1993: remember, you read it here first (8): Independent on Sunday writers look ahead to a turbulent year in which they foresee scandal, revelation and controversy in Britain and around the world: Annus horribilis with nobs on

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The Independent Online
The Queen Will look back on this year's annus horribilis as an idyll compared to the disasters that await her accident-prone family in 1993.

The Charles and Diana camps will continue to snipe at each other through the media, unveiling muckier and muckier secrets, including eventually the full Camilla tapes which will be seriously damaging.

The Prince's party will retaliate with more Squidgy tapes so that by year's end the reputations of both the Waleses will be in tatters, and the public will agree, even if he does not, that Prince Charles can never become King. Prince Edward will be embroiled in both sexual and financial scandals, and Fergie will make increasingly desperate attempts to rehabilitate her image, which will all backfire.

The only good news among the younger members of the family is that the Princess Royal will have a baby, and Prince Andrew will manage to keep his nose clean all year.

But the real disaster will be of the Queen's own making. She will unveil her tax plans and they will be seen as a clever bit of creative accounting designed to keep her just as rich as before.

At this point, the rage of the public will know no bounds, and the tabloids will no longer maintain their cordon sanitaire round the monarch, so that scandals concerning Prince Philip could emerge and Kitty Kelley will rush forward publication of her biography.

The Royal Family will also be beset by genuine accidents, even worse than the Windsor fire, and at least one death, not necessarily the Queen Mother's.

The Government, too, will be rocked by scandals, affecting almost every member of the Cabinet including the Prime Minister. Some of the scandals will be sexual, some financial, but they will all be indicative of a party that has been in power so long it has grown careless and no longer even bothers to cover its tracks.

This continuing run of political revelations will make it impossible for the Government to introduce any law curbing press freedom, since it would be seen as an attempt to save its own skin. It will also make it very difficult for John Major to protect the Queen, as he would wish to, but he will at least install a proper Press Officer - possibly a newly ennobled Lord Ingham - at Buckingham Palace.

With so many genuine royal and political shockers to cover, the tabloids will have hardly any space left for showbiz scandals, but the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow case will continue to consume many column inches and there will be some juicy new Michael Jackson revelations.

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