The Best Royal Family News By the Decades

The royal family has had no shortage of exciting and controversial royal family news fans can’t get enough of. Fans all over the world, from the United States to far-flung European countries, love reading and learning all that they can about the royals, including their loves, their passions, their hobbies — and, of course, their scandals.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made royal family news in this photo of them smiling at each other beneath an umbrella in the rain.
The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex | Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Over the years, a few royal news stories, in particular, have captured the interest of the public, and remain hot topics to this very day. These scandals have helped to not only create an air of mystery around the royals, but they have revealed that the royals are just as human as the rest of us. 

The ’30s: Edward VIII’s love affair caused a stir

The royal family is an institution that goes back decades — however, for many fans of an older generation, the first major British royal family news story that they recall is the scandal that occurred when Edward VIII renounced the throne, only one year after rising to power.

The monarch’s abdication was so that he could marry an American woman named Wallis Simpson. The love affair between the two made international headlines, with many slamming the relationship purely because Simpson was a two-time divorcee. 

The scandal also changed the line of succession and Edward VIII’s abdication cleared the way for Princess Elizabeth, only 10 years old at the time, to one day become the queen of United Kingdom. 

The ’90s: Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage caused a frenzy in British royal family news

Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage made many fans fall in love with the royals again, with the young Princess Diana becoming known as the “People’s Princess.” However, in 1995, after years of rumors about strife within the marriage, Princess Diana went public, talking about Prince Charles’ affairs.

Princess Diana admitted that she could no longer deal with the stress of her husband’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. The couple officially divorced not long after, but the split did little to quell the public fascination with the pair — and to this day, fans love learning all that they can about the strained relationship between Princess Diana and Prince Charles. 

The early 2000s: Prince Harry news included a stint in rehab

Princess Diana tragically died in 1997, in a car crash that made international headlines. Her death left her two young sons to fend for themselves, without her guiding influence. Prince William emerged as the picture of responsibility, while the redheaded Prince Harry became known as the “party prince.”

At one certain point, all of the Prince Harry news across the infamous UK tabloids focused on his partying. Long before the days of controversial Meghan Markle news, Prince Harry was no stranger to being a topic of discussion. In 2002, Prince Harry’s antics backfired on him when his father, Prince Charles, sent him to a one-day drug rehabilitation clinic to learn about the consequences of taking marijuana. 

2012: Kate Middleton’s topless photos caused a sensation in royal news today

Kate Middleton is often thought of as the picture of propriety in royal news today. However, in 2012, scandalous pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge were published, after a photographer had taken pictures of Middleton sunbathing topless on private property.

While many fans hurried to get their copies of the newspaper that published the photos, the royal family had Middleton’s back, slamming the publication for the “invasion of privacy” and releasing a statement that read, in part:

“Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.”

As for Middleton, she chose to remain above the fray, not speaking out publicly about the photos and proving that she could remain calm and collected, even when she was at the center of a major public scandal. 

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