A former boyfriend of Lady Gabriella Windsor has claimed ‘royals and Nazis’ go hand-in-hand while alleging his ex’s mother, Princess Michael of Kent, once owned two black sheep she named Serena and Venus after the African-American tennis sisters.
British journalist Aatish Taseer, 38, dated the 37-year-old royal, affectionately known as ‘Ella,’ for three years after meeting through friends in New York in 2003. More than a decade later, he has offered insight into what life is really like inside the royal family.
‘Royals and Nazis go together like blini and caviar,’ he wrote in his article for Vanity Fair, alleging that ‘everyone above a certain age in Britain is at least a tiny bit racist.’
Royal insider: British journalist Aatish Taseer, who dated Lady Gabriella Windsor for three years, has claimed ‘royals and Nazis go together like blini and caviar’
Allegations: The journalist alleges Gabriella’s mother, Princess Michael of Kent (pictured), owned two black sheep named Serena and Venus
According to Taseer, Princess Michael named the black sheep after African-American tennis stars and sister Serena and Venus Williams (pictured)
Taseer, the son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer, said he ‘saw a nice side’ of Gabriella’s mother, Princess Michael, but noted that almost everyone finds her to be ‘perfectly ghastly.’
‘Princess Michael, though generally free of British colonial prejudices, and beyond reproach when it came to me, nevertheless invited trouble out of what felt like a desire to shock: her pair of black sheep in Gloucestershire were named Venus and Serena,’ he wrote.
The princess most recently came under fire for wearing a ‘racist’ blackamoor brooch to her first lunch with Prince Harry’s biracial fiancée Meghan Markle, but that was only one of her many scandals.
Taseer recalled how Gabriella was graduating from Brown University when her mother was accused of using a racial slur to insult a party of black diners at New York City restaurant Da Silvano in 2004.
Princess Michael allegedly told them to ‘go back to the colonies’ during an argument over noise, and the incident landed her a cover of the New York Post under the headline ‘Royal Bigot.’
Scandal: The princess most recently came under fire for wearing a ‘racist’ blackamoor brooch (pictured) to her first lunch with Prince Harry’s biracial fiancée Meghan Markle
Apology: A spokesperson for the royal said that she’s ‘very sorry and distressed’ for wearing the brooch, adding it was a gift she’s worn many times before, without controversy
Trouble: Princess Michael (pictured with Queen Elizabeth II in 2015) was accused in 2004 of telling black diners at a restaurant to ‘ready to go back to the colonies,’ a claim she denies
The princess strongly denied the allegations, claiming to have said she would be ‘ready to go back to the colonies’ during the dispute, and Taseer claimed that she also told to him she ‘would never have said that.’
According to the journalist, she said: ‘I’m a historian. I know that America itself was a colony.’
Taseer wrote that she ‘feigned an odd mixture of injustice and contrition, telling him: ‘I daren’t even say I want my coffee black anymore. I say, “Without milk.”‘
He admitted that he would have liked to believe her, but he had his doubts because older people in Britain tend to be somewhat racist.
After the argument at Da Silvano, Princess Michael subsequently went on to make a series of toe-curling remarks in a television interview about the incident, referring to African people as ‘adorable’.
Surprised: Princess Michael said she was shocked to learn her father, Baron Gunther von Reibnitz was a high-ranking SS officer. He is pictured in 1918 (L) and 1970 (R)
Opionion: Taseer (pictured with Lady Gabriella and her mother in 2004) said Princess Michael did not possess the understated nature of other royals
Speaking of her extensive travels through Africa, she said: ‘I even pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African, but because of my light eyes I did not get away with it, but I dyed my hair black.
‘I traveled on African buses. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted experiences from Cape Town to right up in northern Mozambique. I had this adventure with these absolutely adorable, special people and to call me racist: it’s a knife through the heart because I really love these people.’
A decade later, it was revealed Princess Michael’s father, Baron Gunther von Reibnitz, was a high-ranking SS officer, which she claimed was shocking news to her.
He joined the Nazi party in 1930 but escaped to Bavaria in 1945 when it was occupied by the Americas. Princess Michael was born Marie-Christine von Reibnitz during the final months of World War II.
Who is Lady Gabriella Windsor?
Lady Gabriella Windsor, 37, is the daughter of Princess Michael of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent – a first cousin of the Queen.
Lady Gabriella, known as ‘Ella’, is currently 50th in line to the British throne.
Educated at Downe House School in Cold Ash, Berkshire, Lady Gabriella obtained an MPhil degree in Social Anthropology from Linacre College, Oxford.
She also studied at Brown University in the US.
During their three-year relationship, Lady Gabriella and journalist Aatish Taseer were often seen at society’s biggest parties. The pair parted ways in 2006.
She is now keeps a low profile. Lady Gabriella is believed to work as an arts consultant and writer for Branding Latin America, based in London.
The royal shares her birthday with the newborn Prince Louis of Cambridge.
Taseer noted that Princess Michael had always failed to grasp the understated nature—or ‘coziness’ so prized by other members of the Royal Family.
”Prince Michael was cozy; Prince Charles is cozy; the Queen, by all accounts, is a tea cozy. But Princess Michael was, fatally, about as cozy as a yellow jacket on speed,’ he explained.
According to Taseer, the mother-of-two was also convinced it was a bad idea for royals to tie the knot with commoners, particularly female ones.
‘It’s all very well Ella marrying Mr. Taseer from India, or Pakistan,’ she allegedly told him. ‘No one knows what to do with that. But the moment the girl down the road thinks she can be Princess, or Queen, it’s all over. The mystery is gone.’
Back when Gabriella and Taseer were dating, her parents were said to have very much approved of their daughter’s beau, with Princess Michael describing him as ‘one of the most handsome men I have ever met.’
When the former couple first met in New York, Ella was interning at Vanity Fair magazine while completing her final year at Brown University and Taseer was working for Time magazine after having recently graduated from nearby Amherst College.
He claimed: ‘For three surreal years, Ella and I hung about Kensington Palace; we swam naked in the Queen’s pool in Buckingham Palace; we did MDMA in Windsor Castle […].’
But while he painted a rather raucous picture when detailing their behavior, he also alleges in his piece that life at Kensington Palace was, in reality, rather bleak.
Currently, the palace—which Taseer refers to simply as ‘KP’ in he article—is the bustling family home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who settled in apartment 1A in 2017 and now have three young children.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry, 33, and Meghan Markle, 36, live in a cozy, two-bedroom cottage in the shadow of the main building, where they are keeping a low-profile ahead of the royal wedding next month.
Parents: Lady Gabriella is the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent (pictured in a file photo)
Lavish lifestyle: Taseer accompanied the royal, now 37, to society events during their three year courtship
But Taseer described how when he visited—years before the princes moved in—the residence was rather more lifeless.
‘The warren of dark-brick apartments and offices that greeted me resembled something between a military hospital and an old people’s home,’ he wrote.
‘All the famous inhabitants—Princess Margaret, Princess Diana—were dead, and those who remained, minor royals and palace secretaries, lived in their long cold shadow.’
Taseer recounted how he was ‘waved in’ to Kensington Palace by policemen who said: ‘Ah, you’re the Indian fella who’s going with Gabriella.’
He added: ‘I have happy memories of KP—Burmese cats in window seats and wooden commodes, deep bathtubs and walled gardens—but the truth is that until Will and Kate arrived to liven up the place, Kensington Palace was wildly depressing.’
As the Queen’s first cousin, Prince Michael was granted the privilege of living in a grace-and-favor residence for decades.
Going for a swim: The writer said he and Gabriella ‘swam naked in the Queen’s pool in Buckingham Palace’ (pictured in a file photo)
Home: Taseer described how they ‘hung about’ Kensington Palace (pictured), where Lady Gabriella’s parents, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, live
High profile romance: Many believed Taseer and Lady Gabriella (pictured in 2006) would wed
However, this changed in the late 2000s when the Queen began charging a reported £10,000 ($13,776) a month in rent after a public outcry.
The pinch was felt by the couple several years beforehand and in 2006 they sold their Gloucestershire mansion, Nether Lypiatt, for £5.75 million ($7.92 million).
This change in circumstance was apparent to Taseer, who described how his ‘enduring memory’ of the Windsors was of ‘constant cutbacks and reduced circumstances’.
He recalled one occasion when the prince and princess joined Lady Gabriella and himself on a flight back from Sardinia on a row cordoned off by a velvet rope.
‘To fly with royalty was to fly EasyJet’, he wrote before describing how ‘a planeload of lobster-red British tourists’ boarded the flight and found themselves thoroughly confused at the sight of the royals.
Neither of the Michaels receive any taxpayer funding, although they carry out a small number of duties on behalf of the monarch each year. They have to work as writers, speakers and, in the case of Princess Michael, as an interior decorator. It has led them to be dubbed the ‘rent a Kents.’
Despite the differences in Lady Gabriella and Taseer’s backgrounds, friends believed it was only a matter of time before their relationship became permanent.
Family home: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge now live at Kensington Palace with their children Prince George, four, Princess Charlotte, two, and newborn Prince Louis
Laying low: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle live in a two-bedroom cottage on the grounds
Indeed, after they posed for photographs in a glossy magazine in 2005 and Gabriella talked about how she was drawn to her boyfriend’s ‘energy and courage,’ an engagement seemed imminent.
The couple spent six months backpacking around the world together. But in 2006 it was announced the couple had split up. At the time, it was reported that Taseer had decided to return to India, where he grew up, while Gabriella opted to stay in the UK.
Gabriella has now been dating Tom Kingston, a financier who is also Pippa Middleton’s ex, for three years.
Last night there was stony silence from Buckingham Palace and a spokesman for the Michaels, who live at Kensington Palace, who said: ‘There won’t be any comment on the story.’
A friend of Ella, as she is known to her friends, was reported as describing the allegation as ‘fiction.’
‘Aatish is a novelist. He has an active imagination,’ the person said.
Gabriella has been dating Tom Kingston, a financier who is also Pippa Middleton’s ex, for three years.
While only 50th in line to the throne, she is still a regular at royal events and is likely to attend next month’s royal wedding.