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A Definitive List Of The Most Famous Scandals From The Modern British Royal Family

Updated December 18, 2020 403.5k views14 items

Scandals always captivate the public, and British royal family scandals are the cream of the crop, proving the family is not exempt from the grip of impropriety and public embarrassment. The modern royal family, the Windsors, is headed by Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning queen England has ever had. Her children, unfortunately, have borne the brunt of numerous scandals over the years: Prince Andrew allegedly slept with a 17-year-old sex slave; Prince Charles had a salacious affair that was highly publicized; and Princess Anne, who was once nearly kidnapped, was beseiged by adultery rumors concerning her ex-husband. Of course, scandal is not new to the royal family. Queen Elizabeth's uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated his throne to marry a divorcee, and the story of the love affair between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend, a married man, was huge news during the '50s. 

This list details the most sordid and highly publicized scandals the Windsors have experienced in modern history.

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  • There Are Rumors That Prince Harry Is Diana's Child By Another Man

    When Diana admitted to her affair with James Hewitt in a 1995 interview, she opened the floodgates for scandalous rumors to surface — the most popular of which was that Hewitt was actually Prince Harry's father. Hewitt continuously denied the rumors, even expressing sympathy for Harry, for whom the gossip was "worse."

    The rumors were popular because of Harry's red hair, which is apparently a trait that runs in Diana's family. Hewitt chalked the rumors up to the fact that "they sell papers."

  • Princess Margaret Had A Secret Affair With Peter Townsend, But Chose Being Royal Over Being His Wife

    Princess Margaret, younger sister to Queen Elizabeth II, found herself in a similar predicament to her uncle, the former King Edward VIII — she fell in love with a divorced man. Margaret first met Peter Townsend, who was 15 years her senior, when she was a teenager, and their relationship developed in the early 1950s.

    Margaret was technically free to marry Townsend without the queen's consent after her 25th birthday, but the British government warned her that if she went ahead with the marriage, she would be stripped of her royal title as well as her income. She went in the opposite direction of her uncle, and publicly announced the end of her relationship with Townsend in 1955.

  • Paparazzi Published Topless Photos Of Kate Middleton

    Since her marriage to Prince William, Kate Middleton has been the epitome of grace. However, even Middleton could not escape public scrutiny and scandal. When William and Kate went to stay at a chateau in France, they mistakenly assumed they would have privacy from the paparazzi, who took advantage and snapped topless photos of Middleton sunbathing, while her husband rubbed sunscreen on her butt.

    Rather than apologize for the photos, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge blasted the press for being so invasive.

  • Prince Harry Went To Rehab – For One Day

    When Prince Charles discovered 16-year-old Prince Harry was smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol with his friends, he sent Harry to a rehab center called Featherstone Lodge. Harry spent one day at the facility, and during his time there, spoke with heroin addicts to illustrate the dangers of drugs.

    Charles reportedly told aides, "There is no point in hiding the truth. These are the facts—let people make their own judgment."