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Revelations that the Duchess of York was apparently willing to trade access to her former husband Prince Andrew in return for cash are rather less important, argues Dr David Nicholl, than the revelations might have on her mental health.

So the Duchess of York was caught in a sting operation by the News of the World - so what?

Is this news? Yes, but should the News of the World be doing this, after all how much influence does Prince Andrew's ex-wife have? Not a lot it would appear.

Yet her past history of depression and eating disorders are well known so in many senses she is a vulnerable adult.

Just because the News of the World, with its vast resources, CAN do such a story, does not mean that they should. I don't believe the newspaper gives a monkey about the mental health of any of the people it does a story on - as long as they can make money on the story.

I'm not trying to stand up for the Duchess - who frankly was a bit dim to have been caught so readily, but the Royal Family aren't exactly known for being the brightest spanners in the tool-box.

But really if the Duchess is driven to depression (or worse) again, will the News of the World be happy? Of course they will, it will make for another front page story. Just don't call it journalism.



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