Epstein, Andrew and private jets: The royals had a tumultuous summer
A former tabloid editor has told Sky News that "republicans will have been rubbing their hands together" this summer, after a couple of months of negative headlines about members of the Royal Family.
As the Queen has been staying up in Balmoral in Scotland for the summer, a series of stories have flared up and continued to dominate the front pages, including Prince Harry and Meghan being criticised for flying on private jets and the reports linking Prince Andrew to the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal – allegations the Duke of York has strenuously denied.
Dominic Mohan, who used to be editor of The Sun newspaper and now runs his own PR agency, said: "I think it's been a republican's dream summer if I'm honest, it's been an annus horribilis for the Royal Family, whether you're talking about Prince Andrew or Harry and Meghan. I think there have been a series of mistakes, self-inflicted, made by the family."
He added: "In the Prince Andrew case for instance, I think he's handled it very very badly and I wonder whether there might be a structural problem not only with Andrew but also with Harry and Meghan, because if you've got the wrong team around you, particularly with royals, maybe people feel subservient. They're afraid to speak up and therefore people are making the wrong decisions, you're surrounded by 'yes' people."
The tumultuous summer for the Queen's family has led some to make comparisons to the 1990s, seen by many royal commentators as the most difficult time for the Windsors.
In 1992 the Queen made her famous annus horribilis speech following a fire at Windsor Castle, at the time Prince Charles and Princess Diana were separating and the private lives of her other children were a tabloid editor's dream.
Royal author Penny Junor described this year as the Queen's August horribilis in one newspaper article.
But Robert Jobson, royal editor for The Evening Standard who was writing about the royals in the 1990s, says nothing compares to that period.
He said: "I think that was a terrible time but also the death of the Princess of Wales, which was an incomparable tragedy in terms of for the Royal Family, that was one of the lowest of the lowest points for the Royal Family.
"So this doesn't really compare I would say it's a blip and a blip that will just be dealt with and moved on from."
He went on: "Fortunately the Royal Family don't have to go to the polls every four years or so, so they ride out a lot of issues like this."
Prince Andrew is expected in Bruges on Saturday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the city in his role as as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, as lawyers in America continue to ask him to answer questions about what he knew about his former friend Jeffery Epstein, who killed himself in prison in August.