Queen Elizabeth II recorded her annual Christmas address, and tongues are wagging.

As is the annual Christmastime custom, the queen invites cameras into Buckingham Palace, surrounds herself with family snapshots, and delivers a yuletide address. This year, though, she displayed far fewer photos than usual. Noticeably absent from the picture potpourri were the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the recently deposed royal, Her Majesty’s son, Prince Andrew.

In her speech, the queen described her year as “quite bumpy.” But in actuality, 2019 proved to be a five-alarm doozy for the United Kingdom’s first family.

2019 Royal Scandal: The Prince Andrew Problem

The main hurdle came in the form of Prince Andrew’s friendship with, and alleged participation in, the now-deceased Jeffrey Epstein’s underage sex trafficking ring. Andrew’s association with the fallen felon punctured the royal family’s stoic façade, and the debacle culminated in a disastrous BBC interview.
In the end, according to reports, the Windsor’s top tier convened, discussed, and then stripped Andrew of his royal duties.

2019 Royal Debate: The Sussex Situation

Meghan and Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, also had a rough 2019. Royal reporters harangued the newlyweds on everything from her family relations to their use of a private plane. Curiously, Sussex smack talk hustled into high gear when affair rumors swirled around Prince William, second in line to the throne. People wondered if Diana’s oldest son threw his brother and sister-in-law under the bus to deflect unwanted media scrutiny.

In the end, Meghan and Harry sued several tabloids for lie telling, and the case exploded into a public debate about the couple. Sussex supporters and haters squared off in all corners of the Internet, and the tabloid-induced fight sold millions in advertising dollars. Things got so heated the couple escaped to a Canadian hideout and haven’t been seen in almost two months.

The Slim Focus of Her Majesty’s Christmas Photos

According to some reports, the missing family pictures are not a renouncement. Instead, they reflect Queen Elizabeth’s desire to feature future monarchs and their families this year. After all, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, and their offspring weren’t photographically represented either. Nevertheless, scandal sells; as such, gossip outlets and tabloids are making a monarchical mountain out of a reported non-hill.

What do you think? Is Queen Elizabeth a shade master? Did Prince William bargain with the press behind his brother’s back? Should Prince Andrew be scorned? Vent your opinions below!