The year 1992 will forever go down in history as Queen Elizabeth II’s “annus horribilis” (horrible year). That year, three of the Queen’s four children (Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, and Princess Anne) took steps towards ending their respective marriages. If that wasn’t bad enough, later that same year, Anne remarried despite that her ex-husband was still alive. Perhaps even more scandalously, this episode marked the first – but not the last – time a British monarch’s child remarried after divorce.
The tension between the media and the royals came to a head several times throughout the year through events such as the publication of Princess Diana’s tell-all memoir which exposed scandals within the family and reporting of the Duchess of York’s affair with her financial advisor. Hit after hit against the royal family culminated in the Queen’s speech and her remarking, “there can be no doubt… that criticism is good for people and institutions that are part of public life… But we are all part of the same fabric of our national society and that scrutiny, by one part of another, can be just as effective if it is made with a touch of gentleness, good humor and understanding.”