A Wedding, a Divorce, a Farewell and So Much Drama: 5 Biggest Royal Family Stories of 2020

This year was a difficult one for so many around the globe. It was also a tumultuous year for England’s most famous family. A divorce was announced, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic altered some big plans, and there was no shortage of drama.

Here’s are the five biggest royal family stories of 2020.

Members of the royal family
Members of the royal family | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

A documentary ended Prince Andrew’s royal role for good

Prince Andrew’s BBC “car crash” interview about his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and the allegations that the duke had sex with one of Epstein’s victims when she was a minor was a dark cloud over the royals in 2019. It left Andrew no choice but to temporarily step down from his royal duties. Then in 2020, things for Queen Elizabeth’s second-oldest son got even worse.

On May 27, the documentary Filthy Rich about Epstein was released on Netflix. In it, the prince’s accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, detailed the encounters she allegedly had with him several years ago. That spelled the end of the Duke of York ever performing duties representing the crown as it was announced that he would not return to official duties in any capacity.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew | Christopher Furlong – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Princess Beatrice ties the knot in smallest royal wedding ever

When we think of royal weddings, we think of these grand affairs with thousands in attendance and watched by millions around the world. But that wasn’t the case for Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York’s daughter Princess Beatrice.

The pandemic canceled plans for the large event in May so on July 17, the princess and property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi tied the knot in what Buckingham Palace called “a small private ceremony.” Just a few of the pair’s family members attended in accordance with government guidelines.

Princess Anne’s son wants a divorce but his wife won’t leave

In February, it was announced that Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips, and his wife, Autumn Kelly, had separated and were planning to divorce after 12 years of marriage.

A few months later, reports swirled that things got so messy between the former couple and that Kelly was refusing to leave the royal residence she shares with Phillips and her in-laws.

According to Hello!, Kelly still lives at the property but now resides in a separate building from her estranged husband and will continue staying there for the foreseeable future to co-parent their daughters.

(L-R) Autumn Phillips, Peter Phillips, and Princess Anne
(L-R): Autumn Phillips, Peter Phillips, and Princess Anne | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The future kings get COVID-19

In March, Prince Charles made headlines when it was confirmed that he tested positive for the coronavirus. After the news broke, it was reported that the prince and his wife Camilla, who did not test positive, were isolating separately at their Birkhall residence in Scotland.

Months later, royal fans were surprised to learn that another future king had tested positive for the virus. Prince William contracted the virus in April but he did not reveal his diagnosis until November. According to The Sun, the Duke of Cambridge chose not to make the information public at the time because “there were important things going on and I didn’t want to worry anyone.”

Prince Charles and Prince William
Prince Charles and Prince William | John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty images

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave royal life and the U.K. behind

And of course no list of royal family stories in 2020 would be complete without mentioning what became known as “Megxit.”

In January, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex made the bombshell announcement that they were stepping back from their roles as senior royals in a move that was said to have blindsided Harry’s family.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The queen called for a private meeting with Harry, William, and Charles before announcing that the Sussexes had her support in their decision to forge new paths.

Meghan and Harry recently purchased a mansion in California and inked major deals with Netflix and Spotify.

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