Report By: Nina Rai
London, 20 Feb, 2012
As part of her charity drive the Duchess of Cambridge this Valentine’s Day (14th Feb) paid a visit to a ‘dry bar’ in Liverpool linked with her charity Action on Addiction. At the alcohol free ‘Brink’ bar in the city centremingled easily, talking knowledgably with recovering addicts. It seemed obvious that the Duchess had first hand knowledge about the damage, drugs and alcohol addiction wrecks on human beings.
Duchess Kate owes much of her informed knowledge and empathy with the alcoholics to her multi-millionaire uncle (Mother Carole’s younger brother) Gary Goldsmith. It is no secret that Goldsmith was caught three years ago on camera by an undercover reporter, apparently snorting coke and boasting about his royal links. (Video) In this News of the World “sting,” he is seen jocularly saying that he has access to Buckingham Palace. “I’ve got my own rooms, the Goldsmith Wing,” he said. “I’m going to be the Duke of Slough.”
However all this is now a thing of the past. Kate Middleton's ‘black sheep’ uncle has taken very well to rehab and has now “cleaned up his act.” He has changed so much that he is said to be a valuable source of information for niece Kate. That is not all, he has even promised to give her all help and guidance with regard to her work for Action with Addiction.
A friend of Goldsmith told The Telegraph that Gary’s name was never mentioned in any of the official statements about Kate’s decision to be an Action on Addiction patron. However, he opines that Duchess Kate had seen the toll that addiction had taken over her uncle, and this has obviously played a role in her decision to get involved.
“She has been in touch with him a lot about the charity and she hopes that he will be accompanying her to some events for it before too long,” adds Gary’s friend. Meanwhile according to The Telegraph when contacted 46-year old Goldsmith, did not make any comment when the issue was raised with him. Neither did a spokesman for Duchess Kate who said that he did not wish to discuss Kate Middleton’s “private relations with her family.”
The chief executive of Action on Addiction Nick Barton disclosed that the Duchess of Cambridge, when she invited him to St James’s Palace in Nov 2011 to discuss about addiction, right from the start looked to have an in-depth knowledge of the issues involved. While she didn’t refer to her uncle, Barton opined that “this was clearly a cause close to her heart.”
Meanwhile the decision to get involved with Action on Addiction was Kate Middleton's own personal choice. Barton made it clear that they had not approached the Duchess to be a patron of the charity. It was Kate Middleton who had picked them rather than they doing so. But, obviously they were very happy to have her as their patron, he added.
It may be noted that way back in 2005 Gary Goldsmith, made £275 million by selling off his recruitment business Computer Futures. The following year he played host to Prince William and Kate Middleton at his palatial villa in Ibiza for a week. He was a guest at their royal wedding, arriving at Westminster in a bright blue pricey (£280,000) Rolls Royce Phantom.
Source: The Telegraph