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Pictures | Wed Dec 18, 2019 | 3:15pm GMT

Car crash, rifts, and scandal: A tough year for the British royals

When Britain's Queen Elizabeth addresses her nation on Christmas Day it will mark the end of one of the most difficult years of her long reign. Over the past 12 months, her husband got a police warning for his involvement in a car crash, her grandsons Princes William and Harry publicly fell out and her second son Prince Andrew got ever more entangled in the furore over his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.   


REUTERS/Reporting by Michael Holden/Photo credit: Hannah Mckay

When Britain's Queen Elizabeth addresses her nation on Christmas Day it will mark the end of one of the most difficult years of her long reign. Over the past 12 months, her husband got a police warning for his involvement in a car crash, her...more

When Britain's Queen Elizabeth addresses her nation on Christmas Day it will mark the end of one of the most difficult years of her long reign. Over the past 12 months, her husband got a police warning for his involvement in a car crash, her grandsons Princes William and Harry publicly fell out and her second son Prince Andrew got ever more entangled in the furore over his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. REUTERS/Reporting by Michael Holden/Photo credit: Hannah Mckay
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PRINCE PHILIP: The year got off to a bad start when Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip, 98, was involved in a car accident near the family's Sandringham estate in eastern England in January. The Duke of Edinburgh escaped uninjured despite his Land Rover overturning. He later wrote to apologize to the woman injured in the accident which he said was partly caused by him being blinded by sunshine. Two days after the incident he was warned by police after he was pictured driving without wearing a seat belt. The following month he gave up his licence altogether. Critics described his response to the whole incident as arrogant.     


REUTERS/Photo credit: Chris Radburn

PRINCE PHILIP: The year got off to a bad start when Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip, 98, was involved in a car accident near the family's Sandringham estate in eastern England in January. The Duke of Edinburgh escaped uninjured despite his Land...more

PRINCE PHILIP: The year got off to a bad start when Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip, 98, was involved in a car accident near the family's Sandringham estate in eastern England in January. The Duke of Edinburgh escaped uninjured despite his Land Rover overturning. He later wrote to apologize to the woman injured in the accident which he said was partly caused by him being blinded by sunshine. Two days after the incident he was warned by police after he was pictured driving without wearing a seat belt. The following month he gave up his licence altogether. Critics described his response to the whole incident as arrogant. REUTERS/Photo credit: Chris Radburn
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PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN: The birth of the queen's eighth great-grandchild Archie to Harry and his American wife Meghan, a former actress, in May should have been a high point for the royal family but it was overshadowed by an increasingly hostile row between the glamorous, popular couple and the media. Harry, the sixth-in-line to the throne, and Meghan were criticized for the privacy around the birth and there has been a steady rise in negative stories about them this year. Articles have picked out their use of private jets while promoting environmental causes and the $US 3.08 million taxpayer-funded renovation of their new home. It culminated in the couple, whose titles are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, beginning legal action against a number of tabloid newspapers in October over phone-hacking and invasion of privacy. Harry described the treatment of his wife as "bullying" likening it to the treatment his mother Diana suffered before her death in a Paris car accident in 1997 when her limousine crashed as it sped away from chasing paparazzi. "I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair, and that is the part that is really hard to reconcile," a tearful Meghan said as she described the difficulty of being a new mother and dealing with the incessant scrutiny that being a royal entails.  REUTERS/Toby Melville

PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN: The birth of the queen's eighth great-grandchild Archie to Harry and his American wife Meghan, a former actress, in May should have been a high point for the royal family but it was overshadowed by an increasingly hostile row...more

PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN: The birth of the queen's eighth great-grandchild Archie to Harry and his American wife Meghan, a former actress, in May should have been a high point for the royal family but it was overshadowed by an increasingly hostile row between the glamorous, popular couple and the media. Harry, the sixth-in-line to the throne, and Meghan were criticized for the privacy around the birth and there has been a steady rise in negative stories about them this year. Articles have picked out their use of private jets while promoting environmental causes and the $US 3.08 million taxpayer-funded renovation of their new home. It culminated in the couple, whose titles are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, beginning legal action against a number of tabloid newspapers in October over phone-hacking and invasion of privacy. Harry described the treatment of his wife as "bullying" likening it to the treatment his mother Diana suffered before her death in a Paris car accident in 1997 when her limousine crashed as it sped away from chasing paparazzi. "I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair, and that is the part that is really hard to reconcile," a tearful Meghan said as she described the difficulty of being a new mother and dealing with the incessant scrutiny that being a royal entails. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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PRINCE HARRY AND PRINCE WILLIAM: In March, Harry and Meghan split up the team of staff and aides they had shared with older brother William and his wife Kate. In October Harry confirmed that there had been a rift, without going into details. "We are certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him as I know he will always be there for me," Harry said. "As brothers you have good days you have bad days." William was reported by the BBC to be worried about his younger brother and his wife who were thought to be in a "fragile place". By the end of the year, Harry and Meghan took a six-week break from official duties.  

REUTERS/Toby Melville

PRINCE HARRY AND PRINCE WILLIAM: In March, Harry and Meghan split up the team of staff and aides they had shared with older brother William and his wife Kate. In October Harry confirmed that there had been a rift, without going into details. "We are...more

PRINCE HARRY AND PRINCE WILLIAM: In March, Harry and Meghan split up the team of staff and aides they had shared with older brother William and his wife Kate. In October Harry confirmed that there had been a rift, without going into details. "We are certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him as I know he will always be there for me," Harry said. "As brothers you have good days you have bad days." William was reported by the BBC to be worried about his younger brother and his wife who were thought to be in a "fragile place". By the end of the year, Harry and Meghan took a six-week break from official duties. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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QUEEN AND BREXIT: It has not been plain sailing for the queen herself, as she found herself embarrassingly embroiled in political wrangling over Britain's exit from the European Union. Her suspension of parliament in September, at the behest of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was ruled unlawful by Britain's Supreme Court, putting her in the middle of a political and constitutional crisis. While she had no choice but to act as the premier requested, critics said it made the monarchy look weak and outdated. Republicans said it showed the institution was pointless.   


Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS

QUEEN AND BREXIT: It has not been plain sailing for the queen herself, as she found herself embarrassingly embroiled in political wrangling over Britain's exit from the European Union. Her suspension of parliament in September, at the behest of Prime...more

QUEEN AND BREXIT: It has not been plain sailing for the queen herself, as she found herself embarrassingly embroiled in political wrangling over Britain's exit from the European Union. Her suspension of parliament in September, at the behest of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was ruled unlawful by Britain's Supreme Court, putting her in the middle of a political and constitutional crisis. While she had no choice but to act as the premier requested, critics said it made the monarchy look weak and outdated. Republicans said it showed the institution was pointless. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS
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PRINCE ANDREW: By far the greatest negative coverage for the royals was generated by the furore over Prince Andrew's links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The prince, 59, the queen's second son, has been dogged by questions over his friendship with Epstein since his jailing in 2008 for child sex offences. In 2015, one of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Giuffre, said she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times and last month in a bid to draw a line under the scandal, the prince did an interview with the BBC to address the accusations, which he says are totally untrue. David Mirzoeff/ Pool via REUTERS

PRINCE ANDREW: By far the greatest negative coverage for the royals was generated by the furore over Prince Andrew's links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The prince, 59, the queen's second son, has been dogged by questions over his...more

PRINCE ANDREW: By far the greatest negative coverage for the royals was generated by the furore over Prince Andrew's links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The prince, 59, the queen's second son, has been dogged by questions over his friendship with Epstein since his jailing in 2008 for child sex offences. In 2015, one of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Giuffre, said she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times and last month in a bid to draw a line under the scandal, the prince did an interview with the BBC to address the accusations, which he says are totally untrue. David Mirzoeff/ Pool via REUTERS
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