As Queen Elizabeth II passed away today, many are looking back at her long reign. In her 70-year reign, she never gave an interview. Yet, even when only sharing public statements, the British monarch still managed to stir up controversy.
Interestingly she ascended the throne after her father George VI passed. At the time there was a stir as her uncle was still alive. However Edward VIII had decided to abdicate the throne after the British government, the public, and the Church of England condemned his decision to marry the American divorcée, Wallis Warfield Simpson.
Imagine a public figure being shamed and ostracized for marrying a divorcee now.
The Royal family had to deal with worse than an old black face picture surfacing. In fact, a picture of Prince Edward, teaching a young Elizabeth how to do a full Nazi salute.
A video of the ordeal surfaced that was shared by The Sun in 2015 under the front-page headline ‘Their Royal Heilnesses‘.
That’s not all, later when Elizabeth decided to marry Greek Prince Philip that also raised eyebrows. Especially since his sisters were married to German aristocrats who were members of the Nazi party. In 2014, Princess Michael of Kent said she was ‘shocked‘ to learn that her father had been an officer in Hitler’s SS.
Annus Horribilis – Horrible Year
Surprisingly, her own three children’s marriages ended in flames. Coincidentally she made a speech in the City of London, on November 1992 after a fire at Windsor Castle. This coincided with her children’s marriages ending.
“1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an ‘annus horribilis’.”
Death of Princess Diana
After a rocky relationship with the mother of her grandchildren, it was odd hearing Queen Elizabeth II talk about her following her death in a car crash in Paris back in September 1997.
“What I say to you now, as your queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart … No one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her. I for one believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death. I share in your determination to cherish her memory.”
Prince Phillip, Prince Andrew, and Jeffery Epstein
Around the death of her husband, Prince Philip, the British monarch’s son Andrew was wrapped up in the sexual trafficking controversy with Jeffery Epstein. It doesn’t help he was referred to as ‘Randy Andy’ until his marriage to Sarah Ferguson.
All friends of the forced prostitution and paedophilia ring operator were being slammed by the public. Amid the controversy, Andrew joined his mother as they attended Prince Philip’s memorial together.
This marked his first public appearance since settling his Jeffrey Epstein lawsuit.
Things proceeded as ‘normal’ with the Royal family choosing to focus on the death of the elderly royal.
“His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation – were all irrepressible. That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him,” said the Queen in her address.
There was another abdication from the throne, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down. Their reasons? Life as a royal took its toll on the mental health of American actress Meghan Markle.
Both she and Prince Harry later stepped down from their positions as royals and gave up their titles. They are still very publically involved, with Meghan being a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and all.
Although the Royal family was apparently okay with this, rumor has it she wasn’t even invited to the Queen’s funeral.
There you have it, just some of the biggest scandals that hit Elizabeth II and her 70-year reign.