All The Royal Drama of 2022: Meghan & Harry Speak Out, Prince Andrew's Lawsuit and The Queen's Death

The British Royal family’s reign may only apply to our friends across the pond, but their family drama has captured the attention of people around the world for ages. Over the past 12 months, members of the British Monarchy have seen some major changes, most notably following the passing of Queen Elizabeth shortly after her Jubilee celebration. But aside from the change in the order of succession, the royals have made headlines in plenty of other ways this year!

Here’s everything that went down for the Royals in 2022…

Prince Andrew Settles Sexual Abuse Lawsuit With Virginia Giuffre

In February, Prince Andrew reached an out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre, who claimed to be a victim of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme. In a lawsuit, Virginia accused Andrew of having sex with her three times when she was still a minor, leaving her with severe and lasting emotional distress. Andrew denied her claims.

Although there were no specific financial settlement details included in the lawsuit documents acquired by TMZ, Prince Andrew’s legal team said he intended to make a “substantial donation” to Virginia’s charity in support of victims’ rights. The Duke’s legal team also added that Andrew “pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.”

Prince William Makes Controversial Trip To Jamaica

Prince William and Kate Middleton took a trip to several Caribbean nations that are part of the British commonwealth in March, including a controversial stop in Jamaica. Given the fact that throughout British history colonizers enslaved and traded millions of Africans in Jamaica and its other territories, many Jamaican leaders were demanding the royals apologize.

The Prince did exactly that — or almost that — during a formal banquet, in which he stopped short of an apology but called slavery an abhorrent chapter in history that “should never have happened.” He also commended Jamaica for continuing to prosper, despite previously facing the horrors of the slave trade.

“While the pain runs deep, Jamaica continues to forge its future with determination, courage and fortitude,” he said on stage. “The strength and shared sense of purpose of the Jamaican people, represented in your flag and motto, celebrate an invincible spirit.”

Queen Elizabeth Says Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Can’t Stand On The Balcony For Queen’s Jubilee

Ahead of the Queen’s Jubilee celebration in June, Queen Elizabeth announced that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would not be allowed to join her on the balcony for the traditional trooping the colour appearance. In a statement, the Palace explained that only royals who were undertaking official public duties would be allowed to take part — meaning Prince Andrew would also be excluded.

“After careful consideration, the Queen has decided this year’s traditional trooping the colour balcony appearance on Thursday, 2 June, will be limited to Her Majesty, and those members of the royal family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen,” the statement read.

Meghan Markle’s Animated Series “Pearl” Gets Dropped By Netflix

In May, Netflix quietly dropped Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first animated series “Pearl” amid overall cutbacks at the streamer. The animated show, which was announced in 2021, was set to follow the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who finds inspiration from historically influential women. It’s unclear if the cutbacks affected any other part of Meghan and Harry’s $100 million deal with the streaming giant — though their docuseries dropped in December. More on that in a moment!

Prince Harry’s Security Is Cut During A Trip To The U.K.

During Prince Harry’s trip to the U.K. in June with his family, he was reportedly assured he’d have police protection — despite his British security team being removed when he stepped back from royal duties. But amid the family’s visit for Queen’s Jubilee, members of the Royal Household made the decision to take away his personal security.

Following the incident, Harry spoke out during ongoing court proceedings regarding his British security team. During a hearing, Harry said that he should have been made aware that some of the Queen’s aides were involved in the decision, given the fact there were tensions between him and some royal officials. On July 22, he won permission to legally challenge the government’s decision.

Meghan Markle Talks About Being “Treated Like a Black Woman” For the First Time Dating Prince Harry

On the second episode of her Spotify podcast, Archetypes, Meghan Markle talked to Mariah Carey about their experiences as biracial women. Meghan explained that because she was “light-skinned,” she had often found herself not treated like a Black woman or a white woman and felt that she “fit in between.” She went on to say that she only started being “treated like a Black woman” once she began dating Prince Harry.

“I mean, if there’s any time in my life that it’s been more focused on my race, it’s only once I started dating my husband,” Meghan told Mariah. “Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman. Because up until then, I had been treated like a mixed woman. And things really shifted.”

Meghan Markle Reveals Why She Hated How Royal Family Handled Social Media

In a candid interview with The Cut, Meghan Markle opened up about some of her biggest issues with how the Royal Family controlled her public image. She explained that after shutting down her personal social media accounts, she joined Prince William and Kate Middleton on the Kensington Royal account but had no control over the page.

“It was a big adjustment — a huge adjustment to go from that kind of autonomy to a different life,” she explained. “There’s literally a structure by which if you want to release photos of your child, as a member of the family, you first have to give them to the Royal Rota,” she said, referring to the press pool in the UK, who would oftentimes get the pictures before Meghan could post them on her own.

She continued, “Why would I give the very people that are calling my children the N-word a photo of my child before I can share it with the people that love my child? You tell me how that makes sense and then I’ll play that game.”

Queen Elizabeth Passes Away At 96

On September 9, Queen Elizabeth passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle, her estate in Scotland. Her death effectively passed the throne to her son, King Charles, who was by her side in her final moments. In a statement, he said the death of Queen Elizabeth was a “moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.”

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world. During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held,” he shared.

Meghan Markle Is Reportedly Not Invited To Say Final Goodbyes To Queen Elizabeth

Meghan Markle was reportedly not invited to be by Queen Elizabeth’s side during her final moments. According to Royal expert Katie Nicholl, Meghan was not included in the reach-out to Prince Harry when it became clear that the Queen was in her final moments. Harry went on to make the trip to Balmoral Castle alone — despite the fact that Meghan was already in the U.K. with him. While some have speculated Meghan opted out of respect for Harry, reports say it was a decision made by higher powers within the Royal Family.

Meghan and Harry did attend the Queen’s funeral, though Harry was not allowed to wear his military dress for the occasion. The pair were also photographed with William and Kate for the first time in years as they put on a united front to observe mourners and tributes left to the Queen at Windsor Castle.

Prince Andrew Gets Heckled During Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral Procession

During Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession on September 12, Prince Andrew became the target of a heckler who hurled some nasty insults, calling him a “sick old man.” He also called the Prince “disgusting,” seemingly referencing his alleged involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme. Police eventually intervened, arresting the 22-year-old heckler, reportedly for a breach of the peace.

King Charles Sends His “Love” to Prince Harry & Meghan Markle in Public Address

In his first public address since the passing of Queen Elizabeth, King Charles honored his late mother — and even acknowledged Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In the speech, King Charles gave a brief shoutout to the couple, despite no longer taking part in royal duties and ongoing reports of a rift between them.

“I also want to express my love for Harry and Meghan, as they continue to build their lives overseas,” Charles said, before then ending his speech with final words about Queen Elizabeth II.

Meghan Markle’s Father Thomas Gets A Restraining Order From Jeff Rayner

That same month, a judge granted tabloid agency owner Jeff Rayner a two year restraining order against Meghan Markle’s father Thomas Markle. The pair have squared off for years, with Thomas previously suing Jeff’s agency Coleman-Rayner, claiming an agreement the two sides made regarding staged photos destroyed his relationship with Meghan. Things took a darker turn though and Jeff filed the restraining order after Thomas allegedly vowed to kill him in an excerpt from Tom Boyer’s book, “Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between The Windsors.”

“I got screwed by Rayner and I’m going to find a way to screw him over before I die. I want to tear him down. If they tell me I’ve got terminal cancer, then I’ll kill him because I have nothing to lose,” Thomas wrote, according to court docs.

A month later, Thomas filed to terminate the restraining order, claiming Jeff was harassing him and that he posed “no threat to anyone” because of his age and health condition. Meanwhile, Jeff maintained that he needed protection because he believed Thomas, in fact, had nothing to lose and may harm him.

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