[imagesource: Adrian Dennis / AFP]
Every family has its secrets, and royal families aren’t any different.
They’re people, too (not lizard people, as some have claimed), and they mess up on occasion.
Of course, the stakes are a lot higher when you’re in the public eye, trying to justify your existence in a world that for the most part only keeps monarchies around to bolster tourism and public morale.
Then there’s the line of succession. Heaven forbid an illegitimate child tries to claim the throne.
Per Marie Claire:
There are 29 other monarchies [apart from the British Royal Family] around the world. For centuries, they’ve dealt with their fair share of scandals, particularly when members of the family have children out of wedlock.
The British Royals have had a few rather unfortunate scandals of their own in recent times.
Let’s take a look at what happens when Royals mess around:
Prince Albert II of Monaco (pictured above and below)
Jazmin Grace Grimaldi (above right) is Prince Albert II’s oldest daughter. Her mother is Tamara Rotolo, who met the prince in 1991 while on holiday on the Côte d’Azur. The couple had a very brief relationship, which culminated in the pregnancy.
She decided to raise her daughter away from royal life, and Jazmin didn’t meet her father until she was 11 years old.
Prince Albert had a second illegitimate child with a flight attendant, Nicole Coste – a son named Alexandre Grimaldi-Coste. He maintained a relationship with his son until he married South African-born Princess Charlene in 2011.
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
Marina Ogilvy (Princess Alexandra) is a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth and her mother is first cousin to Prince Philip.
When she announced that she was pregnant out of wedlock with the child of photographer Paul Mowatt, the scandal nearly tore the British Royal Family Apart. She was given the option of terminating the pregnancy or marrying Mowatt.
Their daughter Zenouska (above) was born a few months later. While she wasn’t born out of wedlock, Zenouska was definitely conceived out of it.
Captain Mark Phillips
Princess Anne’s husband, Mark Phillips, had an affair with a woman from New Zealand named Heather Tonkin. The one-night stand resulted in a love child, Felicity Tonkin. She’s the half-sister of Mark and Anne’s two children, Zara and Peter.
King Alfonso XIII of Spain
Leandro Ruiz (above), who was born in 1929, was only recognised as a member of the Royal Family in Spain 74 years after he was born. He was the illegitimate son of Alfonso XIII and is now recognised as the uncle of the present king, Juan Carlos.
King Henry I of England
Robert FitzRoy, the First Earl of Gloucester, is one of the confirmed illegitimate children of King Henry I. Henry also had an illegitimate daughter named Matilda. It’s rumoured that he fathered at least 22 other children.
King Henry VIII of England
Henry FitzRoy, the first Duke of Richmond and Somerset, was the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII and his mistress Elizabeth Blount. He died when he was just 17 years old, and there was some speculation that he was murdered.
Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
Bernhard married Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, with whom he had four children. He would go on to father Alexia Grinda, the first of his illegitimate children to receive acknowledgement and a relationship with the prince.
Her illegitimate half-sister Alicia had virtually no relationship with her father.
See, they’re just like us.
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