WINDSORS GONE WILD
If Meghan thought her family was bad, look what she’s marrying
IF you thought Meghan Markle’s increasingly fractured family was dysfunctional, just take a look at the House of Windsor.
The marriage of Prince Harry’s own mother and father was the very epitome of dysfunctional — its breakdown being played out for the world to see — and Prince Charles then went on to marry the woman whom Princess Diana had described as the “third” person in the Wales’ marriage — Camilla Parker-Bowles.
And Harry has not exactly been shy of controversy, with his dalliances with drink and drugs, naked romps with a bevy of beautiful women in Las Vegas and the infamous pictures of him dressed as a Nazi at a party in his teens.
His late teens and much of his 20s were filled with rumours of drug-taking, wild partying and fighting in the street. Even being in the army failed to quell his “Party Prince” ways, with wild nights at the Prince of Wales’ country home, Highgrove, and the pubs nearby. Always accompanied by his closest friends — dubbed Team H — they even set up a nightclub in the basement of Charles’s mansion.
And then in 2012, after he had served with the army in Afghanistan, he went for a trip to Sin City itself, Las Vegas, where he romped naked with women, got publicly paralytic and partied all night.
But it’s not just Harry and his parents, with tales of debauchery, drunkenness and ill-conceived pranks following the royals wherever they go.
Princess Beatrice and her sister Eugenie, daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, were little girls when their parents split up.
Even before the marriage was over, infamous pictures of US financial adviser John Bryan sucking a topless Fergie’s toes by a swimming pool were published in a British tabloid. When they became public knowledge, she was on holiday at Balmoral with the Queen and much of the extended royal family.
“She had to come down to breakfast to face the papers and the Queen and the rest of the family,” a royal insider said. “It was one of the worst moments of her life. She was gone within an hour.”
The two princesses have often been photographed bleary-eyed leaving London nightclubs. And both have been criticised for their jetset lifestyle — Princess Beatrice once notched up 15 luxury overseas holidays in a year and was a guest on billionaire Russian oligarch Roman
Abramovic’s superyacht off the Spanish party island of Ibiza. She also reportedly sliced the face of superstar Ed Sheeran with a sword when pretending to knight his fellow singer James Blunt as a prank at a party.
Much has been written about their father Prince “Airmiles” Andrew’s pomposity, and whole books have been written about Fergie’s indiscretions — including when she tried to sell access to him for nearly $900,000, telling the undercover reporter she didn’t “have a pot to p... in”.
But Andrew’s lowest point came when Buckingham Palace was forced to issue an unprecedented statement emphatically denying he had slept with a 17 year-old girl at the centre of an alleged sex-slave scandal in the US. He was accused in court documents of sexually abusing the girl, allegedly supplied to him by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
And then, of course, there is the Queen’s husband, 96-year-old Prince Philip, who has been dogged with rumours of affairs and has travelled the world making an art form of the gaffe. He once said to British students in China, during a state visit in 1986: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.” And then, in 2002, he said to a female police officer in Scotland: “You look like a suicide bomber.”
The Markle family have spent much of the last few weeks trash talking Meghan, a situation that must have felt strangely familiar to Harry given the thrice-married Earl Spencer has repeatedly taken swipes at the royal family. And while Princess Michael of Kent, whom the Queen once described as seeming “a bit too grand for us”, survived revelations her father was a Nazi, and who wore a racist brooch to a lunch with Meghan Markel, has been quiet of late, her son Lord Frederick Windsor has previously been exposed as a cocaine user.
Princess Eugenie enjoys a drink at the races. Picture: Getty
The famously gaffe-prone Prince Philip. Prince Charles gets stuck into the rum. Picture; AFP Harry gets up close and personal with a pal. A grinning Prince Andrew has had his fair share of run-ins. Harry shows plenty of naked ambition during his debauched Las Vegas trip. Picture: Splash