When they met the Monarchy

Category: Television


Marrying into any family comes with some stress, but when it’s the royal family, well, it’s monumentally stressful. Combining two families is not often easy, as the new documentaries airing on True Royalty TV demonstrate.

The series includes the joining of the Spencer family with the Windsor family. When Lady Diana married Prince Charles the two families became forever entwined. The Spencers had a long relationship with the royals and Diana was no stranger to their social circle. The Queen said Diana “was one of us.” Joining the two blue-blooded families seemed like the perfect match, but that was not to be.

The fiery Spencers were internally more robust than the Windsors, and Diana was a true Spencer. But she did something no one ever thought she would do. She changed the monarchy in many ways. She was the first to have her children delivered in a hospital. She was the first to take her children with her on overseas visits. She was the first to take her children to “normal” places like McDonald’s and the like.

The Queen Mother was not as excited about joining the two families. She was still affected by the abdication and did not want the family to experience any more turmoil. But they did. And the Spencers were the family that added the spice to the royals.

The Middleton family joined the Windsors when Catherine wed Prince William. They were not from the same social circle as the royals and as they quickly discovered, the media scrutinized them all. Catherine’s sister Pippa and brother James became pop culture icons due to their older sister’s husband.

The Middleton family was the first to become a real part of the royal family. Their relationship with Kate and William is strong and they are included in family events, unlike in-laws of the past. This was a big step for the Windsors but a necessary one and one that has proven to be an asset to the royal brand. The Middletons have proven themselves to be upstanding and free from scandal. But scandal is too common when joining two families….

When Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew all seemed right with the world for the Windsors. The Queen got on splendidly with “Fergie” and they shared their love of horses and the outdoors. But this union produced more than one scandal for the royals.

Sarah did not adapt well to being a royal and defied several conventions. But that is not what got her into the trouble with the royals. First was the scandal involving her father who had been close to the Queen and Prince Philip. His massage parlor escapade quickly put him in bad standing with his in-laws. Then Fergie sought comfort with other men and her dalliances made the front page of the papers, which was the final straw for the Ferguson/Windsor union.

The Markles also caused even more turmoil in the family. What they learned, as all of the families that have joined with the Windsors learn, is that not only is the married person subject to scrutiny and media attention, but being in the royal family puts a spotlight on the entire family. Thus to date, the joining of the Markel and Windsor families have caused the most trouble for the Queen and her family. And the turmoil of the union is still going on today.

All of these documentaries are available on True Royalty TV, along with plenty more about the British royal family and royals around the world.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association, was a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.