Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her jubilee. In 70 years of her reign, a multitude of things happened – unfortunately not only nice ones. And so the Queen also had to deal with some scandals. We look back at the ten biggest scandals in the royal family.

1978 – The first royal divorce

Admittedly, compared to other scandals, the first divorce of a high-ranking person in the British royal family seems pretty succinct from today’s perspective. But in 1978 it was a really big deal. Princess Margaret († 71), the Queen’s little sister, was something like the first scandal among the British Royals anyway. Independent, rebellious, cheeky – adjectives associated with her.

In May 1960, Margaret married photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones († 86). Incidentally, that was the first wedding to be broadcast live on television. After 18 years of marriage, the two separated. It won’t be the last failed marriage the Queen will witness during her reign.

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1986 – The “Birth” of “Randy Andy”

For a long time, the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Andrew (62), was considered a sought-after bachelor. Because before his marriage to Sarah Ferguson (62) in 1986, young Andrew had affairs with various women – mainly from showbiz. His relationship with (erotic) actress Koo Stark (66) attracted particular attention in the early 1980s. This liaison “owes” Andrew his nickname “Randy Andy”.

The relationship between the two lasted 18 months. He has even introduced the actress to his family – at the Balmoral family estate. So it all sounds very promising. But then it came out that Koo played a lesbian shower scene in a 1976 film. Too much, especially for that time. The Queen is said to have spoken a word of power and the relationship was history. Andrew’s nickname will haunt him for a long time to come.

STREAMING TIP: British Royals scandals and affairs

1981 – 1992 marriage to three

It is probably the best-known scandal of the British royal family: the love triangle of Prince Charles (73), Princess Diana († 36) and today’s Duchess Camilla (74).

In 1981, Charles and Diana tied the knot. But the outwardly demonstrated happiness was fragile. In retrospect, more and more details about the dark side of this marriage came to light. Details associated with one name in particular: Camilla. She was Charles’s childhood sweetheart. But he couldn’t completely forget her. On the contrary. She is said to have played a central role in the failure of the royal marriage.

Due to the divorce and the marital war associated with it, intimate secrets also came to light. As Diana herself said in an interview, when asked if Camilla was a “factor,” “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a little crowded.” That didn’t make the heir to the throne Charles look good.

1992 – Fergie’s Sucky Toe

Things didn’t look rosier for Prince Andrew and his wife Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson either. They married in 1986 and subsequently had two daughters, Princess Beatrice (33) and Princess Eugenie (32). But family happiness did not last. As early as 1992, the couple were in a deep crisis. This was particularly fueled in the same year by a paparazzi photo that showed Fergie with the US financial expert John Bryan. He kissed the Duchess’s feet.

A scandal made for the British press. “Fergie and the Toe Sucking”. When the photos became public, Andrew and Fergie were at Balmoral with the royal family. In her defense, the then 32-year-old is said not to have said much. Except that John didn’t suck her toes, just kissed the inside of her foot. As a result, she had to leave Balmoral. Nevertheless, she will continue to play an important role in Andrew’s life – not only as the mother of his daughters.

1993 – Tampon-Telefonat

At the end of 1992, the separation of Charles and Diana became public. In the course of the marital war mentioned above and the intimate details of their marriage that were published as a result, a secretly recorded telephone conversation between the Queen’s son and his lover Camilla was also made public the following year.

The conversation, which is said to have taken place four years earlier, during his marriage to Diana, was possibly one of the most embarrassing moments in British royal history. Drunk with love, Charles whispered to his Camilla that he wanted to be with her, that he would ideally want to live right in her pants. When Camilla joked he would be reborn as a panty, he blurted out, “Or, God forbid, a tampon. That would add to my happiness again.” Camilla is said to have found it “wonderful”. Far fewer will the Queen have found the sex talk of her son AND heir to the throne.

1997 – Silent Queen

In August 1997, the world was in shock when the news of the death of Prince William’s (39) and Prince Harry (37) mother became public. Charles’ ex-wife, Princess Diana, died in a tragic car accident in Paris. Millions of people mourned the loss of Diana, who was loved not only in Britain but around the world. Especially by publishing intimate secrets from her marriage to Prince Charles.

Only one person doesn’t really let anything be heard: The Queen herself. An affront to the British people. Even more! It experienced an emotionally cold royal family. At the time, one in four Britons supported the abolition of the monarchy. Probably the biggest catastrophe in the Queen’s reign, who only spoke to her people in an unscheduled TV speech shortly before the funeral in early September. In the 70 years of her reign there were only five such speeches, which underscores the immense sensitivity of this scandal.

STREAMING TIP: Diana – Seven days shake the world

2001 – Sophie-Gate – Ein Plauder-Scandal

Countess Sophie von Wessex (57), wife of the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward (58), is usually quieter. The two married in 1999, gave the Queen two more grandchildren, Louise (18) and James (14) and have a relationship that is almost boring for the British royal family – because there are no major scandals.

In 2001, however, the so-called “Sophie Gate” came about. Sophie fell for a News of the World reporter in disguise, who extracted some uncomfortable confessions from her. In what was supposed to be a private conversation with an alleged sheikh, Sophie, who actually seemed so reserved, blasphemed about the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife. She also referred to her mother-in-law, mind you the Queen, as “The old dear”. Unpleasant.

2005 – Prinz Harry im Nazi-Costume

In January 2005, Prince Harry made international headlines. The then 20-year-old appeared at a costume party entitled “Colonial Lords and Natives” in a sand-colored uniform with a swastika, which was intended to be reminiscent of that of Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps. Erwin Rommel was considered Adolf Hitler’s “favourite general” during World War II.

After the British newspaper “The Sun” printed the picture at the time and it caused a lot of excitement around the world, Prince Harry publicly apologized for the faux pas: “The costume was a bad choice and I apologize.” The former press secretary of the British royal family also apologized for the young prince’s “incredibly stupid and arrogant” misconduct.

2021 – Harry and Meghan’s scandalous interview

Two against the British royal family. And the world is watching. In the now legendary interview with US talker Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan (40) unpacked in March 2021. One statement was more explosive than the other: it was about serious allegations against the royal family, but also intimate insights into the couple’s emotional world.

Among other things, Harry and Megan accused the British royal family of being “racist”. When Meghan was pregnant with her son Archie, 3, there were concerns “how dark his skin might be when he was born,” she told Oprah. However, the couple declined to divulge any further details about the incident. “It would be very damaging to the person.”


Ongoing – Prince Andrew sex scandal

A senior member of the British royal family involved in a sex scandal with a minor? A super meltdown. The allegation that Prince Andrew (62) had sex with a 17-year-old girl in 2001 first appeared in the British media in February 2011. After years of not attracting much attention, the allegations came to light again in mid-2019. Since then, things have gone downhill for Queen Elizabeth II’s supposed favorite son.

Prince Andrew is caught up by an old roped party with American entrepreneur Jeffrey Epstein. He was in custody on allegations of abuse because he was to be tried. However, he was found dead in his cell on August 10, 2019. Subsequently, more and more explosive details became public.

According to court documents, American Virgina Giuffre claims Epstein kept her as a “sex slave” between 1999 and 2002. He allegedly asked the then 17-year-old to give the prince “whatever he asked” and to report back to him later. It is said that Virginia had forced sexual contact with Andrew several times.

In November 2019, the prince stepped down from his royal duties. The background was a controversial BBC interview. On the show, Andrew claimed that a photo showing him and then 17-year-old Virginia was a “fake”. He also denied all allegations made against him.

In August 2021, Giuffre filed charges against Prince Andrew. A little later it became known that the Queen would pay for her son’s legal and court costs. In December of last year he tried to stop the civil lawsuit against him. But this failed. On January 12, 2022, a New York court ruled that Giuffre, now 38, could sue the prince and that this trial could be held in a US court.

Just one day later, on January 13, 2022, Buckingham Palace announced that Andrew was relinquishing his military titles and would continue to hold no representative duties for the British royal family. In February 2022, Andrew and Virginia Giuffre agreed out of court for a previously undisclosed sum to settle the case that has tarnished the British monarchy’s long-term reputation. (vne/tma)

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Source: RTL (Vincent Nellessen and Theresa Maas for RTL.de)