Every family has scandals and things they’d rather not talk about in their backgrounds. Sex, lies, sometimes videotape. And the British Royal Family is no exception.
Remember, these are people too. And just like the rest of us, they have dark pasts and incidents in their family tree.
So, while many people put the Royal Family on a pedestal and think their lives are all glamour and glitz, the truth is far different. Take a look at these 9 reasons why you may want to give the royals, and their history, a more thorough examination.
1. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were not the greatest parents
As is the case with many wealthy families, Elizabeth and Philip’s four kids were raised almost exclusively by nannies. When Prince Charles was only three-years-old and Princess Anne was a newborn, their parents took a six-month “Commonwealth tour,” leaving the children behind with the help.
Strangely, when they returned from their half-year jaunt, they greeted their children with handshakes instead of hugs. When Charles was still young and away at school, he became sick and bedridden with Asian flu. Elizabeth and Philip did not even to bother their son. A former private secretary said, “If the Queen had taken half as much trouble about the rearing of her children as she has about the breeding of her horses, the royal family wouldn’t be in such a mess now.”
2. Their in-laws have to deal with weird rules
Meghan Markle might be the envy of many women around the planet, but the former actress gave up quite a lot to become a princess. She had to leave her acting career, move to England, shut down her lifestyle blog, and delete all of her social media accounts.
Markle also has to follow an extensive list of rules to assure that she always looks prim and proper in public. These include wear hose stockings and never showing cleavage.
And then there’s the Queen. Elizabeth despises eating shellfish and starches, so other Royal Family members aren’t allowed to eat them either. Add garlic to that list as well. Also, no one is allowed to eat when the Queen is dining. Hmmmm.
3. Markle had to give up one of her dogs
With the Royal Family, pedigree is everything, and that even trickles down to pets. When Markle moved to the U.K., she gave up one of her dogs because it was a mixed-breed.
Markle didn’t admit that was the reason she gave up her pooch Bogart, but royal etiquette expert William Hanson implied that he was left behind because he was a mixed breed.
Hanson said, “The finest breeds are Labradors and of course the Queen’s beloved corgis, but other types of dogs will put you surprisingly low on the social scale. Meghan Markle’s beagle, Guy, will be a good and appropriate addition to the canine cognoscenti.”
4. They’ve been accused of racism
Forget about the past generations of the Royal Family, there have been incidents with the current royals where their words have been…less than compassionate, shall we say.
Prince Philip once asked an Aboriginal Australian, “Do you still throw spears at each other?” To a group of British students in China, Philip once said, “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”
Princess Michael of Kent reportedly wore an offensive blackamoor brooch when she met Meghan Markle, who is mixed-race, for the first time. The brooch featured an African man and is considered racist. The Princess also allegedly once told a group of black diners to “go back to the colonies.” When she tried to apologize, she just made things more uncomfortable. The Princess said, “To call me racist: it’s a knife through the heart because I really love these people. I even pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African, but because of my light eyes I did not get away with it, but I dyed my hair black.” I have a feeling that statement backfired spectacularly.
Prince Harry also caught some flack while he was in the military for saying “F–k me, you look like a raghead” to a fellow soldier.
5. There has been a lot of infidelity in the family
We’ve heard salacious rumors for years about extramarital affairs within the Royal Family.
Prince Charles had an affair with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, while he was still married to the late Princess Diana.
When Diana confronted Charles about the affair, he responded, “Well, I refuse to be the only Prince of Wales who never had a mistress.”
6. There are rumors of an underage sex ring
Prince Andrew is the man at the center of this controversy.
In 2015, Andrew was named in a lawsuit by women who claimed they were trafficked for sex with rich, powerful men in a sex ring run by investment banker Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of Prince Andrew’s.
The Royal Family and Buckingham Palace have denied all allegations, but the story is quite disturbing.
7. The family did not like Diana and might be inadvertently responsible for her death
From the outside, Princess Diana’s life was viewed as a fairytale. But on the inside, Diana was tormented and felt suffocated by the Royal Family’s lifestyle. She called the experience like “being a prisoner.”
The Royal Family was not happy with Diana after her divorce from Charles and they stripped her of her royal title after the separation. This turned out to play a role in her tragic death.
Members of the Royal Family are required to have a full security detail with them while traveling.
Perhaps if Diana had still been protected by royal security she would not have been chased by paparazzi and killed in car crash in 1997.
8. The family reacted horribly to Diana’s death
After Diana’s 1997 death, the world was in mourning. A young, beautiful life snuffed out for no good reason. But the Royal Family conducted business as if nothing had occurred, and the Queen didn’t even release a statement about the tragedy. Furthermore, the flag at Kensington Palace was not set at half-mast. People were outraged and complained loudly about what they felt was a slight to Diana.
Finally, after several days, the Royal Family caved. The flag was set at half-mast and the Family released a statement the day before Diana’s funeral. If the public had not been so vocal about their anger, no action might have been taken.
9. The taxpayers are on the hook
With all that pomp and circumstance, the Royal Family comes with a big price tag. The British government gave the Family a whopping $97 million in tax-free income in 2017. They also make a lot of money from their numerous private estates.
Although some argue that the Family makes more money from private estates and tourism than they do from their government paycheck, many believe that is just a myth and that the Royal Family costs British taxpayers over $450 million a year.