From Diana and Charles' affairs to salacious photos of Kate, the media's endless fascination with the Royal Family has made them fodder for entertainment. Royal Scandals explores the biggest scandals of the past century, which have made headlines around the world as the Royals' private lives become ever more public.
Today, the Royal Family are media celebrities, their lives are on display around the clock courtesy of television, tabloids and the Internet. The world’s press are guaranteed a hefty increase in circulation whenever a scandal arises so even minor indiscretions are splashed on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, and across the Internet. For the monarchy, each scandal presents a new crisis and the need for a rapid PR response.
“Once upon a time, kings, princes, queens, princesses could hop into bed with anybody and nobody took any notice,” author Christopher Wilson says in the documentary. This all started to change with the affair that threatened the very future of the monarchy — the love affair that led to the abdication of King Edward VIII for the twice divorced Wallis Simpson. The British press, long deferential to the Royal Family, jumped at the opportunity to expose the affair and the British public reacted with disbelief.
Royal Scandals takes an in-depth look at the fallout from that affair and others that have since played out in public, including the affair between Charles and Camilla and the relationship between Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed, which led to her tragic death.
“I reported on the Royal Family for more than 20 years and I have to say that the days after Diana’s death were the most dangerous the monarchy has lived through in my time,” says former BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond. “Those were difficult, difficult days for the Royal Family.”
“Diana’s death certainly caused the whole world to question whether the media was out of control, which it seemed to be,” adds journalist Ashley Pearson.
The recent scandals of the new generation of royals may seem tamer in comparison. Yet the advent of the Internet has guaranteed that William, Kate and Harry are under far more intense scrutiny than their predecessors. The palace has worked hard to manage the public images of the young Royals yet cameras are everywhere -- resulting in paparazzi photos of a topless Princess Kate and leaked cell phone photos of a naked Prince Harry. The prince’s photos were seen around the world by a staggering 154 million people. The public interest in royal scandals seems insatiable.
Royal Scandals was directed by Laura Linton for Back2Back Productions.
Stills & Archive courtesy of
Tom Rackham for Back2Back Productions Ltd
Camera & Sound
Head of Production
Back2back Productions for Content Film, Television & Digital
© Back2back Productions Ltd 2013