We all know by now that the members of the Royal Family are far from “perfect.” However, the royals are never far away from a scandal. Here are some of the shadiest things about the modern Windsors that we all know about, but tend to turn a blind eye to.
Most of their public life is about ceremonies, waving, and curtsies, but when the gates of the palace are locked shut, there’s so much more to each family member than we know about.
It’s always been massively important for the royals to adhere to their decorous reputation, but that in no way means they are without flaws. You can’t honestly expect them to be prim and proper all the time, can you? Especially with the gazing eyes of the press and the public…
What do we mean by this? Well, over the last century, we’ve seen Queen Elizabeth come into power, and the Windsors have grown into a family we can all recognize. They are a public dynasty that we can’t get enough of following.
From Diana’s two princes, William and Harry, to the Queen’s three other heirs who have seemingly been pushed aside as spares, their family name is never far from a headline. We’ve been invited to gossip about their family dramas too.
Living off the taxpayers’ dime
Perhaps the biggest criticism that anti-royalists seem to have against the monarchy is the vast amounts of money they have. Their lives are no doubt full of caviar and cashmere sweaters, but where do they get the money for this life of luxury they lead?
Well, unfortunately, a lot of it comes from the British taxpayer. In fact, out of their alleged $368 million-a-year in expenses, an average of $56 million per year comes from the wages of those civilians working and paying taxes each year.
Are they more trouble than they’re worth?
One common debate that likes to play out is whether they bring in more money to the British economy than they take out of it. There’s a whole load of arguments on both sides, but most like to agree that they do in fact bring a lot more money than they spend.
The monarchy is a staple part in British culture and history, so it’s no surprise that they are considered more of a benefit to the national economy than a drain.
Meghan slowly toppling the monarchy
Since Meghan Markle’s name came onto the royal scene in 2016 when she started dating Harry, all eyes have been on her and the ways she has managed to bend the long-standing rules and protocol that come with royal life.
We’ve seen her feature on the cover of Vogue, dismiss the usual royal maternity proceedings, and many have deemed her public outfits inappropriate, too. It’s thought the Queen has kept an eye on her, feeling as though she’s slowly but surely diminishing the importance of royal traditions.
A dog’s tale
One particular family member who will never go hungry is the beloved pet dog, as allegedly, their hungry hounds are treated to a strict diet of only gourmet and organic produce. However, not all of the dogs in the family are treated the same.
According to lots of rumors, when Meghan moved over to live in England in the grounds of Kensington Palace, her dog Bogart was rehomed to a friend for one very sad reason.
According to rumors, Bogart was uninvited due to him being a mixed-breed – Labrador and German shepherd. She originally had two dogs – Bogart and his best pal Gus (a pure-breed beagle).
However, when discussing the terms of her move, she was told she was only allowed to bring Gus with her due to Bogart not being an appropriate addition to the palace – he was essentially “too low down on the canine social scale.” We told you this one was hard to hear! Poor Bogart.
Royal Family – royal tantrums
Sometimes it seems like the Royal Family is perfect – every hair in place, every nail perfectly manicured, every item of clothing top of the line. The truth, however, is that they’re just people. And like everyone else, they also have moments that are good… and ones that aren’t so much.
Nowhere is that more apparent than with the family’s youngest members. Prince George had epic meltdowns at three separate royal outings, for example. Not to be outdone, his sister Princess Charlotte put her foot down during a royal trip to Germany, and refused to board a plane in front of countless photographers.
Who’s Prince Harry’s real father?
When we’re discussing Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s doomed marriage, there are almost too many scandals to choose from, but we’d like to focus on the single most explosive one. While she was still married to Charles, Diana had a years’ long affair with British former cavalry officer James Hewitt, confirmed by both parties.
Ever since, the media has been unable to let go of the theory that it was Hewitt, and not Charles, who was Harry’s father. Looking at photos of the two side by side, the resemblance is uncanny. However, the affair allegedly began two years after Harry was born, so this one’s probably just a myth…
Prince Philip’s stubbornness got people seriously hurt
Queen Elizabeth is now 93. Her husband Prince Philip, meanwhile, is a sprightly 98. Why are we mentioning this? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that both are still driving. Fun fact – the Queen is the only person in the United Kingdom who doesn’t need a driver’s license to drive, and indeed she’s never gotten one.
What’s a lot less fun is that the aging Prince was involved in a car wreck in early 2019 that sent two women to the hospital. Adding insult to literal injury, he was pictured driving without a seatbelt just two days later.
Princess Beatrice, the homewrecker?
Prince Andrew’s daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice are so far removed from the throne that they’ve been allowed to live a somewhat normal life – or what passes for normal within the ranks of the Royal Family. The two have even held down regular jobs to go along with their charitable projects.
What was certainly not charitable was the alleged origins of Beatrice’s romance with her fiance, Italian property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Edoardo, or “Edo” as he’s known to friends, has a two-year-old son with American architect Dara Huang. So what’s the problem? That many believe Beatrice broke up Edo and Dara’s relationship…
Her majesty’s rules
Amid all the Meghan criticisms, isn’t she just rightfully bringing the royals more into the modern 21st century? After all, her majesty does still follow some rather bizarre rules that don’t really make sense anymore, especially when it comes to the dining table.
Apparently, the menu must contain no seafood, no garlic, no pasta, and everyone at the table must stop eating when The Queen finishes eating. Does that mean a lot of dinner guests always leave with hungry bellies?
A discourteous Duke
As social injustices have progressed forward with time, the royals have too, but in the past, some family members have been caught up in a range of ill-conceived controversies. For example, Prince Philip’s buffoonery has seen him caught up in a whole host of careless gaffes in the past…
Which nowadays would be labeled downright offensive. For example, he once posed the question to an Australian Aboriginal – “Do you still use spears with each other?”
A family of infidelities
It’s really no secret that the royals have had their fair share of cheating scandals. Everyone has the right to marry who they truly love, and if divorce is the answer, then the royals should not be looked down upon when they do so – but infidelity on the other hand is completely different.
Prince Charles and Diana’s affairs have long been exposed, but that doesn’t make them okay. It’s almost like infidelity has become the norm. Whatever happened to “till death do us part”?
It became common public knowledge that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were having an affair behind Princess Diana’s back during their 15-year marriage, and after Diana exposed the hard-hitting truth in her infamous 1995 Panorama interview, Charles began to open up about their rocky relationship, too.
He once admitted the royals are notorious cheaters, saying: “I truly refuse to be the only prince who never had a mistress.” Well, Charles, does that make it okay?
Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for more than 67 years, longer than any other monarch in history. Her firstborn son Prince Charles arrived in 1948, and next came Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.
However, despite them being a family of six, it’s often thought that Her Majesty and Prince Philip were not around much at all. Instead, all four children were nurtured and raised with the help of their nannies.
Missing out on love
This was especially the case when their mother and father were away taking part in royal duties, leaving them behind for months on end to be taken care of by royal staff. It’s also thought that Her Majesty and Prince Philip weren’t so keen on hugs, and instead would greet them with handshakes.
There’s also the time when Prince Charles didn’t receive a visit from them when he was severely sick with Asian flu while away at his boarding school.
The Queen’s fault
The Windsors aren’t the most straightforward family, are they? Some people like to blame their ongoing family troubles on Her Majesty herself. An unknown former private secretary of The Queen once told the press what he really thinks of her family.
He said: “If she [The Queen] had spent half as much of her time taking care of her children as she did caring for her horses, then the family probably wouldn’t be in as much of a mess as it is now.”
The people’s princess
One of the biggest media storms to ever hit the British monarchy was the divorce between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Up until the finalization of their divorce in 1996, Diana was hugely popular with the British public.
With her endearingly honest and humanely compassionate manner that she composed herself with, she stood out among the rest of the family as someone we could all relate to. However, as Diana and Charles’s relationship reached a boiling point, her association with the royals was cut indefinitely.
An avoidable accident
Her princess status was stripped at the request of ex-husband Charles, and due to her no longer being an official royal, she was not qualified to be protected by the well-equipped security team who had worked with her for years.
Because of this, it’s often believed that Diana’s fateful car accident could have been avoided if she still had her security team and accompanying protection vehicles working with her.
Even though they had separated, Diana’s fame and popularity in the public eye was still rife. If anything, her status had been heightened even more. She and Charles weren’t in a relationship anymore, but she still had close ties to the monarchy, especially being mother to William and Harry.
After all, she was often referred to as the “most photographed woman in the world”, with the monarchy fully aware of her still being constantly stalked, harassed and mobbed by swarms of press and paparazzi – all of whom were ultimately involved in the car accident that ended her life.
Britain and the rest of the world were mourning the loss of a beloved princess who touched the hearts of the nation. However, in the days after the confirmation of her passing, the Royal Family went AWOL. No flag was erected, and no official announcements were made.
The nation was feeling angry that the monarchy was yet to address such a tragic public issue that ultimately caused heartbreak for millions of people. Diana was a national treasure, and the public felt their reaction to the loss wasn’t handled in the right way.
No matter what kind of controversy the monarchy has been caught up in, the press are never far behind them. They seem to sniff out any drama or any scandal that’s going on behind their closed doors, and nothing will stop them from publishing the story for the rest of the world to see.
With current rumors suggesting Harry and William are feuding, who knows what kind of domestic drama will hit the headlines next.
Do as they say, not as they do
The newest generation of royals has taken it upon themselves to be crusaders for various social and environmental causes, and they have been heaped with much praise as a result. After all, using their considerable clout to do some good in this world should only be applauded, right?
Well, charity does indeed begin at home. Mere days before rolling out their new eco-friendly initiative as part of their brand new Sussex Foundation, for instance, Harry and Meghan took four flights on a private jet in 11 days. Just a tiny bit hypocritical, maybe?
Demanding complete subservience
We’ve mentioned the fact that no one in the Royal Family can eat garlic or pasta simply because the Queen isn’t a fan of them, but it goes far deeper than that. In fact, anyone joining the Royal Family has to be willing to give up a very significant part of who they are.
Meghan Markle is a stark example. She’s had to quit acting, move to the UK., delete all of her personal social media accounts, and even take down her successful lifestyle blog. She gave up not just privacy, but parts of her very self.
The illusion of neutrality
A very basic right in any democracy is voting in its elections. In the U.K., while it isn’t illegal for the Queen to vote, it’s still considered “unconstitutional.” Therefore, ever since becoming queen on June, 1953, Elizabeth hasn’t voted.
Even worse, it’s believed that the rest of the Royal Family doesn’t vote either. This give them a supposed air of detached neutrality, but we can’t imagine it brings them anything other than frustration. They clearly love their country and care about it, but they can do nothing to influence the direction in which it goes.
Meghan’s master plan?
The media has often portrayed Harry and Meghan’s romance as an unlikely story of love at first sight. After all, how could a British prince and an American actress meet and fall in love? Well, according to Meghan’s former best friend Ninaki Priddy, things weren’t quite left up to chance.
Meghan previously claimed that while she knew about the “global interest” in the royals, she didn’t know much about Harry. That’s a tough sell, as Priddy claimed Meghan had Princess Diana’s books on her bookshelf! “I know the Royal Family was something she found fascinating,” she added.
The corgis had a better life than most people do
While the last of the Queen’s clan of corgis, Whisper, passed away in April, 2018, examining the life these pooches led is quite disturbing. While they were still alive, they were served meals of filet of steak and chicken breast by a footman every day.
At Christmastime, each had its own stocking in which the Queen put presents. And most shockingly of all, no one was allowed to raise a finger or their voice to any of the corgis. Buckingham Palace is filled with priceless antiques, and the dogs just went potty on them as they pleased.
As previously mentioned, the royals’ lavish lifestyles are footed to a large degree by tax payers – which is exactly why people show so much interest (and anger) when it comes to their spending habits. And when speaking of Meghan and Harry, expensive getaways seem to be the norm, rather than the exception…
Most recently, the young royal couple caused headlines yet again, because of where they chose to spend their very first Christmas with baby Archie.
A luxurious Christmas holiday
Apparently they spent their Christmas holiday in as far away from the Queen and the rest of the royal crew as possible, at a $14 million Canadian waterfront mansion. This has raised several eyebrows, for several reasons.
This isn’t exactly the first time baby Archie and his parents have spent a lot of money on a trip (and he’s not even a year old!). And second of all, many find it more than odd the family would spend Christmas – the most important family holiday of the year – so far away from Harry’s family.
Many believe the fact Harry and Meghan opted for a super secluded Christmas celebration (only Meghan’s mom was invited) speaks volumes about the growing rifts within the Royal Family.
As usual, the rest of the family celebrated together at Sandringham House, the Queen’s country estate in Norfolk. But this year for the first time ever, Harry opted out. However, some say this has nothing to do with a rift and more with how exhausted both Harry and Meghan are with the relentless press coverage in England.
Keeping quiet – no matter what
The British Royal family is (in)famous for taking diplomacy to the extreme. Some say they almost behave like picture perfect wax dolls more than real people – as they never express any opinions or feelings about much of anything.
In light of the obvious ongoing feuds, especially between Harry and Meghan and the rest, it seems a little odd to people no one is willing to admit it… Some even say the royals run the risk of losing all their relatability and credibility.
Family is everything
Traditionally The Royal Family stick together through tick and thin. And the few who dare break the previously mentioned shady rule about keeping quiet no matter what (like Diana and Meghan) seem to always pay a price…
It’s no secret plenty of royals have been up to some questionable activities over the years, but out of tradition and respect for the Queen, no one seems to ever get any repercussions. That’s yet another privilege (or maybe burden?) of being a royal.
Pushed them out?
For some Royal Family watchers, being part of the Firm (as the royals themselves call it) would be a dream come true. You dress up in the nicest clothes, attend the most exclusive events, and just enjoy the glitz and glamor of royal life, right?
Well, if it’s as great as all that, then why are Harry and Meghan leaving? Yes, in January, 2020, the Duke and Duchess and Sussex announced their intention to walk away from royal life. The culprit? It might be the media hounding them… or it might be that they were finally fed up with the feuding and the harsh restrictions of the family itself.
Didn’t even tell the Queen
While Harry and Meghan’s decision to step away from being “senior members” of the Royal Family is understandable, if unprecedented, the manner in which they went about announcing it caused a deep gash in the Royal Family’s heart. According to reports, the two completely blindsided the rest of the family with the announcement, without so much as a heads-up.
This was especially callous considering the Queen reportedly found out by reading the news on her iPad. With their last big move as royals, Harry and Meghan may have proven right the people who claim they care about no one but themselves.
Cashing out, cashing in
To hear Harry and Meghan tell it, part of their decision to leave the Royal Family is their desire to be “financially independent.” At first reading, this is a completely commendable move. What’s better than no longer relying on public funds to bankroll your expensive lifestyle, right?
Except there might be more to the story. According to sources, the two – especially Meghan – realize all too well their squandered earning potentials. As royals, they are bound by very strict rules. As private citizens, however, all bets would be off. All we’re saying is, don’t be shocked if they pop up in a commercial for Coke somewhere down the line…
Throwing shade at each other
We haven’t gotten a lot of reactions from the members of the Royal Family itself regarding Harry and Meghan’s bombshell announcement, except for one diplomatic official statement from the Queen. Then, Duchess Camilla was asked as she was leaving an official engagement if she would miss the two soon-to-be ex-royals.
Watch Camilla’s face closely as she answers the question: “Will you miss Harry & Meghan?”
The Duchess of Cornwall smiles, pauses, then says “Hmmm. Course!” ??pic.twitter.com/CbPbb92bAL
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) January 20, 2020
Camilla, who supposedly has a less than ideal relationship with Meghan, let out along “hmm.” Then, after a second of two of silence, she replied “Of course” with a knowing smile. That’s some subterranean shade throwing right there!
‘Walmart with a crown’
If Meghan’s relationship with Camilla is only rumored to be strained, her relationship with her family is completely known publicly to be broken beyond repair, especially the one with her father, Thomas Markle. We won’t dredge up old wounds by mentioning how he was invited to her wedding to Harry and then disinvited after staging paparazzi photos of his preparations.
So how about the fact that when he was asked about their impending exit, he said Meghan was “tossing away every girl’s dream for money”? Meghan and Harry, he added, were turning the monarchy into “Walmart with a crown.” Ouch.
Business as usual
Sometimes, it feels like the Royal Family isn’t made up of actual humans, but possibly more of Westworld-style androids with no feelings. How else could you explain that on the heels of Harry and Meghan announcing their dramatic exit the Queen quickly announced giving William a new gig?
That’s right, just a week following the announcement, the Queen named William the new Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland – essentially her personal representative to the church. This could be just a routine appointment, but it could also be her way of propping up the brother who didn’t walk away…
Not the perfect couple we thought?
Speaking of Prince William, his relationship with his wife, Kate Middleton, really does seem to be the stuff of fairytales. While Harry and Meghan’s relationship has been fraught with controversy and nasty rumors from the start, William and Kate enjoyed a pretty quiet time… until 2019.
It was then that some eagle-eyed royal watchers noticed that Kate was no longer friendly with Rose Hanbury, a low-level aristocrat said to have been a good friend of hers. When people did some digging, they allegedly found out why – William had been unfaithful with her, and Kate ordered that she be excommunicated from high society.
Charles had some serious cold feet about marrying Diana
For the longest time, we were under the impression that Charles and Diana had a romance straight from the storybooks. As time went by, we discovered how difficult the marriage was. However, what we didn’t know until much, much later was that the union almost evaporated before it ever happened.
According to recent reports, Charles had some major cold feet mere days before the wedding. He was heard telling close friends that Diana didn’t seem to be old enough to be out of school, much less married. “In his heart,” royal expert Ingrid Seward said, “I think he knew that they just had nothing in common.”
Philip thought of himself as ‘an amoeba’
Being the spouse of the monarch is never easy. It’s a bit like being the vice president of the United States, except that the vice president might actually be president one day – and the spouse will never rule. For headstrong, independent Philip this was a challenge that he struggled with mightily early in the relationship.
Today, they have the longest marriage of any ruling couple in British history, but at the beginning Philip described himself as an “an amoeba attached to the great rock of the monarchy.” In fact, up until 1960 he wasn’t even allowed to pass on his last name to his children.
The impending breakdown of the family?
On the topic of last names, that 1960 declaration said that members of the Royal Family without the His/Her Royal Highness title would have the last name of Mountbatten-Windsor – Prince Philip and the Queen’s two last names, respectively. Fast forward to 2020, however, and only three of the Queen’s great-grandchildren have the HRH title.
They are, naturally, Prince William’s three children. Everyone else, including Harry and Meghan with their son Archie, have made a conscious decision to distance themselves from the monarchy in this manner. Could we be very far from the day where the monarch and his children are the only ones with titles?