The British royal family might be one of the most influential in the world but one thing is for sure, they’re human just like everyone else. The only difference? The media is always watching and waiting.
From Prince Harry’s extremely inappropriate Nazi Halloween costume and baring his bum in Las Vegas, to Prince Andrew’s most recent “allegations”, you can bet Queen Elizabeth has had a quiet word with members of the royal family on more than one occasion.
Let’s take a quick look at the most talked-about moments from the royal family in recent memory.
1. Prince Andrew’s Affiliation With Sex Trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and That Train Wreck Interview
In 2019, Prince Andrew became caught up in a scandal involving financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged with one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
Epstein was later found dead in his jail cell while awaiting trial, with the cause of death ruled a suicide — but that wasn’t the end of the Duke of York’s affiliation.
Prince Andrew issued several statements about Epstein, including an official statement below:
“The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
Then, in what was commonly described as a PR nightmare, he sat down with journalist Emily Maitlis, for a “no holds barred” interview.
WATCH: The full Prince Andrew interview. Story continues…
During the lengthy chat, Prince Andrew said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, which caused severe backlash and resulted in the Queen’s second born to voluntarily step back from his royal duties.
“I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission,” a statement from the palace read.
On December 2 2019, People magazine revealed Buckingham Palace told the BBC that the Duke of York “unequivocally regrets his ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein and “deeply sympathizes with those affected who want some form of closure.”
The palace also added that “it is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virgina Roberts Giuffre. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
Then, on December 3 2019, Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein and was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions nearly 20 years ago, shared her side of the story during an interview with BBC Panorama.
“I was sitting there like I was always told to do. Sit there, be quiet, be polite, laugh if someone says something funny,” she said.
“I wasn’t chained to a sink, but these powerful people were my chains. I didn’t know what would happen.”
The outcome of the allegations are still pending as of December 3 2019.
2. Fergie’s Toe-Sucking Bust
In 1992, after finally announcing her separation after six years of marriage to Prince Andrew, a series of photographs emerged of the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, having her toes sucked (yes, you ready that correctly) while on a holiday with her “business adviser”, John Bryan.
And the matter was made worse when Ferguson was holidaying with Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral when the photographs were finally released.
We imagine that would’ve been a tense family holiday.
You can see the infamous photograph here. Probably don’t open them while you’re in the office.
3. Prince Harry’s Vegas Excursion of Fun
He’s now a settled down father-of-one and married to American actress Meghan Markle (which for some reason was a scandal in itself); but Prince Harry was once a party boy.
On one memorable occasion in August 2012, photographs surfaced of Prince Harry, naked and grabbing hold of his “crown jewels”.
The royal family did its very best to stop the photos by specifically requesting that they not run “due to the implied privacy violation that yielded the photos in the first place”.
His antics, which involved not only drinking vodka but snorting it, were later attributed to the death of his mother.
You can see said photographs here.
4. Prince Harry’s Now Infamous Swastika Costume
Prince Harry’s “off-the-rails” phase earned him numerous headlines, and caused his family constant humiliation (as far as we can tell).
In 2005, photos emerged of the then 21-year-old dressed in costume as a Nazi —complete with swastika.
The photos were released just weeks before his grandmother was to lead a Holocaust memorial service, which led the royal family to publicly apologise.
5. Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s Estranged Family Woes
When Meghan Markle began dating Prince Harry, the whole world was completely enamored by their love story.
Beautiful actress meets handsome prince on a blind date and fall in love.
But no one was more on board with the pairing, than Meghan’s Markle side of the family, who took every opportunity to cash in on their relative’s new life.
From her cannabis growing nephew, Tyler Dooley, who appeared on MTV show The Royal World, to her half-sister Samantha Markle, who went from being in support of her younger sister, to slamming her at every turn.
There are too many insane moments to name, but the most notorious of all, was when Samantha Markle set up paparazzi shots of Meghan’s father Thomas, being measured for his wedding suit a few days prior to Duke and Duchess’ May 2018 nuptials. Markle then admitted that he had lied to Harry about the staged photographs.
Then, it was reported that Thomas would not be attending the wedding as he had had a heart attack, with Prince Charles walking his new daughter-in-law down the aisle.
Thomas would then go on to do several interviews with the press saying that she “[would] be nothing without me. I made her the Duchess she is today,” before a very private letter from his daughter was leaked to a British tabloid who ran it.
Prince Harry and Meghan are now suing the media outlet in question.
What an absolute disaster.
6. Prince William’s Ski Weekend
Notorious for being straight-laced and never putting a foot wrong, Prince William’s ski weekend in 2017 ended in a bit of a disaster when photographs surfaced of the then dad-of-two getting a little too close to some females while partying at a boys weekend.
In fact, caught on video, the Prince had his arm around the waist of a mysterious brunette at the popular Farinet nightclub in Verbier.
According to a multitude of sources, including Vanity Fair, Kate Middleton was “less than pleased”… Oops!
7. Kate Middleton’s Topless Pics
Speaking of Kate Middleton, in 2012, the Duchess of Cambridge and her new husband Prince William were holidaying in France, when paparazzi snapped her while sunbathing topless.
Five years later, in September 2017, a decision to hand the maximum possible fine under French law to Laurence Pieau, the editor of Closer’s French edition, and Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of Mondadori was made.
8. Princess Diana’s Love Letters to James Hewitt
Rumours have long surfaced that Princess Diana’s former lover, British polo player James Hewitt was the real father of Prince Harry and while this was scandalous enough, it was made much worse by the fact that he tried to sell their private love letters to the highest bidder.
While he denied the wrong-doing, according to speculation, Hewitt went around to several auction houses trying to sell them.
9. Princess Diana’s Phone Call With James Gilbey
During her marriage to Prince Charles, Princess Diana had another alleged lover, James Gilbey.
When phone calls between Gilbey and his “Squidgy” (the pet name he had for Princess Di), were leaked, tabloids had an absolute field day.
Of course, members of the royal family were humiliated. Once again.
10. Prince Philip’s Foul Mouth
When Matt Smith who played Prince Philip in the first two seasons of The Crown asked Prince William for any tips on playing his grandfather in 2016, Wills had one word for him. “Legend”.
While this summation of the Duke of Edinburgh has somewhat held up (we think), he sure has said some rather crass things in his time.
Before we show you On Demand News’ compilation of Phil’s greatest gaffes, let’s not forget the time he told a photographer to “just take the f—ing picture”. Ha!
11. Prince Philip’s Car Accident
On January 17 2019, Prince Philip, 98, was involved in a car crash while driving near the Queen’s Sandringham estate, claiming that he was “dazzled” by low sunlight.
The Duke’s car flipped over and he was rescued by a passerby, appearing visibly shaken.
While he was not injured, the two passengers (plus a nine-month old baby) were taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Passenger Emma Fairweather then blasted Prince Philip for “a lack of direct communication”, saying she’d only been contacted by a police family liaison officer and one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting.
Later, the Duke of Edinburgh apologised for the incident, which Fairweather thought was a “nice touch”.
12. Prince Charles’ Phone Call
Prince Charles’ affair with now-wife Camilla Parker-Bowles was allegedly at the forefront of his marriage breakdown with Princess Diana.
But it was when a bedtime call between Prince Charles and Camilla surfaced in which he told her that he wanted to “be reincarnated as her tampon”, that the royal family were humiliated yet again.
Of course, they were absolutely disgusted, with the exception of Diana, who was reportedly very amused.
13. Princess Margaret’s “Bank Job”
Princess Margaret had her fair share of scandal and also loved a cheeky photograph being taken.
However, the Princess was royally set up when robbers busted into a Lloyd’s of London bank to steal copies of the naked pictures and if this wasn’t bad enough, she was pictured with her lover Roddy Llewellyn.
The story became the plot of a very famous film starring Jason Statham called, The Bank Job.