Royal family in 2019: The most controversial moments that rocked the monarchy
From Prince Harry's decision to attack the media for their treatment of Meghan Markle to Prince Andrew's link and association to late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the royal family was in the news for all the wrong reasons
The royal family has had an unusually volatile and tumultuous year. From Prince Harry's decision to attack British tabloids for their treatment of Meghan Markle to Prince Andrew's link and association to late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the royal family was in the news for all the wrong reasons.
So, without further ado, here are the royal family's most controversial moments of 2019.
Meghan Markle's lavish baby shower
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had faced immense backlash from the public over Meghan's 7,000-mile private jet journey to New York for a lavish baby shower thrown by her close friends. The Duchess' $500,000 New York trip led to accusations of hypocrisy against the couple given her anti-poverty campaigning, as well as Prince Harry's climate change crusade.
Meghan's refusal to being photographed at Wimbledon
The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, was branded a 'control freak' after it was revealed that her security team had warned tennis fans against taking her pictures when she had gone to watch a match at Wimbledon.
One VIP who was seated in the same row as the Meghan was ordered to not take the Duchess' photographs because she was there 'in a private capacity.'
The Duchess received a lot of criticism for her behavior with TV show host, Piers Morgan, telling 'Good Morning Britain' viewers: "A private capacity, at Wimbledon? This is so ridiculous. It's rankly hypocritical and they're not private people, they're the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. We get to pay for their mansion, we get to do all of this."
Royals on private jets
Prince Harry drew a lot of criticism this summer when he and his family took a private jet to go on vacation while being fully aware of the flight's impact on the planet. They had flown to the home of singer Elton John, who said the aircraft offered them needed privacy and protection, and was carbon-neutral because it was offset by a contribution to Carbon Footprint. In a Q&A session after his speech, Harry said he "occasionally" flies private to ensure that his family is safe. "It's genuinely as simple as that," he said.
Secrecy over photos of Archie's christening
Harry and Meghan welcomed their first child, baby Archie, in May this year. The new parents caused a lot of controversy for refusing to give the public a glimpse of the christening event. Just a week before the christening took place, the Sussexes had faced a lot of backlash for the lavish renovations of their home, Frogmore Cottage, by spending a whopping £2.4 million ($3.46mn) of taxpayers' money. With the couple's decision to keep Archie's christening a private affair, the criticism only worsened.
Meghan's ongoing feud with her family
Meghan Markle hasn't been on the best terms with her family since marrying Prince Harry. Her latest feud was with her uncle Mike Markle who launched a scathing attack on the duchess and called her a 'prima donna' with a 'chip on the shoulder'.
Mike has accused his royal niece of leaving her family behind despite the many years that he and other relatives supported her. He now fears that Meghan has turned her back on her American family and is doubtful that he will ever hear from her again.
Meghan has not been in touch with her father Thomas Markle and half-sister Samantha Markle, both of whom have been vocal about their relationship with Meghan throughout the year.
Controversial Cambridge-Sussex split
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, along with the Cambridges, Prince William and Kate Middleton, had chosen to break up their joint "court" at Kensington Palace by creating two separate offices, causing an uproad.
However, the Queen agreed to the creation of a new household for Harry and Meghan. Meghan and Harry's offices were shifted out of Kensington Palace and into Buckingham Palace. The move was a clear sign that Harry and Meghan wanted to do things their way. Given the rumors of a rift between the two couples, the split seemed to confirm reports that the couples did not get along.
Harry and Meghan's attack on media
Tired of the media's harsh treatment of his wife Meghan Markle, Prince Harry sued British tabloids for relentlessly targetting Meghan. Ever since the couple started dating, their affair, subsequent engagement, and lavish wedding, have been incessantly scrutinized and attacked in the media, with many accusing Meghan of sowing distrust in the royal family and generally disrupting their way of doing business. The press also dished on Meghan's 'issues' with Kate Middleton, who is a media favorite.
As royal expert Penny Junor told MEAWW: "The British tabloid press are very powerful and not good people to start a war with."
Prince Andrew's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein
In November, Prince Andrew was forced to resign from his royal duties following a disastrous interview with the BBC about his association and friendship with late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
One of Epstein's victims, Virginia Roberts, claimed that Andrew had sex with her when she was 17 years old. She claimed that she had sex with Andrew three times in London, at Epstein's New York home, and even took part in an orgy on his private island in the Caribbean. Andrew denied all the allegations made against him.
Andrew is eighth in line to the throne and it is highly unlikely that he will ever perform royal duties again.