Royals Who Didn't Get Along With The Queen

In September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch, and in all those years with the crown, she's had to deal with a whole lot of garbage. One could equate some of the recent happenings at the House of Windsor to the type of upper-crust trash fire you'd find outside of a Whole Foods, but it stems a lot deeper than arguing with your grandmother over a Sunday roast. 

The royal family is subject to a strict set of rules, and her majesty is the keeper of tradition. She's in charge of laying down the law when someone steps out of line and threatens the crown, even if stepping out of line means modernizing an arguably archaic legacy by lowering your carbon footprint and becoming financially independent. Though the queen has made some unexpected departures from royal protocol — like welcoming an American Divorcee into Buckingham Palace — she still faces conflict from members of the royal family who've had it with the monarchy's heavy, heavy hand.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are out of here

Quitting your family is some big 2020 energy, but it's probably never going to sit well with your grandmother — especially if your grandmother is the Queen of England. In January, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their plans to step back as "senior members" of the royal family and partially move to North America to launch a new charity. Suddenly, things are starting to look a whole lot like a real-life episode of Succession.

Evening Standard reports that Harry "defied" his grandmother by releasing the announcement, and the remaining senior royals were blindsided by the news, according to Vanity Fair. This triggered an emergency meeting, and there seem to be a lot of hurt feelings here that are going to take some time to work out. A source who spoke to the Daily Beast claimed the Sussexes felt "totally unwelcome" in the royal family (hence the exit in the first place). The Queen was already hurt by some of Harry's actions surrounding his wedding, but according to the Daily Mail, the announcement left her near-devastated. Harry and Meghan can apparently look forward to a swift punishment, per Evening Standard.

Despite any heated emotions, the Sussexes still vowed in their statement to "fully support Her Majesty the Queen" no matter how much she may or may not punish them for jumping continents. Family is family, right? Besides, is she going to ground them all the way in Canada?

Kate Middleton vs. the Queen

Honestly, it's probably a bit of a relief that Meghan Markle is temporarily in the hot seat – at least if you're Kate Middleton. In the past, the Duchess of Cambridge has reportedly had a number of disagreements with the queen, and The Sun even went as far as claiming the pair doesn't have "an intimate relationship."

According to Katie Nicholl's William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls (via The Sun), the problems started before Wills and Kate tied the knot. The Queen didn't initially approve of Middleton's "frivolous displays of wealth," especially because England was in a recession, and Middleton was only working part-time. Kate was reportedly hurt by the comments, but she allegedly held her tongue like a good future royal should. If anything, that's a royal's best defining quality. 

Per Life & Style (via IBTimes), Middleton bit her tongue a second time during her second pregnancy when the Queen allegedly "bullied" her into resuming her royal duties following a weeks-long struggle with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. The duchess was reportedly not ready to return to public life, but as we've come to learn, she has the kind of tenacity that lets her pose in heels directly after giving birth. Let's just say, in 2019, the Duchess of Cambridge wasn't the one cut out of the Queen Elizabeth's Christmas speech photos, even if she disagreed with the Queen's approach.

Camilla Parker Bowles: former mistress, reluctant Duchess

In a shock to absolutely no one, the Queen is not and never was thrilled with Prince Charles' second wife Camilla Parker Bowles. That's just the sort of thing that happens when you're a royal mistress.

According to the Daily Mail, the queen vehemently disapproved of Charles' relationship and tried to get him to break things off with the future duchess, but can you really blame her? Their romance blossomed while Charles was married to Princess Diana — a true royal scandal — and the queen reportedly "refused to have anything to do with" her daughter-in-law as a result. Allegedly, things got so bad that her majesty initially refused to attend the ceremony when Prince Charles and Camilla wed. On top of that, she only allowed them a modest reception, completely excluded Camilla from all royal activities leading up to the wedding, ignored her during the reception, and refused to mention her name in her congratulatory speech. While most of the wedding party ate dinner and enjoyed the festivities, the Queen reportedly watched a horse race on TV with Parker Bowles' ex-husband. Talk about cold.

Today, Prince Charles' mother is still upset about the fact that Camilla may become a queen when her son takes the throne. According to the Daily Beast, it's unclear whether or not Prince Charles will give his wife the title. He initially claimed he wouldn't, but that no longer appears to be the case, according to some anonymous sources.

James Middleton's frustration annoyed the Queen

Fame ain't easy, and it's even worse if you're trying to make a name in your own right. Would James Middleton be a marshmallow mogul without being attached to his royal sister's name? Is there even a big market for marshmallows in the UK? Is someone really going to spring $27 on a small box of custom marshmallows when you could get a huge bag at Sainsbury's for a couple quid? Who knows? Regardless of any publicity boost his famous sister may have given any one of his businesses, Kate Middleton's brother found the whole royal thing quite "frustrating."

In a 2015 interview with TYD (via E! News), James admitted that it's not easy living in his sister's royal shadow. "I work incredibly hard — just like every other person in business and work," he told TYD. "And aside from the fact of — yes, I am the brother of someone very important — I am, at the end of the day, just James."

According to Life & Style (via IBTimes), James' interview upset the Queen, who reportedly told Kate to warn her family to never publicly speak about the royals ever again. "She is furious," said an alleged insider. "Queen Elizabeth is the one who is frustrated with how the Middletons seem to moan about the royals all the time. She thinks it's tacky." Well, if that's tacky, what about Meghan Markle's family?

Charles Spencer was fed up with the lies

Princess Diana's brother Charles Spencer didn't just have a problem with the Queen, he had a problem with the entire royal family. The whole thing stemmed from the way the family handled Diana's funeral in 1997. As you may remember, a then 15-year-old Prince William and 12-year-old Prince Harry followed their mother's coffin through the streets of London during the funeral procession as thousands of people watched from the sidelines (and let's not forget the millions watching on TV). Uncle Spencer tried to protect the boys from the media circus but claimed he was lied to by Buckingham Palace. 

In a 2017 interview with the BBC, the earl claimed it was "bizarre and cruel" to put Wills and Harry in the funeral procession. He tried to be their advocate, but let it go once Buckingham Palace claimed the boys wanted to be included. (Harry famously refuted the notion, telling Newsweek in 2017 that "[no] child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances.") 

"It was the worst part of the day by a considerable margin, walking behind my sister's body with two boys who were obviously massively grieving their mother," Spencer told the BBC. The outlet also reported that Spencer later gave a controversial eulogy where he swore that the boys would be protected by "blood family." This was seen as a shot at the royals, and according to The Sunthe Queen was "disappointed" and "saddened." 

The Middletons' Christmas snub

Apparently, the entire Middleton family has been snubbed by the queen at one point or another, mainly around the holidays. The Middletons never popped their Christmas crackers with their grandkids at Sandringham because they were never once invited to spend Christmas with the royal family. That's protocol, which the queen is willing to break it — just apparently not for Kate.

According to the Daily Mail, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge switch between spending Christmas at Sandringham with the royals and Bucklebury Manor with the Middletons, though no one can seem to agree on the whens and wheres. According to Life & Style (via IBTimes), Kate "upset" the Queen when she broke royal protocol and invited her family to spend Christmas at their Anmer Hall residence in 2014. Four years later, amidst the great Kate-Meghan tabloid drama of 2018, the couple decided to spend a second holiday in a row with her majesty. Meanwhile, a royal rift was reportedly emerging over the grandkids.

According to Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles (via Express), royal aides were purposely ignoring Kate's mom, Carole, because Prince Charles felt like the Middletons were monopolizing time with their grandkids. This "infuriated" Wills so much that he asked his grandmother to smooth things over. She invited TV cameras to film her driving around with Kate's mom, but she still – still – didn't invite the Middletons to Christmas. According to Express, Meghan Markle's mother got the invite instead.

There's no such thing as a royal massage parlor

Though Sarah Ferguson had to give up her title as "Royal Highness" following her 1996 divorce from Prince Andrew, the Duchess of York maintained a close relationship with her former mother-in-law, the queen. Unfortunately, that warm relationship didn't extend to Fergie's father.

Per Express, Fergie's dad, Major Ronald Ferguson, worked closely with the royal family when Fergie and Andrew tied the knot. He was Prince Philip's polo manager and a former guards officer in her majesty's Household Cavalry, yet during Princess Eugenie's 1990 christening, it was revealed that the Queen "[could] not stand the sight of him," according to People. He was reportedly forced to keep a low profile and used the side door to enter and exit the church. Presumably, the rest of the royal family came through the front.

So, why all the hate? It's hard to say. It was undoubtedly bolstered by the fact that a tabloid report in the late '80s revealed Ronald to be a regular massage parlor client at that kind of massage parlor. According to The Telegraph, he denied any wrongdoing, but the Queen hates a scandal. Express also reports that the Queen was less than thrilled when the major detailed his life with the royals in his 1994 memoir The Galloping Major. You know what they say: loose lips, sink ships. 

The real reason behind Prince Andrew's exit

You know it's bad when you can quickly justify firing your own son, and Queen Elizabeth had no other choice following a disastrous interview that highlighted Prince Andrew's association to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. According to CNN, Prince Andrew showed a concerning lack of empathy towards Epstein's victims and absolutely no remorse about hanging out with a convicted sex offender in the very BBC Newsnight interview that was meant to clear his name. This triggered a media firestorm, and one by one, companies cut their ties with the Duke of York.

According to The Cut, the Prince's Epstein connection has been an issue for the royal family for the better part of a decade, but the situation took a nosedive when one of Epstein's accusers claimed she was "forced to have sex with the Prince on three separate occasions." The Prince denied the allegations, but according to The Guardian, they circled back around when Epstein was arrested in the summer of 2019. According to the Daily Beast, the Queen ultimately fired her son, who lost "his £250,000 per annum grant" and resigned from "his 200 charitable patronages." The Duke of York allegedly was blindsided by the firing and the Queen was "devastated." As CNN explained, Andrew's actions "undermined" his mom, so she was forced to "withdraw her professional support." Anything in service of the Crown.

Princess Margaret's marriage problem

According to Vanity Fair, Queen Elizabeth and her younger sister Princess Margaret were so uniquely close that they even had direct telephone lines between their homes so they could talk whenever they wanted. Unfortunately, the monarchy occasionally pulled the inseparable pair apart. Things get complicated when you become your sister's subject.

According to the The New York Times, the sisters were temporarily torn apart by love. When Margaret was in her early 20s, she fell for Group Capt. Peter Townsend of the Royal Air Force. He was a divorcee twice her age who served as her father's equerry (or royal assistant). This put the queen, who had to approve all royal marriages, in a tough spot. She was the head of the Church of England, which forbade divorce, and Edward VIII's abdication and subsequent marriage to an American divorcee was still relatively fresh. She couldn't rightly approve it, but she also didn't want to not approve it either.

Fans of The Crown saw the queen tell Margaret that if she married Townsend, she'd be ousted from the family, but according to the BBC, it was less harsh IRL. Queen Elizabeth drafted a plan that let her sister keep her royal title (and the money that comes with it) but she'd have to renounce her rights — and her children's rights — of succession. Three days after the queen drafted her proposal, Margaret decided not to marry Townsend. The sisters ultimately managed to maintain their close bond.