The biggest royal scandals of the past decade

Meghan Markle married into the family in 2018.

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Meghan Markle married into the family in 2018.
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Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


2010: Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson reportedly accepted a £27,600 ($35,382) bribe from a journalist.

Ferguson was secretly filmed in 2010 by a News of the World journalist posing as a wealthy businessman, according to The Guardian.

The footage shows her agreeing to set up a meeting between the journalist and Prince Andrew, accepting a £27,600 sum in advance to do so, the publication reports.

“I can open any door you want,” she apparently told him.

However, in 2016 the duchess reportedly launched a £25,00 ($32,000) lawsuit against News Group Newspapers over the incident, “to reflect what she has lost in earnings as a result of the sting,” The Guardian reports.


2012: Prince Harry got naked at a private party in Las Vegas, and someone leaked the photos to The Sun.

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The British tabloid published the naked photos of the prince in 2012, which were taken by another party-goer during a game of strip billiards in his hotel suite.

According to an anonymous source who was in attendance, the prince’s security team appeared to be aware that people were taking photos.

“No one asked for our phones or anything about us when we arrived at the party,” the source told The Sun. “It was obvious people were taking pictures.”


2012: That same year, Closer Magazine published a photo of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless on its cover.

At the time the pictures were taken, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were staying in a private holiday home owned by the Queen’s nephew, Viscount Linley.

After the couple won a lawsuit against the company, Closer was ordered to pay $118,000 in damages to Will and Kate in 2017.


2015 — 2019: Prince Andrew was heavily criticized for his connection to the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

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Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre, then known as Virginia Roberts, along with Ghislaine Maxwell. This photo was included in an affidavit where Giuffre claimed Prince Andrew directed her to have sex with him.
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Florida Southern District Court

Virginia Roberts, pictured with Andrew above, accused Epstein of forcing her to have sex with the prince when she was just 17 years old, back in 2001.

The allegations from a 2015 defamation case recently resurfaced in the media as the case became unsealed.

Buckingham Palace denied Andrew’s involvement, with the statement: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.

“His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behavior is abhorrent.”


2018: Meghan Markle walked herself down the aisle after her father was caught staging paparazzi photos in the lead up to her wedding to Prince Harry.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle giggle during Bishop Curry’s address at their wedding.
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Getty

Thomas Markle’s no-show at the royal wedding was thought to be due to his poor health, as he suffered a heart attack just days before Harry and Markle tied the knot in Windsor back in May 2018.

However, in the year that followed, Thomas and the duchess appeared to have a strained relationship, with Thomas even speaking out against his daughter in several interviews with British tabloids.


2019: 98-year-old Prince Philip gave up his driver’s license after he accidentally collided with another car earlier this year.

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Prince Philip
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KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx

The husband of Queen Elizabeth II said he was dazzled by the sun while driving near the royal Sandringham estate in January.

Luckily, Emma Fairweather only suffered a broken wrist after the collision, and Philip issued an official apology over the accident.

“After careful consideration The Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson later confirmed.


2019: Harry and Meghan were blasted for flying by private jet while simultaneously urging fans to consider the impact of climate change.

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Kirsty Wigglesworth/ Pool/ Getty Images

The couple is said to have flown by private jet to an Ibiza resort nicknamed the “billionaire’s playground” for their first family vacation with Archie over the summer.

The duke and duchess then took another jet to Elton John’s home in the South of France. However, the musician later released a statement in defense of the couple, and said that he paid for their jet to be carbon neutral.


2019: Meghan launched a lawsuit against British tabloid the Mail on Sunday after it published a private letter she wrote to her father.

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ET Canada, YouTube

The Duchess of Sussex is currently suing the publication over the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright, and breach of the Data Protection Act 2008 after it published excerpts from the letter earlier this year.

However, the royal is facing claims that she “invaded her own privacy” after her friends spoke about the letter in an interview with People long before her father leaked it to the press.


2019: Harry and Meghan broke from the Queen’s longtime mantra, “never complain, never explain.”

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ITV News

In a break from one of the royal family’s longest-running mantras, Prince Harry and Meghan spoke about the pressures of royal life in an emotional ITV documentary last month.

While Markle opened up about the pressures of fame, Harry admitted that he’s reminded of his mother Princess Diana’s death every time he sees a camera flash.

“Every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back, so in that respect it’s the worst reminder of her life,” he said.


2019: After months of speculation, Harry appeared to confirm a rift between himself and Prince William during the same documentary.

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Anwar Hussein/ Wire Image/ Getty Images.

“Part of this role and part of this job, this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” he said.

“But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers,” he added. “We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I’ll always be there for him and as I know he’ll always be there for me.”

Speculation of a feud between the siblings emerged around the time Meghan Markle married into the family in 2018.

At first, reports suggested the rift was between Markle and her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, but ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship said this wasn’t the case.

“There was an issue between William and Harry. It was written as a problem between the wives – that actually isn’t true,” he said earlier this year.

Read more:

Prince Harry appeared to confirm rumors of a rift between him and Prince William. ‘We’re certainly on different paths at the moment.’

Why Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and the rest of the royal family appear to be abandoning one of their oldest traditions

Meghan Markle says her friends warned her not to date Prince Harry because ‘the British tabloids will destroy your life’