Last month Prince Harry took part in what was probably the most revealing interview he’s ever given in. During the 32-year-old royal asked: “Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen?” He went on to state: “I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.” Harry’s words were a shining light into the psyche of the British monarchy. Who would actually want to have everything they did policed by the media, the British public and the rest of the world? Every youthful indiscretion, unanticipated slip of the tongue was, for them, experienced smack-bang in the public eye with the spotlight blinding them.
The many mistakes of the Mountbatten-Windsors have been heavily documented throughout the years – and, let’s be honest, ripped to absolute shreds. But we’re all people and people make mistakes. So in the spirit of laughing in the face of royal protocol, we hereby present you with 15 times the British royal family weren’t so royal after all.
1. When Harry frolicked around naked
In August 2012 Prince Harry was caught on camera completely naked in Las Vegas frolicking with fellow nude pals and cupping his crown jewels. But hey, even if you’re a prince, you have to let off steam sometime!
2. When Philip asked Cate Blanchett to fix his DVD player
He’s well known for sticking his foot in his mouth at every possible occasion, but Prince Phillip really pushed the boat out when he asked Cate Blanchett what she did for a living. When she responded that she was “in the film industry”, he replied by asking for her services, enquiring: “There’s a cord sticking out of the back. Might you tell me where it goes?”
3. When Prince George flat-out refused to change out of his PJs to meet the US President
The young prince got to stay up 15 minutes extra to thank the Obamas for his presents – but he wasn’t in the mood for royal protocol, greeting the President and his wife in his pyjamas. Obama joked afterward that it was a “slap in the face” and a “clear breach of protocol”. But it was so cute, we’ll forgive him
4. When Harry couldn’t help but smile at his grandmother
The Sovereign’s Parade at the end of each term marks the passing out for Sandhurst Officer Cadets who have completed the Commissioning Course. Although it’s a time of celebration, soldiers must keep a straight face… but that didn’t stop the Queen and her grandson sharing an adorable cheeky smile when she inspected the soldiers at Harry’s 2006 passing out
5. When the Queen couldn’t resist photobombing this picture
Royal protocol dictates that Queen Elizabeth remember her composure at all times. But that didn’t stop her from going viral when she cheekily photobombed Australian hockey players Jayde Taylor and Brooke Peris’s selfie at the Commonwealth Games in 2014
6. When Philip lost his temper
All 95-year-old men are allowed to get a little cranky from time to time and it was certainly Prince Philip’s turn when he became impatient with a dithering photographer at a Battle of Britain event in 2015 and shouted: “just take the f***ing picture”. I guess just because you’re royal, it doesn’t mean you don’t lose your temper from time to time
7. William and Harry’s sneaky voicemail message
According to a report from Fox News, when William and Harry were younger, the Queen asked them for help setting up her voicemail message. They “helped her out” by leaving the following message, which gave her private secretary the shock of his life: “Hey, Wassup! This is Liz. Sorry I’m away from the throne. For a hotline to Philip, press one. For Charles, press two. And for the corgis, press three.”
8. When Harry dressed as a Nazi
Prince Harry found himself in hot water in 2005 when he showed up at a friend’s fancy dress party wearing a swastika armband. The then 20-year-old apologised afterward for his shockingly bad judgement, admitting that it was a poor choice of costume.
9. When William got caught out chatting
Prince William is an air ambulance pilot and a father himself, but that doesn’t stop him from getting scolded by his grandma from time to time. The Queen gave him a good talking to when he crouched down to talk to a boisterous Prince George during her birthday celebrations in 2016. He sheepishly rose to his feet after an agitated Queen Elizabeth tapped him and said: “Stand up William”
10. When Charles revealed his distaste for all his royal duties
Any Republicans out there can probably sympathise with Prince Charles on this one. During a royal photocall in Switzerland, just before he wedded Camilla, in 2005 he was caught on the microphone saying: “I hate doing this. “Bloody people. I can’t bear that man anyway. He’s so awful, he really is. I hate these people.” It wasn’t the first time Charles revealed his dislike for his duties; in letters to his friends, he called them “nonsensical rubbish”
11. When Kate stuck to the five-second-rule
Kate Middleton showed that she had no airs and graces as she visited the Chelsea Flower Show; when radio DJ Chris Evans passed her a tomato and it got dropped on the floor, she picked it straight up and gobbled it down. All hail the five-second rule!
12. When Kate and William were caught out at the wrong moment
William and Kate’s wedding was a beautiful dignified event. But that didn’t stop photographers from catching the bride and groom at exactly the wrong moment, giving thousands of people around the world a good giggle
13. When Philip made celebrity enemies
Prince Philip’s gaffes never get old – but we hope Tom Jones enjoys them as much as we all do. The Queen’s husband has attacked Jone’s “hideous songs” numerous times and asking him “What do you gargle with, pebbles?” after the 1969 Royal Variety Performance
14. When Prince George got a scolding
While George’s pal who notoriously put up two fingers to the photographers is likely to have found himself in the most trouble, the three-year-old didn’t escape a telling off from mum Kate at Pippa Middleton’s wedding. So, what did he do? Apparently, the little prince stood on his aunt’s £40,000 wedding dress. But hey, he’s three, you can’t really give him that hard a time for it
15. When the Queen was in fits of giggles at the Braemar Highland Games
Royal protocol dictates that the royal family rarely show emotion, but when one is amused, it turns out there’s no stopping them. This became clear when the Queen and Prince Charles were in tears of laughter at the Highland Games
16. When Philip spoke the truth
Philip stuck his foot in his mouth once again when he jokingly said: “I should like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family”. The Duke was, of course, referring to the massacre of Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1918
So the royal family secret is finally out! Being born a prince, or even a Queen doesn’t make you immune to messing up or giggling when you’re not supposed to from time to time. I guess it turns out they’re just like us after all. Who’d have thought?