Every family has secrets. Usually, the skeletons in the closet don't get exposed too often. With the royal family, it's a little different. There are always journalists circling like sharks, looking for dirt. Also, the people close to the royal family may betray them by spilling their secrets to the press.
For example, Queen Elizabeth's nanny wrote a book. After she revealed lurid facts about the Queen and her family, they cut her off forever.
Over the decades and centuries, lots of things that royal family members don't want the public to know have come to light. Today, I'm going to share 21 of them.
Anyone who's into The Crown and excited about the May 19, 2018 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will probably find this list interesting. The British royal family has a long and colorful history. In between the usual glory (and dutiful service to the citizens of the Commonwealth), there have been some darker moments.
Some of the secrets on this list are serious issues, while others are more lighthearted and forgivable.
What's interesting is how most of the secrets show that royals make the same slip-ups that the rest of us do. Royals are human beings. These rich and famous blue bloods know that they're supposed to set an example, but they don't always make the right decisions...just like the rest of us!
From cheating (Charles, Philip and maybe Diana, too) to boozing (Princess Margaret and Prince Harry) to money problems (the late Queen Mother) to parenting fails (Queen Elizabeth) and beyond, when royals screw up, they usually do it on a grand scale, in front of the whole world.
You may want to listen to "Royals" by Lorde while you check out this list. It's the perfect soundtrack.
21 King Edward VII Sympathized With The Nazis
Edward VIII was born to be King of England. He abdicated because he fell in love with an American woman who was destined to become one of the most notorious females in history. Her name was Wallis Simpson.
Wallis was divorced. Edward could not marry her and remain King. Right now, Prince Harry is preparing to marry a divorced woman who is American. Times have really changed!
Edward VIII was crowned on 20 January, 1936. His reign lasted less than a year.
However, the abdication isn't the only scandal attached to Edward VIII. There's something much worse.
Edward VIII was a Nazi sympathizer. Hitler perceived him as an ally who might come in handy in the future. There was a Nazi plan in the works to put Edward back on the throne, as a king who would allow the dreadful and evil Nazi régime free reign.
If the plan went into effect, it would mean that Edward was pushing his own brother off of the throne! His brother was Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret's father!
In 1953, telegrams were intercepted which showed a very strong likelihood that Edward VII was fully aware of the plan and supportive of it. Everyone tried to cover this up, including Winston Churchill.
Winston always tried to protect the royal family (he adored the Queen) and Churchill definitely wasn't a Nazi sympathizer.
20 Kate Middleton’s Topless Photos
Back in 2012, Kate decided to do a little nude sunbathing while vacationing with Prince William in France. She clearly wanted to unwind and forget about being royal for a while. Unfortunately, members of the paparazzi use cameras with extremely powerful telephoto lenses.
Some paparazzi make a career out of bothering certain celebs. One photographer (Ronald Edward Galella) tortured Jackie Kennedy Onassis while she lived in the Big Apple, by following her everywhere that she went. He was a total menace.
The royals are prime targets for this type of "Is it legal or not?" stalking, because publications pay big bucks for shots of them...the more inappropriate the pictures are, the more they are worth.
In the old days, the press had an honor code. They wouldn't show the royals in unflattering ways. Those days are long gone. Now, royals are definitely fair game, including the beautiful Duchess of Cambridge. However, photographers and the media are supposed to follow the law and sometimes, "paps" and publications break the law. They breach privacy.
This is why six people who were involved with taking the photos and publishing them ended up getting sued by William and Kate. The court case dragged on forever. Eventually, William and Kate were awarded damages of 103,000 Euros.
In other words, the royal couple won and the photographers/publishers had to pay, although William and Kate didn't get as much money as they wanted to.
19 Prince Phillip Was Unfaithful
Is there concrete proof that Prince Philip was a big-time cheater? Well, no, but there's tons of circumstantial evidence. The fact that Queen Elizabeth is rumored to enjoy The Crown, (SPOILER ALERT) which references this touchy subject, seems to underscore the fact that the philandering actually happened.
When Prince Philip was asked if he watched the Netflix show while attending a dinner party, he snapped, "Don't be ridiculous!"
So, who was Philip allegedly romantically involved with during his marriage to QE II? According to a book called, My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of Royal Marriage, he hooked up with Sarah Ferguson's mother (Susan Barrantes), actress Pat Kirkwood and a television personality called Katie Boyle.
18 Prince Charles Had A Mistress
Camilla has been in Prince Charles' life since 1971. They had such a long history, some of which was romantic. Diana really didn't know what she was getting into. Maybe Charles should have told her that he'd been in love with Camilla when he was 24, but failed to propose, which prompted her to marry another man.
Charles probably regretted not proposing to Camilla when she was free. Charles and Camilla just couldn't leave each other alone. I think they love each other and always have.
Diana was chosen as a suitable bride for Charles. She was a Lady, she was "pure" (or close to it) and she was photogenic. She may have thought Charles was falling for her, for real. For a while, he might have enjoyed their romance.
However, his proposal was probably more to do with the pressure to marry appropriately. He caved into the pressure and the rest is history. Charles gave Camilla a pricey bracelet right before the wedding and Diana found the bracelet before it was delivered. The future Princess of Wales, who has sadly passed away, went nuts.
This marriage was doomed long before Diana made her way down the aisle at St. Paul's Cathedral in 1981. Charles was in love with another woman and the truth didn't take long to come out.
17 Princess Diana Had An Eating Disorder
Charles called Diana chubby once and this, along with the fact that she was getting photographed constantly everywhere that she went, pushed her into an eating disorder.
She was a sensitive woman and the criticism that she got from Charles and the world at large took its toll on her. She started to binge and purge. Binge-eating, followed by purging, are symptoms of the eating disorder known as bulimia.
Sometimes, Diana would gorge on sweet cereals and other favorite foods. She relied on these comfort foods to handle the stress of her new life. However, she couldn't stand the idea of gaining weight because of the snarky, hurtful remarks that would surely follow, so she would throw up after she ate.
People with eating disorders are often mentally imprisoned by their compulsions. Bulimia is serious. It robs the body of vital nutrients and puts strain on vital organs.
Diana told her biographer, Andrew Morton, that Prince Charles would watch her eat and then ask her, "Is that going to reappear later?"
16 Prince Andrew Dated An Adult Film Star (Koo Stark)
Prince Andrew has done a lot of questionable things over the years. He's not really a royal that gets a tremendous amount of respect. One of his blunders was dating an actress, Koo Stark, who appeared in a 1976 movie called Emily, which had a sexy shower scene.
Pretty Koo was doing what a lot of actresses do. However, Andrew is a royal prince and probably should have known better than to date someone who did erotic film scenes.
Koo and Andrew were not destined to last. The family wasn't amused by the relationship. Andrew was surely advised to end it, as it brought shame on the House of Windsor.
These days, Koo is sixty-one and has fallen on hard times. She has no royal family to fall back on. In 2011, the single mother applied for a housing benefit. That's quite a comedown from frolicking with Andrew at Buckingham Palace.
Andrew went on to marry Sarah Ferguson (Fergie). His scandal-soaked marriage, which ended in divorce, provided the media with fodder for years.
15 Fergie Had An Affair With John Bryan
Fergie was so often out of control. Rudely nicknamed, "The Duchess of Pork", she was defiant about her weight (as she should be) and so much else. She was marketed as the jollier, sportier, less uptight alternative to Princess Diana. Later, she became known for her entitlement, frequent faux-pas and greed.
Diana and Fergie used to be very close. However, it's alleged that Diana became threatened by Fergie's growing popularity and grew more distant from her.
Eventually, Diana and Fergie stopped speaking and Fergie has no communication with William and Harry. Sarah wasn't invited to Kate and William's wedding, but her daughters were. Awkward!
Fergie says that she really misses Diana.
Fergie and Andrew's marriage didn't really work. Andrew was away a lot and Fergie would get lonely. While she was still married to Andrew, she got involved with a Texan named John Bryan, who was caught by the paparazzi sucking on her toe while they sunbathed. Today, she says she regrets the royal divorce which followed this huge scandal. She and Andrew are friends.
14 The Queen Wasn’t The Best Mom
Queen Elizabeth has done her duty since her coronation in June of 1953. She became Queen so young (at age 25). Her father, King George IV, died at the age of 67. Queen Elizabeth has three sons, Charles, Andrew and Edward, and a daughter named Anne.
A friend of the Queen revealed that Elizabeth was frightened of being a mother at first. She didn't know how to do it. She'd been trained to be Queen, but not to be a parent. Charles wrote a book and complained about the lack of nurturing that he received from his mother.
The Queen was very into her job and she grew up at a time when upper class parents let their nannies handle most of the grunt work. She saw the kids a couple of times a day, except when she was off on long tours around the world with her hubby. Clearly, she didn't give Charles the love that he wanted. He called her, "remote".
Charles felt very close to the Queen Mother (his grandmother) and his nannies. When the Queen and Prince Philip sent him away to the harsh Scottish school, Gordenstoun, he hated the cold showers, bullying and strict discipline. The fact that he had to rot at that school for years probably changed that way that he felt about both of his parents...forever. It's really Philip who deserves the blame. He would not let anyone pull his son out of that school.
The Queen is rumored to be closest to her youngest son, Edward. Her daughter, Princess Anne, doesn't agree with Prince Charles when it comes to his opinions about their mother's parenting ability.
For some reason, Charles seems to have had a different experience than the others. Or, perhaps, it's he who is different.
13 Princess Margaret Drank Too Much
Vanessa Kirby's portrayal of Princess Margaret in "The Crown" is riveting. Margaret is such a complicated character. Barred from marrying Group Captain, Peter Townsend, because he was a divorced man (she could have given up her title and married him, but she couldn't handle not being a princess), she had to figure out a new life for herself.
She chose to date and then marry Tony Snowden, who was a wild and bohemian photographer. He did as he pleased and taught Margaret to do the same. Margaret was always feistier and more arrogant than her sister, Elizabeth. She forced people to curtsy at social gatherings where curtsies shouldn't have been necessary and was reportedly entitled beyond belief. She also drank quite a bit.
Was it Margaret's longing for Group Captain Townsend that made her reach for the bottle? Was it the fact that she'd never be Queen? Was it the fact that her own sister denied her permission to marry the man that she loved, when Elizabeth could so easily have given her what she wanted most?
Who knows which demons haunted Margaret, beyond losing Peter Townsend.
12 Lord Snowden (Margaret’s Husband) Was Bisexual
Antony Snowden was an excellent photographer. He's photographed some amazing people, including Princess Margaret. Gucci designer, Tom Ford, says that he got a crush on the much-older "Snowden" when they met and Tom, who is gay, confessed that he would have crushed hard on the younger Tony Snowden!
Tony Snowden was portrayed by gorgeous actor, Matthew Goode, in The Crown.
According to Tony himself, lots of guys have been in love with him. Did he love any of them back? One man says, "yes". Well, maybe it wasn't love, but Nicky Haslam, who is a society designer, claims that he had a fling with Tony and that he wasn't the only man that the photographer (and royal hubby) was involved with.
Margaret chose a wild card when she "settled down" with Snowden. She probably had some idea of what she was getting into, unlike Princess Diana, who had been oblivious to the Camilla situation. Queen Elizabeth had Tony checked out and was appalled, but may have kept her findings to herself. She wouldn't want to be accused of blocking Margaret a second time, like she did with Peter Townsend.
11 Margaret And The Queen Sometimes Hated Each Other
If your sister wouldn't let you marry the handsome man of your dreams, like Elizabeth wouldn't let Margaret, would you hate her? Maybe you would, at least, some of the time. It's a safe bet that Princess Margaret hated Elizabeth when the Queen offered her the choice of losing her title and marrying Peter Townsend, or not marrying him and remaining a princess.
These two royal sisters were always very different. Elizabeth was all about duty and tradition. Margaret wanted the royal treatment without following the rules. These two butted heads often, as most sisters do. They put on a good public face most of the time, but there was a lot of tension between them.
Elizabeth had all of the power and Margaret had (comparatively) a lot of freedom. Elizabeth could never get away with partying with Mick Jagger or a million other wild things that Margaret did. Maybe they both envied each other at times.
10 The Queen Mother Left Behind 7 Million Pounds Of Debt
Was the Queen Mother a shopaholic? It's always interesting when super-rich people go into major debt. I can't help but think how fun it must be to burn through that kind of money. They must really live it up. When the Queen Mother passed away, she left behind a whopping seven million pounds in debt. What was she buying, anyway?
Well, she loved to buy clothes. Really good clothes. Her husband was also into his outfits. These two cared about image and dressed extravagantly. Some of the Queen Mother's ensembles, including jewelry, were believed to cost about twenty thousand pounds.
Elizabeth thought the constant parade of new outfits was a bit silly and wasteful. Then again, Queen Elizabeth used to take inventory at her royal residences to see if the servants were smoking the cigarettes, which were housed in elegant silver boxes in various rooms, and drinking the whiskey and wine. She is frugal with a capital F.
9 Is Lord Porchester Andrew’s Dad?
Philip had his fun. Elizabeth adored him and his wild ways (including frequent attendance at a naughty "lunch club" where men got up to no good) must have hurt her deeply. Did she decide to branch out and enjoy some extramarital fun of her own, with Lord Porchester?
Maybe they were just friends.
There are people who believe that Prince Andrew is Lord Porchester's son, rather than Prince Philip's. That rumor has been going around for ages. There's another rumor that Prince Harry is actually the son of James Hewitt. Hewitt is a ginger who was a cavalry officer in the British Army. Hewitt and Diana were very close.
Lord Porchester was the Queen's racing manager. As you probably already know, the Queen is crazy about horses. When strangers are prepped before meeting her, they're advised to talk about horses or her Corgis. She's been known to bet on the races. So, it makes sense that she'd form a bond with someone else who loved horses, too.
8 Elizabeth 1 Had A Murder Contract
Elizabeth I (the Virgin Queen) was a fascinating woman. Cate Blanchett did a great job of playing her in the movies. The Virgin Queen was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his mistress-turned-Queen, Anne Boleyn.
Henry had Anne's head cut off by a swordsman. He made all sorts of loony claims about her before he had her killed. He said she was a witch, that she committed incest, etc. It seemed like a big smear campaign. This horrific turn of events led Elizabeth I to proclaim that she would never marry. She never did. Instead, she became a Queen who led England towards progress...
Did she have a dark side?
It's believed that she may have ordered the murder of a woman who was the wife of Robert Dudley. The Virgin Queen loved Robert in a way that was not strictly virginal. Did she go as far as to wipe out her love rival? We'll never really know for sure, but lots of historians say, "yes".
7 Prince Charles Is Related To Vlad The Impaler
Does Prince Charles carry the blood of Dracula in his veins? According to a Telegraph story, he's the descendant of ruthless murderer and sicko, Vlad the Impaler.
Vlad was Transylvanian (Transylvania is a central region of Romania) and, according to a blend of fact and legend, quite the butcher.
In 2012, the tourism board in Romania decided to play up the connection between Vlad the Impaler, who is rumored to be the inspiration for Dracula, to bring in more British tourists. I'm not sure how that worked out. Prince Charles even joked around about having Transylvanian blood.
The royal family has been known to play down its bloodlines, which is ironic, as the blue blood in this family is supposedly what keeps them in their high positions. For example, the royals play down their German roots (there are big German roots in the House of Windsor) whenever they can.
6 Prince George Of Kent May Have Been Assassinated
Edward VIII and George VI were both Kings of England. Edward VIII abdicated and his brother, who was Queen Elizabeth's dad, took the throne. These Kings had a younger brother. His name was also George, like his brother's.
George received the title, Duke of Kent, which he held until he perished in an airplane crash during the summer of 1942. A lot of people believe that the crash was rigged. They believe George was assassinated.
If George had lived, he would have been the uncle of the Queen. Before his death, which is wrapped in so much controversy, he was a womanizer and was rumored to be a drug user.
Some historians think that he was assassinated because he was close with the Nazis, like his older brother, Edward VIII, was. They believe that the SOE (Special Operations Executive, co-founded by Winston Churchill) did something to the plane prior to takeoff, which doomed the aircraft and everyone in it.
Only one person survived the crash.
5 Queen Victoria Had An Affair With Her Manservant
Queen Victoria is known for her romance with her husband, Albert. When I was growing up, there was a local restaurant called the Victoria and Albert. Even as a young girl, I though that was so romantic.
While most people consider this historical couple to be a perfect example of love and fidelity, the truth may be darker. Evidence seems to demonstrate that Queen Victoria embarked on a love affair with her manservant!
Some people don't believe it. They believe that Victoria shared a bed with the help, but didn't consummate a single thing. All of this juicy gossip comes from letters and diaries from the Queen herself.
Apparently, the manservant got quite an attitude after he became closer to the Queen. He started to carry himself like a royal, instead of a servant. He was also said to have the run of the place while he shared a bed with the Queen, if only in a platonic way.
Apparently, the Queen let him do whatever he wanted, just as though he was a husband.
4 There Was A Secret Prince Named John
Prince John is often referred to as, The Lost Prince. He died at the age of thirteen. The year of his death was 1919. Members of the House of Windsor actually scrubbed his name from one of the family trees.
He started his tragic life in July of 1905. He was youngest of 6 kids of Queen Mary and King George the Fifth. When he turned four, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. The royal family made sure that the public couldn't see him. He was looked after by a nanny. He had a terrible seizure when he was thirteen and he died. No one in the public found about his death until later.
Some people think that the way Prince John was treated in an example of how ruthless the royal family really is. What do you think?
3 Prince Edward Got Into Cambridge Despite Bad Grades
If I was finishing high school with horrible grades, I wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting into ritzy post-secondary institution, Cambridge. However, I'm not a member of the British royal family!
Prince Edward is a member of the royal family and he sailed into Cambridge, even though he reportedly got one "C" A-level and a couple of "D" A-levels. You're supposed to get a trio of "A" A-levels, so he was way under the typical academic requirement.
This is the way that the world works. Everyone knows it. People with money and pedigree (or one or the other) get special opportunities. Edward did get a degree, dabbled in drama and eventually settled down with Sophie.
While almost everyone knows that one-percenters get perks, a lot of people were upset when this particular royal secret leaked out.
2 Prince William Has A Pet Name For Kate Middleton
Kate and William are pretty formal in public. They are sometimes caught by the paparazzi being a bit less reserved. However, William is being trained to be King and he knows better than to act too casual in public. Kate is a good partner for him as she hardly ever does anything stupid. She's a valuable member of the family firm and look fabulous 24/7.
In private, these two are allowed to enjoy a bit of fun romance. This is why William sometimes calls Kate, "Poppet" when they are alone together or with other people that they really trust. In British slang, a poppet is very pretty child or a doll. Usually, when guys in England call their ladies poppets, it's their way of saying, "sweetheart".
Also, William gives Kate some amazing "push presents" after she has babies, so she can expect another push present in the foreseeable future. He usually chooses a piece of fine jewelry for her. She's amassed quite a collection.
1 Prince Harry Romped Naked In A Las Vegas Hot Tub
Harry has been caught partying a lot. He's grown up in the public eye, without the pressures of being a future king. He was photographed by paparazzi romping naked in a Las Vegas hot tub. Cocktails were everywhere and people were probably a bit buzzed. He also made the terrible choice to wear a Nazi uniform to a costume party. That was captured on film as well.
These days, Prince Harry is revamping his image. He's getting hitched to Meghan Markle, focusing on his charity efforts and planning a family. It's probably a sure thing that he won't be getting caught acting drunk and silly anymore, while naked or while wearing things that no one should wear.
Most young people do party. It's not a crime. It's just that no one would ever leave him alone to make his blunders and grow up. People were always watching. They still are.
Sources: Wikpedia.com, Daily Mail.com, Britannia.com