It’s been a bad year for the monarchy.
The Queen may even look back on 2019 as another “annus horribilis”, with the fallout from Prince Andrew’s association to Jeffrey Epstein continuing to gather pace.
The Queen first used the Latin phrase – which means “terrible year” – in reference to the travesties the Royal Family endured in 1992.
The monarch was referring to Prince Andrew’s separation from his wife, Princess Anne’s divorce, the publication of Andrew Morton’s tell-all biography about Diana and her marriage to Prince Charles, and also a fire in Windsor Castle, to name but a few.
Here’s why 2019 could come close to 1992:
Prince Andrew’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein
The Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, agreed to be interviewed for the BBC’s Newsnight programme on 16 November regarding his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The interview was widely criticised, with some labelling it “disastrous” and accusing the Duke of York of “utterly lacking compassion for the victims of Epstein”, who killed himself earlier this year.
In the interview, Andrew claimed it was “convenient” for him to stay at Epstein’s house in 2010 and he thought it was “the honourable and right thing to do” after visiting to end their friendship.
He also said he had “no recollection” of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with a number of his associates, including Andrew, when she was 17.
The fallout has since forced the prince to step back from public duties for the “foreseeable future” after numerous charities and brands, including KPMG, distanced themselves from him and the causes he supports. Now, all 200 of his charities will have to seek new patrons.
Private jet scandal
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex came under fire throughout the summer after reportedly taking four private jet journeys in 11 days, seemingly at odds with their views on supporting the environment.
This included a private flight to the home of singer Elton John in Nice, after which the musician defended the couple in a post on Instagram, saying the royals needed “high-level protection”.
In response to the criticism, Prince Harry said: “I spend 99% of my life travelling the world by commercial.
“Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s explosive TV interview
Prince Harry and Meghan admitted they were struggling with the headlines and attention from British tabloid newspapers in a documentary which aired on ITV in October.
Meghan revealed her friends told her not to marry Harry, warning her she “shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life”.
She told of how she was “not okay”, while Prince Harry said his mental health was under “constant management”.
The Duchess of Sussex has also accused the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday of waging a three-year campaign of “false and absurd” stories about her, according to details of her legal action against the media group.
A Palace source told the BBC Prince William is worried about his younger brother and his sister-in-law, and hopes they are both “all right”.
Prince Harry’s apparent feud with Prince William
William’s concerns added fuel to the fire about rumours of a rift between the brothers, thus bringing more negative attention to the monarchy.
Harry also hinted at a fallout in the documentary, saying “inevitably stuff happens” – particularly with such a high-profile role and a family that lives under pressure.
Earlier this year, Harry and Meghan split from their joint charity with William and Kate. Sources denied any feud – saying the move was “largely about preparing both couples for their future roles, which are obviously on divergent tracks”.
Prince Philip’s car crash
In January, Prince Philip was involved in a car accident near the Queen’s Sandringham estate. The 98-year-old’s Land Rover Freelander overturned during the collision with a Kia, and he was rescued by a passing motorist.
Two women in the other vehicle received medical treatment and a nine-month-old baby boy was unhurt.
The duke, who was uninjured in the accident, said he was dazzled by low sunlight as he pulled out onto a busy road in Norfolk. However he was spotted driving without a seatbelt 48 hours later.
Queen dragged into constitutional crisis over Brexit
Boris Johnson dragged the Queen into a constitutional crisis, requesting that she prorogue Parliament – temporarily shutting it down.
It came just days after former PM David Cameron was rebuked for admitting he tried to get the Queen to help him head off Scottish independence
The admission caused “an amount of displeasure” in Buckingham Palace.
It’s been a bad year for the monarchy. The Queen may even look back on 2019 as another “annus horribilis”, with the fallout from Prince Andrew’s association to Jeffrey Epstein continuing to gather pace. The Queen first used the Latin phrase – which means “horrible year” – in reference to the travesties the Royal Family endured in 1992.