Aatish Taseer, 38, dated Lady Gabriella Windsor, 37, for three years in the 2000s
The journalist spent time with her parents, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent
The couple invited him into their five-bedroom Kensington Palace apartment
Taseer described 'KP' - now home to William and Kate - as 'wildly depressing'
He claimed: 'For three surreal years, Ella and I hung about Kensington Palace; we swam naked in the Queen's pool in Buckingham Palace; we did MDMA in Windsor Castle [...]'
Taseer also recalled flying with the royals on a commercial flight, separated from the rest of the passengers by a velvet rope
Gabriella's mother, Princess Michael, according to Taseer, was convinced it was a bad idea for royals to tie the knot with commoners
A bookish blonde, Lady Gabriella Windsor is known as one of the quieter members of the Royal Family.
But the daughter of the Queen’s first cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, has found herself the subject of an extraordinary article penned by her ex-boyfriend in which he claims they took MDMA – ecstasy – at Windsor Castle and swam naked in the Queen’s swimming pool at Buckingham Palace.
What’s more the writer, Aatish Taseer, who dated the bluestocking for three years until 2006, touches upon the issue of racism and the Royal Family.
He alleges that ‘royals and Nazis go together like blini and caviar’ and claims that Lady Gabriella’s mother, Princess Michael, once owned two black sheep at her former Gloucestershire home, which she named Venus and Serena after the African-American tennis sisters.
Royal insider: British journalist Aatish Taseer, 38, dated Lady Gabriella Windsor, affectionately known as 'Ella', for three years after meeting through friends in New York in 2003
Last night there was stony silence from Buckingham Palace and a spokesman for the Michaels, who live at Kensington Palace, who said: ‘There won’t be any comment on the story.’
A friend of Ella, as she is known to her friends, was reported as describing the allegation as ‘fiction’.
‘Aatish is a novelist. He has an active imagination,’ they said.
But the allegations have left senior courtiers reeling, particularly the suggestion that Lady Gabriella, who while only 50th in line to the throne is still a regular at royal events and is likely to attend next month’s royal wedding, allegedly took an illegal drug at one of the Queen’s official residences.
Journalist Taseer – who once dressed up as a sexual health campaigner called Captain Condom – became so close to fellow writer Lady Gabriella, now 37, during their relationship that they were tipped to marry.
Parents: Lady Gabriella is the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent (pictured in a file photo)
London-born Taseer, whom Princess Michael once described as ‘one of the most handsome men I have ever met’, is the son of a wealthy Sikh mother and a Muslim newspaper proprietor from Pakistan. His father, a politician, was assassinated in 2011.
Writing in Vanity Fair magazine, Taseer describes how, in a ‘louche past life’, he was ‘almost’ a member of the Royal Family.
He says: ‘For three surreal years, Ella and I hung about Kensington Palace; we swam naked in the Queen’s pool at Buckingham Palace; we did MDMA in Windsor Castle; and we had scrapes with the British press.’
No further details of the alleged incidents were given.
Taseer recalls how he was ‘waved in’ to Kensington Palace (then a home for minor royals, which he described as being a cross between a military hospital and an old people’s home) by policemen who said: ‘Ah, you’re the Indian fella who’s going with Gabriella.’
In the US magazine, which is also on sale in the UK, he writes at length about Princess Michael – dubbed Princess Pushy for her imperious ways.
Of her denilas of racism, he says: ‘I would have liked to believe her, but I had my doubts...royals and Nazis go together like blini and caviar...everyone above a certain age in Britain is at least a tiny bit racist.’
Making a statement: Prince and Princess Michael of Kent at the wedding of Crown Prince Leka II of Albania in 2016. Taseer said Princess Michael did not possess the understated nature of other royals
He adds: ‘Princess Michael, though generally free of British colonial prejudices, and beyond reproach when it came to me, nevertheless invited trouble out of what felt like a desire to shock.
‘Most everybody thought she was “perfectly ghastly,” but I saw a nice side of Princess Michael. She could be funny, intelligent, generous, and she was a lot more industrious than the other royals-she wrote books and decorated houses! Her tragedy was she never understood that element of understatement that is so much the secret of survival for the Royal Family.’
He reveals: ‘She was of the firm belief that it was a bad idea for royalty to marry commoners.
‘“It’s all very well Ella marrying Mr Taseer from India or Pakistan,” she once said to me. “No one knows what to do with that. But the moment the girl down the road thinks she can be Princess, or Queen, it’s all over. The mystery is gone”.’
Taseer says his romance with Lady Gabriella wasn’t all ‘schlosses, boats and stag hunts’.
His abiding memory of rubbing shoulders with the Michaels was of ‘constant cutbacks and reduced circumstances’.
‘To fly with the royalty was to fly with Easyjet,’ he said.
He recalls one excruciating flight back from Sardinia, when the Kents were seated in the second row of their economy plane.
‘A moment of silence ensued, then there was a dull roar on the jetway, and a planeload of lobster-red British tourists poured on to the flight, muttering, “Wot’s this, wot’s this?,” as they rushed past the grandson of George V, Emperor of India,’ he writes.
The Michaels live in a five-bedroomed apart in Kensington Palace, which makes them neighbours of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
For decades they used to pay a peppercorn rent for the property, courtesy of the Queen, but after a public outcry in the 1990s were forced to start paying a full commercial rate, estimated to be around £10,000 a month.
Neither receive any taxpayer funding, although they carry out a small number of duties on behalf of the monarch each year, and have to work as writers, speakers and, in the case of Princess Michael, as an interior decorator. It has led them to be dubbed the ‘rent a Kents’.