David Beckham blasted for being ‘indiscreet’ about Buckingham Palace tea party
The little girl also dressed like royalty for the occasion – in a blue gown like her heroine Princess Elsa from the hit Disney film Frozen. Details of the supposedly ‘private’ tea party were shrouded in secrecy until yesterday morning, when both David and Victoria Beckham decided to treat their combined 55million followers on Instagram to a series of photographs to mark Harper’s birthday.
The ‘indiscreet’ publication of the pictures – showing the youngster enjoying the run of the royal residence – caused frustration at the Palace. One image was taken by the former footballer inside Andrew’s private office with Princess Eugenie, it is understood. As the pictures went viral – being viewed several million times within hours – both the Beckhams and Buckingham Palace came under fire online. One critic wrote: ‘If you have enough money you can buy anything!!’ Another said: ‘Is this a new commercial venture by the Royal Family or do all little princesses now get an invite?’
Royal author Robert Jobson last night warned that Buckingham Palace should not be seen as a ‘party venue for millionaires’, particularly when the Queen is about to receive £370 million of public money for a top-to-toe refit.
He said: ‘It seems odd to me that if you have the money or connections then the Palace – a building funded by the British taxpayer –can be used in this way for a selected few. If it is just for the rich and famous it is simply not right. The Palace is the venue for glittering state occasions but when it is used – or misused like this – surely the public is entitled to know how it came about, who organised it, was money paid and why it is only open to rich and famous ex-footballers.’
Asked to explain why the tea party was held, a Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed the ‘private’ event. He said: ‘From time to time members of the Royal Family who reside at royal residences invite guests to visit privately.’
A royal source added: ‘Any costs in terms of refreshments were covered [by Andrew] privately.’
It is understood that both Andrew and his former wife, the Duchess of York, were at the party. Sources close to the Duchess of York insisted it was a ‘family’ event, with the invitation being extended by the whole of the York family.
‘Members of the Royal Family often invite friends for tea at the palace and the Beckhams are family friends. This was a treat for Harper and some of her friends,’ the source said. However, they admitted that the Beckhams’ decision to publish photos had not gone down well.
‘It was very indiscreet for them to have posted pictures on a public forum of what was a private family event,’ they said.