Britain’s royal family has always been filled with excitement, with Princes William and Harry, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle getting most of the recent attention. But the life of Princess Anne — the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II — is no less dramatic. Her life and her strong personality have certainly shaken the status quo, and it’s hard to picture any other royal surviving as much turmoil.

Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise was born August 15th,1950, and was celebrated with an honorable ceremony. Since she was the second-born and only daughter of Philip and Elizabeth, a 21-gun salute was held. In time, she would prove more than worthy of that honor.

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When she was born, her mother was still a Princess herself and hadn’t yet been crowned Queen. As she grew up, Princess Anne adjusted to her parents not being around. She understood and respected her responsibilities all over the country.

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Princess Anne remained close to her mother, the Queen, who was as loving and caring as any mother would be. Their mutual love for horseback riding helped them remain close.

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At the age of 13, Queen Elizabeth II gave her daughter a special present: her own thoroughbred horse, named Doublet. Anne and Doublet formed a bond together, and they started making big moves in the word of equestrians.

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Princess Anne would soon enter competitions with Doublet. In 1971, the 21-year-old Princess made history winning gold at the European Eventing Championships, becoming the first member of the British Royal family to win a European title. She would enter another competition two years later, but with another horse.

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After entering another European championship with another horse, Princess Anne was back with her beloved Doublet. In 1974, she and Doublet were training at Windsor Castle when the unfortunate incident happened.

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Along the castle’s field, Princess Anne and Doublet trained for their next competition together. Sadly, the horse suffered a broken leg that could not be healed. Princess Anne loved this creature, so she couldn’t imagine Doublet living life with such a terrible injury. She would have to say goodbye to her dear friend.

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Princess Anne had no choice but to euthanize Doublet. Veterinary medicine just wasn’t what it is today. The heartbreak was hard for the Princess, but she carried on and continued to make her mark on the world.

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Two years later, at the age of 26, Princess Anne dared to reach a higher prize in equestrian Sport: the 1976 Olympics. This was another feat that no other British royal had attempted, but Anne was going for it.

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It was the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada. Nearly 50 other competitors from across the world competed in the equestrian events. Although she didn’t medal, it was still a high honor to take part in the incredible sporting event.

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Princess Anne would continue her engagement with equestrian sports. In the late ’80s, she was appointed as President of the FEI, the Fédération Équestre Internationale, which is the international governing body of equestrian sports. She was 36 at the time, and she happened to be following in her father’s footsteps.


Back in his day, Prince Philip was also President of the FEI. Though he had a difficult relationship with his daughter (he was strict and judgmental with his children). Because of this the Princess had thick skin. On the contrary, her older brother and her shared a more positive relationship.

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Throughout the years, she and her older brother, Prince Charles, always remained close. Princess Anne shared her love for horseback riding with her older brother, and helped him overcome his fear of riding. She also made sure to see all his plays when he was in school. They were very supportive of each other.

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In her youth, she was considered a tomboy and held no interest the glam and glitz of royal life. Anne avoided the frills and tiaras that attracted most girls her age, but she wouldn’t avoid the boys for long.

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Before she made history in horseback riding, Princess Anne aimed to make history in her own love life. Back when she was 18, she became infatuated with fellow horse lover Mark Philips. She would have to go through a bit of drama before she could capture his heart.

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Princess Anne had her first boyfriend two years later in Andrew Parker Bowles, whose family had close connections with Anne’s. Andrew had just broken up with Camilla Shand, daughter of Britain’s Vice Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, but they would soon be back together after family pressures.

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Princess Anne’s older brother, Prince Charles, also became involved, dating the Vice Lord Lieutenant’s daughter until she and Andrew Bowles went back to courting. Surprisingly enough, there didn’t seem to be any hard feelings among the four young royals.

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Andrew Parker Bowles and Camilla Shand married some years ago, with Shand’s family happy to see their ship set sail. After raising children together, they would divorce, and Camilla would marry Prince Charles in 2005. Princess Anne remained close friends with Andrew throughout their lives, and Anne herself was married after years of more drama.

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Princess Anne still had a thing for the very handsome Mark Philips, and after years of finally dating, they married in 1973. Their wedding was was even declared a special holiday for the public! But that fairytale day soon brought them into a nightmare.

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Chaos erupted one night in 1974 when a white Ford slammed into the side of Anne and Mark’s car. But this was no accident. The driver, Ian Ball, pointed a gun at the royal vehicle and demanded they come with him.

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The assailant planned to kidnap the royals in exchange for a ransom of 3 million pounds. When Ball ordered Anne to come with him, however, she retorted, “Not bloody likely.” As she fled, he fired a barrage of shots.

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Three nearby men were shot before police apprehended Ball. Anne, to show her thanks, visited her defenders in the hospital. It was a grisly incident, but the Princess looked forward to the next chapter of her life.

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Princess Anne and her husband became an unconventional family. Mark didn’t take on any courtesy titles, and they decided not to push any titles onto their children, Peter and Zara. Sadly, the happy-looking couple would not last.

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After distant behavior began to surface between the two, and rumors and scandals began to spread, Princess Anne and Mark Philips divorced in 1992. This would not be the end of Princess Anne’s love life, nor the last time she’d stir up royal drama.

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Timothy Laurence, senior attendant of Queen Elizabeth II’s, married Princess Anne immediately after she divorced Mark Philips. It wasn’t the most romantic relationship, especially with the accusations of cheating while Princess Anne was married. Nonetheless, they are still happily married to this day. Outside her love life, there is still more to the Princess.

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Two years after her divorce, Princess Anne pushed for her induction into the Order of the Garden, but that’s not all. Still being the tomboy that she is, she demanded she be titled a Knight, rather than a Lady. With her candid attitude, she was given another title, by the media.

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Known for her blunt, no nonsense attitude, very reflective of her father, the media dubbed her “Her Royal Rudeness.” While she was a bit standoffish with the public, not wanting to shake hands or pose for pictures, the citizens of Britain and of Britain Colonies alike, loved and admired her, and for so many reasons.

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With her impressive feats as a young adult athlete, the country could be proud of a Princess that was not just in it for the show. It was especially impressive how much good she did for the world outside of equestrian sports.

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Since she was 18, Princess Anne has been helping those in need. It started when she opened an educational and training center in Shropshire, England. From then on she engaged in charities and nonprofit organizations, many that have taken her across the world.

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Also given the more proper title “The Princess Royal”, Princess Anne is involved with over 300 charities, organisations and military regiments in the UK and overseas. She has another official title within the British military.


In her later years, Princess Anne became the first female Captain General of the Royal Marines. She has been such a crucial leader in the guidance of her country, even in international affairs.

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On top of being involved in so many varying organization, Princess Anne is also a British member of the International Olympic Committee, and played a hand in the country’s bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. There watched a special award given to someone special to her.

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In the 2012 London Olympics, Great Britain had a strong team of horseback riders, including Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Anne Elizabeth Philips. Like her mother, Zara had been training for this moment all her life.


Zara not only made her mother proud, but she also made her entire country proud by helping her team earn a silver medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Princess Anne could not be more proud, but she isn’t ready to let the younger generation take over just yet.


The Princess may have the busiest schedule in the royal family, but she prefers it that way. All her hard work has made the world a brighter place, and she herself has become a symbol of inspiration to women all over the world. She’s drawn some comparisons to her aunt.

From childhood, Princess Margaret — Queen Elizabeth II’s sister and Anne’s aunt — wasn’t one to stay on the sidelines. If there was a song to be sung or a dance to be danced, she was there, ready to entertain her guests. Even then, she wasn’t one for traditional royal life. 

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As a young woman, it was obvious that Margaret didn’t always love royal life. She was described as “bored, mécontente, ready to burst out against it all: A Duke of Windsor among the women of the royal family” by historian A.L. Rowse.


According to some stories, Margaret wasn’t always gracious to her guests. She once had visitors wait late into the night while she got ready for a dinner party, only to emerge looking like “a huge ball of fur,” as Nancy Mitford recalled.

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Most young ladies (and many older ladies) would detest being called “ma’am,” but not Margaret. In fact, she insisted upon it, if witnesses’ accounts are to be believed. According to them, she’d be friendly until you called her anything other than “ma’am” or “your highness.”

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According to an anonymous dinner party guest, Margaret and the gang were happily playing Trivial Pursuit until she answered a question incorrectly. “She got so furious that she tossed the whole board in the air, sending all the pieces flying everywhere.”

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Despite literally being royalty, Margaret still felt threatened by other worldly people, according to some sources. She allegedly told Robert Evans that she disliked his movie Love Story, and she made her dislike of Boy George and Steven Sondheim known, often to their faces.

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Margaret had a razor-sharp wit, and she didn’t always use it for good. She had some choice words for Grace Kelly, former actress and the Princess of Monaco, when they met. “Well, you don’t look like a movie star,” she reportedly told her.

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Sometimes, celebrities left the palace feeling worse than when they walked in. When Margaret finally asked ‘60s model Lesley Lawson about herself and Lawson replied with “my friends call me Twiggy,” Margaret had just one response: “How unfortunate.”

Still, Margaret found herself up against a worthy opponent from time to time, such as when she met Judy Garland. While at a party, Margaret sent a message across the room to Garland, asking her to sing. Garland wasn’t impressed by the request and had a fiery response.

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“Go and tell that nasty, rude little princess that we’ve known each other for long enough…that she should skip the ho-hum royal routine and just pop over here and ask me herself,” Garland angrily replied. We can only imagine how Margaret reacted!

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Elizabeth Taylor didn’t let Margaret get away with insulting her, either. When she overheard Margaret comment that Taylor’s new diamond ring was “the most vulgar thing I’ve ever seen,” Taylor immediately hatched a plan for revenge.

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When the two met at a party later on, Taylor graciously offered to let Margaret try on the ring herself. When she did, Elizabeth Taylor went in for the kill. “Doesn’t look so vulgar now, does it?” she quipped at an astonished Margaret.

For all the bad rumors swirling around Margaret, it can’t be denied that she endured some tough times. She wasn’t permitted to marry Peter Townshend, her first love, because of his divorced status, and their affair was a huge scandal at the time.

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Ironically, Margaret herself paved the way for future royals to get divorced: After a series of affairs (one reportedly with Mick Jagger and another with Roddy Llewellyn, who was 17 years her junior), she and her husband divorced. It was the first royal divorce since 1901. 

According to royal protocol, no one was allowed to go to bed until Margaret did, a rule she used to her advantage. She once arrived hours late to dinner, forced the exhausted staff to wait on her every whim, and didn’t go to bed until 4 AM.

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Margaret even expected her sister, the Queen, to cater to her every need. Whenever Margaret burned her feet in the sun during a family trip to Mustique, she’d dramatically use a wheelchair to get around…which annoyed Elizabeth to no end.

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In retaliation, Elizabeth would only provide one wheelchair at Mustique which was meant for the Queen Mother, not Margaret. When Margaret once dashed to claim the wheelchair for herself, Elizabeth reportedly called out, “For God’s sake, Margaret — get out! That’s meant for Mummy!” 

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By the end of her life, Margaret was so unpopular with the public that supposedly Sotheby’s had to bribe guests to chat with her for a few minutes at a time. This is only a rumor, but judging by her past behavior, we wouldn’t be surprised!

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It’s hard to know whether any of these stories are true or just exaggerated tall tales. In reality, Margaret had close friends her whole life, all of who claimed that these outrageous stories were simply ways for Margaret to amuse and connect with the public.

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Margaret herself once commented on her complicated reputation. “It was inevitable, when there are two sisters and one is the Queen, who must be the source of honor and all that is good…the other must be the focus of the most creative malice, the evil sister,” she said.

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Queen Elizabeth has been in power for 65 years — that’s quite literally a lifetime. Still, the iconic monarch was not always slated to hold that position. In fact, if it weren’t for one particularly shocking decision on the part of her uncle, she would have never been queen.

Way back in 1936, King George V still held the throne. Upon his death in January of that year, his eldest son Edward (pictured middle) became the new king. Edward was well-liked among the citizens of Britain, but what they didn’t know was that he was hiding one controversial secret.

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Edward was in a relationship. All well and good, right? However, this wasn’t just any relationship; his partner was someone whom he was forced to hide from his family members. The reason for this secrecy would prove to be nothing less than scandalous.

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For the two years preceding his father’s death, Edward had been seeing an American woman by the name of Wallis Simpson. They were in love. But despite their passion, this wasn’t Simpson’s first rodeo…

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The Pennsylvania socialite had, in fact, been previously married to a member of the U.S. navy named Earl Winfield Spencer. After discovering his serious problems with alcoholism, the relationship dissolved and ultimately ended in divorce. Incredibly, though, Simpson’s status as a divorcee wasn’t even the most glaring issue…

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Even worse than being divorced, Wallis was actually still married! This was certainly a huge no-no at the time, for regular people and especially for members of the royal family — let alone the king himself! However Edward had a master plan.

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For months he petitioned parliament to allow him to marry Wallis once she had finalized her divorce from then-husband Ernest Aldrich Simpson, a businessman. However, for one crucial reason, the government would never allow the star-crossed lovers to unite.

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When ascending to the throne, royals also take on another responsibility: becoming the official head of the Church of England. And at the time, the church explicitly forbade divorced people becoming remarried. While this internal conflict broiled, the family desperately tried to keep the drama under wraps.

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Of course, the unorthodox relationship was common knowledge among British newspapers. While they were aware of the affair, they respected the Crown enough to refrain from reporting on it — unlike their American counterparts. Soon, everything would come to a head.

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Though Edward tried his hardest to keep the tryst quiet, his attempts ultimately failed due to the existence of one incredibly scandalous picture. Once it reached the press, there would be no suppressing of the chaos that ensued.

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In December of 1936, nearly a year after Edward had become king, the British press broke down and published the image in question. What did it picture? Edward and Wallis together, her hand stroking his arm. It was not a good look.


The masses practically exploded after its publication; such a relationship was virtually unheard of for members of the royal family, and this picture was solid proof of the affair. If people thought the drama was over, however, they were dead wrong.

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This was because several days later, another shock-wave would run through the country when Edward suddenly abdicated. The scandal was significant enough that it even earned its own name: the abdication crisis. And his farewell speech to the nation was particularly noteworthy.

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In his last address as king, Edward admitted that he felt incapable of fulfilling his duties to the crown if he didn’t have “the support of the woman that I love.” After years of hiding, his relationship was finally in the open. But this admission wouldn’t protect him from consequences.

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Following Edward’s abdication, his younger brother Albert became King George VI, with his daughter Elizabeth (yes, the current queen) subsequently shifting to next in line for the throne. If Edward thought his little brother would go easy on him, he had another thing coming.

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The new king made his brother Duke of Windsor, but with the support of his mother Queen Mary and wife Elizabeth, refused to allow Wallis Simpson to take the “Her Royal Highness” title. And this was far from the only snub the couple endured.

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Wallis fled to France before Edward’s abdication to get away from widespread and wholly unflattering press coverage, and after abdicating Edward went to join her. The pair had planned on coming back to England after their little retreat, but the new king said they needed permission before returning.

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Sadly, Edward’s relationship with his relatives would never be quite the same. He especially resented his mother Mary for her role in forcing him out and isolating the love of his life from the family. Eventually, she made one bold move that would be the last straw.


Mary went as far as to ban Edward from attending the dedication of his own father’s tomb. In a letter written to her after the fact, Edward stated, “Your last letter…destroyed the last vestige of feeling I had left for you and has made further normal correspondence between us impossible.”

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Spurned and disillusioned with the monarchy, Edward and Wallis would live out the rest of their days in France, having little to do with the workings of the royals. Their scandalous exit paved the way for a modern royal controversy that’s taken Britain by storm.

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How do royals balance love and duty? This question loomed over the Sussexes since the early days of their marriage, though it wasn’t until “Megxit” that the idea that Harry was giving up way too much for Meghan really took hold. On paper, there did seem to be some truth to it.

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Harry was forced to relinquish the title of His Royal Highness, the defining style of his association with the crown. Without it, Harry can now no longer formally represent the Queen in any capacity, though the extent of this loss goes far deeper than just a little distance from his grandma.

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Without the HRH distinction, Harry also loses state funding for his many projects and charitable efforts and even has to repay $3 million in taxpayer money for renovations made at his Buckingham Palace residency. But the worst blow of all was to something no amount of money could ever buy…

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His military titles and appointments. Harry was reportedly distraught after the Queen told him he could no longer retain his military roles after leaving the royal family — given his history with the armed forces, it’s not hard to see why.

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For nine years, Harry served as an officer in the Blues and Royals, a regiment of the Household Cavalry in the British Army. The prince trained in both ground and aerial combat, and he even completed two tours of Afghanistan.

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After retiring from active service in 2015, Harry became heavily involved in supporting veterans. He founded the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style sporting competition for wounded soldiers, as well as a number of other military focused foundations — still, Harry felt there was something missing.

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The prince confided in friends that he “missed the camaraderie” of the military, a feeling that was only exacerbated by the loss of his titles. Fortunately, Harry had a lifelong hobby to turn to in order to cope.

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Since childhood, both Prince Harry and Prince William have been avid hunters, often seen participating in the annual Sandringham Boxing Day shoots at the Queen’s Norfolk estates. Unsurprisingly, their love of hunting has stirred quite a bit of controversy over the years.

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Both princes are outspoken animal conservationists, resulting in some labeling them as hypocrites. In fact, just a day before William was set to launch a high-profile campaign against the illegal hunting of wildlife in 2014, the brothers were actually on a deer and wild boar hunting trip across Spain.

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That same year, Harry made headlines when a 10-year-old photo of the prince standing over the body of a water buffalo he’d shot leaked to the press. The scandal blew over relatively quick, though there’s likely one person who’s still deeply affected by the image.

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The Duchess of Sussex herself. A fervent animal rights activist, many believed Meghan would have a serious problem with Harry’s hunting. Things seemed alright at first, though by Christmas 2018, cracks began to show.

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It started with rumors that Harry would forgo that year’s Boxing Day hunt, presumably out of respect for Meghan’s feelings. Though palace sources were quick to dismiss these claims as “completely untrue,” the next few months were far more telling.

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Harry remained absent from regular shoots at Balmoral and Sandringham even despite pleas from his brother and father to join them. This was sign enough that the prince’s hobby wouldn’t exactly fly with his new bride, though it was a rather unlikely source that finally put it all out in the open.

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In a 2020 interview with Radio Times, famed primatologist and close friend of the Sussexes Jane Goodall revealed what’s really been going with the former royals. In addition to claiming Harry was “struggling” in post-royal life, she also shared her thoughts on his hunting future.

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“I think Harry will stop because Meghan doesn’t like hunting,” Goodall explained. “I suspect that is over for him.” But was this still just speculation? As it turns out, Harry had already begun phasing the hobby out of his life even before Goodall made her claims.

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In late 2019, an unnamed British hunter secured a private deal to by firearms from an anonymous third party. Shortly after the deal was complete, the hunter discovered that the guns had been owned by Prince Harry.

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“[The hunter] bought them because he wanted them, not because they belonged to Harry, but he was quite chuffed when he found out,” a friend of the buyer revealed. Yet these weren’t just any firearms: they were two of the most prized in Harry’s collection.

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The guns in question were two handmade Purdey hunting rifles, valued at over $60,000. A pretty penny to pay for a pair of firearms, Harry likely sold them for a lot less. With Meghan on his case, he probably didn’t have the leisure of holding out for a prime offer.

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Harry’s decision to give up hunting will likely only serve to further the divide between the Sussexes and the rest of the family, as the sport is a long-held tradition among British royals. At the moment, however, Harry and Meghan have something much larger on their plates.

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Without support from the crown, the Duke and Duchess have been busy setting the foundation for life as semi-ordinary citizens, including where they’ll reside and how they’ll generate income. But the biggest decision the two must make now hits a lot closer to home than houses or jobs.

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As made official on March 31st, 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were no longer considered working members of the royal family. While they are still welcome around Granny Liz’s palace anytime they please, their role shifts did have tangible consequences.

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Specifically, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have to decide on what to do about their names. Don’t worry, Harry is still considered a prince, not that the world would ever be able to un-flip that switch of perception regarding the red-headed royal.

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The ambiguity surrounds which last names Harry and Meghan will end up choosing. As it stands, they could very well pick different surnames. For now, they are technically Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

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It’s totally their choice if they want to follow in the footsteps of Prince William and Duchess Kate, who use Cambridge as their last names for their kid’s school and on social media, which would make them the Sussexes.

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There’s also the possibility that Archie wouldn’t share the same last name as his parents. Since he falls into the category of royalty without an official title, he would automatically be considered a Mountbatten-Windsor.


It became an official rule in 1973 that non-title holding royals would take the last name Mountbatten-Windsor. However, coming to that conclusion wasn’t easy. It was a hotly debated topic among the family for years that played out in public.

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The last name debacle originated from another young couple trying to coming to terms with how the intricacies of royalty impact a marriage — Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Ultimately, Philip refused to back down.

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Back when Philip first started flirting with a royal marriage alliance with then-Princess Elizabeth, he had the most exhaustingly long title in existence: Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

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In efforts to have a more politically neutral title, Philip opted to take on the surname of his grandparents — Mountbatten. He was under the impression that his children would take his last name, but the optics of royalty complicated everything.

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It turned out that it wasn’t Philip’s call to make. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was not on board. He weighed in on the issue, suggesting the children bear the name Windsor as per the previous tradition.

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Other members of the royal family got involved, including Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother Queen Mary. She sided with Churchill on this one, which only further inflamed the debate, all the way to the floor of Parliament.

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In the end, the Queen was forced to make a tough call. She sided with Churchill and her family so their children were considered Windsors, though Prince Philip was livid. He understandably felt it his right to have some control over his own children’s names.

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When Queen Elizabeth was heavily pregnant with her third child, Prince Andrew, Philip must have finally been able to convince her. She announced she officially changed her name to Mountbatten-Windsor, and the rest is history. But back to Harry and Meghan.

So it’s well within the realm of possibility that Meghan and Harry could choose to become Mountbatten-Windsors as is the tradition in royal families to take a name consistent with one’s children. Though, Harry himself once deviated from that pattern.

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During his army training, Prince Harry used Wales as his last name. His fellow soldiers and commanding officers knew him as Officer Cadet Wales, which he chose to honor his father Charles, Prince of Wales. 

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Then there’s Meghan Markle, whose name packs a perfect alliterative punch. It even rhymes with sparkle, which you have to admit is ideal for someone famous. Now that she’s no longer on the payroll of the crown, she could certainly stick with her birth name.

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Before entering the royal scene, Meghan Markle earned her own notoriety as an actress on the USA television show Suits. Then, after their official royal exit, Meghan announced her return to show business by way of narrating the Disney Plus documentary Elephant.

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For this project, Meghan agreed to sign on in exchange for a donation to the organization Elephants Without Borders, however, she and Harry are now fully cleared to earn their own money. So if she sticks with acting, it might be advantageous to keep Markle.

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Prince Harry’s likely last name options are Wales, Sussex, or Mountbatten-Windsor, though there have been a few wistful suggestions of Harry Markle. It wouldn’t be outside of the realm of possibility for Harry to make a somewhat progressive move by taking his wife’s name.

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After all, Harry isn’t afraid to make headlines. He and his royal family members are no strangers to creating a scandal for far more controversial actions than honoring their wives with a hyphenated last name.

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1. When a teenage Prince Harry admitted to his father that he’d tried marijuana and participated in underage drinking, the royal family sent him to rehab… for one day. Apparently, it was a way of educating him about the dangers of substance abuse.

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2. Princess Diana made scary headlines when she was four months pregnant with William: She fell down the stairs, which put both her life and his life at risk. She later admitted that it was a self-harm attempt to get Charles’ attention. 

1. In 1936, King Edward VIII had to make a choice: Remain king, or marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson? His decision to abdicate the throne and marry Simpson shocked the world and pre-determined his niece’s future role as Queen Elizabeth II.  

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4. Scandal rocked the royals in 1953 when Princess Margaret got engaged to Captain Peter Townshend, who divorced his wife to be with her. The couple was destined for heartbreak, however, as royal tradition forbade them from marrying. 

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5. Princess Margaret wasn’t down for long, however, and she soon married photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones. However, the unconventional princess was true to her reputation, and, in 1978, she became the first royal to get a divorce since the 1500s. 


6. Kate Middleton is one of the classiest ladies around, so it came as a shock when she was photographed topless while vacationing in France. Obviously, the paparazzi had trespassed on private property, so criminal charges were filed against the paps.


7. A document published in 1957 confirmed decades-old rumors that Edward VIII and his wife, Wallis Simpson, had given information to the Nazis…and directly to Hitler himself. Edward even said in 1970, “I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap.” 

8. Margaret wasn’t the last royal to get a divorce! Her niece, Princess Anne, was married to Olympian equestrian Mark Phillips for nearly 20 years before they divorced in 1992. It was rumored that both Anne and Phillips were having affairs.

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9. Some of the rumors were true: Mark Phillips had an affair with an art teacher named Heather Tonkin, which resulted in their child, Felicity Tonkin. His parentage was confirmed after a 1991 paternity suit.

10. At just 14 years old, Prince Charles cheekily ordered a cherry brandy at a pub. He had no idea that a tabloid reporter was also in the pub, and the story was across every newspaper headline the next day.

Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons

11. You’d think that Prince William, married with children and accustomed to being in the public eye, would know better than to dance seductively with a model at a nightclub, but that’s exactly what happened in 2017. 


12. 1992 was the year of the “squidgy” heard ‘round the world: Tabloids released a recorded phone call between Princess Diana and her alleged lover, James Gilbey, who called her by the nickname “Squidgy” 53 times during the call. 

13. Of course, one of the most famous scandals in royal family history was when Princess Diana revealed her struggles with depression and eating disorders as well as her husband’s affair and her own affair in a shocking interview with Martin Bashir in 1996.

The Drake Hotel Chicago/Flickr

14. Out of Princess Diana’s tragic death came two huge scandals: The rumor that Prince Charles had “planned” the accident, and the news that Diana’s controversial boyfriend at the time, Dodi Al Fayed, was killed alongside her. 

Linford A/Flickr

15. Meghan Markle has had a particularly rough go of it since she married Prince Harry. After months of being hounded by the paparazzi, the couple pleaded with the press to back off, sparking a debate about how far is too far when it comes to the press.

16. Developing in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s break from the royal family captivated audiences. After being ceaselessly attacked by the press, the royal couple understandably washed their hands of it all together.

17. Teenagers are often misguided, but we have to wonder what Prince Harry was thinking here: He was once spotted at a Halloween party wearing a Nazi uniform, and it soon covered all of the tabloids.

The Sun

18. One month before Diana and Charles divorced, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew also called it quits. What spurred the couple’s divorce was paparazzi footage of another man who was — you guessed it — nibbling Fergie’s toes.

Mugisha Don de Dieu/Wikimedia Commons

19. Harry certainly had a wild life before settling down! He was caught in the buff playing a game of strip billiards, and his response to the criticism was princely indeed: “[It’s] a classic example of me probably being too much army and not enough prince.” 

Department of Defense/EJ Hersom

20. Even after she was divorced from the royal family, Fergie was still making headlines. In 2010, she was recorded accepting a $633,000 bribe from a journalist disguised as a businessman. She later called it “a serious lapse in judgement,” which, yeah. 

Sarah Ferguson Foundation Launch at Ultra/Flickr

21. In 2014, a woman claimed that Prince Andrew and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with them when she was a teenager. Buckingham Palace and the judge denied these claims, but it left a permanent pall over Andrew and the royals.

Secretary of Defense/Flickr

22. Princess Michael of Kent wore a blackamoor brooch, which is today considered a symbol of racism, to a luncheon with the Queen in 2017, and many wondered if it was in response to Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry. 

Mark Cuthbert/The Telegraph

23. Princess Michael has been accused of racist remarks in the past, such as a 2004 incident in which she was overheard telling a group of black people to “go back to the colonies.” She denied saying it, despite multiple witnesses claiming otherwise. 

24. Illegally-recorded phone calls aside, it’s photography that has gotten the royal family into the most trouble over the past century. Even way back before Queen Elizabeth II was the ruler of the Commonwealth, photographs shed light on the surprising way the royals lived.

25.1951: Future Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip recently welcomed their two children, Charles and Anne. The new family stands here with King George VI, the Queen Mother Elizabeth, and Elizabeth’s younger sister Margaret.

26. 1953: After the death of George VI a year earlier, his eldest daughter ascended to the throne and became Queen Elizabeth II. Philip, in turn, received the title of prince consort. Below, the couple waves to their subjects from Buckingham Palace.

27. 1960: A third royal child, Prince Andrew, arrived. The newborn enjoys a picnic with his parents and siblings during a holiday in Balmoral, Scotland. That’s right — that castle in the background was only their vacation home.

28. 1965: This Christmas photo depicts the Royal Family shortly after the birth of Elizabeth and Philip’s fourth and final child, Prince Edward. Their household grew livelier than ever, and the new generation of royals quickly endeared themselves to the British public.

29. 1971: Coming up on twenty years as monarch, Elizabeth greets onlookers with Edward, Andrew, and her niece Lady Sarah. They are headed to meet the rest of their extended family for a winter holiday at Sandringham House.

30. 1976: By this point, Elizabeth’s children are old enough to rebel a bit. Prince Andrew laughs at his mother from the second row as she nervously rides at the front of a cable car. Edward, seated next to her, looks a little bit more respectful.

31. 1977: This year marks Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee of 25 years on the British throne. She celebrated by visiting 36 different countries in the span of a few months, followed by a massive procession through London.

32. 1980: For Prince Charles, most of the 1970s were his “bachelor years.” He seemed more content to party and jump between girlfriends than seriously pursue marriage. Here, he sips a coconut drink in Bhubaneswar, India, but he wouldn’t stay a bachelor for long.

33. 1981: Incredible hype built up once Prince Charles announced that he would marry Lady Diana Spencer. The press dubbed the event “The Wedding of the Century,” and the public followed every aspect of the ceremony with fervor.

34. 1982: Diana and Charles had their first son, William. The new parents play with William in Kensington Palace, though they didn’t refer to him as William behind closed doors. Interestingly, their family nickname for the young prince was “Wombat.”

35. 1988: Four years earlier, Diana gave birth to her second son, Prince Harry. Far from shy of the many cameras around him, Harry sticks his tongue out from the Buckingham Palace balcony while Diana tells him to stop.

36. 1992: Below, Philip, Charles, Elizabeth, and the Queen Mother depart from Princess Anne’s wedding. However, 1992 was not an easy year for the family. In addition to a fire in Windsor castle, marital troubles sprung up for Elizabeth’s children.

37. 1995: Hurt by extramarital affairs and a 13-year age gap, Charles and Diana were separated throughout the early 1990s. However, they still attended official events together. They divorced a year later, though the greatest tragedy was yet to come.

38. 1997: The entire world went into shock with the news that Princess Diana died in a violent Paris car crash. Thousands of guests attended her funeral at Westminster Abbey, while millions more watched on television. Her sons were only 15 and 12 at the time.

39. 2002: More loss followed the royal family into the new millennium, though this instance was admittedly less shocking. The Queen Mother passed away at age 101. On a happier note, Queen Elizabeth reached her Golden Jubilee on this same year.

40. 2005: Prince Charles carried on an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles while still married to Diana, so Charles and Camila met controversy when they announced their engagement. As a result, they chose to marry in a civil ceremony instead of a royal wedding.

41. 2006: Now all grown up, Prince Harry decided to follow William into the military. As a Cornet in the famed Blues and Royals regiment, he stands at attention with his saber as Queen Elizabeth walks by. Still, he cannot help but crack a smile at his grandmother.

42. 2011: The Brits — and just about everyone else — went crazy for the next generation of royal weddings. Prince William married Kate Middleton, a classmate from the University of St. Andrews, and over 160 million people watched the lavish ceremony.

43. 2017: The Royal family celebrates the 91st birthday of Queen Elizabeth, who also became the longest-reigning British monarch a couple years prior. William and Kate’s young children, George and Charlotte, watch the fanfare with excitement.

44. 2018: Harry matched his brother’s fairytale wedding with one of his own. He married American actress Meghan Markle, best known from the TV show Suits. Meghan’s entry into the royal family is also notable because she is a woman of color.

45. Somehow, with all eyes on them, the Royal Family has managed to carve out somewhat normal lives for themselves. Ever annoy a sibling just because you feel like it? Prince Harry is teasing his older brother with a rather large boa constrictor. It’s all in good fun…we hope.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

46. When Prince William and Duchess Kate aren’t holding down the fort in Kensington Palace, they like to escape royal life by going on a holiday. After welcoming Princess Charlotte, the two went skiing. Kate surprised William with a friendly snowball fight.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

47. They may not be blood relatives, but that doesn’t stop Kate and Meghan from gossiping like sisters while attending a tennis match with the rest of the family. What we wouldn’t give to hear what they’re talking about!

Kensington Royals / Instagram

48. Long before Kate was the Duchess of Cambridge, she was just plain-ol’ Kate Middleton. She wore silky dresses like the one below and took hackney carriages (taxis) from place to place with her baby sister Pippa.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

49. The future queen consort might be the coolest royal of them all. Not only is she holding her own on those roller skates, but she looks like she hasn’t aged. Talk about good genes.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

50. Prince Charles might be 70 years old, but this photo shows he’s still a schoolboy at heart. He’s been waiting seven decades to ascend the royal throne, but it doesn’t look like it’s happening anytime soon, so for now, this wall will have to do. Hang in there, Charles.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

51. This candid moment captured the Duchess of Cambridge catching the clumsy Countess of Wessex as she tripped while getting into the carriage. Good thing Kate caught her, otherwise that would have been a royal pain.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

52. Watching Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s love story has been like a real-life fairy-tale, and it’s only getting better. A photo like this really captures the dynamic relationship between the two. Find someone who looks at you like Harry looks at Meghan.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

53. Kate and William met while they were studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Who knows where they were going in this picture, but Kate sure does look annoyed with her beau. We feel you, Kate.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

54. Like we mentioned before, sports are a huge part of royal life. Unfortunately, the All England Club did not treat the Prince and Duchess well on this outing. The match must have been torturous to watch judging by their faces.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

55. Prince Harry has always been the goofball of the royal family. Here, it looks like he was participating in a charity event in place of — or without — his older brother Prince William. No worries, though: Harry made sure his brother was there in spirit.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

56. Kids are kids regardless if they have royal blood pumping through their veins. Look at little Prince Harry and Prince William enjoying a heart-pounding ride on the Nemesis at Alton Towers. We wonder if the brothers still ride roller coasters from time to time…


57. And Princess Charlotte knows all too well that having royal blood doesn’t give her the power of endless energy. Being a royal kid is hard work, and it looks like it’s cutting into the princess’ nap time. Someone get her a royal blankey!

Kensington Royals / Instagram

58. Queen Elizabeth has sat on the British throne longer than any other monarch. That’s a long time in the public eye. Apparently, when the queen isn’t attending political affairs, she is outside catching snowflakes on her tongue.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

59. Kids love to stick their tongues out whenever a camera appears, too. Prince Harry might not be king, but he has always been the king of the silly-face pose. And he’s not alone. Even Princess Charlotte has been caught a time or two sporting this face to the cameras.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

60. Royal sunglasses must not be part of the event wardrobe protocol! Not even the duchesses’ fancy hats can block the sun from their eyes.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

61. Seeing how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting parents, it makes total sense that they have paternal and maternal instincts. It’s so endearing to see the pair interact with the youth of their country.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

62. Kate looks like she is having so much fun during her university days. She’s right in the middle of St. Andrews annual foam fight that welcomes new students. Even since college, Kate’s been a leader.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

63. Most people make this face when they meet Prince Harry, but he seems to be quite shocked himself. He better hold on tight to that tray of cupcakes before he accidentally throws them in the air.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

64. Curious from a young age, William was caught peeking up the skirt of the Prince of Whales during a fishing trip. We all know there are no fish up there, but William needed to check it out for himself first.

Kensington Royals / Instagram

65. A family that jokes together stays together, and William and Harry always make sure their family is in good spirits. Here they are in their younger days teaching the fam how to do the wave!

Kensington Royals / Instagram

66. A bit of healthy competition between brothers is totally normal. William and Harry weren’t afraid to put down the suits and roll around in the mud at their polo match. It got a little messy, to say the least.

Kensington Royals / Instagram