7 most romantic royal moments ever
The Royal Family are known to be relatively formal, with the public only getting glimpses of what their lives and relationships are really like behind closed doors.
These moments of revelation have even sometimes been controversial, because we are so used to seeing only their public faces.
For Valentine's Day, Yahoo UK looks at special, shocking and unusual times the public has seen into the inner world of royal romance.
1. Charles and Camilla’s secret phone call
What started as a leaked phone call — and invasion of privacy — has ended up being seen by some as one of the most intimate royal moments in recent decades, even though it’s been given the decidedly unromantic nickname of ‘Tampongate’.
In 1993, a phone call between Charles and Camilla was leaked to the press, just three months after his public separation from Diana, Princess of Wales.
The phone call itself had taken place in 1989, and was intercepted by an amateur radio enthusiast, who recorded it.
After Charles and Diana's separation was made public, the person who had recorded it sold it to the press, and the six-minute phone call would rock the public perception of Charles given its intimate nature.
In the call Charles told Camilla how much he "needs" her and that it would "be easier" if he lived “in her trousers”.
"Oh, God. I'll just live inside your trousers or something. It would be much easier!" the then Prince of Wales said to his long-time lover.
Read more: Camilla to wear Queen Mary’s crown for coronation
Camilla lightheartedly replied: "What are you going to turn into, a pair of knickers? Oh, you're going to come back as a pair of knickers."
To which Charles responded, "Or, God forbid, a Tampax. Just my luck!"
At the time, awareness of Charles and Camilla's affair was already in the public sphere, but this revealing snapshot into their private romance was unprecedented.
Dominic West — who played Prince Charles in season five of The Crown — summed up how public sentiment has shifted on this moment.
"My memory of it is that it was sort of filthy and dirty and really embarrassing," West said. "But actually, in the playing of it, it was much more like two middle-aged lovers being sweet to each other."
Watch: Tampongate - the real impact of Charles and Camilla's six-minute phone call
2. Mike and Zara's reunion after he left the jungle
Mike Tindall's recent appearance in the jungle for I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! was pretty polarising, with some criticism levied at the married-in royal and former international rugby player for taking part in the ITV show.
However, he won over many viewers with his candid reaction to ex-health secretary Matt Hancock, and his openness about life behind closed doors is really like in the Royal Family.
After taking part in the show Tindall admitted on Good Morning Britain that the "hardest" thing about being on the show was spending time away from his wife and kids, and that the letter Zara had written to him while he was away had brought those emotions "to the surface".
Read more: What's next for Harry and Meghan?
"Originally, she wasn't going to write me the note because I carry them quite close to the surface anyway and I try and put, in that situation, emotions down below."
❤️ Reunited ❤️ pic.twitter.com/6m33l85Jr7
— Mike Tindall (@miketindall13) November 26, 2022
The couple's reunion on the bridge of the I'm a Celebrity camp showed just how much the pair had missed each other: Tindall's face broke into a wide grin as he spotted his wife approaching him, before he wrapped her in a massive hug and could be heard saying to her: "I missed you so much."
3. Princess Beatrice’s intimate wedding
Princess Beatrice got married to her long-term partner Edoardo Mopelli Mozzi in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, after he proposed with a custom engagement ring which jewellery expert Mike Shotton, from Acotis Diamonds, tells Yahoo UK may well have taken "inspiration" from Queen Elizabeth's own ring.
Social distancing restrictions were still in place when Beatrice and Edoardo tied the knot, and Cynthia Grafton-Holt — a wedding expert and custom bridal dress designer — calls it "one of the most romantic and intimate royal weddings to ever take place".
Grafton-Holt, speaking to Yahoo UK, explains how difficult it was for brides during the pandemic and how deciding whether to go ahead with their wedding days or wait indefinitely for restrictions to be lifted was a period "fraught with anxiety, disappointment and the pressures that are part of the course when planning a wedding."
"This was not the dream-wedding day [Beatrice and Edoardo] dreamt of when they initially decided to take the plunge and ‘tie the knot,'" Grafton-Holt says. "And a small-scale wedding was in no way representative of the status of royal weddings as we know it.
“But it appears they reached the point where they both rediscovered the real reason they were getting married was less about the aesthetics of the wedding and solely about the fact that they loved each other."
This focus on close family and the commitment they were making to each other made Princess Beatrice's wedding one of the most romantic royal weddings to date, with their "out-of-the-box thinking" being something Grafton-Holt salutes the couple for.
Read more: Prince Harry details argument with Meghan in book: 'I spoke to her harshly, cruelly'
"Hats off to them for recognising and embracing the thought that love was the most important value they shared and that anything else was secondary and therefore negotiable.
"With the weight of pleasing others removed, every hint of despair was banished and love ruled," adds Grafton-Holt. "Their wedding became a game-changer."
4. Kate and William's trip down memory lane
The Prince and Princess of Wales had a refreshingly normal love story — one that is recognisable to many people around the country.
The pair met at the University of St. Andrew's as undergraduates in 2001, and after initially becoming friends, a romance eventually blossomed between them.
They have enjoyed over the years many of the same landmarks as other couples – even at one point taking time away from each other before eventually coming back together.
Read more: Princess Diana's famous Victor Edelstein dress sells for £500k
In 2021, William and Kate returned to their old stomping ground of St. Andrews as part of a tour of Scotland. The last time they had visited the area had been in the run-up to their 2011 wedding.
While they took part in an array of the usual royal engagements – meeting current students, planting a tree and land-yachting across the beach – they also took some private time to enjoy being back together where their romance first started.
The couple made time for a date night at Forgan's – a contemporary fine dining restaurant – which is a far cry from their student years, when it was understood that Pizza Express was their regular haunt.
William and Kate sat at the back of the restaurant for privacy, and the manager at the time was quoted by the Evening Standard as saying: "There was no pomp and ceremony or fanfare, they were very nice and when they left they were very complimentary."
5. Harry leaving the Royal Family behind to protect his wife
Harry and Meghan's decision to step back from life as senior royals created an international shockwave, with the couple even being accused of "blindsiding" the late Queen with the public statement they released which announced they were going to be doing things their own way going forward.
Behind closed doors, we now know, the Sussexes had been going through turmoil, as Meghan struggled to get used to the intense scrutiny that came with life in the Royal Family.
In their recent Netflix documentary, viewers were treated to never-before-seen insight into the early days of their romance — and the more detail was also as to why they came to the decision to step back in Harry's memoir Spare.
Read more: Kate reveals the surprising way she 'squeezes in' exercise with her children
While the couple's popularity has somewhat diminished in the UK since they moved to California, one thing’s for sure: giving up the only life you've ever known to make the woman you love happy is pretty romantic.
6. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's Golden Wedding Anniversary
All in all, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip enjoyed an impressive 73 years together, until his death in 2021, but it was their 50th wedding anniversary which saw the late monarch make the kind of tribute to her husband that will go down in the history books.
She said in a speech, in 1997, at a lunch that marked the special occasion in Banqueting House, that Philip was her "strength and stay".
"All too often, I fear, Prince Philip has had to listen to me speaking. Frequently we have discussed my intended speech beforehand and, as you will imagine, his views have been expressed in a forthright manner," the Queen said in her speech.
"He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."
The touching tribute to her other half has often been quoted since by her family members.
7. William and Kate trek to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
In 2016, five years after their marriage and after the births of their two eldest children George and Charlotte, William and Kate went on a week-long royal tour of India and Bhutan.
Whilst they were there in the midst of full-on public engagements, the couple took some time for themselves to enjoy their surroundings.
Well-known to be outdoorsy and love sport, the couple embarked on a three-hour trek to Bhutan's Tiger's Nest Monastery.
In stunning scenery, William and Kate were seen at a distance wrapping their arms around each other and holding hands as they made their way to the 17th century monastery which is situated 10,000ft above sea level.
When they arrived they joked with the press about the hike through the mountains, with William noting it was "tough on the way up" and Kate joking that it was a good way to "burn off the curry".