The truth behind the Royal Family

Molly B (Year 8) and Ellina G (Year 10)

I know we have all heard about them. The majesties of England, the most sacred family with the most sacred secrets. They are legend, they are myth, they are the Royal Family. Probably one of the most famous families to exist, they are, first and foremost, royalty – but what else makes them so popular?   

 So many aspects of their life are in the public eye, with scandals surfacing almost weekly. Yet, when looking closely at all the things that have occurred around them, you start to marvel at the horrendous events that have happened – along with the cover-ups that ensued.  

For example, let’s start with the drama surrounding Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.  

When everyone first heard about Harry’s new love interest, they we’re thrilled. Meghan Markle is an American actress who is best known for her role on the hit show Suits. She became betrothed to the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry in 2018. However, after the wedding her reputation soon took a hit and she became constantly confronted by the press. The public was audibly unhappy about Meghan’s tendency to blame every inconvenience on her race (her claims were at first received with apology, but soon became unreasonable and at times even said to be petty).  

Following these issues, Meghan publicly became a burden to the Royal Family. She and her husband Harry were interviewed and stated the many ways Meghan was mistreated by everyone. Meghan did an additional interview with Oprah and expressed that she was considered a “failure” and every action Harry’s family took was in spite of her. The intense pressure Harry and Meghan received from the media and the accused actions of the Royal Family all accumulated to their leaving the family. For a while, every magazine’s title read “Duke and Duchess step back as senior royals” or “Meghan and Harry leave royal life for good”. The rest of the Royal Family quickly stepped up to defend themselves and stated that they had Meghan’s best interests at heart. They continued to say that they loved her like their own and defused the situation by forcing Meghan and Harry to move to California.  

For a second example, look no further than King Edward VIII.  

King Edward VIII rejected the title a year after he’d been crowned. He’d fallen in love with a woman named Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who had been divorced once and was in the midst of a second split. The taboo within the royal family emanated the belief that Edward’s new love interest would never be approved by the reigning family. With this in mind, Edward turned down the position of King, “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King, without the help and support of the woman I love,” he said in a radio address to the nation in December 1936.   

But how about the biggest scandal recorded in history?  

The Charles, Diana, and Camila affair. 

Prince Charles III and Diana, Princess of Wales, were the power couple of their time and set the bar for what married life looks like. Or at least it looked like this. The unreasonable expectations placed on the married couple by Queen Elizabeth helped sustain this façade before the surfacing of cheating rumours. Transcripts of Diana and her alleged lover’s (James Gilbey) conversation had been published by media outlets and the news spread like wildfire.

Not long after this, Diana’s husband Prince Charles faced similar leaks. An Australian magazine published a phone call between Charles and a woman named Camilla Parker Bowles. The public took to this news negatively, as Diana was largely adored. Later that year, the cheating allegations were put to rest after an announcement of the royal couple’s split. 

Yet, the drama was only starting. Diana completed a “bombshell interview” where she explained her side of the story and convinced the public that she was victim, and that Charles was the true villain during the entire relationship. Throughout the entirety of the interview, Diana discussed her struggles during her time as a princess – issues such as self-harm and bulimia. Additionally, the princess mentioned that she had known about Charles’ affair with Camilla the whole time. Famously, she said “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”. Additionally, she earnt the respect of the public because of her honesty as she admitted to having been unfaithful. 

And finally, the tragic death of Princess Diana.  

A most controversial of scandals, her passing was a shock to the world. Diana was an incredibly influential woman, and the loss of the princess is still mourned to this day. While, at the time, sources stated that Diana’s car-crash was a complete accident, it is suspected that Charles and the Queen had something to do with the death. Their would-be motive is clear; the risk of a cheating scandal and the revelation of a toxic marriage would have large consequences on the royal family. After the passing of the Princess of Wales, the monarchs went to great lengths to avoid the topic, practically going into hiding. This begs the question – why act guilty, if not guilty?
Throughout the decades, the Royal Family have faced many a scandal and yet maintain a supreme reputation. How is it that they are able to create a façade of openness to the public eye, yet maintain secrecy about anything that matters? The Royal Family will always have secrets and truth be told, only time will tell.