25 Major Royal Moments of 2018
Sure, everything you hear about the British royals right now centers on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's reported feud with Prince William and Kate Middleton, but before all the drama unfolded, the family had a lot to celebrate. They kicked off the year with the arrival of the newest heir, Prince Louis, then threw a grand wedding for Harry and Meghan. But the excitement didn't stop there — the Brits had another wedding, more baby news, and countless engagements. Plus, the entire year was highlighted by the addition of the Duchess of Sussex, who hit so many exciting milestones in her first 12 months as a royal. Read on for more major royal moments (and forget the feud!).
Kate and William Tour Sweden and Norway
In February, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge traveled to Sweden and Norway in what would be their last overseas tour before welcoming Prince Louis. It was one of many official engagements Kate made in the first three months of 2018 before going on maternity leave at the end of March.
The Fab Foursome Speak Up
In their first onstage appearance together, Harry, Meghan, Kate, and William spoke at the first Royal Foundation Forum. The royal group smiled and giggled as they spoke about their charitable work and answered questions about Meghan and Harry's upcoming nuptials.
The Queen Hosts Justin Trudeau (and Others)
In April, Queen Elizabeth II hosted 53 world leaders, including Justin Trudeau, at Buckingham Palace for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The biennial gathering gave the queen a chance to chat with the adorable Canadian prime minister and the world another look at her majesty's important royal duties.
Prince Louis Is Born
On April 23, Prince Harry got pushed down one more notch in the line of succession with the birth of Prince Louis. Kate and William shared the joyful arrival of their third child with fans when they posed on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital in London just hours after Louis's birth. Of course, Prince George and Princess Charlotte also made a quick appearance to meet their new sibling, and Charlotte won over the world with her adorable wave.
Brothers Unite Before the Wedding
Harry and William delighted fans when they stepped outside of Windsor Castle's walls to greet the waiting public ahead of Harry's wedding to Meghan. It was a sweet show of unity from the pair and a welcome break from the frenzy of wedding preparations and family drama from Meghan's father. The following day, the duo walked side by side again on their way into St. George's Chapel.
The Gorgeous Big Day
Prince Harry and Meghan were married at St. George's Chapel in Windsor on May 19. The stunning affair was attended by celebrities like Serena Williams and Elton John, as well as numerous members of the royal family including Kate, who had given birth to Prince Louis just weeks earlier, and Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who were included in the wedding party.
Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, was also there to celebrate her daughter, and Prince Charles, who walked Meghan down the aisle, made sure to include her as part of the royal family. The whole day was sprinkled with fresh details that respectfully broke from tradition, proving Harry and Meghan would be doing things their own way as a royal couple.
The Newlyweds Celebrate Charles
Ahead of his actual birthday in November, Prince Charles celebrated turning 70 with a special event at Buckingham Palace in May. It was Meghan and Harry's first event since their wedding and important enough that they postponed their honeymoon to attend. Harry gave a speech (that was interrupted by a bee!), and Meghan appeared comfortable and relaxed as the newest member of the royal bunch.
Trooping the Colour Brings the Crew Together
The whole royal family made their annual appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Colour in June. The big event celebrates the queen's birthday, which is actually in April, and is always an exciting chance to see the extended family — kids included — in their royal regalia. It was also Meghan's first time attending and her and Harry's first appearance since returning from their top-secret honeymoon. Needless to say, all eyes were on the duo as they chatted with Prince Charles and navigated their position on the balcony. Meghan even got a little help from Harry on curtsy protocol!
The Prince and Princess at Play
We got a rare glimpse of Prince George and Princess Charlotte at play in June when Kate took them to watch William play in the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy at the Beaufort Polo Club. The little heirs ran in the grass and goofed around with cousins and friends, while Kate showed her more casual side in a simple dress. Missing from the laid-back event was the family's newest addition, Prince Louis, who was less than 2 months old.
The Queen Invites Meghan to Cheshire
In June, Queen Elizabeth II invited her new granddaughter-in-law to travel by train to Cheshire, where they made their first appearance together. Their friendly bond was obvious and not unexpected since the queen had already made multiple kind gestures to Meghan, including inviting her to spend Christmas with the royal family before she married Harry. Megan is clearly a welcome new addition to the crew.
Prince Philip Steps Out For Polo
Prince Philip retired from public duty in August 2017 but made a few special appearances in 2018. He, of course, attended Meghan and Harry's wedding (as well as Princess Eugenie's later in the year), but his visit to the Royal Windsor Cup was most notable. He had already missed the Royal Ascot, but as an avid polo fan, he made sure to attend the June tournament alongside the queen. In November, the pair celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.
Prince William Makes History
Prince William paid an important visit to Israel at the end of June. The trip made history as it was the first time a member of the royal family had traveled to Israel on official business. The heir also made appearances in Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories during his tour.
A Christening For Louis
It was a family affair in July, when Prince Louis was christened at St. James's Palace. Kate and William were joined by Harry and Meghan as well as Prince Louis's newly announced godparents and other family members for the special day. The queen and Prince Philip chose not to attend, a decision that was "mutually agreed upon" by the families.
A Royal Air Force Flyby
The Buckingham Palace balcony was once again packed with royalty when the family came out to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. They attended a special commemorative service and then watched the flyby from their perch at the palace. It was just one of many important events they attended over the Summer, so important that Kate made an appearance despite still being on maternity leave.
Prince Charles Is Honored
This was an important year for Prince Charles as he continued to ramp up his royal duties and take on more responsibilities from the queen. His visibility was heightened in September when he was honored with the Editor's Lifetime Achievement Award for Services to Philanthropy at the GQ Awards in London.
A Royal Cousin Arrives
While Zara Tindall (Phillips) doesn't have an official title, she is very much a part of the royal family. The cousin of Prince Harry and Prince William, she had prominent placement at Harry's wedding and was heavily pregnant at the time. In June, she gave birth to her second daughter, and in September, she was back on the horse (literally) at the Whatley Manor Horse Trails. Her husband, Mike, and daughters joined to watch her compete.
Kate Returns From Maternity Leave
Sure, she made multiple appearances in the months after Prince Louis's April birth, but Kate's first official engagement didn't occur until October, when she visited children at the Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden in London. Kate was casual for the outing but made multiple more dressed-up appearances as she quickly got back to her royal duties in the weeks that followed.
Another Wedding Celebration!
On Oct. 12, Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle. The wedding was of course attended by the royal family, though Kate, Will, Meghan, and Harry made a quick entrance so as not to draw attention away from the bride. Instead, Prince George and Princess Charlotte may have taken on that role — they stole the spotlight as the most adorable page boy and flower girl.
Royal Baby News
Just as they were about to embark on their first royal tour, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed their pregnancy news. The palace shared the exciting details before they touched down in Australia, where Harry spoke about the royal baby on the way. Other members of the royal family, like Kate and Will, shared their excitement from afar.
Harry and Meghan Head Down Under
For their first royal tour, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle traveled to Australia and New Zealand for two weeks. They packed in plenty of appearances during the trip, which included their usual PDA and a few glimpses of Meghan's tiny baby bump.
It was an important time for the couple as Harry helped Meghan navigate even more royal protocol in her first year as a member of the family. Plus, it was a chance for the chic duchess to show off even more of her enviable style.
Kate Gets Regal
Kate didn't hold back with the royal regalia when she attended a state dinner at Buckingham Palace alongside William and the queen. She wore the Cambridge Lovers Knot tiara and drop earrings in addition to a necklace, bracelet, and special pin. The regal appearance was a reminder of Kate's senior status and her important role within the family.
Prince Charles's Birthday Bash
On Nov. 14, Prince Charles celebrated his 70th birthday with a black-tie bash at Buckingham Palace. His sons and their wives made glamorous arrivals by car, and inside the event, the queen shared a funny but sweet toast in honor of the heir to the throne.
A few days later, the palace shared a series of casual photographs of Charles and the royal family to commemorate the milestone birthday. He also marked the occasion with a special BBC documentary that was all part of the palace's plan at a refreshed image for the prince.
A Fab Four Feud?
Rumblings of trouble between Prince Harry and Prince William continued to get louder toward the end of the year. The brothers were already reportedly working to separate their Kensington Palace offices when it was confirmed that Harry and Meghan would move to Windsor instead of living near Kate and William at Kensington Palace like they had originally planned.
But just as the rumors were picking up steam, the foursome were conveniently photographed together at Westminster Abbey, where they attended a special Remembrance Day service with the queen. Kate further dispelled the drama when she gushed about Meghan and Harry's baby at the end of November.