This month’s lead title For Queen and Currency: Audacious fraud, greed and gambling at Buckingham Palace draws on thousands of leaked documents, police and inside sources to expose a massive fraud and security scandal at Buckingham Palace which Scotland Yard and the Royal Household tried to suppress.
Author Michael Gillard won journalist of the year and investigation of the year in 2013 for his work exposing criminal boss David Hunt, head of an infamous London gang whose associates included Terry Adams and Reggie Kray. Gillard could not accept his award in person at the British Journalism Awards however, as since revealing Hunt in the Sunday Times, he can no longer attend public events.
Gillard was also involved in uncovering police files on corruption during the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry, which led him to co-author the acclaimed Untouchables: Dirty cops, bent justice and racism in Scotland Yard.
Now back with the true story of a group of Royalty Protection officers who entertained a life of high-risk gambling, brown envelopes of cash and striking poses on the throne of England, Gillard takes us behind the velvet curtain of the Royal household. He reveals a culture of high jinks far from the public projected image of decorum you might expect of the officials charged with the protection of the Queen of England.
Paul Page, a young royal protection officer turned degenerate gambler, ran a hedge fund for his colleagues during the credit and property booms. His Currency Club bet millions on movement in sterling and gold, paying investors returns beyond their dreams of avarice and financial logic. But Page was hiding huge gambling losses and when the returns dried up, a hit man threatened his family, sending the royal policeman over the edge and on a rampage with a gun.
Scotland Yard tried to spin the scandal to divert attention from its own regulatory failures, but Page refused to go quietly. In order to expose the negligence of his superiors, Page came forward to get his side of the story into the public arena, and For Queen and Currency was his conduit. His sensational trial became an arena to expose the so-called elite Royalty Protection squad and the private life of a senior royal. “The Queen is going to be mightily pissed off,” warned Page. “[There was] an agreed understanding that what happened at Royalty stayed at Royalty.”
Not any more.
Besides the scandal, fraud and violence, For Queen and Currency is a human story; the tragic rise and fall of a young couple in the boom and bust years, who learnt the hard way that playing the big leagues and living the high life by gambling with other people’s money will eventually catch up with you.
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