Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, is in hot water, not for the first time Married to the Queen's youngest child Prince Edward, the pair have faced controversy before. The British Royal family are hoping for a bumper 2012, what with the Olympics and the Queen's jubilee, so bad publicity is bad news.
The latest furore surrounds a gift given to Sophie last December by the Royal family of Bahrain and that country's Prime Minister.
Bahrain is far from a free country and it has a terrible track record of human rights. Women who desire any sort of freedom fair badly in this middle eastern Kingdom. When the country experienced civil unrest on the back of the Arab Spring in 2011 the insurgents were dealt with swiftly and brutally. Whilst the West criticised the regime's actions briefly, on the whole a blind eye was turned on Bahrain by the West.
A useful country to the West not least for its location, the West wants a relationship with the Bahrain and its leaders.
However, Sophie has received a huge amount of criticism over today's news. A former UK foreign minister said, "Given the appalling suffering and repression of the Bahraini people, it would be a fitting gesture for the Countess of Wessex to auction these trinkets and distribute the proceeds to the victims of the regime."
Sounds a sensible solution but one she may not want to follow. The items are listed on the official Royal list of gifts received. It is worth noting that official gifts are not usually the personal property of the royal family. They are more often looked after by the Royal Collection.
That should simplify the matter then. Sell them asap and get the money raised sent to deserving people pronto.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog