We all know that the British royal family isn't perfect and many of the family members have gotten caught up in scandals over the years. In fact, the royal family is riddled with affairs, love children, divorce, bribery, excessive partying, and a lot of secrets. Though they may seem prim and proper on the outside, there are many, many scandals that the royal family wishes everyone could forget. Unfortunately for them, these scandals are too big and too public to ever be forgotten. You won't believe just how much trouble these royals have gotten themselves into over the years!
Some of the scandals that rocked the royal family were caught on camera and are not likely to be forgotten any time soon. Once a scandalous photo involving the royal family makes its way into the hands of tabloids like The Sun and the Daily Mail, it's only a matter of time before it's plastered on every newsstand in the world. Considering the royal family is supposed to follow strict rules regarding how they should act, what they should wear, what they should say, and where they should go, everyone loves to see them mess up every once in awhile. It's a nice reminder that not everyone is perfect.
It may seem to many that the royal family is becoming more lenient when it comes to their strict rules now that Prince Harry is marrying Meghan Markle (a non-royal, divorced, American actress) but there are still many rules that she has to follow. The royal family may try to keep the scandals at bay but there are always some members of the family who like to break the rules.
15 Scandalous Ski Trip
After several years without any scandals, Prince William ended up in the headlines again after he was caught on tape getting a a little too drunk and a little too close to another woman while on a ski trip in Switzerland. According to the Sun, William was spotted dancing with a blonde woman believed to be Australian model Sophie Taylor and "flirtatiously grabbing her cowboy hat and plonking it on his head in a Swiss club." If you watch the video, you can barely tell that it's even Prince William because it's so blurry--at least until you see him dancing by himself with some pretty hilarious dad dance moves. In all honesty, the video isn't exactly incriminating but it does reveal that Prince William still hasn't completely left his partying ways behind him--though Kate probably wishes he has!
14 Young, Drunk, and in Love
Before Prince William and Kate Middleton were married, they were in college together and they did what most college students do--go out and get wasted. In 2007, the two were spotted at a night club dancing and getting drunk and then stumbled into a car at around 2 in the morning. These photos didn't cause much of a scandal since it's not uncommon to see two people in their early twenties have a little too much to drink but it does show us that these two were once just like us. Though they always appear on TV and in photos as the most strait-laced couple on earth, deep down inside they're still just two boozy college students who liked to go out and have a good time. Ten years after these photos were taken, the two have been married for six years and have two children together! It's crazy how much can change in just ten years.
13 Kate's Marilyn Monroe Moment
Most gals know what it's like to wear a skirt or a dress on a windy day and it usually means having to walk around holding your skirt down hoping that a gust of wind doesn't pick it up and give everyone a show. What makes such a situation even more uncomfortable is when you forget to put on underwear! Fortunately for us, if we are ever caught in such a predicament, there probably won't be photographers everywhere. In 2014, the Duchess of Cambridge's behind was photographed when a gust of wind lifted up her skirt! A German magazine actually published the photos (butt cheek and all) and the photos quickly went viral leading to a very embarrassing situation for Kate. Now Kate is probably wishing that she followed in the Queen's footsteps and sewed weights into her hemlines to avoid such an awkward situation.
12 Harry the Nazi
Prince Harry may finally be settling down with Meghan Markle but we'll never forget the old Harry who was often caught going a little too wild for Queen Elizabeth's taste. One of the most memorable of Harry's scandals was when he was photographed in 2005 wearing a swastika armband on his shirt at a costume party. This really wasn't a good idea especially since he's a prince and all. He quickly apologized for the offensive costume as soon as the Sun started printing the scandalous photo with the headline "Harry the Nazi". Harry may have only been 20 at the time but he definitely should have known better than to dress up as a Nazi. After all of Harry's scandals, we're happy to see that he's left his wild ways behind and is ready to settle down and start a family already.
11 Two Drunk Brothers
Prince William and Prince Harry definitely got in trouble with the queen after a photo of them looking a little too drunk and partying a little too hard hit the tabloids. In the photo, Harry is kissing his ex, Natalie Pinkham, on the cheek and cupping her breast in his hand while William is obviously drunk and holding a martini in the background. The photo wasn't leaked until 2006, three years after it was taken and by that time, Harry was in a relationship with Zimbabwean socialite, Chelsy Davis, and Harry had to correct the Sun after they stated that it was taken in 2006 so it didn't seem like he was cheating on his girlfriend. Still, Davis probably wasn't thrilled about the photo even after the date was corrected! It's funny to think that Meghan Markle must have seen this famous pic at some point and she never would have guessed that she would be engaged to that royal dummy!
10 Kate's First Scandal
Just a year after she married Prince William, Kate got a taste of what it was really like to be a part of the British royal family when she was photographed sunbathing topless during a getaway in Provence, France with her royal husband. The photos were published in a French magazine and were soon seen all over the world. In this instance, however, Kate really didn't do anything wrong since she believed that she had complete privacy. The royal family took six photographers and the magazine executives to court and were eventually rewarded about $118,000 five years after the photos had been published. Obviously the royal family didn't need the money but it was important to make an example out of the magazine so that such an invasion of privacy wouldn't happen again.
9 Worlds Apart
Considering Charles and Diana only spoke to each other a handful of times before they married, it's not hard to believe that their marriage was a rocky one. When they were married, Charles had been in love with another woman, Camilla Parker Bowles, but was unable to marry her because she was not a royal so he married Diana instead. Though the two were married for fifteen years, they could not make the marriage work and they both had extramarital affairs. This photo of the two of them depicts just how removed the two were from each other emotionally and romantically and even the Prince and Princess of Wales couldn't bridge that gap. The two were divorced in 1996 and after years of scandalous affairs, it seemed that everyone would be a whole lot happier if members of the royal family could just marry whoever they wanted. Prince William and Prince Harry both chose women who were not royals which would have been unheard of even just a few decades before.
8 Digging For Gold
We all know that none of the members of the royal family are perfect and since they have cameras pointed at them any time they're in public, they're bound to be photographed at an embarrassing moment--and sometimes even with a finger up their nose from time to time. Over the years, Queen Elizabeth has been caught picking her nose many times and she doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon--but, hey, she's the queen of England so she can do whatever she wants! Prince William seems to be following in his grandmother's footsteps because he has also been caught with a finger up his nose and it's not pretty. Along with Queen Elizabeth and Prince William, Princess Anne, the Duke of Kent, and Prince Charles have all been caught at some point. This nasty habit seems to run in the family!
7 William Before Kate
Just four years before Prince William married Kate Middleton, he was involved in a scandal after having one too many beers. While William was out partying, he took a photo with two woman and was caught with his hand around one woman's breast. The woman in the photo said later that she felt a hand brush up against her and someone snapped a picture but she didn't realize it was Prince William until after she looked at the photo, she realized that it was actually the prince and she realized why he was smiling. "He has big, manly hands and certainly knows what to do with them," she said. Luckily for Kate, Prince William seems to have left this kind of crude behavior in the past but if you take a look at their relationship timeline, you'll notice that William and Kate actually started dating in 2007...
6 A Royal Rockstar
While her sister, the future Queen Elizabeth was known for being prim and proper, it was Princess Margaret who was known for being a bit of a wild child. As a bold, confident, and beautiful young girl, she fell in love with a divorced man named Peter Townsend who was sixteen years older than her but she broke it off in favor of her royalty. She later married then divorced amid rumors of drugs, drinking, and affairs. She was known for her wild lifestyle and for her alleged affairs with Mick Jagger, Peter Sellers, and David Niven--she even said once that, "Disobedience is my joy." Unlike her sister, Margaret smoked for decades even after their father died of lung cancer. It was said that she smoked up to 60 cigarettes a day and eventually had to have a section of her lung removed. She died at age 71 in 2002.
5 A Royal Affair
This photo may seem innocent at first but maybe it won't when you realize that the man shaking Princess Diana's hand is her secret lover, James Hewitt. Diana carried on an affair with Hewitt after he was hired to teach Diana, William, and Harry horseback riding but it ended when he was deployed to serve in the Gulf War. When Diana died tragically in 1997, Hewitt made headlines when he tried to sell her love letters and then rumors started to circulate that Hewitt was actually Prince Harry's father and not Prince Charles--even though Diana didn't meet Hewitt until after Harry was born. However, Diana wasn't the only one in the relationship who was caught cheating--Prince Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles was a known secret for years before Charles and Diana finally divorced.
4 Charles and Barbara
Though his most famous relationships was with Princess Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Charles had a string of women he was caught canoodling with before and after he was married. A new book revealed that there may have been a relationship between Prince Charles and Barbara Streisand and that the prince was "infatuated" with her. In fact, he was so infatuated with her that he actually turned up to the set of Funny Lady at Columbia Studios in Hollywood in order to meet her. The two met again several times over the next few years and the author of the book claimed that Streisand jokingly said that she could have "been the first real Jewish princess". However, if Charles did want to marry Barbara, he would have definitely had to give up his chance to become king.
3 Sunbathing Princess
After Princess Diana had separated from Prince Charles, she was spotted sunbathing topless with two of her friends--about twenty years before Kate was photographed sunbathing topless. Though she did her best to always appear proper for the cameras, even she had to let loose from time to time. Even after she was divorced, Diana couldn't do anything without being hounded by paparazzi which eventually resulted in her death in 1997. She died tragically in a car crash after her driver drove negligently while being pursued by the paparazzi. The many photos of Diana are a painful reminder of what she was forced to live with following her marriage and eventual divorce to Prince Charles and what led to her untimely death. Still, while she was alive, Diana tried her best to live her life even while she was hounded and criticized by the media.
2 Foot Fetish
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York aka Fergie had her share of scandals but it was the toe-sucking incident that really took the cake. In 1986, she married Prince Andrew (the third child of Queen Elizabeth) but by the early 90s, the two had drifted apart. Fergie was often seen in the company of other men while her husband was away and the two announced their separation in early 1992. In August of 1992, Fergie made headlines when she was photographed on the beach, bathing in the nude, while her lover, John Bryan, sucked on her toes. After the photos hit the tabloids, the Duchess was ridiculed by the public and estranged from the royal family. She and Prince Andrew were divorced in 1996 but the tabloids still criticize her and her lifestyle almost over 20 years later.
1 Harry's Royal Jewels
Prince Harry has given us so many juicy scandals over the years and this one was the grand finale before he finally started to get his act together. While Harry was in Las Vegas in 2012, he decided it would be fun to play strip billiards. Someone snapped a photo while Harry had his pants down (with a naked friend behind him) and the pic went viral. In all fairness, Harry was just goofing off with his friends and whoever leaked the photo violated his privacy--but he still should have known better seeing as he's a prince and all. A few weeks after the scandal, Harry said, "I let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down." Since then, Harry has appeared to calm down in terms of partying and general shenanigans--much to the relief of Queen Elizabeth!