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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Maine chapter.

The year was 2011, and nine-year-old me jumped out of bed at six in the morning, earlier than any other school day. I felt tired, but instead of going back to sleep, I ran to the T.V. in our living room and grabbed the remote. I kept clicking buttons until I had finally arrived at the channel I was looking for. On the screen I saw large crowds of people in front of a church. I waited anxiously for the big moment, and when it eventually happened, it was more magical than I ever could’ve imagined.
I watched in awe as the girl in the flowing white dress made her way up the red stairs. It was the day I had been waiting for for weeks, the day of the Royal Wedding.

What about the Royal Family is so fascinating to Americans? What is it that makes Americans pay so much attention to a monarchy that isn’t our own? For me, at age nine, it was the fact that it was the closest real life example I could find of a Disney princess movie. The glamor and magic of it all was incomparable to anything in the United States. Now, 11 years later, far removed from my obsession with the British Monarchy, I find myself looking at the Royal Family with a very different lens.

With the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II, I have found myself flooded with new and old information about the Royal Family all over every social media platform. All this new information sent me into a spiral to discover as much as I possibly could about the Royal Family and the traditional monarchy in general. As an adult, I see everything from a much different perspective than I did a decade ago. 

A prime example of America’s fascination with the Royal Family is the Netflix show released in 2016 titled, The Crown. Since the death of the Queen, The Crown has increased in popularity tremendously. This show follows the Royal Family, beginning with the death of King George VI, which brings Queen Elizabeth II to power. It explores all the drama and scandals that occurred within the last 70 or so years. Although the show puts a dramatic spin on the details, it seems that most of the major events were based on true stories. Here are two of the biggest controversies covered either in the show, or in social media right now.

The biggest story that most people may recognize is the story of Princess Diana. As a young adult, Prince Charles (Elizabeth’s first born son), was looking for a wife. The Royal Family had him meet and date several women with the purpose of finding someone who was worthy of one day being a Queen consort. Charles soon fell in love with a woman named Camilla. His family, however, did not love her so much. They believed that she was not fit to be in the family, it is mainly believed this was due to the fact that she was not a virgin, and she was not of aristocratic blood. Shortly after his family’s disapproval, Charles was sent to serve in the Royal Navy. When he returned, Camilla was married to a different man. Charles and Camilla maintained a friendship during this time, but there was some speculation that it was more than that. Soon after, Charles married Diana, at the most famous wedding of the century. Charles and Camilla maintained their relationship, even after Diana had two sons, William and Harry. 

Several phone recordings of conversations between Charles and Camilla were leaked, and eventually Charles and Diana split. After their divorce, Diana was one of the first to speak out about the Royal Family publicly. In an interview with BBC, she admitted that she suffered from extreme depression and bulimia, partially due to postpartum depression, and partially due to feeling isolated in her marriage. Not too long after her interview, as many may know, Diana got into a tragic car accident. Although nothing has ever been proven, there was much speculation that the Royal Family, or just Charles and Camilla, were behind the accident. Much to Queen Elizabeth’s dismay, Camilla and Charles got married after Diana’s death.

Decades later, a story far too similar to Diana’s is told by Meghan Markle in an interview with Oprah. After Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, chose to take a step back from royal life, they had an exclusive with Oprah to explain their decision. Meghan explained how she experienced many instances of racism, both from the Royal Family as well as from the tabloids. Members of the family never addressed these issues and instead avoided them. She also described her experience with severe depression and suicidal thoughts. She revealed that she had confided in many members of the Royal Family, and was repeatedly encouraged not to seek help. After the interview with Oprah was released, the Royal Family denied allegations of mistreatment, said the issue would be looked into, and added that Harry, Meghan, and their son, Archie, would always be an important part of the family.

Aside from these major issues, there were so many more scandals within the British monarchy, some of which may never be fully explained or admitted. With a new perspective on the subject, I look back at my childhood self: My idolization of those in the Royal Family, and even the wish that I could experience it for myself. So many Americans see the Royal Family in its most idealistic form, but it is increasingly important that we recognize the flaws in the British Monarchy and unravel the fantasy that is tied around it.

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Abby Boudreau

U Maine '25

Abby is a second-year marketing and communication student at the University of Maine. She loves photography, fitness, and cooking.