Oh, the poor Queen. After a dismal week, during which her annual lunch for her extended family and her usual festive migration to Sandringham, was axed and a dismal month, during which her son and heir's cash-for-honours scandal hotted up – she's received more bad news.
This also comes after a dismal year, which saw her lose her husband of 73 years and watch the institution she has devoted her life to, be eviscerated in front of a global TV audience of 60 million,
Overnight it was revealed that her granddaughter-in-law and bane of ardent monarchists everywhere Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex could get caught up in the legal quagmire surrounding Prince Andrew with lawyers for the royal's accuser now saying they are considering deposing her.
Earlier this year, former teen sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre (nee Roberts) alleged in court documents filed in New York that she had been forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions, starting when she was 17-years-old.
The prince has strenuously denied her claims.
Now, in a new interview with The Daily Beast, David Boies, the lawyer acting for Giuffre has said that their side is considering called the actress-turned-HRH as a witness for a number of reasons.
"One; she is in the US so we have jurisdiction over her," Boies explained. "Two; she is somebody who obviously, at least for a period of time, was a close associate of Prince Andrew and hence is in a position to perhaps have seen what he did, and perhaps if not to have seen what he did to have heard people talk about it.
"Because of her past association with him, she may very well have important knowledge, and will certainly have some knowledge.
"Three; she is somebody who we can count on to tell the truth. She checks all three boxes."
Hear that? That was the Queen throwing her glass of lemon barley water (what with her having given up her daily libation of gin) at a Gainsborough-covered wall.
If there was one person whom Her Majesty would likely not want spilling the beans about the inner workings of Windsor life, it would have to be the malcontent Duchess of Sussex who along with her husband is shaping up as the 21st century equivalents of Oliver Cromwell.
While at first glance the idea that Meghan, a committed lifelong advocate for gender equality, would have had much to do with the man nicknamed Randy Andy thanks to his series of "romantic" (cough) conquests, then think again. It was the former Suits star herself who has openly spoken about spending time with the now-disgraced Duke.
It was on her way to Andrew and Fergie's Windsor home, the 30-room home Royal Lodge, when Meghan learned she was about to meet the Queen for the first time and had to Google how to curtsy, she revealed during the Sussexes' bombshell TV interview earlier this year. (The less said about that absolutely ludicrous curtsying situation, the better.)
Speaking to Oprah, the Duchess said: "We were going for lunch at Royal Lodge, which is where some other members of the family live, specifically Andrew and Fergie, and Eugenie and Beatrice would spend a lot of time there. Eugenie and I had known each other before I knew Harry," she told the talk show supremo.
Later, when Harry and Meghan arrived at the vast pile, "Fergie ran out and said, 'Are you ready? Do you know how to curtsy? Oh, my goodness, you guys'."
(That, for the couple, having lunch with the Yorks was a seemingly par-for-the course outing came as a jaw-dropping surprise then and still registers as a befuddling 'huh' now, to me anyway.)
So, let's review here.
We have Meghan, a woman who clearly feels like she and her children have been wronged by both an ancient institution and an insular, unfeeling family, a woman who spent time with Andrew and was a part of the inner royal circle for more than two years, about to potentially find herself compelled under oath to start spilling the beans, all the beans and nothing but the beans?
Dialling up the worry for courtiers and the house of Windsor here is that Meghan's tenacious pursuit of the Mail on Sunday through the UK courts is testament to her titanium backbone when it comes to doing what she thinks is right – legally and morally.
Your Majesty – it might be time to crack out the Tanqueray. You know that big bottle you have been keeping for a special occasion. You could be about to need it, very badly indeed.
Boies also revealed he has his eyes on others in the royal orbit to potentially call as witnesses, including both Prince Charles and Andrew's ex-wife and permanent housemate Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
"We would likely take one or two depositions of people close to Andrew who would have knowledge of his actions. That might include his ex-wife. It could possibly be his brother," he told the Beast.
Previously, the lawyer has also said he could consider calling Andrew and Fergie's daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, as witnesses.
(It's worth keeping in mind that Giuffre's legal bigwigs would need the British courts to approve these interviews, while Meghan – as an American citizen – is legally required to co-operate.)
Still, even if it is only Meghan who ends up being deposed, this could still be a nightmarish turn of events for the Queen, as the legal heat intensifies on her irksome, doltish son. (The most recent poll of support for the royal family in the UK has 10 per cent of the UK population approving of Andrew, a figure I find shockingly high.)
Not only is the 95-year-old footing the bill for Andrew's defence (which has so far deployed the repugnant tactic of trying to cast Giuffre as motivated by greed and attempting to include a reference to her as a "money hungry sex kitten" in their legal documents) but she is also being forced to watch the monarchy suffer very serious collateral damage as the case drags on.
(That said, I don't have a huge amount of sympathy for her here given she has allowed this deplorable Andrew situation to drag on for years, has seemingly tried to shield him despite the severity of the allegations and that despite Andrew stepping down as a working member of the royal family, she has allowed him to keep his plum post as colonel of the Grenadier Guards. Badly done Ma'am. Very badly done.)
The timing of the Boies news, and Meghan potentially being interviewed, is disastrous.
After two calamitous years, the palace is preparing to swing into action for Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee year in 2022, a celebration to mark not only her 70 years on the throne but which will hopefully rejuvenate and revitalise the image of the Windsors and the crown.
For now, the Queen is preparing to spend Christmas at Windsor Castle with, most likely, who else but Andrew along with Prince Edward's family.
I bet I know what the Duke of York has asked Santa for this year: On January 4, the New York court will hear the motion filed by Andrew's lawyers for the case to be dismissed.
While we just have to wait to find out the outcome of that hearing, in the meantime, I'm pretty sure we can all agree that all the unemployed 61-year-old deserves in his stocking this year is coal.
• Daniela Elser is a royal expert and a writer with more than 15 years experience working with a number of Australia's leading media titles.