From the U.S. sex abuse court case facing son Prince Andrew to her grandson Prince Harry and his wife's allegations of racism in the royal household, rarely has the family of 95-year-old Elizabeth, who became queen on Feb. 6, 1952, faced such scrutiny and damaging headlines.
Such is the depth of respect for the queen that while she lives, the institution that goes back nearly 1,000 years looks safe. What comes next is less certain.
Supporters see the queen as a stabilising factor, and cite economic benefits the monarchy brings Britain through tourism.
Opponents argue the institution is a bastion of undeserved privilege, partially funded by taxpayers and undermined by some members' behaviour.
"I despise that idea (of Charles being king)," 20-year-old Windsor resident Margaux Butler told Reuters.
"I don't mind the royal family in general but I think he's a bit controversial and I think a lot of younger people feel the same."