Queen Elizabeth was held responsible for the collapse of all three out of four of her children’s marriages in 1992. It’s according to a tell-all documentary.
1992 was Her Majesty’s ‘annus horribilis’. This means a year of scandal, tragedy and turmoil.
This year indeed, stretched the British monarchy’s credibility to near breaking point. The Prince of Wales, Charles’ separation from Princess Diana, was quickly followed by her sensational account of the marriage’s breakdown in Andrew Morton’s biography.
Charles was not the only one of the Queen’s children who got divorced.
Princess Anne , Queen Elizabeth’s second born divorced Captain Mark Philips shortly after. And Prince Andrew’s separation from Sarah Ferguson was soon followed by photographs. The pictures were of Fergie gracing the tabloids topless and having her toes sucked by an enthusiastic financial adviser.
The popularity of the British royal family, unsurprisingly, ebbed in this period. And then, to make matters worse, Windsor Castle almost burned down with fire. The impact of the events of 1992 threw Queen Elizabeth’s monarchy into a profound identity crisis. It had long since lost its religious mandate.
Also read: How The Queen Could Have Stopped Charles Marrying Diana With Law Change?
But in 1992, it lost something almost profound.
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The monarchy lost its fairy-tale reputation, its glitz, glamour and romance. It then became officially known, as the Queen called it, her “annus horribilis” or year of misfortune. In December 1992, she was saddened by the official separation of her first-born son, Charles and Diana.
Also read: ‘Rebel’ Prince Charles Could Put Monarchy At Risk.
Victoria Arbiter, a former resident of Kensington Palace, spoke in a documentary, claiming: “Her Majesty, as the head of the family, was held responsible”. Her famous speech on November 24, 1992, spoke about that terrible year.
In it, she said: “I sometimes wonder how future generations will judge the events of this tumultuous year. I dare say that history will take a slightly more moderate view than that of some contemporary commentators. But it can also lend an extra dimension to judgement. Even of wisdom, that is sometimes lacking in the reactions”.