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Monarchy in Crisis: 15 Most Scandalous Moments in the House of Windsor

Life is not always "happily ever after" for most Royals of Europe. All throughout ages, monarchy is always thrust in the limelight of humiliating intrigues because of royal misadventures. 

In every generation, there are always wayward royals who will test the resilience of the royal court. All monarchies in Europe gone through it, but never quite as sensational as the House of Windsor.

British royals are never short of antics to surprise the world, from controversial relationships, messy marriages, to careless nude snaps, making royal musing an interesting pastime.

The latest being Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, a former television star, largely unknown to the world before the royal wedding in 2018, trashing the British institution as racist and unbearable in a televised interview.

They have been the center of attention and intense scrutiny since their relationship became known to the public in 2016, criticizing the American actress as unfit to become a member of the British monarchy. And often compared to another American commoner divorcee who triggered a constitutional crisis in 1936. 

The continued scrutiny led to the Sussexes' decision to leave the royal life in 2020. And the House of Windsor  found itself in deep crisis since the 1990s.

The creation of the House of Windsor

Though the British monarchy has long been in existence since the early times, the royal House of Windsor is pretty much a newly-built royal house in Europe. 

Only established in July 1917 due to bitter anti-German sentiments in Britain during World War I.

King George V established the House of Windsor in 1917

After the fall of the Russian empire in March 1917 and watching his cousins, Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra of Russia, fell into disgrace, King George V, the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II, decided to change his royal house name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor, to distance himself from his German relatives, and protect the interest of the crown.

However, as the king died in 1936, the royal house he built to save the British monarchy from crumbling, would eventually fall into the pit of scandals.  

Here are the greatest scandals endured by the House of Windsor 

When it comes to scandals and controversies in the European royal court, nothing does it better than the British royal court.

1. Edward VIII Abdication

It's hard to talk royal scandals in the House of Windsor without mentioning King Edward VIII, the eldest son and heir of King George V. 

After all, his short reign was marred with unprecedented controversies that led to his voluntary abdication in December 1936.

Edward, who was popularly known as David, the Prince of Wales, before his accession in January 1936, had been the source of his father's headache and concern because of his unconventional choices of lovers - either commoner or married. 

Edward and Wallis

Within eleven months of his accession, he declared he wanted to marry his American lover, a divorce commoner who was on the verge of divorcing her second husband.

The royal family and the parliament were equally petrified with his behavior who thought Edward had gone made. Not only it was scandalous in nature, but the Church of England, which the king is the Supreme Head, never performed remarried with a divorce partner.

Mrs. Simpson was everything the royal family despised: American. Divorce. Commoner. Based on royal ethos, she did not fit the bill of a dignified Queen Consort.

To the royal family's horror, Edward chose his lover.

On December 11, 1936, he voluntarily abdicated. Deserted his royal duty. And went to live in exile with Wallis for the rest of his life. For many years since the abdication happened, the royal family still traumatized with the uproar it caused.

However, in 1953, the royal family went through another round of scandal in the same category of Edward. His niece, Princess Margaret, fell in love with a divorced royal servant.

2. Princess Margaret fell in love with a divorced man

In 1953, the royal family would have to face another crisis when the love life of Princess Margaret, the 23-year-old sister of the Queen, became public. 

Peter Townsend and Princess Margaret

It was a kind of relationship that left the British royal court grasping in breath for the next two years as the situation waited for the Queen's decision.

It was scandalous in nature. Not only was the man a commoner, he was divorced with two sons from his first marriage. He also worked in the household of the Queen Mother as a Comptroller. 

The public was horrified to know the princess of the blood royal had fallen in love with a royal servant. It was 1950s where standard of the royal marriages was held high.

RAF Group Captain, Peter Townsend

Group Captain, Peter Townsend, a handsome war veteran who had served the Royal Airforce as war pilot and officer during the Second World War.

In 1944, when King George VI was looking for an equerry, he decided to hire a military man to join his household. He was told an officer just arrived from the war zone, so he summoned the officer right away for a post in Buckingham palace. 

It was Peter Townsend.

What was viewed as a temporary job, Townsend found himself permanently worked for the king. When George VI died, he served the new Queen, Elizabeth II, as her equerry. 

King George VI, his wife, Queen Elizabeth and their daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret

In 1953, he was hired by the Queen Mother as her new Comptroller in her newly established household. And moved with her and Princess Margaret to Clarence House.

The princess, who had not gotten over the death of her father, began seeing Townsend, who was 16 years older than her, as a confidante. 

They became closed, drawn by the respective grief they had gone through. Around the time the king died, Townsend and his wife's divorce became final.

Later, they fell in love.

Peter Townsend proposed to Princess Margaret in April 1953, when she was only 22, and he was 38, She gladly accepted and went to her sister, the Queen, to seek her consent.

As third in line to the British throne and a descendant of King George II, Princess Margaret was subjected to The Royal Marriages Act of 1772, thus, an approval of the Queen was necessary before she can proceed to marriage.

However, it was not an ordinary consent as it involved a divorced person.

A crisis meeting was held in Buckingham Palace with the Queen, the Queen mother, Prince Philip and British prime minister, Winston Churchill, to discuss Margaret's affair.

The royal family during the announcement of engagement of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
From Left: Princess Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI and Princess Margaret

Prince Philip,  made everyone known he was against with the marriage due to the scandalous circumstances it would bring to the Queen's reign. 

He was supported by Churchill who echoed the sentiments of the Commonwealth governments, disapproving the choice of Townsend as the princess's future husband. 

The Queen told her sister to wait for one year to give her time to think and that she needed to consult the parliament and the commonwealth ministers before giving her approval because it has an impact to the state.

In 1954, the Queen, Prince Philip, and the government ministers had another round of meeting and reportedly came up with a proposal to Princess Margaret.

She was presented with so many consequences should she choose to marry Townsend. Without securing approval from her sister, her marriage would be considered invalid in Britain. The wedding could not be performed in the Church of England because Townsend was divorced. 

She would lose her princess title, and her inheritance would be revoked. She would not permitted to attend royal events publicly. And worse, she would be advised to live abroad for a couple of months.

Having these scenarios, Princess Margaret began thinking if she could endure a life outside the royal court. Seeing what happened to her uncle Edward after he gave up his royal duty, she began reconsidering.

Two years had passed without any progress. The Queen still would not release her decision without the approval from the commonwealth ministers. 

In 1955, an ultimatum was reached. The Queen and her new prime minster, Anthony Eden, had reached an agreement to allow her sister to marry her divorced lover with a series of condition. 

The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 would be repealed. And a Bill of Renunciation would be declared. This bill would remove Princess Margaret and her future descendants from the line of succession. 

Though she can keep her title and inheritance, the princess knew she would be largely isolated from the royal family. Suddenly, the princess realized she was not prepared to be an ordinary housewife. 

She began reassessing her decision. And on the 31st of October 1955, she made an ultimate sacrifice and released an announcement: 

"I would like it to be known that I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend. I have been aware that, subject to my renouncing my rights of succession, it might have been possible for me to contract a civil marriage. But mindful of the Church's teachings that Christian marriage is indissoluble and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these considerations before others. I have reached this decision entirely alone and in doing so, I have been strengthened by the unfailing support and devotion of Group Captain Townsend".

Unlike Edward VIII, Princess Margaret chose royal duty and family over love. For the royal family, it was the most ideal decision compared to Edward.

For them, royal duty first, it does not matter what follow next.

3. Divorce of Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones

After giving up her love life with Townsend and choosing her family over personal happiness, Princess Margaret's life gone haywire. She partied aimlessly. 

To draw them apart, Peter Townsend was sent to the British embassy in Belgium as an air attache. And in 1959, married a young Belgian.

Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones

In February 1960, Clarence House announced the engagement of Princess Margaret to Anthony Armstrong-Jones. a royal photographer, whom she dated in just a little over a year.

As the future groom was a commoner, the princess's choice of a husband was met with another intense criticism from the public. But the Queen gave her consent because it was the least thing she could do to make her sister happy after years of heartbreak from her first love. 

The royal wedding in May 1960

Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch in more than 500 years to welcome a non-aristocratic commoner into her direct family. 

Prince Philip walked his sister-in-law down the aisle

The wedding was held in May 1960 and it was the first royal wedding to be broadcast in live television. Armstrong-Jones was created by the Queen Earl of Snowdon so that her sister would have a status of a countess.

The Earl and Countess of Snowdon with their children

The couple would create a series of controversies later in their marital union. Despite having two children, they could not get along and constantly caught bickering in public. 

Their extra-marital affairs and misadventures were also known to the press and regularly attracted headlines. In 1976, they eventually separated and got divorced in 1978.

It was the first divorce of a senior member of the British royal family since Princess Melita (daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, second son of Queen Victoria) divorced her husband (also her first cousin), Ernest. Grand Duke of Hesse (grand uncle of Prince Philip). 

4. The love triangle of Diana, Charles and Camilla

"There were three of us in this marriage, so it's a bit crowded", and so goes the famous words of Diana, Princess of Wales during her panorama interview in 1995

It has been a common knowledge how much Diana had suffered in her loveless marriage all through her life within the British royal court.

In her desperate attempt to be noticed by her husband whose attention was somewhere else, she had attempted to take her life so many times, but comforted with the fact that she had two sons who love her unconditionally.

The Prince and Princess of Wales on their wedding day, 1981

When she married Prince Charles in 1981, he was in love with another woman - Camilla Shand, who by then was married to Andrew Parker-Bowles, an equerry to the Queen.

Charles and Camilla briefly dated in 1971, but he was discouraged from marrying her because she was a commoner and the British royal court at that time was never heard having a future Queen Consort not part of the aristocracy.

So he chose Lady Diana Spencer, an aristocrat who descended from King Charles II. However, after the royal wedding, where more than 700 million viewers around the world witnessed the event, the Waleses drifted apart.

Eventually, Prince Charles resumed his love affair with Camilla. The circumstances left his wife emotionally drained and suicidal. 

In her desperate attempt to retaliate, Princess Diana began a secret affair with a cavalry officer, James Hewitt, his riding instructor. An affair that lasted five years.

The Prince and Princess of Wales

The Prince and Princess of Wales began living separate lives with Camilla hovering in the background, and Diana with another man. The future of the British monarchy was put into question as the future monarch and his consort could not get along. 

As Diana lived permanently in Kensington Palace with her sons, Camilla became a regular visitor of Prince Charles at his Highgrove country estate.

Prince Charles's Highgrove Gardens

The love triangle became the House of Windsor's most scandalous event in the decade since Edward VIII abandoned the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. 

It was controversial in so many levels that the British public began questioning themselves if they still need a monarchy. 

The royal couple's supporters lined up in two classes. The upper-class backed the Prince of Wales while the ordinary public supported the Princess of Wales

It was one of the darkest periods of Her Majesty's reign and she was advised to step on the ring to stop the brawling and saved the throne from crumbling.

with their sons during happier times

Prince Philip became the palace's staunchest defender, spearheading the initiatives to reconcile the couple for the sake of the monarchy. 

He and the Queen even met Charles and Diana for a mutual agreement to repair the damage, however, Charles refused to give up his mistress because he complained his marriage to Diana was unbearable.

In December 1992, their official separation was announced.

5. Squidgygate scandal

"And so, darling, what other lows today?", says the man. "So that was it. I was very bad at lunch and I nearly started blubbing. I just felt very sad and empty and I thought, after all I have done for this fuc*ing family", a woman responded.

And so starts a taped phone calls that runs 23 minutes, containing a scandalous conversation that shook the royal family to its core and almost destroyed Princess Diana.

It was New Year's age of 1989. The Princess of Wales joined the rest of the royal family in Sandringham for the holidays. And the man in question was James Gilbey, heir to a liquor fortune whom Diana had met when she was just 17 years old.

James Gilbey

It was known as Squidgygate because Gilbey called Diana "Squidgy" or "Squidge" and "Darling" during the whole conversation. 

It was scandalous in all aspect as they discussed about babies, Diana's fear of getting pregnant which Gilbey assured she would not, and her loneliness in her sad marriage.

There were noises heard in the phone as they traded kisses and laughter. But the press did not include the transcript were Diana and Gilbey discussed masturbation. 

No one knew who wire-tapped the conversation as it has two versions. There were individuals who were identified but none was brought to the court for invasion of privacy.

6. Camillagate Scandal

After Diana's telephone conversation that was secretly taped, a lusty conversation between Prince Charles and Camilla was also recorded by a radio hobbyist.

The taped conversation sent shockwaves to the public as it confirmed the extra-marital affair of Charles and Camilla, who at the time was married to Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles.

"Oh stop! I want to feel my way along you, all over you and up and down you and in and out", says the man identified as the Prince of Wales. Camilla replied, "Oh, that's just want I need at the moment".

The transcript detailed the affection of Prince Charles to Camilla where he declared he just wished he was a tampon so that he could stay inside her trouser forever.

Some sort of a foolish boyish dirty humor teasing a girlfriend over the phone. Except that, it was the future king of the highest throne on earth.

Prince Charles and Camilla on their wedding day, April 2005

The cringeworthy transcript was published three months after the Squidgygate scandalized the royal family. With the Prince and Princess of Wales illicit affairs going public, the British monarchy looked like a circus.

A month later, their official separation was announced and divorced was finalized in 1996.

Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles divorced in January 1995, more than 10 years later, she married Prince Charles.

7. The 1995 Panorama interview of the Princess of Wales

To these days, Princess Diana's interview with Martin Bashir of BBC, was considered one of the most disastrous interviews ever granted by a member of the British royal family.

Diana during her panorama interview in 1995

Not only it had tarnished the future of the crown, it also lifted the veil of secrecy of the British monarchy, which for many centuries remained hidden from the world.

No member of the royal family ever granted a television interview without the knowledge of the Queen. In Diana's case in 1995, she admitted she did not seek Her Majesty's permission.

In that interview, Diana admitted infidelity with James Hewitt, only because she was desperate, she was helpless and she wanted to win back her husband whose attention was elsewhere.

She also revealed the infidelity of Charles with Camilla where she famously uttered, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it's a bit crowded".

The royal family at Trooping the Colours in 1982

The Princess of Wales admitted she was unprepared with the consequences of her television tell-all and regretted to have ever cooperated with the interview.

Following the event, the monarchy was put in a hotspot of unprecedented intrigues. It prompted the Queen and Prince Philip to call Charles and Diana to agree into a divorce for the sake of their sons.

James Hewitt and Princess Diana

The following year, August 1996, the Prince and Princess of Wales's very public divorce was finalized. However, as a mother of the future monarch, Diana continued to be a member of the royal family and retained her apartment in Kensington Palace.

The Princess of Wales was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris the following year, August 1997 and Prince Charles went on to marry Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005.

8. The Duchess of York's Toe-Sucking Scandal

You wound think the royal family has had enough with messy marriages. But the second son of the Queen, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and his wife also had rheir share of troubles.

The Duke and Duchess of York on their wedding day

Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, known as Fergie, on July 23, 1986. The couple shared two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

But six years later, in March 1992, the couple announced their official separation. Fergie later revealed the cause of the breakdown of their marriage was not because they fell out of love, but due to the fact that she could not bare living in the palace with a husband constantly out to the sea.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson

Prince Andrew was already serving the Royal Navy when he married Sarah in 1992, and so most of his time were spent in the sea than in his marriage.

Five months later after the separation, the Duchess of York was involved in what would become the royal family's most scandalous photos ever emerged in the tabloid.

She was on a vacation with her two daughters at St. Tropez in France accompanied by her financial advisor, John Bryant, an American millionaire.

The toe-kissing scandal of the Duchess of York

While sunbathing topless, she was caught by a Paparazzi lens in a compromising position in the sun bed with her American lover, kissing and sucking her toes.

The series of scandalous photos were splashed in the newspaper at a time she was at Balmoral castle spending summer with the royal family.

The Duke and Duchess of York with their daughters. The couple remained close after the divorce

Prince Philip angrily stormed the room where Fergie was staying and dropped a newspaper bearing a scandalous headlines in front of her, prompting Fergie to leave Balmoral castle with her daughters.

Prince Philip thundered, "I don't want to see her again!". The Duke of Edinburgh, who has been at the Queen's side since her accession in 1952, and the monarchy's fierce protector from intrigues, declared he would never want to be in the same room with the Duchess of York ever again. 

From then on. Sarah was effectively struck out of the royal family. Her divorce from Prince Andrew became final in 1996, months before the divorce of Charles and Diana.

The Duke and Duchess of York and their daughters in 2019

Today, the Duke and Duchess of York made up their mistakes and became close again. They continue to live together at Royal Lodge, Prince Andrew's country residence near Windsor Castle.

The wedding of Princess Eugenie in October 2018 was the first time the Duchess of York and the Duke of Edinburgh were seen together in one room.

Wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in 2018

She was also pictured at the back of Prince Philip talking with other royal family members during the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor, daughter of Prince Michael of Kent.

Prince Philip share a laugh with Prince Harry and Lady Helen Windsor-Taylor at Lady Gabriella's wedding while Fergie was seen at the back

Sarah continued to become an unofficial member of the royal family. During the Oprah interview of Meghan and Harry, it was revealed Fergie taught her how to curtsy to the Queen when they were introduced at Royal Lodge, Prince Andrew's home in Windsor.

9. The Princess Royal's troubled first marriage

The only daughter of the Queen and Prince Philip, Princess Anne, married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 on the 25th birthday of her brother, Prince Charles. 

Princess Anne and Mark Phillips

Her choice of a husband raised eyebrows due to the fact that the man was born a commoner. Later in their marriage, the couple began living separate lives when it was revealed Captain Phillips got his mistress pregnant in New Zealand.

In May 1989, their official separation was announced. Princess Anne, who was granted the title Princess Royal in 1987, began an affair with Timothy Laurence, a commander in the Royal Navy who was also serving as an equerry to the Queen.

Their secret love letters were sneaked to the public and Princess Anne was criticized for her weakness with royal servants. 

In April 1992, she filed for divorce from Mark Phillips which was granted ten days later. In December that year, Princess Anne married Timothy Laurence in an intimate church ceremony in Scotland with I'm 30 guests.

Princess Anne and second husband, Timothy Laurence

No wonder, 1992 was dubbed by the Queen as her annus horribilis or horrible year. Apart from the marriage separation of her two sons, and the divorce of her daughter, Windsor Castle was also caught with fire that year.

10. Prince Harry's naked Las Vegas romp

Prince Harry has always been the royal family's rebellious royal. He would make headlines like a prince on the loose. Either having a new girlfriend, caught kissing someone while on a vacation, smoking or heavily drunk after a night out.

A beach trip with Chelsey Davy

Two of his much-publicized relationships with Chelsey Davy and Cressida Bonas were often made headlines, scrutinizing the level of relationship, tailing them wherever they went. Even on a private vacation.

With Cressida Bonas

However, his most scandalous moment ever was an event in August 2012 while he was on a vacation in Las Vegas. His naked photos made its way to the media. 

It was taken in a private room at the luxury Wynn Casino Hotel in Las Vegas where Prince Harry was enjoying the night with friends and participating in a challenge of "strip billiards.

Prince Harry's scandalous snaps made headlines

He was snapped naked, covering his private part, and in a different angle, still naked, was caught hugging an unknown naked woman from behind. 

The proverb, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas", might be applicable to some but not if you are a popular British prince.

The palace was so furious with the invasion of privacy that they filed a lawsuit and admonished the British media never to print the naked photos in the UK. By then the racy photos made rounds in the internet.

Prince Harry later apologized on his lapse of judgment to pose naked. 

11. Kate Middleton's naked photos

After Prince Harry's naked photos made headlines throughout the world, you would think the British royal family finally learned lessons, enough to never strip while on a vacation. 

Kate in one of the snaps

But in September 2012, they had another round of scandal when Prince Harry's sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, was snapped topless in the terrace of a French villa. And the compromising photos were published by French Magazine, Closer.

French magazine, Closer, that published the topless photos of Kate in 2012

Though Kate was on a private villa in a chateau located in woodlands, the paparazzi's lens still managed to capture her with all her glory, sunbathing.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on a vacation in France and staying in an exclusive chateau owned by Prince Charles's cousin, Viscount Linley, now the 2nd Earl of Snowdon.

The paparazzi took position in the roadside where the terrace can be seeb visible from a distance and cab be accessed by a high-powered camera lens. 

The series of photos were shown her in a skimpy bikini, taking off her top, putting sunscreen lotion to her husband's back. 

Another photo shown her slightly stripping her bikini so that Prince William can apply a sunscreen lotion at her bottom.

It came at a time the Duke and Duchess were in Southeast Asia for an official tour in celebration of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebration.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge heard the publication of the embarrassing photos while in Southeast Asian for an official tour

Right after the photos were published, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took legal action for breach of privacy against Closer and filed for the ban of publication anywhere.

Their sadness was quickly turned into anger and that the "red line has been crossed". The Cambridges won the lawsuit. And in 2017, the court in Nanterre, France where the legal proceedings were held, awarded them with £91,000 in damages.

12. Prince Andrew's controversial friendship with a sex offender

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, second son of Prince Philip and the Queen, has always been in the news for some messy headlines about his lifestyle and entanglement with controversial friends. 

Prince Andrew in the Newsnight interview in November 2019

In most recent memory, his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, the American financier and convicted sex offender who committed suicide while in prison, was intensely scrutinized in public.

Epstein was believed to have run a sex trafficking activity involving minor girls. A woman named, Virginia Roberts came forward and claimed she was forced to sleep with the Duke of York when she was only 17 years old.

Prince Andrew denied the allegation or even meeting Roberts in person.

He granted an interview with BBC's Newsnight in November 2019 where he discussed his friendship with Epstein but never admitted to have ever slept with a young girl.

The result of his television interview was not received well by the public. because he did not show any remorse with his friendship with Epstein. 

It even resulted to layers of controversies that the Duke of York voluntarily stepped down from performing royal duties. Since then he remained secluded at his country residence in Windsor, Royal Lodge.

13. The rift of Cambridges and Sussexes

The British monarchy went through many decades of uncomfortable intrigues, scandalous marriages, infidelities and royal misadventures, but nothing more controversial than a rift between royal brothers.

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, are once inseparable, close brothers. Until Harry's wedding in 2018 when everything turned sour.

A secret royal feud between brothers began making rounds in the media, intensified with the rumors that their wives could not get along. And in fact, the source of their silent row.

The Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge

So where it all started?

According to royal experts, it began when Prince Harry declared his intention to marry Meghan Markle, an American commoner actress, once divorced, and whom he had dated for just over a year.

The last Christmas holiday the Sussexes spent with the royal family

Prince William, who was not comfortable with the idea of having a sister-in-law not familiar with royal life, reportedly advised Harry to take it slowly because he barely knew the woman. 

Prince Harry was reportedly angry towards his brother for not being supportive. He went on to marry Meghan in May 2018. From then on, rumors began to swirl that there were tensions going on between them and their wives.

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle

The first rumor of rift emerged with the news that Meghan reduced Kate to tears over an argument on Princess Charlotte's dress fitting in April 2018. 

Kate wanted to follow protocol of wearing tights for the little bride's maids like in her own wedding in 2011 but Meghan insisted to follow her wishes to just let the girls wore nylon stocking or none because it's her wedding.

The argument reportedly overwhelmed Kate and she left in tears. Meghan won in that argument and her bride's maids were seen not wearing stockings on her wedding day.

The Cambridges during Prince Harry's wedding

It was reported that the main reason of leaving royal life was due to unfair treatment of the media towards Meghan and that she could no longer bear living a life in constant public intrusion.

Palace officials tried to dispel rumors of tensions between the royal brothers and their wives but later admitted Kate and Meghan are not chummy friends due to contrasting culture and background.

The mounting intrigues of royal feud escalated when Prince Harry and Meghan decided to quit royal roles in January 2020 and moved to America.

14. The Sussexes stepped back from royal roles

The life of royals has always been performing royal duties in support to the monarchy's activities in public. It's the royal family's ethos since the early times and has been the monarchy's magic of survival up to the current times. 

All members are expected to take the responsibility of taking royal duties and upholding royal customs in support to the monarchy. 

No royal family member since King Edward VIII, ever deserted a royal life and lived abroad. Until Prince Harry.

No one ever said life is easy for commoners joining the very public life of the royal family. Every ordinary citizen who married princes experienced a difficult transition, even Kate Middleton, but nothing as rocky as the experience of Meghan Markle.

However, it is the high price she would have to pay in exchange for acquiring a royal title and living in wealth and privilege. Outsiders know that and should have known that before marrying a prince.

Thus, many have wondered why Meghan seemed unaware with this "trouble in paradise". Joining a very public life of the royal family always entails intrigues and controversies.

Their decision prompted the Queen to hold a crisis management meeting at Sandringham in January 2020. Privately, the Queen was mortified on the behavior of her grandson because Harry did not inform her ahead of time  on the announcement they made  in their social media account.

For many royal observers, Prince Harry cheapened the royal court and did not respect his grandmother. An agreement was reached and the Queen prevented the Sussexes from using their royal titles in business dealings.

In February 2021, the Sussexes reaffirmed their decision to leave the royal life permanently. And the British monarchy has never been so controversial since the breakdown of the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

15. The bombshell interview of the Sussexes

As if stepping back from royal life was not enough to give his grandmother a deliberate headache in a time that his grandfather is in the hospital, but Prince Harry agreed for a tell-all interview with his wife.

The bombshell interview

An estimated 50 million viewers across the globe watched the explosive interview where Harry and Meghan trashed the royal family with very serious allegations of racism and spreading falsehood.

As Oprah Winfrey kept giving them matches to lit on, the Sussexes burned bridges with the royal family with Prince Harry revealing his father refused to take his calls and cut him off financially.

They also revealed that a conversation with family members centered on Archie's skin whether he has mixed color because Meghan's mother is black. Because the couple refused to drop names, now people began to speculate all royals are racists.

Their controversial interview was heavily criticized as toe-curling and ill-advised, something that they might regret later like Diana in her panorama interview in 1995.

Nonetheless, all had been said and Buckingham Palace found itself facing the crossroad of disastrous allegations. 

No prince of the blood royal ever talked in a TV interview against the royal family that once bankrolled his lifestyle and basic needs.

Life inside the royal court, in fact, is not all about fairytale. There are dark sides too.

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