Being a British Royal means living your life under the microscopic eye of the world’s media. Any story, no matter how small, can seem big when it involves a Royal. Some scandals are big; they envelop individuals and consume them, to a point where their personal lives are parodied, joked about and discussed as if we knew every detail. Nobody knows every detail of a Royal’s life; it is only assumed, which can be dangerous to form opinion and discussion.
Nothing is more sensational than a Royal couple when one of the family brings an outsider in as part of the family. It is as if they are introducing a partner to all of us, they are betting big on their choice, asking everyone to accept this newcomer into the only family all of the UK feels it has a stake in. Sometimes, those couples can be hugely controversial. Here are four that really did rock to the Royal family to its core.
Harry and Megan
Londisland, Prince Harry and Meghan’s carriage procession through streets of Windsor 05, CC BY 3.0
Harry and Megan are a modern-day couple of controversies, but Harry has been gambling with his reputation his whole life, to be fair to Megan. A 2005 fancy dress costume caused uproar in the press, and a 2012 poker game saw him lose around $38,000 – a year’s salary for most UK citizens. He might not have understood how to win at poker, but he has always played his hands as he sees fit, literally in one sense and metaphorically in the other. Meghan Markle was an American actress when they met, and together they have got out of the Royal game and set up a life of their own which wasn’t how the rest of the Royal Family saw them playing their hand.
Andrew and Koo
Steering clear of Prince Andrew’s recent troubles, he has always been a cause of concern for his mother, Her Majesty the Queen. Long before his ill-fated wedding to Sarah Ferguson, he introduced partners who appeared to be completely unsuitable for Royal life. Koo Stark was an actress who had appeared in rather salacious films before being introduced to the Queen. Her and the Duke of York dated for 18 months before finally calling it off, with him then choosing ‘Fergie’ for his bride. Their marriage lasted less than a decade, and Andrew has never really recovered in the eyes of the public.
Henry and Anne
Joos van Cleve artist QS:P170,Q153472 Formerly attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger Formerly attributed to François Clouet, 1491 Henry VIII, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons
If you think modern Royals cause all the problems, then this controversial couple will surely surprise you. Henry VIII liked a wager, he once lost the crown in a game of dice, albeit only for a day, and he lost the Jesus Bells of St Paul’s on a single dice roll. He had the winner of the bells executed for treason, which seemed a shock response to him losing. He wagered on few challenging his decision to marry Anne Boleyn in 1533, but the Pope called his bluff, and the English Reformation was kicked into action. Three years later, Henry had Anne beheaded for treason, but the direction of England has already been changed forever.
Edward and Wallis
Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-17964 / Pahl, Georg / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv Bild 102-17964, Ordensburg Krössinsee, Herzog von Windsor, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE
Few Royal couples could ever be as controversial as Edward VIII and his partner, Wallis Simpson. They didn’t just cause controversy, but they almost brought the monarchy to its knee. Wallis was a twice-divorced American socialite, whilst Edward was the King of England. To be with her, he would have to abdicate the throne. He folded as king on December 11th 1936, handing the throne to his younger brother George, and began a life in exile.