The Most Awkward Royal Moments Caught On Video

The following article includes mentions of disordered eating and mental health struggles.

The royal family — they're just like us! Except with castles, titles, unbelievable wealth, vaults stuffed full of huge diamonds, solid gold, gem-encrusted tiaras, and so on. But one thing we do share is what all humans share, being subject to really uncomfortable incidents at times throughout our life. However, thankfully for the majority of us, they're usually not caught on video and broadcast worldwide.

The minute they step outside palace gates or their homes, the British royals are placed firmly in the spotlight, with the public, paparazzi, and TV cameras watching their every move. So, when they suffer a mishap, it can make for some cringe-worthy but classic viewing material. However, not all controversial or awkward royal moments are unintentional or accidental — sometimes they occur from their own willful actions and interactions.

But hey, despite all the pomp, ceremony, and entitlement, who doesn't love to watch embarrassing mishaps involving other people? Especially when they're wealthy and privileged — it's one reason "The Real Housewives" franchise is so popular. Luckily for us commoners, when it comes to the House of Windsor, many awkward situations play out in public. So, grab a towel, because we're about to spill the (earl grey) tea on some of the most uncomfortable royal moments caught on video — and things are going to get pretty wet.

Prince Phillip's awkward photocall moment

At the ripe old age of 94, Prince Philip — husband of Queen Elizabeth II — clearly didn't have much time to waste while posing for a picture at the 75th anniversary event for the Battle of Britain in 2015. During the photocall, things weren't moving quite fast enough, so he did what any other self-respecting elderly royal would: snapped at the photographer to "just take the f**king picture." Judging from the laughter in the background, he probably echoed a lot of others' sentiments.

Frankly, no one could be that surprised at Prince Philip's outburst, since he's become known for his public gaffes. Back in 2010, he had an interesting, albeit slightly inappropriate, exchange with a 24-year-old female Navy sea cadet instructor, who also worked in a bar at the time. She recalled: "I just said that I worked in a club, and then he asked, 'Oh what, a strip club?' Obviously I said no. And then he said, 'Oh, it's a bit too cold today anyway.'"

The Daily Mail reports that other cringe-worthy moments involving the Duke of Edinburgh include the time he asked a member of a Bangladeshi youth club in London, "So, who's on drugs here?" and told a Filipino nurse at the opening of a hospital, "The Philippines must be half-empty — you're all here running the NHS." Obviously, he's like that grandfather whom you absolutely adore, but really wish you could rein in.

The Duke of Edinburgh's other problematic gaffes

Clearly, Prince Philip was renowned for putting his foot in his mouth. The late Duke of Edinburgh made numerous problematic jokes and comments during his life, making for multiple uncomfortable (and videotaped) royal moments. "An awful lot of things that if I was reading now, I would say, 'Well, good God, I wish I hadn't said that,'" he admitted during a 1969 interview with Barbara Walters.

Luckily for the Philip, most of his controversial interactions live on in words only — such as asking an Aboriginal Australian if they were "still throwing spears," or telling a group of British students in China, "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed" (via Al Jazeera). Major yikes. But not every contentious or awkward communication escaped the lens throughout his decades by the Queen of England's side.

"This contribution is to be spent on a children's playground in the East End of London," Prince Philip announced during a fundraiser, for example, before going on to quip, "All I hope is that the children who play there will have a thought for their sugar daddies here in the Albany Club." Decades later, while critiquing some 5-year-old children's scribblings during a school visit, Queen Elizabeth's husband asked, "Don't you teach them joined-up writing?" The teacher insisted otherwise, but while examining a page of writing with disdain, he told her, "You do? That's not joined up. No, it isn't."

Prince William busted out some surprising dance moves

If you asked yourself what Prince William could possibly have in common with a rapper, you might have a tough time coming up with an answer — until you see this footage of him busting out some serious hip-hop moves at a nightclub. Yep, you read that right.

While in Verbier, Switzerland for a ski trip with friends in 2017, paparazzi cameras caught the prince dancing alone at the back of a nightclub while the rest of the crowd pretty much ignored him, bobbing along to the music unfazed. The most interesting part about the footage was that, surprisingly, Prince William's moves weren't half bad! What he lacked in skill, he definitely made up for in enthusiasm by raising the royal roof. The Duke of Cambridge later laughed about the incident when he and wife Kate Middleton made an appearance on BBC Radio 1. When asked if he's generally able to attend concerts, he responded, "No, and I've got in enough trouble with my dancing recently, so it's kind of best to keep away from that."

While Prince William is known for being an upstanding representative of the monarchy, the public always loves to see him gettin' jiggy with it — like the time when he improvised some dance moves at a Polynesian event in Tuvalu, which became nothing short of royal legend.

The Duke of Cambridge's body-popping attempt

Prince William may be the future king of the United Kingdom, but as we've already seen, he's certainly no Fresh Prince of Battersea London. Yet, Wills got down once again in 2016, this time with the kids during a visit to Caius House Youth Center in South London, where he showed off his questionable dance skills while meeting with the Scariofunk Collective CIC and attempted to body-pop.

"I can never get the shoulder shiver right," William admitted to the teen dance group, before asking for lessons from whoever was best at the move. "There is no pressure, because I will look ridiculous," the prince announced. And props are due, because he was spot on with his prediction: William busted out with his best body-pop moves following a step-by-step tutorial. Awks!

Of course, it's not the first time — and probably not the last — that the Duke of Cambridge's dancing has resulted in one of many uncomfortable royal moments caught on video. In 2011, Wills was filmed trying to dance hip-hop during a visit to central London's homeless charity and shelter, Centrepoint. "He started like dusting off his shoulders," Centrepoint resident Vanessa Boateng explained. She admitted that she wasn't expecting it and shared that Kate Middleton was laughing throughout. In fairness, what the prince lacks in danceability, he more than makes up for with his genuine willingness to engage and evident compassion and kindness. He clearly takes after his mother, on the latter part, anyway.

Prince Harry reprimanded a royal reporter

As one of the queen's grandsons, Prince Harry obviously can't go anywhere without press hounding him, yet he seems to have no problem holding his own. In October 2019, for example, Sky News correspondent Rhiannon Mills decided to throw a question or two at the prince while he got into the car following a meeting at a health center in Malawi. She first asked, "That short conversation, what do you hope to achieve through it?" Seemingly baffled by the intrusion, Prince Harry replied, "What? Ask them." Mills continued, "Is that why it's important for you to come and talk to them?" At that point, the ginger prince had enough, waving his hand and saying, "Rhiannon, don't behave like this."

The reason for Prince Harry's abrupt attitude could have been because Mills had broken protocol. The royals have a well-known policy not to do unscheduled interviews during royal outings, which Mills clearly ignored. 

The Duke of Sussex has definitely proven himself to be more than willing to take on the press when they misbehave. Around this time, he issued a rare statement in defense of his wife, Meghan Markle, who decided to sue the Mail on Sunday over publishing a private handwritten letter she sent her estranged father. While he conceded in his statement that we do need "responsible media," Prince Harry lashed out at the British tabloid press for pushing "relentless propaganda" about his family.

When Prince William awkwardly fell asleep during church

Living the life of a royal 24/7 is probably harder than we think. Not only that, but when you add the responsibilities and stress of having a newborn at home, it's probably tempting to grab some shut-eye whenever — and wherever — you can. Two days after his youngest son, Prince Louis, was born in 2018, Prince William was caught falling asleep during a church service at Westminster Abbey. The clip instantly prompted loads of sympathy for the proud dad, who was likely up all night, judging from the dark circles under his eyes.

Once those long nights started to wind down, however, Prince William was more than happy to pass the baton to younger brother Harry, who welcomed a son of his own with Meghan Markle in May 2019. When asked about the birth of his nephew, Archie, the Duke of Cambridge told BBC News that he and wife Kate were "absolutely thrilled." He went on to quip, "I'm very pleased and glad to welcome my brother to the sleep deprivation society that is parenting."

Savannah Phillips pushed cousin Prince George down a hill

It seems that a 7-year-old Savannah Phillips, granddaughter of Princess Anne, hadn't quite gotten her media training yet when she sat down with her family, including cousin Prince George, in front of cameras in 2018. While watching a match at the Beaufort Polo Club (which, let's face it, had to be pretty boring for a kid), the sassy little girl decided to have some fun by shoving (an unscathed) Prince George down a hill. After getting scolded by her mother, Autumn, the hilarious clip went viral.

This wasn't the first time little Savannah created a media stir with her antics. She previously got sassy with Prince George at the Trooping the Colour ceremony days earlier, where she put her hand over the then-four-year-old's mouth to keep him from laughing. As she got her little cousin under control, she also smirked directly at the camera, making for an even more meme-worthy photo.

So, where does Savannah Phillips get all this boldness from? Indeed, she's young — but maybe she also knows she doesn't have a royal title hanging over her head. Children of a monarch's daughter aren't entitled to a royal rank, according to protocol. Her father, Peter Phillips, was offered a title anyway but turned it down, meaning that his daughter, Savannah, is even more free to be her brassy self without sullying her royal lineage. 

Princess Charlotte (adorably) snapped at the press

Prince William and Duchess Kate's daughter, Princess Charlotte, issued what may have been her first royal command while walking out of baby brother Louis' christening in July 2018 — and it was absolutely adorable. At just three years old, she surveyed the group of photographers gathered to capture their family as they exited the service, and tersely said, "You're not coming!" as she followed her father into the building where they were to have tea. Way to control the crowd, Charlotte!

This wasn't her first press run-in, to say the least. At the age of two, the young princess had a mini-meltdown on the tarmac in front of cameras as she and her family were boarding a plane to return to London. She was also famously photographed sticking her tongue out while arriving in a car for Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's wedding in May 2018. Then, of course, there was the time Princess Charlotte stuck her tongue out again at a charity event, throwing mom Kate Middleton into full damage-control mode.

Prince Charles' down-under blunder

Prince Charles' 1977 TV sit-down with Ian "Molly" Meldrum resulted in an excruciating trainwrecktastic interview. Meldrum was so nervous that he had to do the introduction at least twice. He mixed up his words, flubbed his lines, asked for a glass of water, and forgot his questions. Meldrum apologized to Charles, telling him, "I'm terribly sorry about this." An unfazed Prince of Wales reassured the Australian journalist that everything was okay, then suggested bringing on a teleprompter to read from — but unfortunately, there wasn't one.

Meldrum became so flustered that a production crew member stepped in to offer encouragement and attempt to calm him down. But no dice. As his nerves continued to grow, the veteran interviewer dropped the F-bomb several times. He even stood up to adjust his pants directly in front of the camera as an amused Prince Charles watched. The audience's raucous laughter didn't help the situation much, especially considering the interview was for ABC's highly-respected and influential music show, "Countdown."

Meldrum later said he had no regrets about conducting the segment but conceded he "definitely stuffed [it] up" (via BBC News). Meanwhile, Prince Charles recorded a humorous video light-heartedly mocking the interview to celebrate its 40th anniversary. "There is an old showbusiness saying which warns never to work with animals or children, but nobody prepared me for Molly Meldrum," Charles quipped. "Was it really 40 years ago? It only seems like yesterday. I wish it were tomorrow; I'd cancel it."

The Prince of Wales fumbled question about being in love

Probably one of the more awkward royal videos ever was the interview with Prince Charles and his then-fiancée, Princess Diana, on the day of their engagement announcement. The conversation, now preserved forever on YouTube, included a question about whether or not they were "in love." The People's Princess shyly looked down and responded, "Of course," while the prince smiled and replied, "Whatever in love means." Sorry ... what?

Years later, Princess Diana recounted the awkward moment in her own words during an interview with Peter Settelen in 1992. Needless to say, she was just as aghast as we'd expect her to be. "I was brought up in the sense that, you know, when you got engaged to someone, you loved them," she told Settelen. "And the most extraordinary thing is we had this ghastly interview the day we announced our engagement. And this ridiculous ITN man said, 'Are you in love?' So I thought, 'Oh, what a thick question.' So I said, 'Yes, of course we are,' in this sort of fat Sloane Ranger that I was. And Charles turned around and said, 'Whatever in love means.'" 

Princess Diana added, "And that threw me completely. I thought, what a strange ... answer. God. Absolutely traumatized me."

Then he called Princess Diana an 'attractive 16-year-old'

Prince Charles grossed pretty much everyone out back in 1981 when he was interviewed with his then-bride-to-be, Princess Diana, on the day of their engagement announcement. When asked what his "instant impression" of his future wife was when they first met, the Prince of Wales answered confidently, "I remember thinking what a very jolly and amusing and attractive 16-year-old she was. I mean, great fun and bouncy and full of life and everything." 

Of course, no one could get past his calling a 16-year-old "attractive," especially given that he was already 29 when he met her. Reports say that Prince Charles actually first dated Diana's older sister Sarah in 1977, and then later courted the future Princess of Wales herself. The couple got married when Charles was 32 and Diana had just turned 20. Regarding their 12-year age difference, Prince Charles told The New York Times in 1981: "Diana will certainly keep me young.”

Duchess Fergie was caught on video taking bribes

Times were tough for Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson back in 1996, when she divorced her husband (Prince Andrew) and only got $20,000 per year in support (compared to the millions Princess Diana received from Prince Charles). Later dubbed the "Duchess of Debt" by the British press, Fergie admitted to being $889,000 in the red by 2009, according to ABC News. Queen Elizabeth reportedly stopped paying her bills, apparently making the duchess a bit desperate. Shockingly, she got caught in a sting operation set up by the British tabloid News of the World the following year, during which a hidden camera captured her offering someone the opportunity to meet her ex, Prince Andrew, for $700,000. Ferguson then publicly apologized for her "lapse in judgment."

As if that wasn't painful enough, Ferguson later walked out of a 2018 interview with "60 Minutes Australia" after the bribery scandal came up. When asked what she did with the initial $40,000 the undercover journalist gave her during the sting, Fergie attempted to answer, but then started scolding the interviewer: "Don't try and trick me now, because I'm not going to play this game. [Pointing at camera] Delete that bit." After a tense back-and-forth with a few more follow-up questions, Ferguson suddenly said, "I'm going to take five minutes." She got up and left, while the interviewer threw up his hands.

Kate Middleton's royally awkward 'Marilyn Monroe moment'

During a 2016 royal tour in India, Kate Middleton made a different impression than she might have intended. A gust of wind caught her dress when she and Prince William made an appearance at a war memorial, causing it to fly up unexpectedly. Thankfully, nothing was revealed. However, the press dubbed it her "Marilyn Monroe moment" — most likely because the dress was white and footage of the incident showed Middleton trying to keep the skirt down just like Monroe did in the film, "The Seven-Year Itch."

The awkward incident even sparked speculation about what the female royals do to stop their dresses from flying up on windy days. Etiquette expert Myka Meier told The Sun: "Often they wear bodysuits and clothes that actually increase static so it's much [harder] for something to fly up. ... I know when I went to finishing school we were taught that when you are on the tarmac, if you do not use weights or heavy weighted material, you make sure it will not fly up by wearing undergarments that keep the fabrics connect to your body." What clever royal life hacks!

So many royal wardrobe malfunctions, so little time

Who hasn't walked down the street with the back of their skirt tucked into their pantyhose, or with their pants unzipped? Well, royals being royals haven't suffered such levels of indignity. Still, they have fallen victim to more than the occasional wardrobe malfunction. While Kate Middleton is renowned for her "Marilyn Monroe moments," in which her skirts billow upwards, those aren't her only accidental attire mishaps. On Saint Patrick's Day 2016, the Duchess of Cambridge got one of her black pump heels stuck in a grate. Luckily, Kate's chivalrous hubby was at her side to provide an arm to lean on as she graciously bent down to free the shoe.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles' wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, had her own "Marilyn Monroe moment" in July 2015. The Duchess of Cornwall was attending the christening of Princess Charlotte when her blue dress was caught in a sudden gust of wind, resulting in nearly flashing one's royal knickers. For her part, Meghan Markle has suffered several wardrobe malfunctions, too, over the years. However, one memorable mishap happened as she arrived in Tonga for an official state visit in 2018. The Duchess of Sussex looked radiant in a stunning red designer number. However, perhaps in the hopes of playing the old "wear it once and then return it" trick, the price tag label could be clearly seen hanging from the back hem of her dress.

That time Prince Harry exchanged awkward air kisses

Even though the 2018 launch party for her "Together: Our Community Kitchen" cookbook included Meghan Markle's first speech as a royal family representative, it was husband Prince Harry who brought the awkwardness. After the duchess and her mom, Doria Ragland, each greeted fellow cookbook collaborator Zahira Ghaswala with kisses on the cheek, it was Prince Harry's turn to say hello. However, neither of the two seemed very comfortable in the moment, with the ginger prince actually moving into a comically defensive stance before deciding to give her a series of exaggerated air kisses. 

Of course, Prince Harry knows a thing or two about etiquette — especially when he knows he's being filmed — so the incident didn't stir up much controversy. In fact, some viewers presumed that the Duke of Sussex must have been particularly aware that, because Ghaswala is Muslim, it would be a violation of Islam etiquette to actually kiss her — hence, the fake air kisses. Regardless, the whole thing ended in laughter for all involved, which is probably the best thing anyone could have hoped for.

Prince Charles' awkward royal moment with an eagle

Clearly, when you're a member of the British royal family, your responsibilities can sometimes get a little weird. Case in point: During an appearance at the Sandringham Flower Show in 2013, Prince Charles was given the task of holding Zephyr, an enormous bald eagle and mascot of the Army Air Corps, for a photo op. Tons of cameras were rolling to capture the moment, only for the Prince of Wales to be nearly sideswiped by bird's huge wing. Prince Charles quickly moved to avoid contact as the crowd let out a low, "Ooh."

While Prince Charles quickly recovered with a laugh, photos taken at the same event revealed that the bird was pretty unruly beforehand, as well. Indeed, the eagle seemed to have both the Duke of Cornwall and wife Camilla on edge, as both leaned way back and made grimaced expressions while the trainer worked with the bird. Thankfully, they escaped the whole ordeal unscathed. 

Seems like a royal's work is never quite done, doesn't it?

More royal animal encounters gone wrong

During the clap back to his excruciating Australian interview, Prince Charles pointed out that you should never work with animals or children. However, as part of their royal duties, members of The Firm are often required to interact with our four-legged friends, resulting in some pretty uncomfortable moments. 

Case in point, Kate Middleton's awkward encounter with an army dog. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were handing out shamrocks to the Irish Guards on Saint Patrick's Day in 2015. But even though the shamrock is a symbol of good fortune, Kate didn't have much luck when it came to the regiment's dog. Despite her best efforts, she couldn't get the shamrock to fix onto the dog's collar. Clearly an army dog through and through, though, he stood to attention patiently as she fiddled around before finally managing to complete the task.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry battled with a very persistent bee during his 2018 speech at an animal charity, somewhat ironically. Harry started stumbling over his words as the dastardly drone buzzed around his head before he finally managed to swat it away. "Sorry, that bee really got me," he announced to the laughing crowd. Prince Philip wasn't so lucky, though, during an incident in which he lost control of the ponies pulling a cart as he attempted to make a sharp left turn. The Duke of Edinburgh was promptly thrown up into the air and onto the ground, resulting in a nasty black eye and, we imagine, a bruised ego.

When The Donald met the queen

Donald Trump's visit to the UK was controversial from the get-go. Initially scheduled for 2017, it was postponed after mass protests. A petition, demanding the then-POTUS be banned from the country garnered over a million signatures (via CNN).

Trump eventually made it to the UK in 2018, after his "official state visit" was downgraded to a "working visit." Still, he encountered a hostile reception — who can forget the giant diaper-clad baby Trump blimp floating over London? While 45 refused to stay in the capital because he felt "unwelcome," he still argued to The Sun that most of the British public "love the President of the United States" ... a sentiment most of the British public were apparently unaware of.

However, one person who did seem pleased to see Trump was Queen Elizabeth. According to the Evening Standard, they met at Windsor Castle, where they were scheduled for a 30-minute afternoon tea that actually lasted for 50. The most controversial part of The Donald's visit, though, occurred during a ceremonial inspection of the Coldstream Guards. As the unit's infantry stood in a guard of honor, Trump strolled ahead of The Boss, blithely surveying his surroundings as her majesty slowly trailed behind him. Then, he stopped suddenly, forcing the queen to walk around him. 

Can anyone say uncomfortable? In the old days, we imagine such a protocol breach and act of disrespect would have resulted in an order of, "Off with his head!"

Inside Princess Diana's tearful tell-all

Nothing was amusing about Princess Diana's 1995 BBC "Panorama" interview. But it certainly goes down in history as one of the most uncomfortable royal moments of all time. Diana was allegedly coerced into the interview by unethical and possibly illegal tactics employed by Martin Bashir. Per the Mirror, the journalist reportedly "faked documents, lied about her in-laws, played on the fears of a vulnerable woman, and groomed her brother to help him get access" to Diana.

However, none of that takes away from the fact that the resulting interview was heartbreaking, brave, highly charged, emotional, and shockingly candid. It was also groundbreaking. It was the first time a royal had drawn the curtains back on the monarchy — and it completely blindsided Buckingham Palace. Diana admitted to having had an affair and spoke about her bulimia and mental health struggles, admitting to self-harming. She talked about her despair and torment over the relationship between soon-to-be ex-husband Prince Charles and his future wife Camilla Parker Bowles, infamously stating, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." The People's Princess also discussed the coldness, emotional detachment, and disfunction within the royal family, as recapped by The New Yorker

The bombshell interview sent shockwaves throughout the monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth reportedly calling it a "frightful thing to do, a frightful thing that my daughter-in-law did," as former National Theatre director Sir Richard Eyre claimed in the documentary, "Diana: The Interview that Shocked the World" (via Express).

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If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

The Sussexes' wedding guest reactions

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's May 2018 wedding was watched by 11.5 million TV viewers. Since then, per Hello!, an additional 35 million have watched the nearly three-hour extravaganza on YouTube, making it the most-watched royal wedding of all time. Breaking from historic royal wedding protocol, it was a star-studded affair. Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, Idris Elba, David and Victoria Beckham, James Corden, Joss Stone, George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, and James Blunt were among the celeb guests (via Forbes).

That must have put many blue bloods' noses out of joint because it was just so not very British — it was flashy, showy, and well, so American (shudder!). But what really seemed to send certain guests into overdrive wasn't the headline-making "fascinators" perched upon the heads of Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, but Reverend Michael Bruce Curry's preaching. The Black Episcopal Church Bishop performed a rousing and emotional 14-minute sermon, which resulted in differing royal guest reactions, ranging from utter bewilderment and confusion to amusement and barely restrained sniggering.

Prince Harry's ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy's reaction to the wedding itself also trended on social media, but for a different reason. According to the Daily Mail, the former couple dated on and off for seven years before permanently splitting in 2011. Davy arrived with a broad smile in place — however, as the procedures unfolded, her expression slowly morphed into what became known as "it should have been me" face, sparking a flurry of memes.

All about William and Kate's awkward roast

We imagine that most Brits love a good old roast, but usually on a Sunday after a crafty pint or two. Those roasts involve eating chicken, lamb, or beef, with veggies and drowned in gravy. However, for Prince William and Kate Middleton, when it came to their December 2019 roast, there wasn't a vegetable in sight, let alone a Yorkshire pudding.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's roast occurred during the British Variety Performance. The couple was blindsided by the show presenters' digs at them. And, of course, the cameras were there to capture their every reaction — which was a mix of seemingly genuine laughter and seemingly not-so-genuine laughter. Uncomfortable, much?

After a rousing rendition of "God Save the Queen," Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett made a series of questionable gags. Beckett asked Ranganathan to do the royal introduction, explaining, "I don't want to ruin it, because when I say 'duchess,' it sounds like when I used to work at the market. 'Hello duchess, how's it going? Nice to see ya, duchess, here ya go, girl. Duchess, want some strawberries, duchess?' It sounds a bit disrespectful." He then performed a sarcastic "pantomime" bow. Ranganathan took it a step further, joking that the couple must "regret" having their three children when they see their faces in the morning. 

According to HeartRadio, "Some viewers [later] complained that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were forced to endure 'awkward' and 'painful' jokes at their expense."

Meghan Markle's irritated eye-roll

Speculation that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's marriage was in trouble started before the ink was even dry on their wedding certificate. When they first announced their relationship, the press and public alike started critiquing and criticizing the American actor, and after the couple tied the knot, the scrutiny only intensified further.

In October 2018, the duke and duchess headed back to the same church where they had married five months earlier. They were going to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's wedding, but also unwittingly added fuel to the tabloid marriage troubles fire after an uncomfortable moment between them was captured on video. During the awkward interaction, Harry appears to restlessly wriggle around in his seat while waiting for the blushing bride to arrive. Meghan sits stoically next to her husband, with a smile fixed on her face, but eventually, it seems she's had enough of his fussing and fidgeting. With an eye-roll, she turns and talks to Harry while gesturing with her hands, and then leans forward to speak to a guest in front of her. For his part, Harry has one last quick little fiddle before reclining back in his seat. The prince sits quietly and still, biting his lip (literally) and looking a bit like a naughty child who's just been chastised. 

It's basically the kind of seemingly irritated exchange that every married couple is probably familiar with — but theirs isn't caught on camera for the world to watch.

Prince Harry and Meghan's icy balcony interaction

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's seemingly icy interaction in June 2019 didn't help stem tabloid tales about their supposed marriage woes. The couple was standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with other royals watching the Trooping of the Colour celebration in honor of Queen Elizabeth's birthday, and things appeared decidedly frosty.

In a video of the incident, Meghan stands in front of Harry. The Duke of Sussex, with a terse expression on his face, doesn't seem to be in the best mood, and when Meghan turns around to talk to him, he replies curtly with a stern look. The duchess turns back to the front, appearing upset before forcing a smile, while Harry just looks frustrated. Meghan turns back once again to attempt to speak to him, but Harry raises his eyebrows and seemingly dismisses her. This time around, there's no forced smile from Meghan as she faces the crowd again, just what appears to be a look of sadness and frustration.

The Daily Mail enlisted the services of a lip reader to interpret the exchange. They claim that Harry replied, "Yes, that's right," during the first interaction. Then, during the second, "Turn around, look." It transpires that Meghan had unwittingly broken The Firm's rules once again by attempting to talk to her husband just before "God Save the Queen" was about to begin. Royal protocol dictates that members of the monarchy must be looking forward toward the public while the national anthem is playing.

Prince Andrew and that trainwreck BBC interview

Prince Andrew's infamous 2019 BBC interview has to be one of, if not the most, uncomfortable royal moments caught on video. The Duke of York had agreed to sit down and discuss his relationship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as well as underage sexual assault allegations against him made by Virginia Roberts Giuffre — which he's denied — in return for promoting his charity work. However, he was seemingly unprepared for the persistence of Emily Maitlis' questioning — perhaps shocked that a mere commoner wouldn't just accept his (admittedly questionable) answers and statements as fact and simply move on STAT.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, 1.7 million viewers watched the explosive "Newsnight" special on TV — in addition to over 4.8 million YouTube users — and boy, were they in for an awkward treat: The "Pizza Express alibi" defense; the pauses, umming, and ahing as he answered questions; his insistence that he didn't hold "a birthday party" for Epstein's girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, but rather it had been just a "straightforward shooting weekend" at Windsor Castle; and his explanation for flying to New York and staying with Epstein — because he felt duty-bound to end their (apparently not close) friendship in person. 

"I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable," was Prince Andrew's #SorryNotSorry excuse, per CNN — who branded the cringefest interview as "a PR disaster and a national joke."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

An awkward royal encounter

In January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they would be "stepping down from their roles" as senior royals on March 31 of that year (per WWD). The declaration followed a six-week break from royal duties that they had just taken. According to Vogue, the couple and their son, Archie, indulged in some well-earned R&R on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Harry and Meghan could actually see the light at the end of The Firm escape tunnel as March's end drew ever closer. However, they had one last official (yawn-fest) royal duty to complete before finally being able to taste sweet, sweet freedom. On March 9, 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the Commonwealth Day Ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Somewhat ironically, the official royal website states the ceremony is in celebration of "[The Commonwealth's] differences, their common ground, what they have achieved together and what they hope to achieve in the future."

Well, it was becoming pretty clear what Meghan and Harry hoped to achieve in the future, and it didn't involve the British monarchy in any way, shape, or form. So perhaps it wasn't all that surprising that they didn't exactly receive the warmest of welcomes. Despite not seeing the couple in months, Prince William and Kate Middleton's greeting was super awkward. While Meghan and Harry smiled at the duo, Wills just about managed to muster up a slight nod in their general direction, while Kate seemingly chose to completely ignore them.

Harry and Meghan's explosive Oprah Winfrey interview

On this list, Princess Diana's interview was the most tragic and Prince Andrew's was the most uncomfortable — but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's was perhaps the most explosive of them all. The couple left no stone unturned when they sat down with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, resulting in a nuclear royal bombshell. The Duke and Duchess didn't just spill the tea; they emptied the entire pot.

Harry and Meghan blew the lid off The Firm's well-kept secrets and alleged lies. Per W magazine, they talked about the racism Meghan was subjected to and how she was relentlessly hounded by the press and portrayed unfairly and negatively. They claimed Buckingham Palace never had her back and hung her out to dry, and Meghan admitted life as a royal had severe adverse effects on her mental health, to the point where she struggled with suicidal thoughts. The Sussexes also dished on the "invisible contract," including strict rules and regulations that "institution" members must follow.

"When I joined this family, that was the last time until we came here I saw my passport, my driver's license, my keys. All that gets turned over," Meghan revealed (via HuffPost). For his part, Harry opened up about his overwhelming fears for Meghan's wellbeing and the parallels with his late mother, Princess Diana. Also, per HuffPost, while both shot down "the narrative that he only left his role with the Royal Family because of her influence," Harry did admit he wouldn't have escaped if it wasn't for Meghan, because he was "trapped within the system."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.