a tirade against the agency's "idiotic" investigators at a lunch with businessmen in Kyrgyzstan. The prince, who is also a UK trade ambassador, was briefed on the investigation into allegations of bribery by arms firm BAE at Buckingham Palace in May 2008. Soon after, believing he was speaking in private to a group of sympathetic British businessmen, he appeared to condone bribery, and scorned the work of the SFO's anti-corruption investigators in investigating the Saudi royal family. Andrew's remarks , which have already led to calls for his resignation as the official British trade envoy to the Middle East and Asia, emerged this week when the Guardian published a leaked diplomatic cable from the US ambassador who was also present at the event.