Elspeth Lodge December 29, 2010 – 8:10 am
They may be members of the leisured classes, but the world’s aristocrats stayed plenty busy in 2010. From shacking up to hits in the “crown jewels,” broken legs, peeing snakes and snake-clad “glamour models” — oh, and apparently some sort of engagement — we present the year in royalty.
January 6: The first-ever joint portrait of Princes William and Harry is displayed at The National Portrait Gallery. Prince Harry complains that it makes him too “ginger” and that it gave his brother more hair than he deserved.
January 15: Kate Middleton watches William’s graduation ceremony (reportedly, he passed with “flying colours”) from a Royal Air Force advanced helicopter training course (skills which include: night handling, advanced and emergency handling, and formation flying).
Dylan Martinez/ Reuters
Britain’s Prince William’s girlfriend Kate Middleton (R) smiles during the Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, southern England December 15, 2006. Prince William, eager to draw a line under a decade of conspiracy theories about the death of his mother Princess Diana, graduated as an army officer on Friday to launch his military career. REUTERS/Tim Ockenden/PA/WPA/Pool (BRITAIN)
William gets one step closer to his goal of becoming an RAF search and rescue pilot, and Kate’s attendance sparks speculation of an impending engagement.
January 17: Prince William arrives in Auckland for an official visit to New Zealand. (He flies business class in an attempt to be a “regular guy.”) While playing rugby with Auckland’s under-10 rugby squad, he’s hit in the groin with the ball; a youngster says proudly afterwards: “We got him in the crown jewels.”
Jan.25: Prince Harry reportedly moves in with long time girlfriend Chelsey Davy, with Ms. Davy giving him a key to her London flat for weekend visits.
CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images
(FILES) Photo shows Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsea Davy laughing before the Investec Challenge international rugby match South Africa vs. England in Twickenham, west London, on November 22, 2008. Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, has split with his girlfriend Chelsy Davy after five years, British media reported on January 24, 2009.AFP PHOTO / Chris Ratcliffe (Photo credit should read CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
February: Asked about the prospect of an invite to the Royal wedding, William says “Oh, you’ll have to wait a while yet.”
March 17: Prince William and Kate holiday with Kate’s family on the slopes of Courchevel, France. Rumors of an impending engagement grow stronger.
March 25: Prince Charles visits troops in Afghanistan. The prince, an honorary colonel of 10 regiments, reportedly laid a wreath at Camp Bastion in memory of 276 members of the British forces who have died; he spent the night with troops at a camp in Helmand province, after visiting Kabul.
April 8: Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, breaks her leg while hiking in Scotland.
April 9: It comes to light that Prince Carl Philip of Sweden began dating glamour model Sofia Hellqvist, known chiefly for her skill at posing alluringly while wearing only a snake.
April 15: It’s announced that Prince William is to be posted to Anglesey, North Wales as a search and rescue pilot.
April 25: Princess Beatrice becomes the first royal to complete the London marathon. And it was as part of a “human caterpillar.” According to the Telegraph, the 21-year-old princess joined her American boyfriend David Clark and 32 other people to run the length of the 26.2-mile course tied together with bungee cords.
April 30: “The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health,” a charity founded by Prince Charles, closes just days after a former official was arrested for money laundering.
May 7: Prince Harry graduates from an army pilots’ course at the Army Aviation Center in Andover, England. Chelsy Davy attends.
May 9:Princes Harry and William’s favorite polo pony, Drizzle, dies of a heart-attack at a charity polo match. The princes are said to be “very upset.”
May. 20: Prince Harry celebrates his qualification as helicopter pilot by going to Africa with Chelsea Davy and backpacking through Botswana and South Africa.
May 23: Princess Eugenie has a new boyfriend, soon after break-up with Otto Brockway, the nephew of Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson. (Apparently, completing a marathon tied together doesn’t cement relationships). Her new beau is barman Jack Brooksbank.
June: The official announcement that Prince Albert of Monaco is engaged to his long-time girlfriend Charlene Woodstock, a South African who swam in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
June 15: Prince Harry threatens William with a python (as a joke) at Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation near Gaborone. The snake, clearly not impressed by royalty, then pees next to William’s feet.
June 17: The two princes visit orphans in Lesotho.
June 19: Princess Victoria of Sweden marries Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland in a traditional ceremony at Stockholm Cathedral. In a previous, less heavily titled life, Daniel was the princess’ personal trainer.
June 24: The Queen visits Wimbledon and reveals she’s not a huge tennis fan when she asks nine-time champion Martina Navratilova if she played in Wimbledon often.
July: The 22nd official royal visit to Canada by the Queen. She gets that most Canadian of tributes: an exhibit at the Hockey Hall of Fame, with PM Stephen Harper telling her: “You are not only victorious, happy and glorious, you are also Canada’s most valuable player.”
July 6: The Queen addresses the UN for the first time since 1957. The U.S. ambassador had more pressing issues to deal with and skipped the event altogether.
July 10: Buckingham Palace announces that Peter Phillips and his Montreal-born wife, Autumn, are “delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby” — a child who will be 12th in the line of succession, and the Canadian believed to have the best chance of someday assuming the throne
Jul.25: The Queen opens her photographs up to the world on Flickr—more than 600 pictures of the royals, both archival and new.
August 6: The Danish Court announces Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary are expecting twins, due in January 2011.
August 7: The Duchess of York faces a reported US$8-million in debt. One key adviser reportedly tells her that declaring bankruptcy may be the only way out.
August 25:Prince Nikolaos of Greece marries Tatiana Blatnik, an even planner for Diane Von Furstenberg.
October: Prince William is in Africa on holiday. At some point, he proposes to Kate Middleton in Kenya; the world is kept in the dark about the engagement until November.
October 23 :Kate and William are photographed attending the Gloucestershire wedding of a friend, again sparking rumors of engagement.
November 2: Kate Middleton’s parents visit Balmoral, the Royals’ country estate. Many believe this is the definite sign that the couple are engaged.
November 7: The Queen joins Facebook. Anti-monarchist comments appear on her wall, and are quickly quashed.
November 16: Clarence House officially announces the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The world goes insane, and Kate Middleton’s blue engagement dress is the subject of a £25 supermarket knock-off.
November 19: Prince Charles suggests in a television interview that the Duchess of Cornwall could become ‘Queen’ Camilla when he becomes king.
November 20: We have a venue: it’s announced that Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding is to be in April at Westminister Abbey.
November 21: Prince William’s former nanny says the royal engagement is “fan-flaming-tastic!”
November 23: David Cameron confirms the royal wedding will be a public holiday. Businesses warn that the long weekend will cost the economy £5-billion.
December 2: Snoop Dogg’s royal tribute is announced: a “perfect anthem for Prince William or any playa to get the club smokin.’” Snoop expresses his desire to perform at the royal stag party, but his invitation must still be in the Royal Mail.
December 10: As many as 20 protesters fighting education price hikes surrounds the car of Prince Charles and Camilla, smashing its windows and throwing white paint. Some yell “Off with their heads!” The couple still makes it to a planned charity event, but makes the return trip in a police van.
December 21: It’s announced that Zara Phillips is engaged to her rugby playing boyfriend, Mike Tindall. Ms. Phillips is the eldest granddaughter of the Queen, who is reportedly delighted by the news.
December 28: Alas, a wax Kate Middleton won’t appear at Madame Tussaud’s until after the royal wedding, Reuters reports. Once Ms. Middleton agrees to pose, the wax sculpture will take up to four months to complete. The museum is waiting to hear if the future royal will donate an authentic “Kate Middleton” dress for the statue. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and Princes William and Harry have already been modelled in wax.
With files from National Post staff