Prince Andrew Used N-Word at Palace Meeting ... Claims Ex-Gov't Adviser

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Prince Andrew's very bad publicity run is getting worse -- he's now being accused of casually dropping the n-word while speaking to a former British government employee.

Rohan Silva -- a UK native of Sri Lankan heritage and former aide to Prime Minister David Cameron -- says he was invited to a meeting at the Palace to discuss policy with the Queen's son, and asked him if the trade department could be doing a better job.

To that question, Silva claims Prince Andrew said ... "Well, if you'll pardon the expression, that really is the n***** in the woodpile."

Silva says the prince's racial epithet left him reeling as he left Buckingham Palace, but he's ashamed to say he didn't do anything about it. He says, "For a long time after, I kicked myself for not confronting the prince on his choice of words -- and it's something I still regret today."

Silva claims this wasn't the first time Prince Andrew used bigoted language either. At another Buckingham Palace meeting a year prior, Silva claims the prince told him ... "What you have got to remember is that you’ll never get anywhere by playing the white man."

The former aide says he was unfamiliar with the phrase at the time, but when he looked it up he realized it implies that dark-skinned people are less trustworthy and don't play by the rules like white people.

Silva's claims come on the heels of another Prince Andrew scandal ... related to his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew's accused of having sex with an underage woman named Virginia Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre), who he met through Epstein at least 3 times from 1999 through 2002.

The Royal family has denied Virginia's allegations, but the prince did himself no favors by making an appearance on "BBC Newsnight" and claiming he couldn't even remember Giuffre ... despite posing in a photo with her in 2001.

He also offered up an alibi for one of the alleged sexual encounters, saying it couldn't have been possible because he specifically remembers taking his daughters to Pizza Express at that time.

Rita Ora & Prince William So, Ya See ... Size DOES Matter!!!

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Rita Ora's charm knows no bounds ... as Prince William learned face-to-face and firsthand.

Wills and Rita met at a charitable event Wednesday night in London, and instead of just acting like he's enthralled ... we're guessing the Duke of Cambridge was actually thrilled to hang with the singer. He's a royal, but he's still only human.

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BTW, William went all out for the event honoring Centrepoint -- an organization that's been aiding homeless youth for 50 years. Peep that green crushed velvet tux he was rocking.

We're sure meeting Rita had nothing to do with his fashion selection. Besides, does anyone believe the future King of England really dresses himself?

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He also met 3 members of Duran Duran -- Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Simon Le Bon -- which would've been totally exciting ... had Rita not been in the room.

Side note: That's NOT Adele or Victoria Beckham in the background of William and Rita. Just reasonable facsimiles.

Meghan Markle Nephew Was Naked & Screaming ... During Hollywood Arrest

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Meghan Markle's nephew, Thomas Dooley, quickly lost his towel and was butt-ass naked during his rowdy arrest in Hollywood last week ... which we now have on video.

TMZ obtained footage of the arrest from Thursday, which took place right around the corner from the Hollywood Hotel just north of Santa Monica Blvd. As you can see ... it was a noisy affair, as officers attempted to detain Dooley..

We broke the story ... Thomas was arrested and ultimately booked for felony resisting arrest after police say he was spotted cruising up and down the boulevard covered only by a small towel.

Cops say he was also shouting gibberish to himself, and appeared to be under the influence of some substance. We're told he had to be taken down after evading police.

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Meghan Markle Nephew Arrested in Tiny Towel

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Meghan Markle's nephew was arrested in Hollywood for causing a scene in nothing but a tiny towel.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Thomas Dooley was walking down a street Thursday shouting gibberish ... wearing only a small towel wrapped around his waist. We're told some passersby called cops ... and several units rushed to the scene.

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Our sources say when officers approached Thomas, he defiantly began walking away, so they tried to detain him. We're told he was taken to the ground and subdued.

That would be it ... it probably wouldn't amount to much more than a misdemeanor, except for the fact an officer injured his knee during the takedown. That elevated things to felony status, so Dooley was booked for felony resisting arrest.

Prince Harry Retraces Diana's Famous Footsteps ... Through Landmine Field

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Prince Harry showed he's got his late mother's moxie -- walking through a landmine field just like she did some 22 years ago.

The Duke of Sussex paid homage to Princess Diana Friday in Angola ... walking through a minefield on day 5 of his royal tour of Africa. He was there to check out the landmine clearing efforts of The HALO Trust ... a charity Princess Di brought a lot of attention to in 1997.

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She walked through the exact same minefield back then to bring awareness to the landmine crisis around the globe while calling for an international ban. Two decades later, the area's been transformed from uninhabitable to vibrant ... with colleges, schools and small businesses surrounding it.

Princess Diana spearheaded the Mine Ban Treaty ... a call to eliminate all landmines by 2025. Harry had taken up on the cause well before arriving in Angola to retrace his mother's steps.

He made a similar tour in Mozambique in 2011, and a couple other visits to Angola years ago. Just like Di, Harry's goal is a landmine-free world by 2025.

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Committed to Commercial ... Take 12-Hour Red-Eye with Archie!!!

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12:42 PM PT -- Is it possible baby Archie is wearing a royal hand-me-down?!? Looks like Prince Harry wore a very similar beanie when he was just a kiddo back on New Year's Day as Princess Diana exited a plane. One thing's for sure ... the beanie's still in style!!!

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are making certain no one can call them the Duke and Duchess of Hypocrisy -- they flew commercial for a grueling trip WITH their 4-month-old baby.

Don't get us wrong ... the royal couple still got the royal treatment Monday morning after landing in Cape Town, South Africa.

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A team of security guards and airport staff led them away from their British Airways flight. The fam was looking pretty weary on the tarmac as Meghan cradled baby Archie ... who was rocking a stylish beanie, btw.

The 11-and-a-half hour, nonstop flight from London ain't easy for normal travelers, and when ya add baby Archie to the mix ... ya gotta say Harry's doing his best to flip public opinion.

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Meg and Harry caught a rash of crap for jacking up their carbon footprint on a gas-guzzling private jet to visit Elton John in France last month. Although, Harry said afterward sometimes it will be necessary to fly private for the safety of his family, this now the 2nd time he's been spotted on a commercial flight since then.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Archie, are kicking off a 10-day tour of the former British colony.

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They're already hitting it off with the locals by dancing with some of their greeters in Cape Town.

Well, perhaps wisely, Harry let Meghan do most of the dancing.

Originally Published -- 7:08 AM PT

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Archie's First Pub Outing!!! Dinner and Pints (for Dad)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are giving their royal baby a taste of the commoner's life by attempting to go undercover for an ordinary day at a British pub.

The Duke and Duchess hit up The Rose & Crown in Windsor, England and as you can see in photos obtained by TMZ ... they blended right in with their infant son, Archie.

Harry had a tight grip on Archie's car seat while Meghan lugged some more baby gear, during the family outing a few Sundays back. The royal tyke, who was less than 4 months old at the time, had a blanket over him and appeared to be napping.

Instead of taking in a cricket or football (soccer) match on the telly ... we're told Archie kept pretty damn quiet for the 2 hours the family was there. Not a single peep outta the little guy -- even when Mom changed his nappy, (that's what they call diapers).

Mom and Dad enjoyed a roast dinner, the house specialty, and Harry helped himself to a couple of pints while Meghan settled for water. We're told they were treated just like all the other patrons -- who didn't bother the royals at all. So much so, one witness said it almost seemed like many customers didn't even recognize them.

They weren't all that incognito though ... with private security and 2 police officers in tow.

By the way ... the pub is just a stone's throw away from Frogmore Cottage, where Harry, Meghan and Archie live.

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The pub visit seems to be the first low-key public outing they've made as a family since Archie's birth in May. They were all out together in July, but that was for Dad's polo match ... which is always a public spectacle.

Welcome to the pub life, Arch ... you're officially a Brit.

Serena Williams Heads to U.S. Open Final ... Mum on Meghan

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3:14 PM PT -- Serena Williams just lost the U.S. Open Women's Singles championship to 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu, who handled the tennis legend in pretty convincing fashion -- 6-3 and 7-5, respectively.

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Meghan Markle is in the house at the U.S. Open, and she seemed ready to cheer Serena on as she sat behind Anna Wintour. Looks like MM went with a caj outfit for the day, rockin' a denim top and some aviators too. Good choice -- it's a nice 76-degrees out there today.

Serena Williams was in championship mode ahead of the U.S. Open Final -- and that means she didn't have time to chat ... especially for silly questions about Meghan Markle.

The tennis icon left her hotel Saturday with a look of determination on her face as she boarded a waiting SUV, which was ready to drive her to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Queens, NYC ... where Serena is facing off against Canadian Bianca Andreescu in the Women's Singles championship later. Paps were standing by, but SW made no time for them.

One photog asked if the Duchess -- a close friend of Serena's, who flew into town this week to watch her pal battle for the trophy -- was going to be a good luck charm for her. She didn't answer ... and the reason is probably this, Serena doesn't need luck.

While we're sure she appreciates Meghan coming out, her presence alone in the stands isn't likely to make a huge difference on how Serena performs. Nice try though.

The camera man made a pretty obvious note to Serena as she closed the door ... saying that the world would be watching this afternoon.

Yes, thanks for pointing that out. She's aware of that too.

Originally published -- 11:32 AM PT

Kate Middleton & Prince William Princess Charlotte's First Day of School ... Is Reason to Smile!!!

Huge day for Princess Charlotte ... it's her first day of school and her Royal parents couldn't look prouder.

Prince William and Kate Middleton sported huge grins Thursday as they arrived at London's exclusive Thomas's Battersea school. The Royal family walked hand in hand with 4-year-old Charlotte and Prince George. Charlotte -- who is fourth in line to the throne -- looked giddy but also a bit nervous meeting the headmaster.

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This is 6-year-old George's third year at the school. You can tell he's already a pro at schooling ... giving the headmaster a firm handshake. William said Charlotte's very excited for her first day as they all walked in.

Thomas's Battersea is a pricey private school. Tuition at the school with 560 students (21 students in Charlotte's class) is around $7,900 for ages 4 to 13 per term. But, Charlotte's getting a sibling discount ... which lowers tuition by about 150 bucks per term.

Sounds like the start of a healthy college fund.

Prince Harry Defends Private Jet Use It's Rare & Family's Safety Comes First

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Prince Harry is defending his use of private jets, saying that on the rare occasions he might opt for one ... it's only for the well-being of his family.

The Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle, have received some heavy criticism lately for cruising around in gas-guzzling private jets ... they took them at least twice in August.

At a presentation in Amsterdam Tuesday -- where PH was discussing a new environmental project within the travel industry called Travalyst -- he told reporters that he actually spends 99% of his life travelling the world by commercial plane.

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However, he went on to say ... "Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe. It's generally as simple as that."

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You'll recall ... Elton John went to bat for Harry and Meghan when they came to visit him in the South of France, backing up Harry's words here by saying their private jet use was necessary for security reasons. The couple also flew private to Ibiza shortly before that.

For Harry, he says balance is the key with his private jet use -- adding that if he has to use a private flight, he works to offset his CO2 output (without getting specific). He says he wants to make that a regular thing in tourism and other travel in general.

It sounds like the way to balance things out will come down to cash. Harry says folks need to feel "that little bit of extra money is actually going" to something bigger than themselves.

Ellie Goulding & Caspar Jopling Married in Very British Wedding ... Katy Perry Makes the Cut

Ellie Goulding just tied the knot with Caspar Jopling, and her wedding was a who's-who of British stardom -- plus one famous American who squeaked in ... Katy Perry.

The English pop star said "I do" Saturday at the York Minster cathedral all the way across the pond, where tons of famous Brits flocked in to witness the matrimony. We're talking Royals, folks -- Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and Sarah, Duchess of York, were there.

No sign of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle here -- Ellie used to date Harry a little while back. Seems like she left on good terms with some of the Royal Family though!!!

There were other UK-born celebs who got an invite as well -- Sienna Miller showed up with her BF, Lucas Zwirner, as did James Blunt with his wife, Sofia Wellesley.

Orlando Bloom and Katy also walked into the church hand in hand -- he's English too, of course, so it looks like KP was among a few notable Yankees who made the cut. Then again, that might just be a coincidence ... Ellie and Katy are longtime pals.

Either way, congrats to the happy couple. And, nice touch riding in on that sweet Volkswagen Bus -- helluva way to make an entrance.

Debbie Allen Accepts Lara Spencer's Mea Culpa ... Ballet is Cool for Boys and Girls

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Debbie Allen says Lara Spencer made lemonade out of her lemon of a joke about Prince George liking ballet ... but now it's time for everyone to grow up when it comes to guys dancing.

The dance legend was at LAX when we asked about Lara's on-air apology for making fun of Prince William and Kate Middleton's son ... she applauds her for having the courage to own up to her mistake.

Debbie says the ordeal highlights a bigger issue -- there should be no shame for men in the dance game. Allen wants folks to educate themselves and gives a great example of a legendary man who took dance to broaden his horizons and inspire creativity.

Debbie suggests, if it worked for that guy ... we should all take note.

As for Spencer's blunder, Allen's not going to hold it against her ... even if other big names in the dance community -- notably Abby Lee Miller -- are less forgiving.

Debbie says in this day and age, the better move is to have compassion and spread positivity ... and believes Lara's taken a step in that direction.

Abby Lee Miller Rips Lara Spencer ... Don't Show Up at The Ballet, Bitch!!!

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Lara Spencer better not show her face at any ballet any time soon ... so says Abby Lee Miller, who thinks the GMA anchor's rip on Prince George's dance lessons should make her persona non grata.

The "Dance Moms" star tells TMZ ... Spencer's on-air ridicule last week of the 6-year-old Prince for liking ballet ... is straight-up sexist. As a result, Abby says Spencer might wanna steer clear of "The Nutcracker" this holiday season.

Abby is joining the chorus of boos that have been raining down on Lara ever since she poked fun at Prince William and Kate Middleton's eldest. However, Abby says Spencer can make amends IF she cuts a fat check to help boys and underprivileged children get dance lessons.

The way Abby sees it, Lara's mockery is a slap in the face to Prince George and kids around the globe who love to dance. She adds ... it's comments like this that bully young boys and make it hard for them to enter a dance studio in the first place.

As you know, Spencer's on-air apology didn't sit well with many fans, and clearly, you can count Abby in that group.

We don't get to say this often (or ever), but we've got genuine ballet beef!!!

Meghan & Harry New Nanny Seen in Private Jet Pic ... More Royal Diversity

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Royal baby Archie's got a new nanny -- his third in as many months since his birth -- and she's helping Meghan Markle accomplish one of her goals ... bringing multiculturalism to the Royals.

Prince Harry and Meghan's latest childcare pro was spotted stepping off a private jet with the family as they returned from vacation at Elton John's estate in France ... and TMZ's confirmed she is indeed their new nanny.

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Here's what we know about nanny #3 from our Royal sources -- she's black, from Great Britain and was hired through an agency. As you may know, both Meghan and Harry have been advocates for race and gender equality ... so this choice makes sense.

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This is the first time we've seen one of Archie's nannies in public -- so, truth is, one or both of the first 2 might have also been black. In any event, this is new territory for the Royal Family. Prince William and Kate Middleton's nannies have been white.

Our sources say the unidentified woman was hired about 2 months ago after Meghan and Harry went through 2 other nannies in their son's first 6 weeks. One of them was a night nurse.

We're told so far, so good ... Duke and Duchess have been happy with nanny #3.

As we reported ... the couple have also been vocal on environmental issues, so they took some heat in the press for flying private. Sir Elton wasn't having it, though.

Elton John Cool Your Jets on Harry & Meg's Private Flight!!! Slams Media, Haters

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5:11 PM PT -- Ellen DeGeneres weighed in on the private jet controversy, and she too is jumping to Meghan and Harry's defense ... saying they're truly trying to make the world better.

She took to Twitter Monday, writing ... "Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation. They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people." Ellen added, "They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people. Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better."

No doubt, she's following Elton's lead.

Elton John wants the media to back the hell off of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle -- and warns if the harassment continues they'll end up like Princess Diana.

Sir Elton is livid about various reports and criticisms of the Royal couple going on gas-guzzling private jet trips -- most recently to Elton's home in France -- while advocating for environmental issues.

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The famous singer says he's "deeply distressed" over the "distorted and malicious" accounts of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visiting him last week, and feels the need to protect Harry and his family "from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death."

Elton says the couple's recent private vacay at his home was his way of providing them a peaceful break after a hectic year and their dedication to charity ... but it required a private jet ride for security reasons.

Because of Harry's commitment to the environment, Elton says he ensured the flight was carbon neutral -- by contributing to Carbon Footprint (a company supporting renewable energy) -- so the haters can shut it.

Elton insists it's time for the attacks to stop, saying, "cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis."

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As you know, Elton and Diana were very close friends, and clearly ... he's looking after her son like a protective papa bear.

Originally Published -- 10:09 AM PT

Meghan Markle Live Like British Royalty in L.A. ... Old Crib Hits the Market

Before the palace, Meghan Markle was shacking up in a chic Los Angles pad smack-dab in the middle of Tinseltown -- a home you can now call your own ... if you've got the cash.

The Duchess of Sussex's former L.A. house -- where she lived when she worked as an actress, before Prince Harry -- is currently for sale at a cool $1.8 million. It's in the mid-Wishire/Miracle Mile area near Hancock Park ... so close to just about everything Hollywood.

Meghan's old crib is a 4-bed, 3-bath colonial style house with over 2,000 sq. feet of space and an open floor plan. It's got a fireplace in the living room and a huge kitchen with an eat-in breakfast area. The interior of the home is super modern, with stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors throughout. It's got a pretty sweet backyard too, with a built-in awning.

A property fit for a West Coast king, really ... or a duchess, we should say.

Meghan owned the house while she was married to producer Trevor Engelson between 2011 and 2013. Eventually, they split and she moved to Toronto to film "Suits." It's unclear if Meghan was in possession of the home this whole time -- we doubt it -- but it just hit the market this month.

Of course, she's living at Windsor Palace now across the pond. Marrying a prince will do that.