Daily Express

Russian pranksters dupe the Duke! Harry falls for hoax call from ‘ green Greta’

- By Richard Palmer Royal Correspond­ent

PRINCE Harry faced embarrassm­ent yesterday after two Russian pranksters pretending to be Greta Thunberg on the phone duped him into criticisin­g the Royal Family.

Comics Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov tricked Harry into believing he was speaking to the teenage climate activist and her father Svante in two conversati­ons.

During one, the Duke of Sussex appeared to take a swipe at the Queen’s approach to environmen­tal issues.

Harry said: “Small steps or giving out prizes doesn’t make any difference these days.”

The words are thought to be a response to his grandmothe­r’s last Christmas broadcast.


She concluded: “It is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.”

The Duke’s remarks could also be a dig at the Earthshot Prize environmen­tal award, launched by his brother Prince William.

They were not the only comments about his family.

Asked about his uncle Prince Andrew’s friendship with the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Harry said: “I have very little to say on that.

“But, whatever he has done or hasn’t done, is completely separate from me and my wife.

“We operate in a way of inclusivit­y and we are focusing on community.

“We are completely separate from the majority of my family.” Speaking about his decision to step down as a senior royal, he said:

“Sometimes, the right decision isn’t always the easy one.

“And this decision certainly wasn’t the easy one but it was the right decision for our family, the right decision to be able to protect my son.

“And I think there’s a hell of a lot of people around the world that can identify and respect us for putting our family first.” Harry

Hoax... Greta Thunberg, to whom Harry thought he was talking also gave his views on politics. He suggested last year’s general election battle between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn was a sign British politics is broken. The Prince said: “The fact that our choice was between those two individual­s... probably creates more of an observatio­n that the system itself might be broken.”

He also laid into other leaders, adding: “Unfortunat­ely, the world is being led by some very sick people. So people like yourselves are the ones that are going to make all the difference.

“The fossil fuel industry and certain presidents are driving completely the wrong agenda.

“I think the mere fact that Donald Trump is pushing the coal industry so big in America, he has blood on his hands.

“Because the effect that has on the climate and the island nations far away – again, out of sight, out of mind.

“I think if Donald Trump can become president of the United States of America, then anything’s possible, right?”

Fake Greta also suckered him by telling him Mr Trump threatened an island named Chunga- Changa, a made- up isle from Russian folklore.


Harry replied: “It’s probably not an individual case. It’s happening all over the world.”

He also ruled out working in McDonald’s after quitting senior Royal duties, criticisin­g “junk food, sad, sad meat”.

An extract from one of the calls – made on New Year’s Eve and January 22 – was posted on YouTube, along with a cartoon of the Duke.

Yesterday Stolyarov, who has also hoaxed Sir Elton John, said Harry spoke for an hour. He said: “He wanted to speak out. It seems like he wanted to get a lot off his chest.”

Buckingham Palace refused to discuss the prank yesterday or say whether Harry had apologised.

But the calls, which the Duke is understood to have taken at his Canadian home, raised questions about security surroundin­g him, Meghan and son Archie.

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