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12 Biggest Royal Scandals Over the Years: From Kate Middleton's Photo Editing Gaffe to King Charles III's Infidelity

biggest royal scandals over the years
Source: MEGA

Mar. 26 2024, Published 6:01 a.m. ET

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King Edward VIII Abdicated the Throne

edward viii abdicated the throne
Source: MEGA

Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson wed on June 3, 1937.

King Edward VIII ascended the throne after King George V's death on January 20, 1936. However, he gave up the throne and abdicated a few months later when he realized he could not marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson and rule at the same time.

This led his younger brother, King George VI, to succeed the throne before Queen Elizabeth II.

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Kate Middleton Edited Her Mother's Day Photo

kate middleton edited her mothers day photo
Source: MEGA

Kate Middleton revealed she is battling cancer.

Weeks after Kate Middleton avoided the limelight following her scheduled abdominal surgery, Kensington Palace released a photo featuring the Princess of Wales and her three kids, whom she shares with Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

"Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day," Kate captioned the photo, which Prince William captured.

The Associated Press, Getty Images, Reuters and more image distribution outlets released and circulated the photo only to remove it afterward after finding evidence of image manipulation. For instance, AP issued a kill order to retract the picture and stop the distribution of the image.

One day after later, the Prince and Princess of Wales' social media pages released a statement in which Kate apologized and admitted to enhancing the photograph.

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day," she wrote.

Kate Middleton Was Pictured Topless

kate middleton was pictured topless
Source: MEGA

Taking private photos of Kate Middleton was reportedly a serious breach of privacy.

In 2012, a French magazine published topless photos of Kate, which were taken while the royal was vacationing in Provence, France, with her husband. Newspaper La Provence also publicized more images taken from the same Provence trip, though Kate was wearing a swimsuit in their published story.

"Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner," a spokesman for the St. James' Palace said in response to the spread of the images. "The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so. Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them."

After French authorities formally launched a probe in 2013, a court ruled in favor of Prince William and Kate and demanded the celebrity magazine pay them more than $100,000 in damages.

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King Charles III Cheated on Princess Diana With Queen Camilla

king charles iii cheated on princess diana with queen camilla
Source: MEGA

King Charles III underwent a surgery for his enlarged prostate.

King Charles III and Princess Diana announced their separation in 1992 after 10 years of marriage following their admission to having extramarital affairs — but they went through ups and downs before that.

The world found out about the monarch's affair with his now-wife, Queen Camilla, when the late Princess Diana appeared in a November 1995 interview with BBC Panorama.

"There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," she told Martin Bashir.

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King Charles III Was Caught Slamming Reporters

king charles iii was caught slamming the reporters
Source: MEGA

King Charles was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer following his corrective procedure.

King Charles III lined up with Prince William and Prince Harry for photos of the royal skiing holiday, during which the current monarch was recorded calling journalists and photographers "bloody people."

"I can't bear that man. He's so awful, he really is," he said after BBC's royal correspondent Nick Witchell asked him a question.

Communications secretary Paddy Harverson explained the then-heir to the throne was upset by the paparazzi's appearance before the official photo-call.

"He doesn't have contempt for the media. We have an agreement with the media whereby they give them space during the holiday but a few paparazzi yesterday got the holiday off to a bad start. I think the prince was a little bit upset about that," he noted.

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Prince Andrew's Association With Jeffrey Epstein Shocked the World

prince andrews association with jeffrey epstein shocked the world
Source: MEGA

Prince Andrew is at the center of the new Netflix film 'Scoop.'

Prince Andrew tried to share his story in his "car crash" Newsnight interview amid the reports about his association with the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. However, his appearance and bizarre excuses led to his downfall even more while dealing with Virginia Roberts' allegations.

He announced he would step down from his royal duties four days after the catastrophic interview.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Stepped Down

prince harry and meghan markle stepped down
Source: MEGA

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed on May 19, 2018.

A few months after Prince Andrew left the spotlight, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle expressed their intention to step back from their senior royal roles to become financially independent. They also desired to split their time between North America and the U.K.

The couple — who share Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet — resides in a luxurious Montecito property.

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Prince Harry Wore a Nazi Costume

prince harry wore a nazi costume
Source: MEGA

Prince Harry's nude photos were splashed on magazines over a decade ago.

Prince Harry's Nazi costume scandal shook the royal family — and the world — when he attended a 2005 Halloween party while wearing a swastika armband.

"I am very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize," he said in a statement at the time.

In his memoir, Spare, the Duke of Sussex claimed he called Prince William and Kate to decide which costume he should wear, writing, "They both howled. Worse than Willy's leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point."

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Prince William Sparked Affair Rumors

prince william sparked affair rumors
Source: MEGA

The same reports reemerged due to Kate Middleton's lack of public appearances.

Rumors about Prince William's infidelity surfaced in 2019, with reports accusing him of having an affair with his and Kate's close friend Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. The book Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy's Fight for Survival mentioned the alleged cheating issue.

Hanbury has denied the rumors.

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Princess Diana Got Involved in 'Squidgygate'

princess diana got involved in squidgygate
Source: MEGA

Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.

While King Charles III and Princess Diana were still married in 1992, media outlets released the transcript of the conversation between the royal princess and her alleged lover James Gilbey. The man in question told her he loved her and referred to her as "Squidgy" more than 50 times, leading to the creation of the infamous moniker "Squidgygate."

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Sarah Ferguson's Toe-Sucking Scandal Happened

sarah ferguson committed a cash for access scandal
Source: MEGA

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson split in 1992 and divorced in 1996.

Six years after Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson wed, the latter was photographed vacationing with an American financial advisor named John Bryan. One of the paparazzi's photos captured Bryan appearing to be licking her foot.

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Sarah Ferguson Committed a Cash-for-Access Scandal

sarah fergusons toe sucking scandal happened
Source: MEGA

Sarah Ferguson reportedly does not want to remarry Prince Andrew.

In 2010, Ferguson was caught offering access to her ex-husband in exchange for a $633,000 bribe after a News of the World journalist pretended to be a businessman who needed to meet Prince Andrew.

The duchess apologized after a video of the meeting was released to the media.

"I very deeply regret the situation and the embarrassment caused. It is true that my financial situation is under stress however, that is no excuse for a serious lapse in judgment and I am very sorry that this has happened," Ferguson said.

She added, "I can confirm that The Duke of York was not aware or involved in any of the discussions that occurred. I am sincerely sorry for my actions."

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