They are some of the most famous women in the world. Here’s what really goes on when no one is watching.

Queen Camilla

Queen Camila
(Photo by Finnbarr Webster – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Once reviled for being the “third person” in King Charles IIIs ill-fated marriage to Princess Diana, 76-year-old Queen Camilla waged a decades-long campaign to rehabilitate her image after their scandalous affair (hello, Tampongate!). “She has really embraced public life,” The Palace Papers author Tina Brown has said of Camilla, who finally married Charles in 2005. “I mean, this is a woman who used to like lying on the sofa, smoking a cigarette and reading a book.” (Not that she’s completely changed. “I think Camilla would struggle without her cigarettes and gin!” former royal butler Paul Burrell exclusively tells Closer.)

But stepson Prince Harry isn’t so fond of the woman dubbed “an old bag” by the British press. In 2023, he accused Camilla of getting “into bed with the devil” to get favorable press coverage by leaking private conversations to the media. “That made her dangerous,” he said, adding, “And with a family built on hierarchy, and with her on the way to being queen consort, there was gonna be … bodies left in the street.”

Kate Middleton

Kate middleton
(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

According to Paul Burrell, her late mother-in-law Diana’s butler and confidant, Princess Kate is a team player. “William and Kate do as much for themselves as possible,” he says of the pair, wed since 2011. “They borrow staff from the king when necessary but they enjoy family time the best of all, even cooking meals for the family.”

The 42-year-old has been undergoing preventative chemotherapy for an undisclosed cancer, but is still trying to hold on to tradition. On May 2, the photography buff released a sweet snap of daughter Charlotte to celebrate her 9th birthday, just a week after sharing a shot of youngest son Louis for his 6th birthday. (Future king George is 10.) In March, she had to apologize for digitally altering a shot of her with the kids.

Even during this difficult period — the princess’ last public engagement was at Christmastime and updates on her health are rare — she’s had to face renewed allegations that William stepped out on her with neighbor and good friend Rose Hanbury. Things got so bad that Rose’s attorneys had to issue a statement calling the rumors of an affair “completely false.”

Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson
(Photo by Gareth Fuller – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“I married into the royal family in 1986 and that was an immense honor but it also came with pressures of being in the public eye,” Sarah Ferguson, wed to Prince Andrew until 1996, said last year. “I struggled with that at times.”

Indeed, the 64-year-old, who disclosed last year she’d undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer and is currently battling skin cancer, has been involved in numerous scandals that riled the royal family. Perhaps the worst was in 2010, when she was caught on camera offering access to Andrew to an undercover reporter posing as an Indian businessman for $625K. She’s also been linked to the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who reportedly helped pay off her debts.

No wonder she seems to have a soft spot for rogue royals Harry and Meghan. “I don’t believe in judging anyone,” she’s said. “I would just ask for a little more kindness.”

Princess Diana

Princess Diana
(Getty Images)

They are all outsiders marrying into the family. You can add Diana to that list,” Paul Burrell, Diana’s former butler, tells Closer. “They were all thrown in at the deep end and had to survive but were given limited instruction or guidance.”

No one knows this more acutely than Meghan Markle, the divorced, biracial American actress who married Prince Harry in 2018. The mom of two has said the royal family failed to protect her from attacks in the press and one member even speculated about her future child’s skin color while she was pregnant.

Now that the 42-year-old and Harry have defected to California, the pettiness continues. Days after the former Suits star debuted jam from her new American Riviera Orchard lifestyle brand, the shop at Buckingham Palace seemed to shade her by posting a clip of its own preserves “made using only the finest berries.”