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When Pippa Middleton married James Matthews back in 2017 royal watchers thought they’d uncovered everything there is to know about the revered Matthews clan.

Like Pippa’s family, the Matthews are well-to-do commoners with several significant landholdings who enjoy a place of prominence in London society.

It was revealed this week, however, that Pippa’s in-laws have been hiding a very dark secret for the past two decades.

David Matthews

Several media outlets have confirmed that James’ father, David Matthews, was arrested at Paris’ Orly Airport this week in connection with statutory rape charges.

Officials have been investigating allegations that Matthews had sex with an underage girl in the late nineties.

This week, they were finally able to obtain a warrant for the 74-year-old businessman’s arrest.

"I confirm that David M was placed in police custody on 27 March at the Brigade for the Protection of Minors," a Paris judicial official tells The Telegraph.

Pippa Middleton and Bearded James Matthews

The official continued:

"Following his arrest, the Paris public prosecutor’s office opened a judicial investigation, overlooked by an examining magistrate."

The authorities provided few details about the nature of Matthews’ alleged crimes, but The Telegraph reports that there were several incidents beginning in 1997.

There’s no word yet regarding in which country the alleged misconduct took place.

Matthews’ attorneys have dismissed the charges as "untrue and scandalous."

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews, By The Water

At this point, the case will pass from the police to the courts as judicial investigators seek to determine if there’s enough evidence to convict Matthews.

While we’re sure their main concern is seeing that justice is served, the timing of the arrest is certainly not ideal for members of the royal family who are currently preparing for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Times have changed, and royal marriages are no longer arranged for political expediency, but nevertheless, Harry and Meghan’s wedding is still an international event that will put one of the western world’s oldest institutions squarely at the center of the global stage.

David Matthews may not be directly tied to the Royals, but his loose association to Kate, William, Meghan, and Harry is no doubt a source of concern for many within Buckingham Palace today.