- Queen Elizabeth called 1992 her "annus horribilis"
- The Latin term translates to "horrible year"
- This is why 1992 was so bad for the royals
1992 was a rough year for the Royal Family — so much so that Queen Elizabeth declared it her "annus horribilis" in a speech that November.
The Latin term means "horrible year," and the Queen didn't use it lightly. 1992 was a highly scandalous and destructive time for the Royal Family, and this is why.
Why was 1992 a horrible year for Queen Elizabeth?
The Queen's annus horribilis speech was made on Nov. 24, 1992, just days after a terrible occurrence at one of her homes: the famous fire at Windsor Castle.
On Nov. 20, 1992, flames engulfed the royal residence and caused damage that took years and many millions to repair. The castle was eventually fixed, but 1992 also brought personal scandals that irreparably harmed the royal image.
It was a year of heartbreak for the Royal Family. The Queen's children Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, and Princess Anne all separated from their spouses.
That year, Princess Anne was the only one to divorce — from her first husband Mark Phillips — but Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson as well as Prince Charles and Princess Diana broke up. The royal brothers both officially divorced their wives in 1996.
Then there were the tabloid scandals. Fergie was photographed topless with another man while still married to Prince Andrew. And much Charles and Diana drama leaked out, on top of Diana's tell-all book — which got into the Charles and Camilla affair.
Add it all up and you get a horrible year for the British monarchy. "1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure," the Queen said that November. "In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an annus horribilis."
All these years later, it still doesn't look like the royal scandals will be ending any time soon.