| Ian Strachan, one of the alleged blackmailers
London, Oct. 29: The “sex-and-drugs” scandal rocking Buckingham Palace has now become a “gay sex scandal” amid fears that the identity of the royal said to be at the centre of the affair may become known to the wider public as well.
Although a judge had issued a strict gagging order that the royal’s name should be kept secret, the BBC has already broadcast that it believes the person involved is a “minor royal” — which may be interpreted as a defensive move by Buckingham Palace.
In reality, little these days shocks the great British public, certainly not sex and drugs, even if it is gay sex and drugs, but the story will run for a while in the media.
Today, a day after the legal authorities said that the alleged blackmailers would not be named, they were.
Ian Strachan, 30, a property developer, and Sean McGuigan, 40, both from London, are due to appear at the Old Bailey on December 20 after allegedly threatening to release a video which they claimed indicated that the royal had engaged in a sex act with an aide.
They apparently used a mobile phone and a tape recorder to capture their evidence. It now seems that they did not actually film the oral sex but caught an aide talking about the sex he is alleged to have had with a royal — or so it is alleged.
The two men were picked up in a sting operation at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane by Scotland Yard while showing what they had on their mobile phone to someone they thought was a royal aide — in fact, he was a detective.
Strachan and McGuigan, who had both come to the meeting, had apparently demanded Pound50,000 as a price for not circulating the video.
Although the Sunday Times broke the story yesterday, the two men had approached other newspapers who are known to be better payers but no deal was done.
Strachan is originally from Aberdeen and attended Aberdeen Grammar School in the early 1990s, when he was known as Paul Adalsteinsson after his Icelandic father. He is understood to have taken his mother’s maiden name after his parents split.
Today’s Mirror has dragged the names of the princes William and Harry into its report on the scandal. The paper said that Strachan had boasted to his legal team that he met the princes as well as Zara Phillips, Princess Anne’s daughter.
The Mirror even “doorstepped” the royal allegedly involved but he “refused to comment, saying, ‘Please call my office.’ Repeated calls went unanswered. Buckingham Palace also declined to speak”.
The paper said: “The alleged blackmail victim is not a senior member of the royal family.”