Queen horror: How royal’s ‘dry wit’ helped Royal Family emerge from crisis

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The Queen, 94, admitted the Royal Family suffered a horrible year in 1992 during a speech a Guildhall to mark the 40th anniversary of her Accession. The Monarch said the year was not one she will look back on with “undiluted pleasure”. Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary, The Queen: In Her Own Words, royal commentators discussed how the Queen’s humour had helped the Royal Family during a crisis.

Former British ambassador Charles Crawford said: “In a speech during a lunch there has to be some humour.

“The people drafting have taken a lot of care and I think the Queen herself will have taken a lot of care to get the tone of it just right.

“She will know perfectly well when reading the papers and they know its a terrible year so, why not say it?”

Expert Camilla Tominey added: “The Queen has got quite a dry sense of humour so, I think by chosing a Latin phrase its a little bit tongue and cheek.

“This idea what she would characterise one of the most disastarous years in her reign as annus horribilis.”

Mr Crawford added: “Of course everyone there knew what she meant.

“I think it also have the great advantage of being a very ground soundbite.”

Their comments come as a one expert believes the Queen could suffer an “annus horribilis” again in 2020.

The Duke of Edinburgh stepped back from royal duties in 2017 but one royal expert believes his “poor” health could mean the Queen has an “annus horribilis part 2”.

Royal expert Angela Mollard went on to suggest what sort of “challenges” the monarch might be facing this year.

Speaking on the ROYALS podcast, Ms Mollard said: “I think this could be annus horribilis part 2, don’t you?

“1992 was the last time she claimed it was her worst year.


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“Of course, three of her children separated, there was the Windsor Castle fire, all sorts of things happened that year.

“She’s got Prince Andrew’s embroilment with the Jeffrey Epstein case, she’s got the management of Harry and Meghan exiting the Royal Family, she’s got her own husband’s poor health and she’s got Beatrice’s wedding.”

She continued: “It should be a joyous occasion, but there’ll be much speculation around it in terms of who’s paying for it and that sort of thing.

“I think poor Beatrice is going to have a wedding that’s going to be embroiled in controversy purely because parts of it will be paid for by the public purse and there’ll be questions around that, depending on how the Prince Andrew situation develops.

“She’s got a lot on her plate this year. No wonder she’s giving some of her jobs away.”

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