Tens of millions of Americans will watch the coronation of Britain’s King Charles III on Saturday. Despite George III and the American Revolution, Americans have been infatuated with British royalty. But being a royal is not easy in what has been a sometimes often tragic and recurring history of a darker side that has plagued the Windsor family. Is that because the unique pressure of being a royal in arguably the world’s most famous monarchy and living under constant surveillance and scrutiny has made scandal or notoriety inevitable? Or are these circumstances such that normal human behaviour cannot cope? Since the Windsors became the Windsors in 1917 changing the name of the Royal family from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha because of the war with Germany (and Kaiser Wilhelm II was Queen Victoria’s grandson), the last ten-plus decades have not always been kind. Subsequent monarchs were George V and VI; briefly Edward VIII; Elizabeth II; and now Charles. The family motto is also distinctive: Dieu et mon Droit for God and My Right. But divine right never made for divine rule or always for divine rulers. The first of these personal crises followed George V’s death in January 1936 making his eldest son, The Prince of Wales, king. The Church of England forbade a monarch from marrying a divorcee. But Edward VIII gave up his crown that December to marry “the woman I love,” Wallace Simpson, a twice-divorced American. That marriage provoked a political crisis. Edward, known as David to his friends, was replaced by his younger brother the Duke of York who became a reluctant King George VI. From presidents to kings to billionaires, many famous families undergo the harshest scrutiny because of who they are. George reigned during World War II courageously remaining in London and Buckingham Palace with his family during the Blitz. Daughters Elizabeth and Margaret became auto mechanics to aid in the war effort. In ill health, George died young at age 56 and a twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth inherited the crown. She would wear it for a record seventy years and 214 days, the longest in British history. Unfortunately, Princess Margaret fell in love with a dashing and highly decorated Battle of Britain pilot, Group Captain Peter Townsend. But like Simpson, Townsend was divorced. Margaret was forced to abandon marital plans, unlike her uncle. She finally married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960. For many reasons including incompatibility and infidelity, that marriage failed. In 1976, the couple were divorced, the first time in over 400 years and Henry VIII the royals parted ways. Margaret died in 2002 at 71. The most bittersweet of these personal affairs was Charles’ long-term relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles whom he had met around 1970. In 1970, Camilla’s later-to-be husband Army officer Andrew Parker-Bowles had broken off with her to court Charles’ sister Anne. That did not work out and in 1973, Parker Bowles and Camilla were married. Despite obvious mutual affection, why Charles and Camilla never married then was always a question. But that question ultimately fated Charles’ marriage to Diana Spencer in 1981. Diana was only 19; Charles was 32. Separation in 1992 was followed by divorce in 1996. As Diana sadly noted before she died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, a three-way marriage could never work. Finally, Elizabeth gave her permission for Charles and Camilla to marry in 2005. Elizabeth’s son Andrew and grandson Harry, unfortunately, could not escape this darker side of Windsor’s history. Andrew’s 1986 rocky marriage to Sarah Ferguson ended in separation in 1992 and divorce in 1992. After allegations of sexual misconduct and his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, convicted of sexual offences with underage girls, Andrew was stripped of his military rank and all official duties. Prince Harry’s marriage to Meagan Markle, divorced and multi-racial, was well received. Harry was immensely popular. And Meagan was very attractive. However, the dark side intervened with Harry’s split with his father and the Palace and abandoning England for America. While Harry is to attend the coronation without his wife, the relationships remain fraught. From presidents to kings to billionaires, many famous families undergo the harshest scrutiny because of who they are. Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have been viciously attacked. Yet, is today’s coverage more vindictive? How will King Charles III reign is a question. Immediately after Diana’s death and urging by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, Queen Elizabeth addressed the nation. After that address, Elizabeth would become Britain’s most favourite grandmother. Will Charles emulate that becoming Britain’s favourite grandfather? Or will the darker side of the Windsor family intervene and determine that answer? He writer is a senior advisor at Washington, DC’s Atlantic Council and a published author.