20 Best Royal Family Moments of 2017: Prince Harry’s Engagement to Meghan Markle and More!
By Rachel McRady
The British monarchy had a banner year in 2017! Not only were there plenty of royal tours, appearances and charity events, but there were also some touching moments in the Windsor family’s personal lives. Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle, getting many excited for a 2018 royal wedding!
And Kensington Palace also confirmed that Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their third child next April.
From milestone anniversaries to a new royal pregnancy to the engagement news that shook the world, here’s what Kate, William, Harry and more were up to this year:
1. Jamaica Us Crazy!
Prince Harry and Markle attended the Jamaica wedding of one of Harry’s best friends together. The event was a big step forward for the couple, who had been dating less than a year at the time. They were even spotted getting cozy at the event.
2. Milestone Paris Trip
In March, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Paris for the first time since the death of Princess Diana 20 years ago. Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris in August 1997. The couple appeared to be in good spirits as they visited the Eiffel Tower, posing for photos together in front of the iconic landmark.
3. Prince Harry Opens Up
In a rare tell-all interview on Bryony Gordon’s podcast, Harry revealed that he went to therapy after two years of “total chaos” in his 20s. "I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had quite a serious effect on not only my personal life, but also my work as well," he confessed. "My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum because why would that help?” He went public with the information in an effort to promote mental health awareness.
4. Gaga for the Royals
A Lady and a Prince! Lady Gaga and Prince William shared a special FaceTime message promoting mental health awareness in April. William called Gaga’s work in mental health “incredibly moving and very brave."
The Duke and Duchess are delighted to share a new photograph of Princess Charlotte to mark her second birthday tomorrow 🎈 pic.twitter.com/0Xftc3EFPz
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 1, 2017
5. Princess Charlotte Turns 2, Remains Adorable
The youngest royal celebrated her second birthday with a precious portrait. The photo, which features Charlotte in a cute knitted sweater, was taken at the family’s home in Norfolk, England.
A new portrait of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, painted in the year of his retirement from public engagements, has been released today. pic.twitter.com/HX733sCarR
After more than seven decades of public service, 96-year-old Prince Philip announced his decision this past spring to retire from his public engagements – with the full backing of his wife, of course. He attended his last event in the fall.
7. It’s Pippa’s Turn!
Kate’s younger sister, Pippa Middleton, went from the world’s most famous bridesmaid to a bride herself in May, tying the knot with James Matthews in Englefield, England. And while everyone gushed over the bride’s gown and Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s adorable outfits, it was Markle’s appearance at the reception with Prince Harry that had everyone buzzing.
8. Trooping the Colour (Pink!)
As Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 91st birthday with her annual Trooping the Colour parade, Kate and Princess Charlotte stole the spotlight with their matching pink looks as they greeted the public from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
9. Prince William Breaks Protocol
Some things are more important than protocol. While visiting with victims of the horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London, Prince William hugged a woman desperate to find her missing husband. Traditionally members of the public are only allowed to shake hands with the royals.
10. Royal Tour of Poland and Germany
Sure, they didn’t attend most of the official events, but Prince George and Princess Charlotte still managed to get all of the attention as they touched down in the two countries. Charlotte even had her own mini-tarmac tantrum just like her older brother.
11. Royal Safari
It may not have been a royal tour, but things certainly felt official when Prince Harry took Markle to South Africa for a birthday safari trip. Africa is a special place for the pair, who spent their first trip together in Botswana.
Little man! For his fourth birthday, Prince George looked all grown up in his sweet official portrait. The photo featured George in a striped button-down shirt and was taken at Kensington Palace.
13. Princess Diana: Gone but Not Forgotten
For the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, the royals remembered the late Princess of Wales in a big way. There were countless documentaries, including one featuring Harry and William talking openly about their mother. They also visited her memorial garden in remembrance of the tragic date.
14. Baby No. 3!
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are officially preparing to welcome a new sibling! Kate and William announced they are expecting their third child, also revealing that Kate was once again struggling with acute morning sickness.
Markle finally broke her silence about her romance with Prince Harry in a Vanity Fair cover story. The former Suits star dished, “I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple. We’re two people who are really happy and in love.”
16. First Day Jitters
Prince George looked a bit nervous on his first day of school at Thomas’s Battersea. And it makes sense! His mom was unable to be there for the milestone day due to her morning sickness. Prince William accompanied his son to school, where he was greeted by the head of the facility.
17. Invictus Games
After Markle got candid about their romance in Vanity Fair, she and Prince Harry had nothing to hide later that month when they attended the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. The two refused to hide their PDA, and no one was complaining!
To mark The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh's 70th Wedding Anniversary, new photographic portraits have been released worldwide. pic.twitter.com/Jl6elndhFe
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrated 70 years of marriage in November with a beautiful portrait. The pair posed in front of paintings of Thomas Gainsborough's 1781 portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte, who were married for 57 years. Amateurs.
19. It’s Official!
Prince Harry and Markle announced their engagement in late November, several weeks after the proposal took place. The couple got the blessing of the queen and Markle’s parents and quickly revealed they would be tying the knot next May. Later that day, they sat down for an official interview, where they revealed they’ve been enjoying a mostly private romance for more than a year after being set up on a blind date. Markle’s engagement ring, which Harry designed himself, features two diamonds from Princess Diana’s personal collection.
20. A United Front
The newly engaged couple attended their first official event together in Nottingham, England, in December. They greeted the massive crowds at the Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair. In a statement, the Palace noted that Prince Harry was “looking forward to introducing Ms. Markle to a community that has become very special to him."
For more on the recent royal engagement, watch the clip below!