The Most Awkward Royal Family Interviews Ever

Royal family interviews don't always go according to plan. After all, while being a member of the royal family may sound glamorous, there's a lot of work involved. Per the royal family's official site, Britain's elite perform over 2,000 royal engagements each year. According to CNBC, Prince Charles alone carried out over 500 engagements — 109 of which were overseas — in 2018. His sister Princess Anne attended over 500 engagements that same year. Princes William and Harry's official engagements also numbered into the hundreds. And, despite being in her 90s, Queen Elizabeth II participated in 283 engagements. 

Royal engagements range from banquet appearances to charitable services, but, no matter what they're doing, the royals are often the center of public attention. Many of their engagements are also sandwiched between interviews with the press. With so much time spent in front of the cameras, there are bound to be at least a few gaffes. Yes, over the years, members of the royal family have had some super awkward moments. They are only human, after all. These are some of the cringiest interviews they've ever given.

Prince Charles questioned the idea of love in this awkward royal family interview

In 1981, Prince Charles and then-Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement to the press. And, in a matter of minutes, what started out as sweet evolved into a cringe-worthy mess. When asked the couple if were in love, Diana quickly replied, "Of course!" Charles, on the other hand, retorted, "Whatever 'in love' means." Diana laughed uncomfortably before the interview carried on.

Years later, we would find out how Diana really felt about her fiancé's response. "That threw me completely, I thought 'what a strange answer.' It absolutely [traumatized] me," the princess revealed in a taped interview used in the documentary Diana: In Her Own Words (via MSN).

Charles' response may have seemed insensitive, but his biographer, Sally Bedell Smith, doesn't think so. "It was a totally inappropriate thing for him to say," she admitted to People, "but understandable given the way his mind worked and the kind of things he had said in prior years." She continued, saying, "He can over-think things and was thinking out loud. I don't see it as a cynical, cruel statement." Either way, it was certainly was an awkward royal family interview.

In a royal family interview, Prince Charles seemingly admitted to cheating on Princess Diana

For the first time since the collapse of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage, the prince sat down for an interview about what all happened. In the 1994 interview, which was later featured in the documentary Prince Charles: His Children, the Paparazzi & Marriage to Diana, Charles can be heard repeatedly referring to Camilla Parker Bowles as a "friend" or "great friend" — just one of his "large number of friends" — but the public already knew better than to believe that.

Two years earlier, a transcript of phone conversations between Charles and Parker Bowles, dubbed "Camillagate," was published in British newspapers and, uh, let's just say it was obvious they were more than just "great friends." 

Although Charles didn't name names in the awkward family interview in 1994, he ended up, whether he meant to or not, seemingly admitting — for the first and only time — that he had cheated on Diana. After revealing that, yes, he was faithful to his wife, he paused then added, "Until it became irretrievably broken down." Yikes.

Prince William was asked about then-ex Kate Middleton in this awkward royal family interview

Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton may seem like the picture-perfect couple these days, but, before they married, the couple actually broke up. In April 2007, William and Kate ended their four-year courtship. In the year before they reconciled, the press remained interested in their relationship whether or not they were together. 

Months after the couple's split, William and brother Prince Harry attended a press conference with singer Joss Stone at Wembley Stadium in England — and apparently no topic was off limits. Working Kate into the conversation, an interviewer asked William which of his friends would be attending the upcoming event before also directly asking, "How are things going with Kate?"

After some uncomfortable laughter, the usually well-spoken William replied, "Uh, well, uh, I've got lots of friends coming." Laughing, he continued, "So, you know, everyone's going to be here tonight and it's going to be a great night." Harry teased his brother for his response in the awkward royal family interview, saying, "Very well avoided, William." His brother agreed, joking, "Very diplomatic."

Sarah Ferguson walked out of this awkward royal family interview

Sarah Ferguson is no stranger to scandal. In the early '90s, there was the infamous "toe-sucking" photo, which showed Ferguson's financial advisor loving on the duchess' feet. At the time, Ferguson was separated from, but still legally married to, Prince Andrew. People magazine senior editor Anne-Marie O'Neill commented to CNN (via Cosmopolitan) that "the tabloids had such a good time with it that it really was the first time that the royal family was opened up to such ridicule."

Ferguson would expose the royal family to more ridicule in 2010, when she attempted to sell access to her ex to an undercover reporter. After watching the footage in its entirety for the first time during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Ferguson said she "felt really sorry" for the woman she used to be.

That wouldn't be the last time Ferguson would come face-to-face with that footage, though. In an awkward royal family interview with 60 Minutes Australia in 2018, a clip of the scandal was played for Ferguson and it prompted the royal to walk out of the interview and demand her agent to "delete that bit."

Prince Andrew threw shade at Meghan and Harry in a royal family interview

Prince Andrew has engaged in cringeworthy exchanges with the press. After his daughter Princess Eugenie and her now-husband, Jack Brooksbank, announced their engagement, Andrew dished about the couple's wedding plans. "It will not be the same as the previous one that was held in May," he said, referring to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's ceremony. "It's not a public wedding, this is meant to be a family wedding," he continued telling ITV (via The Telegraph). He also revealed that the couple's wedding will include "a few more people than most people have." 

Okay, so that may sound a smidge like bragging, but maybe he was just being factual. If he stopped there in the awkward royal family interview, we may not have thought anything of it — but he didn't. "There are a few more than Harry had but that's just the nature of Eugenie and Jack: they've got so many friends and they need a church of that size to fit them all in." Wait, what? Whether it was his intention or not, he threw some subtle shade at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Prince William implied his wife was an uncle in this awkward royal family interview

With so many pressers, royal family interviews, and royal engagements in which to participate, the royals are bound to flub their words from time to time. Sometimes those gaffes lead to funny and awkward moments. Although each and every one of us is probably guilty of misspeaking on occasion, our words are probably not captured on video for the world to see. Thankfully, the royals seem to have a sense of humor when it comes to this sort of thing and can even laugh with each other about their word blunders. 

In May 2019, Prince William was asked by a reporter if he was glad to be an uncle to Harry and Meghan's newborn son. "Yes absolutely, I'm an uncle, second time for me," he replied. Motioning to his wife, Kate, he continued, saying, "And you as well." Kate initially nodded before cracking up and shaking her head. William corrected himself, but not before he and the press started laughing as well.

Prince Harry shut a reporter down in an impromptu royal family interview

Of all the members in the royal family, Prince Harry certainly has the most tumultuous relationship with the press. While he does participate in royal family interviews, he's a stickler for proper procedures.

After visiting the Mauwa Health Centre in Malawi, Africa while on a royal tour, Harry encountered reporters and photographers waiting outside. "That short conversation, what do you hope to achieve through it?" Rhiannon Mills, a royal correspondent for Sky News, quizzed the prince. "What?" Harry huffed before shaking his head. "Ask them." As Harry began to get in the backseat of a vehicle, Mills continued, asking, "Is that why it's important for you to come and talk to them?" Harry then reprimanded the reporter, saying, "Rhiannon, don't behave like this."

While the prince's response may seem like an overreaction, it wasn't so much the question that annoyed him but the timing. Citing a person "familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly," USA Today revealed that members of the royal family do not engage in unscheduled interviews or provide comments during royal outings — and royal correspondents are all well aware of this protocol.

Meghan Markle's Late Late Night exchange was awkward in hindsight

Even before Meghan Markle married into the royal family, she was familiar with interviews. She was an actress, after all. However, it's impossible to picture an interview like the one she had with Craig Ferguson back in 2013 happening today. In the resurfaced clip of her on The Late Late ShowFerguson seemed, um, obsessed with Markle's body.

When asked where Markle was from originally, she revealed that she was "one of the five" that were actually born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. She continued, telling the host, "You can pinch me. I'm real." The conversation began to take a creepy turn at that point. After pinching the then-actress a couple times, he told Markle that she had a "strangely hairless body." He continued, "You're quite the dolphin, aren't you?" There's no telling if Ferguson looks back on that interview and cringes, but we certainly do.

The fab four spilled the tea in an awkward royal family interview in 2018

The royal family may always put forth a united front, but that doesn't mean they're always in agreement with one another. In their first royal family interview as a foursome, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, and Kate Middleton took the stage at the Royal Foundation Forum in London, England. When interviewer Tina Daheley asked if they ever have "disagreements about things" being as they are family, William let out a loud laugh before, saying, "Ohhh yes." Looking more serious, Harry clarified, "Healthy — healthy disagreements." He later joked that their disagreements are "so thick and fast."

"Working as family does have its challenges, of course it does," Harry said, highlighting the fact that the audience's laughter meant that everyone knows what it's like to work with family. "But, you know, we're stuck together for the rest of our lives," he added. Meghan quipped, "Togetherness at its finest." Considering the four royals later split up their households into two separate courts, one can only wonder how much the royals were really joking in that interview.

Prince Philip is "not an easy man to interview"

Unlike her children and grandchildren, Queen Elizabeth II rarely gives interviews. BBC producer Anthony Geffen told Business Insider that it took 22 years to get the queen to sit down for a royal family interview with the network. The queen's husband, Prince Philip, is also not one to sit down for interviews often. But, when he does, there's no controlling what comes out of his mouth.

The documentary Prince Philip: 70 Years of Service, in which he agreed to be interviewed, contained "a string of awkward moments, including one-word answers," 9Honey reported. According to the publication, interviewer Alan Titchmarsh dubbed the prince "not an easy man to interview" at the conclusion of the documentary. 

In one awkward exchange, Titchmarsh asked the prince, "How important was fatherhood compared with being the Queen's consort? Was that a role you were conscious of fulfilling?" Philip retorted, "No, I was a father." He then returned the question back to the interviewer. "Are you a father? Well, do you think about it?" Huh?

Prince Philip has no problem talking about flatulence in awkward royal family interviews

After sitting down with interviewer Alan Titchmarsh for the documentary Prince Philip: 70 Years of Service, Prince Philip followed up with a letter to Titchmarsh in which he admitted that "being interviewed" isn't his "favourite occupation." No, Philip doesn't exactly have the easiest time giving royal family interviews. Various publications, including The Independent and Yahoo! News, have even compiled lists of some of the prince's biggest word blunders. Some of them are hilarious and some of them are just full-on cringey.

According to both publications, he is quoted as saying this about his equestrian daughter Princess Anne: "If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she's not interested." Oh boy. Philip also had a funny encounter with Simon Kelner, the former editor-in-chief of The Independent. When Philip asked who he was and why he was attending the Golden Jubilee in 2002, Kelner gave his name and credentials and told the prince that he was the one who invited him to attend. "Well, you didn't have to come!" Philip told him. Ouch, that had to sting.

Princess Charlotte had words with the press in one spur-of-the-moment royal family interview

Princess Charlotte is one of the youngest royals, sure, but she already has her own cheeky way of dealing with the media. When arriving to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, the then-3-year-old stuck out her tongue at the photographers nearby. But that's not the only time she's teased the press.

While attending St. James's Palace's Chapel Royal for Prince Louis' christening with her parents and siblings, Charlotte gave an unprompted and cheeky message to the reporters and photographers, though it wasn't exactly during an awkward royal family interview. "You're not coming," she told them sternly, maintaining eye contact until she was nearly inside the church. And, well, she wasn't wrong. Although photographers were able to gather outside of the palace chapel, they were not permitted inside to attend the prince's christening. But in case there was any confusion, Charlotte made sure to let the public know where they stood.