Spanish Royal Family’s public image gets rocked by allegations
During the last few months, the public image of the Spanish Royal Family has substantially deteriorated. If until now, the Spaniard media censored themselves when reporting on any matter relating to their royals’ private life, the year 2012 marked the end of this favorable treatment. Now, the royal family scandals seem to grow by the day.
The previously untouchable Spanish monarchy seems to have become a soap opera that is everyone’s guilty pleasure. All this seems to have begun when King Juan Carlos was caught hunting elephants in Botswana with his “close girlfriend” while the country was struggling due to the economic recession and facing new cuts on Health and Education. Later, Princess Cristina, the king’s second daughter, and her husband Inaki Urdangarin were charged for alleged misappropriation of public funds. And now, Princess Letizia, future Queen of Spain, is a victim of constant attacks and rumors about her sour character and her alleged addiction to cosmetic surgery.
But, is the scandal surrounding the Spanish Royal Family an isolated incident? Not at all! Many other royals have been involved in their share of scandals, affairs and legal problems. Let’s do a quick review.
United Kingdom: Unquestionable kings of scandal
•Princess Kate is the first future Queen who has appeared photographed topless in a magazine. Although a paparazzi once took similar pictures of her husband’s mother, Princess Diana, the Spanish magazine Hola! reports millions were paid for the images to never see the light of day.
• Members of the House of Queen Elizabeth were accused by businessman Mohamed Al Fayed of causing Lady Diana and Al Fayed’s son Dodi’s death in a car crash in Paris in 1997. He has always maintained that the accident was actually the result of a conspiracy involving members of the Royal Family and secret service MI6.
• When Diana was alive, her husband, Prince Charles, maintained a scandalous relationship with his mistress, Camilla. The tabloids published a private conversation in which he told her “I want to be your tampax.” No wonder Diana couldn’t stand it anymore and confessed in a televised interview that her marriage was made up of three people and that it was “a crowd.”
• Prince Andrew, brother of Charles, has been involved in more shady business of his own. Andrew has been photographed with underage prostitutes, thanks to his friendship with a convicted pedophile and has also been accused of bribery. His mother, the Queen, gave him a warning after the media published that a banker paid the debts of his ex, Sarah Ferguson.
• Ferguson, former Duchess of York, doesn’t stand behind her ex. She was recorded trying to charge an investigator an astronomical amount to give him access to Prince Andrew.
• Prince Harry, the youngest son of Charles and Diana, was recently photographed naked in a hotel in Las Vegas in the company of a young woman. But his biggest scandal came when personal Halloween photographs with him dressed as a nazi surfaced. After that, his father sent Harry to rehab.
Monaco: Public infidelity and secret children
• The Principality of Monaco has been the scene of some high-profile scandals. Probably the biggest one was the pictures of Daniel Ducruet, Princess Stephanie’s husband and father of two of her children, having sex with a stripper at a public swimming pool.
• In 2005 and 2006, Prince Albert acknowledged that he has two bastard children. A huge surprise, as it was always rumored that the heir was gay. In 2012, he married Charlene Wittstock, although rumors say that she tried to flee Monaco before the wedding day due to an alleged infidelity of the Prince.
• Ernest of Hanover, third husband of Princess Caroline, was famous for his rudeness. He was photographed urinating in public, and ordered to pay nearly half a million dollars after his fight with the owner of a nightclub. Prince Pierre Cashiragi, Caroline’s youngest son, seems to have learned the bad manners of his stepfather and was hospitalized in New York for injuries he suffered in a fight at a nightclub.
Sweden: Orgies and corruption
• The young Prince Carl Philip is currently dating a stripper named Sofia Hellqvist. And they say his sister Madeleine (whose ex-boyfriend Jonas Bergstrom publicly cheated on her shortly before their wedding) doesn’t even talk to him anymore. Perhaps in part due to their father, Carl Gustaf and his own poor choices. Two years ago, a biography claimed that the King had a famous mistress and he often participated in orgies and went to strip clubs.
• The Heiress, Victoria, is a folksy lady that won the hearts of the Swedish by betting on her relationship with Daniel Westling, her former coach. However, the couple was accused of corruption by allowing a Swedish millionaire to pay all the expenses of their honeymoon in exchange, supposedly, for certain favors. The case was dropped, though, because Swedish law prevents members of royalty from being charged with crimes.
Belgium: An illegitimate daughter and more shady business
• A few years ago, King Albert was determined to be the father of a girl born of a long relationship with Baroness Sybille de Selys-Longchamps. The King had to acknowledge the romance (and didn’t deny his paternity) in his 1999 Christmas speech.
• Albert’s youngest son, Prince Laurent, admitted in 2007 that he was receiving money from the Navy to decorate and maintain his home. He was called to court, but managed not to be charged. Shortly after, it came to light that Laurent had business with one of Gaddafi’s sons.
• The latest scandal in the Belgian royal family comes from the very respectable older Queen Fabiola, who has created a private foundation to prevent her heirs from having to pay a 70 percent tax.
It’s clear that Spain is not alone with Royal family scandal, secrets and soap opera drama! For now, they are the talk of the nation and featured in many world news reports as being apologetic and even remorseful for their acts.
“I’m sorry, I was wrong, will not happen again,” said King Juan Carlos of Spain when he left the hospital after being treated for his injuries in Botswana. A historic apology, but is it enough to satisfy a struggling nation of citizens? Only time will tell.