Top 7 Royal Family Scandals

England’s Royal Family scandals have become a dime a dozen over the years. With affairs, divorces, secret love children and drug problems, the English Royal Family history makes even the most scandalous soap operas seem tame. 

But there are a few stories that seem to take precedence in putting shame to the Royal Family; here are a few:

HRH Prince Chares HRH Camilla Duchess of Cornwall.
Photo credit: UK Ministry of Defence

1. Prince Charles and “Camilla-gate”

As if Prince Charles having an affair with his now wife Camilla Parker-Bowles during his marriage to Princess Diana wasn’t bad enough, the fact that their secret phone conversations were made public makes their affair extra, extra juicy.

In secret recordings dating back to December 1989, Charles can be heard saying “I love you” to Camilla as well as a few other sexually-suggestive comments (to put it lightly).

Princess Margaret
Photo credit: Laura Loveday

2. Princess Margaret’s marriage woes

To say that Princess Margaret brought her own share of scandals into the Royal Family is a massive understatement.

Not only did her marriage to Anthony Armstrong-Jones in 1960 bring rumours of drug use, affairs and homosexuality, the Princess also had a affair with a much younger lover, and it was later revealed that her husband fathered a secret love child shortly before their marriage as well. Their marriage ended up lasting 17 years, and it was the first divorce for a senior royal in over 77 years.

Princess Anne
Photo credit: Jenni Dryden O’Donnell

3. Princess Anne’s man problems

Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter seemed to find the love of her life with Lieutenant Mark Phillips, but their marriage was anything but rosey.

It was revealed 12 years into their marriage that Mark had an affair and fathered a child with a woman from New Zealand in 1985, and despite trying to work out their troubles the royal couple ended up divorcing in 1992.

Kind Edward VIII
Photo credit: Rendi F. Widiyanto

4. King Edward VIII’s marriage to Wallis Simpson

Anyone who has seen The King’s Speech will be familiar with the story of King Edward III and the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

After reigning for less than one year, Edward decided to abdicate his throne in 1936 in order to marry Simpson, as he was forbidden to marry the twice-divorced American. Futhermore, secret FBI files revealed that he may have been forced to abdicate because Wallis was secretly a Nazi sympathizer and would pass secrets to her then Nazi-lover during the war.

Sarah Ferguson
Photo credit: Burns Library

5. Fergie’s foot fetish

Sarah Ferguson (the Duchesss of York) brought her fair share of shame to the Royal Family during the 1990s…so much so that she made Princess Diana’s and Princess Charles’ marriage problems look like child’s play.

In 1992 photographs were published of Texas businessman John Bryan sucking on Fergie’s toes, and in 2010 she was filmed offering an undercover reporter access to members of the royal family for a hefty £500,000.

Kate Middleton
Photo credit: Canadian Heritage

6. Kate’s weird Uncle

Kate may have found her Prince Charming in Prince William, but her uncle (Gary Goldsmith) made headlines in 2009 after he offered journalists drugs and prostitutes.

He would also brag about how William and Kate spent holidays at his Ibiza villa (which he coined as “La Maison de Bang Bang”).

Prince Harry Speech
Photo credit: The British Monarchy

7. Prince Harry the party animal

With all the problems Princess Diana and Prince Charles had with the media, one would think their children would know better than to act like fools in public…but clearly Prince Harry didn’t get the memo.

In 2005 the young prince dressed up in a Nazi uniform (which he later apologized for), and in 2012 he was photographed naked while partying in Las Vegas.

Explore London’s Royal history by joining any of the Free London Tours.