Here Are the Royal Family’s Most Infamous In-Laws

You don’t have to be a royal watcher to know Prince Harry has some bizarre in-laws. His new wife, Meghan Markle, has a good relationship with her mom, but an estranged relationship with her spotlight-hungry father and half-siblings. (More on her sister in just a moment.)

But while the media circus around the Duchess of Sussex’s family seems insane, this isn’t the first time this has happened. The royal family has had its share of off-kilter in-laws in the past. Here’s a look at some of the craziness these infamous characters are known for.

Prince Philip’s mother was institutionalized

Princess Alice (second from bottom left) was Prince Philip’s only relative present when he married future Queen Elizabeth | STR/AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth’s husband had a difficult upbringing. His family was chased out of Greece when Philip was just a little over a year old. His father deserted the family and ran off with his mistress. And his older sisters ended up marrying Nazi sympathizers. But the biggest blow to Philip’s upbringing was when his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was just nine years old. She spent time in and out of mental institutions after she started hearing voices and believing she had a physical relationship with Jesus.

Although they spent a great deal of Philip’s life apart, the Duke of Edinburgh always maintained a strong love for his mother. She was the only member of his immediate family at his wedding to Princess Elizabeth (the future queen) in 1947.

Fergie’s mother had a scandalous past

Sarah Ferguson’s mother, Susan, seen in yellow at the royal wedding in 1986 | British Movietone via YouTube

Everyone knows Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, had plenty of brushes with scandal while she was part of the firm. And apparently, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

Fergie’s mother, Susan Barrantes, made headlines of her own when she ditched her husband, royal family polo manager Ronald Ferguson, for Argentinian polo player Hector Barrantes. Fergie was a teenager when her mother ran off to Argentina to marry Barrantes, which earned her the moniker “The Bolter”.

Nevertheless, the former duchess maintained a good relationship with her mother up until her untimely death in a brutal car crash in 1998.

Kate Middleton’s uncle offered drugs to an undercover reporter

Kate Middleton’s uncle, Gary Goldsmith | Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

News of the ties between Prince William and his in-laws are usually positive. But there was major scandal ahead of his marriage to Kate Middleton when her billionaire uncle, Gary Goldsmith was caught up in a sting operation. In 2009, the “black sheep” of the Middleton clan was caught on camera supplying an undercover reporter with drugs and bragging about his ties to the royals. He also boasted about his villa in Ibiza which he alleged William and Kate used for intimate getaways and offered hook the reporter up with prostitutes.

Despite being an utter embarrassment, Goldsmith managed to finagle an invite to niece Kate’s 2011 wedding. His unsavory behavior might’ve become a distant memory had he not been arrested in 2017 for assaulting his own wife in a drunken rage.

Meghan Markle’s sister threatened to write a tell-all

It feels like it was ages ago we first learned actress Meghan Markle was dating Prince Harry and her estranged half-sister Samantha Grant took to social media to bash her. But it wasn’t all that long ago Grant claimed she was going to release a tell-all book that was going to expose Meghan as being a fame-hungry social climber with no regard for her family’s well-being.

Months after the royal wedding, Grant continues to spew venom to any and every outlet that will pay attention to her. Her obsession with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and her constant need to be in some sort of spotlight is definitely transforming her into one of the most outrageous in-laws the royal family has ever had.

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