Queen Elizabeth, who died Thursday at the age of 96, was praised for her devotion to duty, but her reign was often marred by scandals involving her extended family.
Here are some of the most prominent crises that the royal family faced during its 70 years on the throne.
Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister Princess Margaret was at the center of several scandals that rocked the monarchy early in her reign.
A rebellious beauty, Margaret was forced to annul her proposed marriage to a flamboyant Air Force officer, Group Captain Peter Townsend, in 1955 because, as a divorcee, she was deemed unsuitable by the rigid conventions of the time. .
Instead, she married society photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones, who assumed the title Lord Snowdon. That marriage ended after she had a fling with landscape gardener Roddy Llewellyn, who was 18 years younger than her.
Her decision to marry the Greek prince Philip was not without controversy.
While Philip served with distinction in the British Royal Navy during World War II, he had sisters who were married to German aristocrats who were members of the Nazi Party. So none of his German relatives were invited to his wedding.
In his early years on the throne, he was surrounded by rumors that he was having an extramarital affair.
When Philip was on a solo tour of the Commonwealth in 1957, his personal secretary Mike Parker was forced to leave after his wife filed for divorce, prompting speculation about the Queen’s husband herself.
“It is absolutely untrue that there is a rift between the Queen and the Duke,” a spokeswoman for the Queen said in a rare statement at the time.
Princess Diana and Camilla
There was no greater scandal during his reign than the failed marriage of eldest son Charles and his first wife Diana and his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, the original love of his life with whom he had an affair and later marriage after Diana’s death. Did it
Ugly stories appeared in the newspapers after Charles and Diana’s 1981 wedding, with the couple seldom off the front pages as their relationship fell apart at the end of the decade and into the 1990s.
A 1992 book by journalist Andrew Morton, for which he later confirmed that Diana was his principal source, revealed that his union with Charles had broken beyond repair, and had suffered from eating disorders and He was driven to suicide attempts.
Newspapers later that year published excerpts from a taped telephone conversation between Diana and James Gilby, who referred to her as “Squiddy”. In 1993 a newspaper intercepted a phone call between Charles and her boyfriend Camilla in which the prince said he wanted to be reincarnated as her tampon.
After their separation, the two gave TV interviews in which she admitted to infidelity, with Diana stating that she had an affair with military officer James Hewitt, and that there were “three of us” in the marriage – a reference to Camilla.
‘Annus horribilis’ and divorce
In a speech at the end of 1992, the Queen described the year as “anus horribilis”. “1992 is not a year that I will look back without any joy,” she said.
This saw a massive fire in her Windsor Castle home, and Charles and Diana formally separated. But their marriage was not the only one to break up that year.
Second son Prince Andrew and his wife Sarah Ferguson, Duke and Duchess of York, also went their separate ways. “Fake” was pictured topless on the front page of a newspaper whose toes were sucked into the pool of a French villa by John Bryan, a wealthy American businessman.
In April, daughter Princess Anne formally divorced her husband of nearly 20 years, Mark Phillips, three years after they split following stories about their romantic relationships with other people. Anne married Navy Commander Timothy Lawrence in December 1992.
As Prince Andrew moved down the line of succession, he increasingly became a target for British tabloids, who dubbed him “Airmiles Andy” or “Randy Andy” for his Playboy lifestyle.
In 2011, her relationship with Jeffrey Epstein came to prominence when the US financier was first convicted of child sex crimes, forcing Andrew to step down from the role as Britain’s rotating trade ambassador.
Four years later, Virginia Giuffre alleged in court documents that she was forced to have sex with the prince while he was a minor. Andrew denied the claims but they continued to dog him.
Questions grew after Epstein took his own life in prison in 2019 on sex-trafficking charges. To clear his name, Andrew gave a disastrous interview to the BBC, after which he was forced to step down from royal duties while businesses sought to distance themselves from him.
In 2021, Giuffre directly accused Andrew of sexually assaulting and beating her. In January of the following year, he was stripped of his military contacts and the title of “His Royal Highness”.
In February 2022, Andrew settled the lawsuit, admitting no wrongdoing, agreeing to pay an undisclosed amount, but saving him from facing the public embarrassment of the lawsuit.
Prince Harry and ‘Megxit’
In his younger days, grandson Prince Harry was portrayed by the media as a royal wild child. He admitted that he smoked cannabis and got drunk at a young age in a pub, scuffled with paparazzi outside a London nightclub and sparked outrage by dressing up as a Nazi officer at a costume party.
But he became one of the most popular royals with his easy-going nature and military service, and his 2018 marriage to American actress Meghan Markle was seen as the epitome of a new modern monarchy.
However, in a major setback to the institution he announced in January 2020, he would be stepping down from royal roles unhappy with the intrusion and media focus on his life.
Moved to Los Angeles in March 2021, he launched a devastating attack on the royals and Buckingham Palace in a TV interview with US host Oprah Winfrey, which included accusations of racism and Meghan said she had been pushed to the brink of suicide.
Harry also explicitly stated that Charles and older brother William were trapped.