11 royal moments that shocked the world

The royal are some of the most well-known people on the planet, but they haven’t been immune to the occasional scandal.

1.Prince Michael of Kent

Prince Michael of Kent was reported to be willing to use his royal status for personal gain and to seek favors from Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2021.

In a virtual meeting with undercover reporters posing as South Korean investors, the Queen’s cousin said he could be hired for £10,000 a day to make “confidential” representations to Mr Putin’s regime.

The fake South Korean gold company House of Haedong was set up with the help of Channel 4 Dispatches and The Sunday Times. Prince Michael of Kent expressed interest in working with the company, telling undercover reporters that for a $200,000 fee, he would give House of Haedong his royal endorsement in a recorded speech and would be happy to use his Kensington Palace home as a backdrop.

Prince Michael’s office responded to the program by saying: “Prince Michael does not receive any public funds and makes his living as the owner of a consulting firm that he has run for over 40 years. President Putin and Prince Michael have no special relationship. They last met in June 2003, and since then, Prince Michael has not communicated with him or his office.”

2.Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked the world when they announced their decision to step back from royal duties in a statement on their @SussexRoyal Instagram account and a new website in early January 2020.

Following discussions in Sandringham with the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge, it was agreed that the Sussexes would no longer receive public funds and would no longer use their HRH titles, but would keep their patronages and keep Frogmore Cottage as their UK home.

With their son Archie and baby daughter Lilibet, Harry and Meghan now live in Montecito, Santa Barbara.

3.The Duke of York

Following a TV interview with BBC Newsnight in November 2019, the Queen’s second son stepped down from royal duties, citing his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

At the time, Prince Andrew issued the following statement: “I’ve asked Her Majesty for permission to take a break from public service for the time being, and she’s agreed. I continue to regret my rash decision to associate with Jeffrey Epstein.

“His suicide has left many unanswered questions, especially for his victims, and I sympathise with everyone who has been impacted and wishes for answers. I can only hope that they will be able to rebuild their lives in the future. Of course, if necessary, I am willing to assist any appropriate law enforcement agency in their investigations.”

Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew in August 2021, alleging that he sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyers filed the civil suit in federal court in New York, seeking unspecified damages, claiming she was “lent out for sexual purposes” by Jeffrey Epstein, including while she was still a minor under US law, according to court documents.

Prince Andrew has previously denied the allegations, and when asked for comment on Ms Giuffre’s legal action, a spokesman for the Duke said “no comment.”

4.Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle
The Sussexes’ candid interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 revealed a slew of shocking revelations that stunned the world. While Harry and Meghan shared some heartwarming anecdotes about life in the United States with their son Archie, and also revealed that they were expecting a girl in the summer (royals usually don’t reveal their baby’s gender until after the birth), they also made some unexpected revelations.

The Duchess had been suicidal during her first pregnancy, certain members of the royal family had “shown concern” about Archie’s skin color, Prince Charles had cut Harry off, and the Firm had refused to pay for Archie’s security costs, among other allegations. Meghan also clarified reports from the time of her wedding, claiming that it was her sister-in-law Kate, not the other way around, who had made her cry about the bridesmaids’ dresses in the run-up to the wedding.

Following the explosive interview, the Queen issued the following statement: “The entire family is saddened to learn the full extent of Harry and Meghan’s difficulties over the last few years. The issues raised, especially the one of race, are alarming. While some recollections may differ, they are all taken seriously and will be addressed privately by the family. Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be adored members of the royal family.”


5.Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
After French Closer magazine published topless photos of Kate on a private holiday in Provence in 2012, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were awarded £92,000 in damages in 2017. The paparazzi photos were deemed an invasion of the couple’s privacy by a French court.

At the time, Kensington Palace issued the following statement: “Because this was a serious invasion of privacy, their Royal Highnesses felt it was necessary to pursue all legal options.

“They wanted to make it clear that this type of unjustified intrusion should not be tolerated.”

6.Diana, Princess of Wales
In November 1995, Princess Diana stunned the world by sitting down for an extensive interview with BBC1 Panorama, in which she spoke candidly to interviewer Martin Bashir about the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles, her battle with bulimia, and life behind palace walls.

Lord Dyson’s investigation into the BBC program found that Bashir used “deceptive behavior” to secure the world exclusive, forging bank statements that suggested individuals were being paid to keep the princess under surveillance.

7.Princess Margaret
In 1976, Kensington Palace announced the Queen’s younger sister’s separation from photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, which shocked the nation.

While the palace stated at the time that the couple had no plans to divorce, Princess Margaret began legal proceedings to end the marriage two years later.

Although attitudes toward divorce were changing at the time, a royal divorce was still unthinkable, and it was the first time a senior member of the British royal family had divorced since Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1901.

8.King Edward VIII of England
When the monarch proposed to American divorcee Wallis Simpson in 1936, he sparked a constitutional crisis. Because the Church of England and government ministers at the time were opposed to divorce, King Edward VIII chose to abdicate in order to marry the woman he loved.

His younger brother George VI, the father of the future Queen Elizabeth, succeeded him.

Edward and Wallis married in France and lived there for the rest of their lives.

9.Belgian King Albert II
In January 2020, King Albert II of Belgium admitted to being the father of an illegitimate daughter from an affair with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps.

For more than a decade, the former monarch had been fighting artist Delphine Bol’s paternity claim.

Delphine was given the title of Princess of Belgium in October 2020 after a legal battle.

10.Spanish King Juan Carlos
After a series of alleged controversies, including reported extramarital affairs, the former king, now 83, abdicated in 2014.

Juan Carlos’ son, King Felipe, renounced any future inheritance from his father in March 2020, citing reported ties to a financial scandal. It was also announced that Juan Carlos’ public allowance would be cut from the state’s general budget.

11.Iñaki Urdangarin
King Felipe of Spain’s brother-in-law was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison in June 2018, following convictions of embezzlement and money laundering in excess of £4.5 million through his non-profit organisation, the Noos Institute.

Iñaki’s wife and King Felipe’s sister Infanta Cristina was also investigated but acquitted of any charges. However, King Felipe issued a decree stripping his sister of the title of Duchess of Palma in 2015.

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