Another annus horribilis? The Queen’s difficult year

It's been a bad year for the monarchy.

The Queen may even look back on 2019 as another "annus horribilis", with the fallout from Prince Andrew's association to Jeffrey Epstein continuing to gather pace.

The Queen first used the Latin phrase – which means "terrible year" – in reference to the travesties the Royal Family endured in 1992.

Image: Queen Elizabeth ll delivers her 'annus horribilis' speech at the Guildhall in 1992

The monarch was referring to Prince Andrew's separation from his wife, Princess Anne's divorce, the publication of Andrew Morton's tell-all biography about Diana and her marriage to Prince Charles, and also a fire in Windsor Castle, to name but a few.

Here's why 2019 could come close to 1992:


Prince Andrew's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

The Queen's son, Prince Andrew, agreed to be interviewed for the BBC's Newsnight programme on 16 November regarding his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

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The interview was widely criticised, with some labelling it "disastrous" and accusing the Duke of York of "utterly lacking compassion for the victims of Epstein", who killed himself earlier this year.

Duke of York speaking about his links to Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis
Image: The Duke of York speaking about his links to Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight

In the interview, Andrew claimed it was "convenient" for him to stay at Epstein's house in 2010 and he thought it was "the honourable and right thing to do" after visiting to end their friendship.

He also said he had "no recollection" of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with a number of his associates, including Andrew, when she was 17.

Prince Andrew steps back from public duties

The fallout has since forced the prince to step back from public duties for the "foreseeable future" after numerous charities and brands, including KPMG, distanced themselves from him and the causes he supports. Now, all 200 of his charities will have to seek new patrons.

Private jet scandal

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex came under fire throughout the summer after reportedly taking four private jet journeys in 11 days, seemingly at odds with their views on supporting the environment.

This included a private flight to the home of singer Elton John in Nice, after which the musician defended the couple in a post on Instagram, saying the royals needed "high-level protection".

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son Archie on their way to meet with Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Image: Harry said he occasionally uses private jets to 'protect' his family

In response to the criticism, Prince Harry said: "I spend 99% of my life travelling the world by commercial.

"Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's explosive TV interview

Prince Harry and Meghan admitted they were struggling with the headlines and attention from British tabloid newspapers in a documentary which aired on ITV in October.

The Duchess of Sussex says she has found the focus on her after her marriage and giving birth a struggle.
Image: Meghan said she has struggled with the focus on her

Meghan revealed her friends told her not to marry Harry, warning her she "shouldn't do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life".

She told of how she was "not okay", while Prince Harry said his mental health was under "constant management".

The Duchess of Sussex has also accused the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday of waging a three-year campaign of "false and absurd" stories about her, according to details of her legal action against the media group.

Prince Harry was asked about rumours of a rift with William
Image: Prince Harry was asked about rumours of a rift with William

A Palace source told the BBC Prince William is worried about his younger brother and his sister-in-law, and hopes they are both "all right".

Prince Harry's apparent feud with Prince William

William's concerns added fuel to the fire about rumours of a rift between the brothers, thus bringing more negative attention to the monarchy.

Harry on his brother Will Read More – Source