For many years the media have portrayed the lifestyles of ‘the undeserving rich’ who inhabit Britain’s Benefit Malls, as feckless wasters and a burden on the tax-paying public. There have been signs over recent months that their attacks on this largely invisible minority in society are beginning to take their toll.
So extreme have these attacks on some of Britain’s most privileged elite been, that many within the gold-vaulted communities of Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Kensington, often under the cloak of anonymity, have decided to fight back. One of these individuals is a young woman called Beatrice Ferguson, 28, whose close neighbours in Belgravia have alleged is a princess.
Claiming that her lifestyle has been unjustly vilified in the media, and following in the footsteps of her father, Beatrice has recently starred in the Channel Five reality show, Benefit Mall where, among other unsociable activities, she has been filmed drinking copious amounts of gin and tonics, abusing fellow customers and falling over drunk in her local public house, the Duke of York, named after him.
Recent allegations that Ms Ferguson has consistently taken advantage of Britain’s benefit system, continue to be stringently denied by the alleged princess. One of the most serious accusations relates to the claim that Beatrice set herself up as a business matchmaker after having secured a high-profile client in the shape of would-be stock market debutant Afiniti.
It has been reported that a member of the Zia Chishti entourage, who is said to have accompanied Ferguson to meetings and parties at the World Economic Forum in Davos, including to a lunch for many of the most senior figures in British business, phoned the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) hot-line in the UK anonymously in order to inform on her activities.
When challenged by undercover journalists about this, Beatrice reportedly said that she informed her local Job Centre Plus in London’s Bayswater Road of her intention to take a week’s holiday abroad to which she claims she was entitled:
“I phoned the DWP three days in advance informing them that I would be taking a foreign holiday for a week which was agreed at the time by my work coach. This was not a working holiday”, she said.
But this version of events was contradicted by her alleged clients, the advisory board members of the company that is headquartered in Washington DC, comprising no fewer than 21 senior figures. An account relayed to investigators by one of these individuals, BP chief executive Lord Browne, however, appears to support the benefit claimants version of events:
“The notion this young lady is connected to a company called Afiniti, or that I am one of her clients, is absurd. I recall that she was at a party I attended as a guest. The fact that Mr Chishti, who previously co-founded and brought to market a company that makes transparent braces for teeth straightening, is merely coincidental”, Browne said.
Beatrice, who some in the media have dubbed Britain’s version of a Kardashian, has in previous years, been spotted taking to the water on Roman Abramovich’s £1 billion super yacht, Eclipse, which is docked off the Spanish coast near Ibiza.
Asked by reporters how the alleged penniless royal could afford to rack up seventeen holidays in nine months on a weekly Job Seeker’s Allowance of £73.40 since giving up her 20k a year role at Sony, Beatrice claimed the trips were paid for using savings accumulated in her Barclays Instant Saver account.
Responding to accusations that her lifestyle is excessive, Beatrice snapped back at reporters by saying that the Benefits Mall programme was a cheap attempt at smearing benefit recipients like her. “If I knew then, what I know now”, she said, “I would never have agreed to do this show.”
Beatrice claims that chalking up three skiing holidays on top of multiple hot weather breaks and repeated trips to New York, “is my human right”. She continued: “People are jealous that I have saved up some money that funds a lifestyle to which I’m entitled. When I visited New York, it was to see my sister, Eugenie”, said the streetwise hustler from downtown Belgravia.
In November 2016, the DWP cited an on-line article which claimed that Beatrice visited the United Arab Emirates for a “business engagement” with her father, the Duke of York and also that she subsequently attended a lavish party on board a Polynesian themed party yacht. Beatrice categorically denies both claims.
Later that week, Beatrice admitted to investigators she flew on a private jet with her mother, Sarah Ferguson, to Beijing for a wedding, paid for by her father which she claims didn’t break DWP rules since she was able to sign-on the following week.
Moreover, she claimed she was able to prove to her job coach that she had spent the required amount of time actively seeking work. The alleged princess put her late attendance that day down to heavy traffic along the Bayswater Road and that the number 148 bus she was travelling on had broken down.
Serious questions, however, remain with regards to Beatrice’s whereabouts during the Christmas period. Having failed to have turned up to a 2pm appointment previously arranged with her work coach who had planned to run through her CV with her, Beatrice claimed she phoned Job Centre Plus saying that she was too sick to attend.
But a tip-off from a member of Beatrice’s entourage later alleged that after enjoying Christmas lunch with the Queen at Sandringham, the Benefit Mall star jetted off to Verbier to stay at her parents £13m ski chalet. My source then alleges she flew to the Caribbean where she saw in the new year relaxing on a yacht belonging to billionaire Lakshmi Mittal.
Having made a quick trip back to London to sign on, it is claimed Beatrice spent time on another yacht in the company of, among others, comedian, Jimmy Carr. After a double holiday in the Caribbean, she is then said to have taken a trip to New York.
With the authorities becoming suspicious of her increasingly erratic lifestyle depicted in Benefit Mall, the DWP finally made the decision to suspend the reality TV stars Job Seekers Allowance. The suspension of her housing and council tax benefits swiftly followed.
After complaining vociferously to TV executives at Channel Five about the manner in which the programme-makers had characterized her and her class in Benefit Mall, Beatrice flew back to her parents place in Verbier.
With her stress levels now at breaking point, Beatrice then flew out to Florida for her twelfth holiday in five months before moving on to the Gulf State of Bahrain as a guest of it’s Prince whose father helped put down pro-democracy protests.
Great Guana Cay
In September, Beatrice flew to Florence before jetting off for her third Caribbean jaunt where she was photographed lounging on a beach in Great Guana Cay, home to just 150 people, and blessed with a five and a half mile stretch of sandy white beach, virgin forest and pristine coral reefs.
With Ms Ferguson having apparently set up home in Great Guana Cay, the authorities back in London have been keen to interview the reality TV star regarding unanswered questions that reportedly involve her failure to report a change in her circumstances.
Some other independent journalists are also seeking answers to similar questions about the activities of other alleged royal benefit scroungers. In a recent column for the Daily Mail, renowned independent investigative journalist, Richard Littlejohn, asked how her father, who has a modest naval pension, could afford a £13m property and pay for regular private jet flights?
“The Royal Family is still guarding secrets that we the people should know about”, said the Guardian.
Conservative MP, Amber Rudd, has reportedly taken an interest in the Beatrice Ferguson case. She has also promised to look into the other alleged incidences of royal benefit fraud highlighted in Benefit Mall. Rudd stated that in the event of any more information coming to light, members of the public could contact her anonymously, c/o the Palm Fringe Savoy Hotel, Bahamas.
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