Scandals And Royal Love Affairs

One of the three most powerful politicians in Britain, the home secretary, has resigned over allegations of abusing his office to help his ex-lover.

David Blunkett, who is blind, fell in love with a charming American woman, who is married. CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer takes up the tale and Vanity Fair social columnist Victoria Mather offers the latest royal news that includes speculation in the media about some royal weddings.

Blunkett is blind, brilliant and a blunt champion of family values. It is hard to imagine a politician less likely to lose his heart to a married American beauty or his job over the scandalous fallout.

"I built my reputation on honesty," Blunkett said. "I've sometimes been too honest."

Kimberly Quinn is a high-profile magazine executive.

Victoria Mather of Vanity Fair says, "I think that her allure was her charm, her wit, and her vivacity. She came to London to conquer it."

But just three months after her wedding to Steven Quinn, the British editor of Vogue also conquered Britain's Home Secretary.

During their three-year affair, they took holidays together and went to functions together. She even gave birth to a son, which Blunkett insists is his.

Mather adds, "She's eight months pregnant with another baby, which is also thought to be his. You couldn't make it up."

Then it all turned sour. Kimberly Quinn wanted out and charged publicly that Blunkett had used his public office to grant her personal favors.

The most serious allegation is that he fast-tracked a visa application for her Filipino nanny, something Blunkett denies.

Blunkett's friends say being head-over-heels in love with Kimberly Quinn may have clouded his judgment, but when details of the scandal broke, he reacted with the high-minded candor that is his trademanrk.

"Always accept reponsibility," Blunkett had said. "Always accept the consequences of your actions."

Blunkett did just that, by owning up to his affair and claiming paternity of one and maybe both of Quinn's babies. He even went to court to gain access, and the polls showed most Britons respected him for his honesty.

"I'm not even angry. I'm just terribly hurt," Blunkett said.

Tony Blair also stood by his man for as long as he could.

So what cost him his job in the end?

Probably that same honesty. Recently, Blunkett gave a brutally frank interview to his biographer about fellow cabinet members, which undermined his support at the very time he needed all the powerful friends he could get.

Because he has been so honest, some people in London are suggesting his political life may not, in fact, be over.

The royals have also been in the news because of their love lives.

The Sunday Mail had an exclusive story that Prince Harry has told relatives that he wants to marry his 20-year-old Zimbabwean girlfriend, Chelsy Davy. He has met the prospective in-laws and is having the time of his life with her in Africa.

"He's Prince Harry. Why shouldn't he have a girlfriend?" says Mather. As for him getting married, the social columnist says, it just makes a good celebrity story during this pre-holiday season.

"After he went and met the parents, he went and got very drunk," Mather says, "This is the news! I mean, what else are you going to do? He's not the heir and he's got millions."

The Evening Standard also reported that Prince Charles says he wants to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles once the Princess Diana inquest is over next year and all questions are put to rest.

But Mather is skeptical: "Why would she want to marry him? She's never going to be the queen. She is the duchess of piddly pop. She would have to attend five-hour banquets. Don't do that to yourself, Camilla!"
  • Tatiana Morales

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