- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Critics across the pond are steaming about a recent exclusive tea party David Beckhamparticipated in at Buckingham Palace, ABC News reported Tuesday.

“Lucky Harper meeting a real life princess at the Palace,” read the caption for the Instagram photo, which shows Mr. Beckham’s daughter posing in costume as a Disney princess, joined by other young girls and Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew and granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth.

Funded by the British taxpayer, Buckingham Palace is designed for official royal business and state occasions, but, “[f]rom time to time members of the Royal Family who reside at royal residences invite guests to visit privately,” a palace spokesperson said, ABC News reported.

Prince Andrew will reimburse the British government for expenses related to the event, ABC News said.

For his part, Mr. Beckham took to Instagram to explain his side of the story and to note that the event was not a birthday party for Harper.

“Just to be clear this wasn’t the palace opening the gates for Harper’s birthday party, this was a tea party where us and other guests were invited so it was a beautiful thing to do with My mum, Harper plus a few school friends,” the retired soccer superstar said on Instagram, ABC News reported. “We were honored to be able to there.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Mr. Beckham’s controversial tax-avoidance arrangements had scuttled a knighthood that was “all but approved” a few years ago for the former Manchester United player.

Mr. Beckham’s paperwork was subject to a “red flag” by revenue officers after they discovered an investment of his that they considered a tax-avoidance scheme, the Evening Standard reported. 

Government officials came under fire for subsequently working privately with Mr. Beckham to “sort out” the row, the Evening Standard reported in February.

“Football supporters are expected to pay their full share — and so should football players,” the Evening Standard quoted Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh as saying at the time. “No one should be above the law and everyone should pay everything they owe, but we shouldn’t create a new ‘bend it for Beckham rule’ for certain people.”

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