With Kate Middleton and Prince William's epic wedding in April, their North American tour, and adorable appearances in between, there was no shortage of memorable royal moments in 2011. Check out some of the standouts in this Best of 2011 special, our five favorite royal surprises.
Hey there. I'm Carly Bullness[sp?]. The whole world got swept up with Royal mania this year, and thanks to Prince William and Kate Middleton's epic wedding in April, there was no shortage of fairly-tale moments for us to fall in love with. Even amid all the traditional pomp and circumstance, William and Kate made their big day and year completely unique. Check out our picks for the 5 biggest royal surprises of 2011. At number 5, Kate Middleton and Prince William were simply adorable, wearing matching cowboy hats and rodeo gear during their 11-day trip to Canada and California in July. Kate's known for her classic fashion sense, but it was really fun to see her let loose in Canada. She and William wore matching cowboy hats at a rodeo, and chef coats at a cooking class. While it seems like a departure from her ladylike fashion at charity events or elegant ball gowns, it did prove that Kate always knows how to dress for the occasion. Kate managed to strike a perfect balance between becoming Her Royal Highness and staying humble when it came to her classic wedding day look. The bride paired her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown with a natural makeup look that she actually applied herself. Kate could have had any make-up artist in the world for her wedding, but she chose to do it on her own. And while royal cousins, Princess Eugenie and Beatrice, broke out these crazy fascinators and there were stars audience like a pregnant Victoria Beckham, all eyes were on Kate and her gorgeous gown. Even Harry gave her an adorable over-the-shoulder glance when she was walking down the aisle. The couple revealed their cute competitive sides during a dragonboat race off Prince Edward Island during their North American tour. Will's team won, but there were no hard feelings amongst the newlyweds, who shared a sweet embrace after the race. Will and Kate were both quite active during their summer trip. After the dragon boat race, they each picked up a hockey stick for some street hockey. And later William won a polo match and Kate awarded him with a trophy and a kiss. April 29th was Kate's day, but Ms. Middleton's sister Pippa managed to make a much talked about entrance to Westminster Abbey. The younger sibling's enviable backside, highlighted by her formfitting maid-of-honor dress, sparked the start of Pippa Pandemoniun. Everyone wanted to know more about Pippa. She became a fixture for photographers, there was interest in her love life and replicas of her Royal wedding dress sold out. Plus, Pippa and her bum, were one of the most searched terms on the Internet. And the #1 surprising royal moment of the year was a particularly sweet one. The prince went in for two kisses with his wife during the traditional balcony greeting following their ceremony. If you read William's lips, you can see he's asking Kate for one more. Royal newlyweds have shared their first public kiss on the balcony since the 1920s, but Will and Kate left their own mark on the tradition by showing extra affection. 2011 was certainly a royal year for the record book, and since William, Kate, and Harry have all been named ambassadors to the 2012 London Olympic games, we've got even more high profile appearances and chances for fun surprises to look forward to in 2012.