2017 in Review: Royal Event Highlights

Let’s kick off a series of end of the year highlight posts with a recap of some big moments from the royals I’ve covered here in 2017.

Birthdays

There were several royals celebrating milestone birthdays this year. King Willem-Alexander celebrated his 50th birthday over three days at the end of April. Most of the celebrations were private, but the King and Queen brought their three daughters to the King’s Day (Koningsdag) events in Tilburg.

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King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway both turned 80 years old this year (on February 21 and July 4, respectively). They celebrated jointly in May, with a tiara-filled dinner on day 1 and a black tie government dinner on day 2.

Royals at Norway 80th birthday celebrations
[Thomas Brun, NTB scanpix]

Crown Princess Victoria‘s birthday celebrations in July are public every year, but this year, when she turned 40 years old, the celebrations were extended over two days – with a Te Deum and carriage procession in Stockholm and the annual concert in Öland on day 1, and greeting the public outside Solliden Palace on day 2.

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Anniversaries

August 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and so this summer became the Summer of Diana, when there were a bunch of new interviews and documentaries related to Diana’s life and death. Prince William and Prince Harry were a driving force in the public remembrance of their mother, giving multiple interviews about her and having KP issue a statement about her grave re-dedication. Then, on August 30, William and Harry, along with The Duchess of Cambridge, visited the White Garden at Kensington Palace to honor Diana’s memory.

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In November, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary by releasing a series of portraits and having a big family dinner at Windsor Castle.

Births & Christenings

On August 31, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia welcomed their second child, whom they named Prince Gabriel.

Prince Gabriel Sept 2017
[Prince Carl Philip]

On December 1, Gabriel was christened at the Royal Chapel at Drottningholm Palace.

Prince Family Prince Gabriel's Christening cs
[SVT]

Pregnancy Announcements

On August 27, the Swedish court announced that Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill are expecting their third child, due in March 2018.

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A week later, on September 4, Kensington Palace announced that Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, due in April 2018.

Kate meets people in train carriage s
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

Engagements

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on November 27.

Cambridge Family

For the first time, Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen for Easter service at St. George’s Chapel in April on this year.

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Also in April, the Royal Trio’s Heads Together campaign ramped up – they released their very own #OkToSay video, and William and Kate stopped by BBC Radio 1 for an interview. The campaign culminated with the London Marathon, at which William, Kate, and Harry began the race and did Heads Together stuff. The trio’s involvement in the Heads Together campaign has mostly fallen off a cliff since the campaign was supposed to end at the London Marathon, but they decided to keep it going because of the positive response. We’ll see what happens with it in the future.

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Kate gave her second ever sit down interview since her marriage this year. She spoke with Sue Barker for the BBC documentary Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon, which aired in July, about how Wimbledon is a “quintessential part of the English summer”, her first time at Wimbledon when she was a child, and how she was bummed that she couldn’t watch Andy Murray win in 2013 because she was pregnant with George.

Kate Middleton Wimbledon interview 2 s
[BBC]

Kate gave six speeches this year – four ‘official’ speeches where she was reading off a piece of paper, and two where she addressed the crowd without reading off a piece of paper.

Kate’s first speech was a joint one with William and Harry back in January for Heads Together. Kate then gave a solo speech in February to kick off Children’s Mental Health Week. Then in March, Kate gave a speech about motherhood for an engagement related to Best Beginnings and Heads Together. Kate’s next speech came in November at the Place2Be School Leaders Forum.

At the end of November, Kate visited Robin Hood Primary School to celebrate 10 years of the Campaign for School Gardening where she addressed the crowd for a short speech, only occasionally looking at a notecard. Then in December, Kate visited the Rugby Portobello Trust where she addressed the crowd for a mini speech without looking at any notecards.

Kate gives speech at Place2Be Forum c
[Place2Be]

In September, Prince George started big kid school at Thomas’s Battersea. Unfortunately, William took George to school solo because Kate had to bow out due to pregnancy sickness.

Prince George first day of school cs
[Chris Jackson]

Other

Both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are getting on in years, and their age is starting to show. In May, Buckingham Palace announced Philip’s retirement from public engagements, which started in the Autumn of this year. And in November, both The Queen and Philip watched the Remembrance Sunday service from the balcony while Prince Charles placed HM’s wreath and an equerry placed Philip’s wreath at the Cenotaph.

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In less saddening highlights from HM, I got a kick out of seeing her feed animals this year. In April, HM fed an elephant at the Centre for Elephant Care at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, and in October HM fed a horse when she visited visited The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment at Hyde Park Barracks.

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Queen Elizabeth II feeds horse Oct 2017 s
[The Royal Family @RoyalFamily]

After postponing the Spanish State Visit to the UK twice, King Felipe and Queen Letizia finally made it to the UK in July, offering up some amazing fashion and jewelry from Letizia…

Felipe, Letizia with Queen, Philip at State Banquet UK State Visit 2017 cs
[Casa de S.M. el Rey]

And from Princess Anne, who went Full Princess on Day 2 of the State Visit.

Felipe, Letizia Guildhall banquet UK State Visit Day 2 5 cs
[Casa de S.M. el Rey]

This State Visit also offered up the second Banquet appearance from William and Kate…

Kate at State Banquet UK State Visit 2017 2 s

And the first from Harry.

William, Harry at State Banquet UK State Visit 2017

53 Comments on 2017 in Review: Royal Event Highlights

  1. Patricia
    December 28, 2017 at 12:35 am (7 months ago)

    What a fun recap, thanks kmr!

  2. Ellie
    December 28, 2017 at 1:10 am (7 months ago)

    That picture of George and William, ah, George is so cute!

    Thanks KMR. You are the best. I hope you had a wonderful holiday and have a great new year. Thanks for all you do! <3

  3. Future Crayon
    December 28, 2017 at 3:55 am (7 months ago)

    Thanks for a great recap of 2017, KMR! Fingers crossed 2018 brings an end to royal ladies being drowned in those flouncy, frumporama, grandma’s-sofa-pattern floral dresses.

  4. Emily
    December 28, 2017 at 4:00 am (7 months ago)

    What do do you think about harrys radio stint i dont understand why with all the talk about young leaders didnt he make the show about them he could’ve got young people who have started mental health inicitives on or have started campains but instead we got obama mainly talking about himself seemed like a waste of time I wish he would stop going on about how bad social media and shown the positive side of it when used for mental illness YouTube has some great resources and bloggers

    • Msthang
      December 29, 2017 at 5:46 am (7 months ago)

      Emily, me thinks he worships the former President!!

    • jenny
      January 2, 2018 at 10:14 am (7 months ago)

      Well, the Obamas have a great public relations team. They are all over the place here in the States. Harry should steer clear of politics. I agree with you in the type of people he could have interviewed.
      There are some great things that the Obamas achieved and some not go great. Sorry, not political, just saying a fact that is in my mind. I really think Harry should have talked to someone who is working hard on one of his initiatives.

  5. Lisa (aust)
    December 28, 2017 at 4:07 am (7 months ago)

    Princess Anne really did look Full Princess at the banquet. I imagine if a child had to pick a princess from a line up of the royal family she’d go for Anne. The baptisms are always glorious occasions too.

  6. Kimothy
    December 28, 2017 at 8:24 am (7 months ago)

    Thanks for the recaps and all that you do, KMR! I can already tell that 2018 is going to be an amazing year for the BRF! A wedding, a birth (maybe more? I’m hoping!), a baptism, two milestone birthdays (Beatrice is turning 30 and Charles is turning 70). Bring it on! 🙂

    P.S. I mailed out the Christmas cards and I’ll keep you posted on any responses I might in the coming months.

    P.P.S. Felipe and Letizia look insanely fantastic all dolled up as does Anne!

    • Ulla
      December 28, 2017 at 12:06 pm (7 months ago)

      Kimorhy, i am very interested on any response you get from yout very thoughtful cards. Do keep us posted!

      • Kimothy
        December 28, 2017 at 12:24 pm (7 months ago)

        Ulla,

        You know I will! 🙂

    • Cathy
      December 28, 2017 at 9:49 pm (7 months ago)

      If you are sucessful and get some answers then you must do it earlier (like maybe early November) so they get there in time for Christmas?

      I’ll be interested to see if you get any responses.

      BTW did you send one to Charlene?

      Oh, and how was Missy after she hadn’t seen you for a while?

      • Kimothy
        December 29, 2017 at 5:28 am (7 months ago)

        Yeah, I know but this was my first time. No, I didn’t but I’ll remember for next year!

        Thank you for asking about my fur baby! She was a bit overwhelmed at first like, “oh, I used to live here?” but now that it’s just the two of us again, she’s fine. Mom and Dad brought her with their hyper-active, 2-year-old, Jack Russell Terrier who is a sweetie but has way too much energy hence why it took her a while to adapt.

  7. jenny
    December 28, 2017 at 10:05 am (7 months ago)

    Such a nice way to come to the close of the year. Thank you, KMR. For all you do.

    I loved so many of the photos. George with his dad on the first day of school! How cute!
    HM feeding the horse and the elephant. Delightful!
    Leti, in the red gown and the blue one, too. Stunning.
    The unfortunate way that the vine and flower seem to be part of Kate’s evening look at the banquet. Major interference for the tiara and most unfortunate!
    I will always remember quite fondly the mini tantrum that Kate adeptly handled when Charlotte was on the tarmac at one of the airports during the family’s visit to Belgium and Germany. It made Charlotte seem even more adorable to me. She’s spunky, that one!

    Happy New Year.

  8. Fifi
    December 28, 2017 at 10:48 am (7 months ago)

    Thank you so much, KMR, and all the commenters for another year of fun, fashion, frivolity, and some serious history lessons, and sobering reminders about all our interconnected lives.

  9. Ulla
    December 28, 2017 at 12:03 pm (7 months ago)

    Thanks you, KMR and the members who make up this wonderful place. I’ve been a reader for two and a half years and not only was this site for members who graciously shared their opinions, but also the substance and history they have supported their opinions with.
    I wish the international press focused more on the SRF!
    Love Leti, for sure.
    Respectfully, Ulla.

  10. Candice
    December 28, 2017 at 12:05 pm (7 months ago)

    Personally, for me, the biggest event of this year’s royal watching was the announcement of Emperor Akihito’s abdication announcement. It will take place in 2019 but still it was a big announcement.
    Switching subjects now. Letizia looked fabulous in that blue gown! Her style game was so strong this year. She displaces my last year’s winner CP Mary as best dressed female royal of 2017!

  11. Sarah
    December 28, 2017 at 12:09 pm (7 months ago)

    I love the Queen (well any royal) and animal pics! The one with the elephant is lovely! Seeing her excitement over the cows is still one of my fav Queen moments!
    Kate surpassed my speech expectation. I think in the poll a said she would do the option that had two in it. The only way for her to get better with public speaking is by actually doing more of it. This is one area where I’ll give her credit- not only did she do more the content of her speeches improved as well. Now if only she would wear her up or not move it so much becuase it’s distracting. She’d also improve immensely if we could all understand most of what she has to say =)
    I loved Letiza in her blue and red dress!! 😍
    Thanks for the recap and all the hard work you put into your blog

  12. Laura
    December 28, 2017 at 12:36 pm (7 months ago)

    Thank you KMR, for all the hard work and dedication you put into this blog. This has been a busy year and I have always come here for news about the Royals.
    The photo of HM with the horse and the other photo of the elephant were my personal favourites. The photo of William and George. So cute and a little personality from George coming through. I also enjoyed the Spanish Royal visit and Queen Letizia looked lovely.

    Princess Anne in full princess dress looks very different and it is not often we are given the glimpse of Anne. I wonder how long her hair really is. We don’t see much of the Dutch Royals with their family and it is good to see how the girls are progressing.

    The Swedes and their baby sashes. So cute and more to come next year along with Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

  13. aaa
    December 28, 2017 at 1:18 pm (7 months ago)

    <3 the Swedish Royal Family picture for Victoria's birthday, Madeleine and Chris' side of the picture looks a little bare without their kids.

    Awww at that picture of Gabriel, he looks so snug and I just want to run my fingers over the fabric of that blanket. On a side note, I am perplexed when people talk about not seeing pictures of his face.

    I did not write it at the time, but I had a mixed reaction to the anniversary picture of the Queen and Prince Philip. I like the Queen's dress but I don't like Philip's mismatched suit, I guess this was a foreshadow of the Harry and Meghan engagement photo. I don't like the Queen's Georgian cosplay hairstyle when she does not have a hat or tiara plonked on her head.

    The picture with William and George is adorbs!

    Adding on to pictures of the Queen with animals, this is the Queen and a Shetland pony who tried to eat her flowers:
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/07/05/19/420D628C00000578-4667448-image-m-26_1499278483632.jpg
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f4/3a/bd/f43abd2de94aa8a8976584cb14180e4a.jpg
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4671704/Queen-tells-naughty-Shetland-pony-Stirling-Castle.html

  14. JET Texas
    December 28, 2017 at 2:14 pm (7 months ago)

    Off topic, but the American media is at it again. I wonder if Jason was behind this. In order to prop up Kate, he has to put B&E down, because he can’t put Meghan down, at least not yet. So now they are creating this false narrative that it is Kate and Meghan vs Beatrice and Eugenie. I know this is a fluff piece and I should ignore it, but it makes me upset. I really feel for those two. They are always the whipping girls for the “younger” royals, always paying for the sins of their parents. No mention of the stories where Kate was mean to them (the fashion show incident and the “costume” party). For those outside the US, this is the kind of story our gossip mags run. Always pro Kate, or showing Kate as a victim. But usually in contrast to someone else.

    Why does the media always have to portray women as either best friends or mortal enemies? This narrative is tiresome, demeaning, and often wrong.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/whats-hot/exclusive-the-biggest-royal-family-feud-ever/ar-BBHqZjw?li=BBnb7Kz

    • aaa
      December 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm (7 months ago)

      The source of this story is a trashy Australian tabloid, it is not credible and I doubt that a real “palace insider” would talk to this publication.

      • Amanda
        December 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm (7 months ago)

        Was just about to post the same thing – AU Woman’s Day is a rag. What a load of hogwash!

        • Cathy
          December 28, 2017 at 9:51 pm (7 months ago)

          New Idea isn’t much better either.

    • Kimothy
      December 28, 2017 at 3:03 pm (7 months ago)

      Oh for FS!! This is total BS! **boils in anger because the DM is going to probably take this cock-and-bull story and run with it**

    • Ellie
      December 28, 2017 at 4:53 pm (7 months ago)

      Despite it being from a tabloid and probably made up it goes with the Yorks = bad.

      I wonder if anyone would dare bring up how Kate was absolutely AWFUL to the York girls. Nah, Saint Kate would never, it’s B&E being awful.

      • Kimothy
        December 28, 2017 at 6:42 pm (7 months ago)

        Oh you know they’ve erased the “fancy dress/roller disco skating rink” episode that first revealed Kate’s true colors to me, Ellie. **rolls eyes at AU magazine for publishing that crap**

        • Ellie
          December 28, 2017 at 7:05 pm (7 months ago)

          Yup.

          Bullying another woman to make her cry says a lot about Kate I think. As does doing that kind of crap as an adult.

          • Kimothy
            December 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm (7 months ago)

            Kate was 26 and Bea was 19/20…..huge difference, not just in age but in what should be maturity!

            (Sorry but this kind of stuff (making B&E look bad in the press for no reason whatsoever, ignoring actual events, etc.) really irritates me.)

          • Ellie
            December 28, 2017 at 11:17 pm (7 months ago)

            Me too, I like B&E a lot. It’s irritating to see them trashed when they seem like very decent people.

          • jenny
            January 2, 2018 at 10:16 am (7 months ago)

            Kate was desperate to be engaged and was not a mature 26 year old, Kimothy. I agree with you that she should have been, but let’s face it, she was not. While I think she is a good mother, she is not actually a work horse in her mid – well, almost mid thirties. Maturity and Kate don’t seem to go hand in hand. She’s getting better, but…….

          • Kimothy
            January 2, 2018 at 10:56 am (7 months ago)

            True which make that 2008 episode with Beatrice look even worse.

        • Laura
          December 28, 2017 at 9:41 pm (7 months ago)

          Those photos surfaced again a couple of months ago on msn. I think it was.
          Beatrice and Eugenie do have holidays but considering the amount of unseen charity work plus any work they do during the week and needing to be available for official events I think that is ok in my opinion. Beatrice started working for her charities on her 18th Birthday.

          • Ellie
            December 28, 2017 at 11:17 pm (7 months ago)

            And a lot of Bea’s holidays were her boyfriend I think using her for connections and work related things for him. She’s well shot of that guy.

          • Laura
            December 29, 2017 at 12:41 pm (7 months ago)

            +1 Ellie.
            Beatrice was treated badly by DC. Next time lets hope for George Percy who is a bit older. Or a guy just nicer.
            Kimothy that is just terrible how Kate treated Beatrice. Those photos will keep being rolled out like they were when the engagement was announced. It was the bold colours that Kate wore that I couldn’t understand.

          • Kimothy
            December 29, 2017 at 12:43 pm (7 months ago)

            Agreed! Bea deserves a nice, decent guy!

        • G.
          December 29, 2017 at 9:09 am (7 months ago)

          I missed the fancy dress/roller disco skating rink story. Do tell.

          • Kimothy
            December 29, 2017 at 9:24 am (7 months ago)

            Kate had arranged a roller disco charity event. It was “fancy dress” (aka: costume) and Beatrice only found out about the event from someone else. She called up Kate, got an invite but Kate conveniently left out the costume part of it. When Beatrice arrived, Kate and company made fun of Bea for not dressing appropriately. Bea tried to confront Kate all evening until finally Kate blew up and dropped the F-bomb. Bea was so upset she fled to the ladies room and was found by a reporter who was there. The reporter then found out what happened.

    • Em
      December 28, 2017 at 6:07 pm (7 months ago)

      Oy vey. I know that B&E aren’t perfect (hello vacays!) and I know that it props up the narrative to make the heir’s family the best, but I’m so tired of this. It’s one of the things that I love about the blog— that there are factual sources, based on actual documented events, that balance the narratives.

  15. Amanda
    December 28, 2017 at 3:32 pm (7 months ago)

    Happy New Year, KMR! Looking forward to lots of royal news and excitement in the year to come. 🙂

  16. Meghan
    December 28, 2017 at 4:15 pm (7 months ago)

    It feels like some of these things were years ago and not just a few months. Man, time flies! Thanks for the hard work, boss. We appreciate it!

  17. BostonBrahmin
    December 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm (7 months ago)

    Thank you for putting this together KMR, your dedication to this site and now the MMR site is astounding! I hope you have a wonderful 2018!

  18. Em
    December 28, 2017 at 6:16 pm (7 months ago)

    What a fun, sparkly year! I loved the joint Norwegian birthday with so many royals all together, and Victoria’s birthday, and Felipe and Leti’s visit. And it was such a lovely and exciting year for the Queen and Prince Phillip. And the babies were so fun! What a year. 2018 is looking pretty fabulous already. I can’t wait for Kate and Madeleine’s babies, and for the royal wedding! It’s going to be such a fun time on the blog. I appreciate this community so much. I used to be on LiveJournal years ago and we had such fun discussing things, and you felt like the members were your friends, even though you’d never met. I feel the same way here.

    I mentioned a while back finding a way to set up a way for us to live chat during the wedding in some kind of closed group that could be just for MMR/MMR reader. Should I still work on that or should we just do an open post here?

    • Kimothy
      December 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm (7 months ago)

      Hmmmm…….either one would work for me but KMR/MMR should make the final call. 🙂

      • Em
        December 29, 2017 at 12:25 am (7 months ago)

        Definitely.

  19. All About Eve
    December 29, 2017 at 5:27 am (7 months ago)

    The total work numbers for the year are out and once again the older royals have outworked the younger ones.

    It is absolutely disgraceful that William, Kate & Harry who are in their 30s can’t put in more numbers than people who are of retirement age. And yet it is these three that are continuously praised for their ‘work’ when in fact they are the laziest. Princess Anne put in more engagements in the UK than W+K+H combined.

    How is it possible to continue to defend this lot. The trio are a complete joke.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5220225/Princess-Anne-crowned-busiest-royal-2017.html

    • Eleanor
      December 29, 2017 at 7:07 am (7 months ago)

      Thanks All About Eve. It’s pretty sad when people who are pushing seventy and in they’re nineties are pulling most of the weight. I said it countless times these kids or wait thirty somethings need to step up. They have been given too much time to flounder.