The 7 Biggest Royal Scandals King Charles Has Been Involved In

His rise to the throne has never been linear — from love child rumors to money problems.

King Charles Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock & GoodLifeStudio via Getty Images

King Charles may have succeeded his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, following her death in September 2022 but his May 6 coronation marks his first official crowning as the first male British monarch in more than seven decades. 

Over the years, Charles has supported Queen Elizabeth II and has spent the majority of his adult life dedicated to the values of the royal family. However, things haven't always been perfect for the king, who has been involved in quite a few scandals.


As royal watchers await the coronation, many are looking back on some of King Charles' biggest scandals over the years. 

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Here's a look at the 7 biggest scandals in King Charles' life.

1. King Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

Before King Charles married Princess Diana, he was said to be in love with Camilla Parker Bowles. The two didn't end up getting married, however, because Charles didn't propose, according to ABC News.

Camilla ended up marrying her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, and the two started a family together. And while the then-Prince of Wales ended up falling for the young Diana Spencer, he always seemed to hold a candle for Camilla. In fact, when Charles and Diana were on their honeymoon, he couldn't stop thinking about his ex. Reader's Digest reported that he called Camilla whenever he could. He also wore cufflinks that were previously gifted to him by Camilla — which didn't make his new wife happy. 


"There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," Diana famously said in a 1995 interview with BBC.

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In 1986, five years after Charles and Diana's wedding, he and Camilla began having an affair, according to People magazine. Years later, in 1992, Charles and Diana separated. Charles would later confirm that he had been seeing Camilla while married to Diana.


2. King Charles married a divorcee.

King Charles made headlines when his engagement to Camilla was announced. On February 10, 2005, the couple announced they'd plan to marry in two months' time. "Mrs. Parker Bowles and I are absolutely delighted. It will be a very special day for us and our families," Charles said in a statement at the time.

On April 9, 2005, the two exchanged vows in a civil ceremony held at Windsor Guildhall; Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip did not attend. For years, marrying a divorcee was frowned upon within the royal family, but Queen Elizabeth kept a more open mind, eventually becoming more accepting.

3. An investigation was launched when King Charles' charity The Prince's Trust was accused of making illegal business deals.

The royal family does its best to avoid major scandals and keep family issues tucked away in a secret pocket, but sometimes, things come out. One of those times was in 2021 when Charles' aide Michael Fawcett was accused of making funny business deals for The Prince's Trust.

According to The Sunday Times, Fawcett stepped down after reports surfaced that he had made a deal with a Saudi tycoon that included a hefty donation to the charity in exchange for knighthood — and British citizenship. An investigation into the claims was launched and Charles maintained that he had no involvement in the alleged illegal actions of Fawcett. 


"The Prince of Wales had no knowledge of the alleged offer of honors or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities," a spokesperson for Charles told the Mirror.

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4. King Charles' involvement in British politics has been questioned.

The British monarchy is supposed to remain neutral when it comes to politics, but there have been a couple of times when King Charles' involvement with some politicians has raised some eyebrows.

In 2015, for example, letters that were sent from Charles to senior government ministers were printed. The letters, known more commonly as the "black spider memos" were sent in 2004 and 2005 and contained "policy demands" from the then-future-king, The Guardian reported.


5. The Prince of Wales Charitable Fund was accused of accepting more than $1 million from Osama bin Laden's family.

In July 2022, the Sunday Times reported that King Charles had accepted a $1.2 million donation to the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund in 2013.

While raising funds for charity is a big part of what the royal family aims to do, this particular donation was said to be from the family of Osama bin Laden. According to the report, Clarence House said that the money wasn't solicited by the future king of England. 

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6. There has been an alleged lovechild or two.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there have been a couple of people who have come forward to claim that King Charles has a lovechild or two.


In September 2022, for example, an Australian man by the name of Simon Charles Dorante-Day claimed that he was the lovechild of Charles and Camilla. He claims that he was put up for adoption after Camilla gave birth to him. He told his story to Australia's 7News and said that he wants to take King Charles to court and demand a DNA test.

7. King Charles has been accused of making racist remarks about Meghan Markle. 

Even more recently, there has been some concern about a major falling out between Charles and his daughter-in-law, Meghan Markle. Although neither Meghan nor her husband Prince Harry have named Charles as the person who had concerns over Meghan's race (she was born to a Black mother and a white father), there have been reports that he made comments about the skin tone of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's children, according to Page Six.

"I wonder what the children will look like?” Charles was quoted as saying to his wife in 2017 by a source in the book, "Brothers And Wives: Inside The Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan."

When Camilla said she thought the children would be "absolutely gorgeous," King Charles alleged replied, "I mean, what do you think their children’s complexion might be?" The palace denied that Charles said anything close to these statements. However, years later, when Harry and Meghan sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on CBS, Meghan had more to say on the subject.


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"They didn't want him to be a prince," she said of her first-born child, a son named Archie. "Which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn't going to receive security," she told Oprah.

"We have in tandem the conversation of, 'He won't be given security. He's not going to be given a title.' And also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born," Meghan continued.


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Effie Orfanides has been reporting on celebrity and entertainment news since 2009. She is the former Director of Operations of the Inquisitr and currently has bylines at People, NickiSwift, and Heavy. In 2022, she released her first mobile app called beacheo.