“It’s been an incredibly difficult two months for our whole family”. This was one of the phrases with which the Kate MiddletonPrincess of Wales, 42, began the video in which she revealed on Friday, March 22, 2024 that she is suffering from cancer.

The disease was discovered after an operation on her abdomen in January. Since then, the Princess of Wales has been undergoing chemotherapy, as she explained in the video she shared. “I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal – my mind, body and spirit”. He spoke optimistically, but the news was yet another blow to the British royal family. Indeed, the last few months have been difficult for them, a period that could well be compared to ‘annus horribilis’ of 1992, as Queen Elizabeth II described it at the time‘.

Shortly before the late Queen Elizabeth gave her 40th year on the throne speech in June 1992, she admitted to officials that her family was going through an “annus horribilis”. This phrase went down in history as an acknowledgment that even Elizabeth, who rarely showed her emotions, had felt the cumulative effects of a series of “blows”. 1992 had brought revelations about Diana and Charles’ troubled private lives, the separation of the Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, and the divorce of the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, as well as the fire at Windsor Castle.

When Prince Charles became king aged 74 after his mother’s death in September 2022, he wanted to “step up” his public events and appearances to cement his image and popularity after decades of waiting as the longest-serving heir in the history of the British monarchy.

However, his ambitions were dashed in January. On the same day it was announced that the Princess of Wales had undergone abdominal surgery, Buckingham Palace announced that the king was to be admitted to the same private London clinic for treatment of his enlarged prostate. As with his bride, he was found to have cancer during the operation – no further details about his illness have been released.

The health problems of King Charles and the Princess of Wales have made Queen Camilla and Prince William “protagonists”. These are two people who can replace the monarch in his public duties in case of serious illness, incapacity or absence abroad (Charles’ siblings, Princess Anne and Prince Edward can also fulfill this role). This mechanism has not been officially activated.

But it was a huge surprise when the heir to the throne announced that he would be taking a few days off from public duties to take care of his children and wife. Due to his father’s absence, William continued his schedule a few days later: at an awards ceremony, at a fundraising dinner, at the funeral of his friend Thomas Kingston… But he canceled his attendance at the memorial service of the late King Constantine, his godfather, shortly before the start of the ceremony at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Prince William

As a result, the task of representing the British royal family at public events has been entrusted, almost exclusively, to Camilla. During the early months of 2024, the Queen Consort was the most active Windsor. However, with such a grueling schedule, she too was forced to take a week off.

Illness isn’t the only thing weighing on the British royal family this year—other scandals about its members’ personal decisions have also played a role. Beyond health, the most serious issue is his condition prince andrewof Queen Elizabeth II’s third son (he is younger than Charles and Anne and older than Edward).

Prince Andrew

At 64, the so-called favorite of Elizabeth II has been out of favor for nearly five years, when his relationship with pedophile businessman Jeffrey Epstein was first revealed.

He admitted that he was not up to the task in an interview with the BBC, which devastated him. But this year his name is dragged, and will continue to be dragged, in the “mud”, for two reasons. First, his name has been found on dozens of documents about Jeffrey Epstein – Andrew was his friend and his name appeared on those documents. His involvement with minors and at the businessman’s parties is no longer a secret, there are testimonies and statements. For example, of the first 40 known documents, Prince Andrew’s name appears in 12 of them, while the main plaintiff, Virginia Giuffre, who claims she had non-consensual sex with him, mentions him several times.

The second topic, and the reason why Andrew’s name will be discussed a lot in the coming weeks, is the Netflix premiere of Scoop. Actually, this is a film about him and the disastrous BBC interview. Prince Andrew will be played by Rufus Sewell, while Gillian Anderson will play journalist Emily Maitlis. According to Netflix, “the interview is so important, but it’s only 5% of the story. What we’re doing is taking you on a journey to how it all started.” The film’s premiere on April 5 will bring Andrew back into the spotlight.

In addition, Andrew saw another family member get cancer. The prince married her Sarah Ferguson in 1986, they split in 1992, but since then, and especially in recent years, have remained very close. In fact, they even share the same house.

In January 2024, the Duchess of York announced that she had been diagnosed with skin cancer, after publicly revealing in June 2023 that she had undergone treatment for breast cancer. While she’s not exactly a member of the British royal family, her daughters (Beatrice and Eugenia) are, and Sarah Ferguson maintained a close relationship with both Diana and Queen Elizabeth II until her death in September 2022.

Sarah Ferguson

Another issue complicating the world of the British royal house is Charles’ son, Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. The couple have been living together in California since March 2020, where they moved because they were exhausted from being hounded by the media and unhappy with their roles in the British royal family.

Prince Harry and Meghan

In February of this year, the youngest son of King Charles III went to visit his father when it became known that his father was suffering from cancer. “How did you hear the news that the king was ill?”, he was asked in a televised interview a few days later. “I spoke to him,” he explained. “I got on a plane and went to see him as soon as possible.” However, Harry’s relationship with his brother Prince William (and his wife Kate), as revealed by himself in his memoirs, but also revealed by other biographies, is almost non-existent.

In his biography, Harry revealed that William even physically attacked him during a row. Now, in California, various sources close to the couple have explained that neither Harry nor Markle had any information about what was happening to his sister-in-law, after so much speculation. The couple – who have no social media like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – released a statement saying: “We wish Kate and the family a speedy recovery and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace.”