Britain's royal family has had quite the busy year! Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the famous clan's biggest moments of 2017… From Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle and Prince Philip's retirement to Prince William and Duchess Kate's glamorous outings, keep reading to see what your favorite royals were up to in 2017!
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Prince Harry pounded the pavement for a good cause on Jan. 26 when he participated in a London event to support The Running Charity. The redheaded royal ran with members of his staff and the charity, which promotes running-focused programs to improve the lives of homeless and vulnerable young people in the city.
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Racin' royals! Duchess Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry all took part in a training session for the London Marathon on Feb. 5. And from the looks of it, Harry might be the fastest of the bunch! Maybe it was all that practice with The Running Charity!
On Feb. 12, Duchess Kate and Prince William had a glamorous night out attending the EE BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at Royal Albert Hall in London. Kate looked lovely in an off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown as the royal duo, the last to arrive, walked the red carpet.
Though there had already been months of speculation that things were getting more serious — aided by a few official statements from Prince Harry and Prince William — Harry's romance with girlfriend Meghan Markle seemed to be heating up even more by early March. That's when the prince was spotted attending close pal Tom Inskip's March 3 wedding in Jamaica — with Meghan by his side — where paparazzi caught them cuddling.
While celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Outward Bound Trust at a black-tie dinner at Buckingham Palace on March 8, Prince Philip rubbed elbows with one of the biggest celebrities in the world — Tom Cruise!
March 13 marked Commonwealth Day, and Queen Elizabeth II was on hand to attend Commonwealth Day services — the biggest interfaith gathering in Britain — at Westminster Abbey in London. It celebrates the queen's commitment to the 52 countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. Unfortunately, a minor scandal preceded it: Prince William made headlines when he missed Commonwealth Day events after embarking on a boys-only Swiss ski trip that saw him being photographed drinking with his mates and high-fiving a female lunch guest who used to be a topless model. William was also caught on camera at a nightclub showing off his less-than-impressive dad-dancing skills.
Celebrating the right way! On March 17, Prince William and Duchess Kate drank Guinness and met with soldiers of the 1st battalion Irish Guards after taking in a St. Patrick's Day parade in London. Extra props go to Duchess Kate for wearing that green Catherine Walker coat!
On March 18, Prince William and Duchess Kate made their first official visit to Paris — the site of his mother Princess Diana's death nearly 20 years earlier — where they met with French president François Hollande, posed in front of the Eiffel Tower and worked on strengthening Anglo-French diplomacy.
A few weeks after a devastating terror attack in London on March 22, Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince Harry led a tribute to the victims at a Service of Hope at Westminster Abbey on April 5. The ceremony, at which all major faiths were represented, included a reading by William.
The men of the royal family — Prince Charles and sons Prince William and Prince Harry — headed to Vimy, France, where they visited tunnels and trenches at Vimy Memorial Park during the commemorations of the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9. That particular battle involved brave Canadian fighters who were able to drive away German forces during World War I. It's thought to be the bloodiest day in Canada's military history.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip made headlines when they visited the new elephant center at England's ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on April 11. Her Majesty was able to get up close and personal with the elephants, even feeding one right from her hand! Just three weeks later, the Duke of Edinburgh — who turned 96 this year — announced he would be stepping down from public life in the fall.
Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince Harry spent April 20 visiting the new Global Academy. The school, located in West London, is incorporating mental health well-being classes into its curriculum, a cause near and dear to their hearts. Days earlier, Harry made headlines after revealing he'd struggled for years following his mother Princess Diana's death and recently sought therapy to help him deal with his grief.
Not everything about being a royal is glamorous! While Prince William and Duchess Kate handed out water bottles to runners during the London Marathon on April 23 in support of their Heads Together charity, one runner opted instead to squirt the prince. Kate was not amused.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first public appearance together — though separately — at the Audi Polo Challenge in Berkshire on May 7. Though the two didn't pose for official photos together, Meghan cheered Harry on while he participated in the match. The two were later snapped kissing in the parking lot.
A royal-adjacent wedding! When Duchess Kate's younger sister, Pippa Middleton, wed hedge fund manager James Matthews in Englefield, England, on May 20, many members of the royal family attended. Kate performed some sisterly duties — she was seen helping round up the page boys and young bridesmaids (including Prince George and Princess Charlotte) — at St. Mark's Church. Prince William and Prince Harry were also in attendance, and Harry's girlfriend, Meghan Markle, was a guest at the reception.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William were on hand for a more somber event on June 16. The grandmother and grandson visited victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire who were staying in a temporary shelter at Westway Sports Centre in London.
The annual Trooping the Colour celebration occurred on June 17 this year. The event honors Queen Elizabeth's birthday and includes a parade of military officers and bands. This year, the entire royal family was on hand to watch the festivities and wave to Her Majesty's subjects from a balcony at Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Harry, Duchess Kate, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince William are all seen here watching the crowds.
At one of the most stylish events of the year, Duchess Kate did not disappoint: She arrived for the first day of Royal Ascot on June 20 in this gorgeous white lace Alexander McQueen dress. The princess dressed to impress alongside Prince William and other members of the royal family who turned up for the annual horse-racing event.
Prince Harry dominated headlines for days following the publication of a Newsweek cover story on June 21 in which he spoke openly and, some say, controversially, about the royal family. "We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people," he said of himself, Prince William and Duchess Kate. "Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don't think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time." He also said he and William are desperate to be normal: "People would be amazed by the ordinary life William and I live. I do my own shopping… Even if I was king, I would do my own shopping." Harry also admitted that his public role in his mother's funeral (pictured) — he was just 12 at the time — will always haunt him. "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television," he said. "I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don't think it would happen today."
Duchess Kate debuted a shorter hairstyle when she attended Wimbledon in London on July 3. The princess watched the day's tennis matches from the royal box — the best seats in the house — which are usually only inhabited by members of the royal family, celebrities and VIPs.
Prince William, Prince George, Duchess Kate and Princess Charlotte went on an official five-day trip to Poland and Germany in July. The young family checked out helicopters, saw a rowing race and met with Holocaust survivors, amongst other activities. The British media dubbed it their Brexit diplomacy tour.
After 65 years in public service, Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, made his final solo appearance as a working royal on Aug. 2. Prince Philip attended a parade to honor the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge at Buckingham Palace. At 96, he has had an illustrious career! He's completed 22,219 solo engagements, given 5,496 speeches and written 14 books. Impressive!
Prince William accompanied Prince George to his first day of school at London's Thomas's Battersea school on Sept. 7. And like most kids, a month into the school year, Prince George was already fed up with his new routine. "[Prince William] told me he'd just dropped Prince George off at school and he didn't want to go, which sounds a bit like mine, really," Louise Smith, also a parent at the school, told the Daily Mail.
After months of quietly dating, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle finally made their first public appearance as a couple at his beloved Invictus Games in Toronto on Sept. 25. Dressed casually, the loved-up couple took in a few events together, including a wheelchair tennis event (pictured here).
In September, the Kensington Palace confirmed the happy news that Duchess Kate and Prince William were expecting their third child. Just like her two other pregnancies, the royal mama to Prince George and Princess Charlotte suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness, in the early months of her pregnancy. But by the end of October, Duchess Kate was feeling well enough to get back to her royal duties: On Nov. 14, she was photographed making an official visit to the Hornsey Road Children's Centre in London. She and William are set to become a family of five in April 2018. Congrats!
Finally, an engagement! On Nov. 27, Clarence House announced that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially set to marry. "His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month," Harry's father, Prince Charles, announced on Twitter. "Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle's parents." The statement added that the couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace and planned to marry in the spring of 2018. Further tweets revealed that the pair got engaged in London earlier in November. Other family members — including Prince Williams and Duchess Kate, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, and Meghan's parents also issued statements of love and support for Harry and Meghan.