15 Amazing Royal Family Moments of 2016
With landmark birthdays, memorable royal tours and even a spot of romance, it has been another busy year for Britain's most famous family.
2016 was a particularly poignant for Queen Elizabeth II. She celebrated her 90th birthday before she became the longest longest-reigning living monarch.
Here's a reminder of these great royal moments and more from the last 12 months.
Prince George's First Day of School
In January, proud parents William and Kate released photos of Prince George's first day of nursery school at Westacre Montessori School in Norfolk. Wearing a little navy jacket and baby blue rucksack, the young royal looked ready to start the new chapter in his life.
William and Kate's First Holiday as a Family of Four
Two months later, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released photographs of them enjoying the snowy French Alps to mark their first family holiday together. As to be expected, it was the perfect group snapshot. Prince George and Princess Charlotte looked especially cute in their cosy bobble hats.
When the Obamas Visited Kensington Palace
Prince George was allowed to stay up past his bedtime for a special occasion in April, when Barack and Michelle Obama stopped by for dinner at Kensington Palace. George happily played on his rocking horse and thanked the President for giving it to him, while dressed in his bathrobe. How could he not steal the show?
William and Kate Walked in Princess Diana's Footsteps
The royal couple's visit to India and Bhutan in April was packed with memorable moments, but this had to be the most special by far. On their final day of the trip, the Duke and Duchess sat together on the bench at the Taj Mahal where Diana, Princess of Wales, was pictured 24 years ago. According to royal representatives, they hoped to create new memories with this meaningful picture.
Prince George Posed With the Queen for a Special Portrait
Just when we thought Prince George couldn't charm us any more, this image was released as a stamp to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. The historic photo captured four generations of the royal family: George's father Prince William, grandfather Prince Charles and great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth. The addition of a pile of foam blocks, so that the young prince could reach the height of his seated family, made this group photo even more heart-warming.
Queen Elizabeth II Turned 90
2016 was one non-stop party for Her Majesty. It was also the year when her customized open-top Range Rover came into its own, thanks to a number of public appearances to mark her 90th. She reached the milestone age on April 21, but the celebrations stretched throughout the year, starting with a royal walkabout on her actual birthday. The festivities continued with a four-day spectacular held at Windsor Castle in May, followed by a Patron's Lunch — a picnic for 10,000 people — along The Mall in June. Of course this meant a whole lot of smiling and waving for the Queen and Prince Philip, but thankfully, she saw the funny side. "How I will feel if people are still singing Happy Birthday in December remains to be seen," she told the crowds in London.
Princess Charlotte Made Her Trooping the Color Debut
Princess Charlotte rounded off the annual Trooping the Color celebrations in June by making her debut on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Her great-grandmother took centre stage in a lime green jacket and hat, but it was the young princess and her older brother who made everyone's hearts melt.
Prince William Made History With This Magazine Cover
The Duke of Cambridge became the first British royal to appear on the cover of an LGBT magazine in June. As well as starring on the July issue of Attitude, William discussed the mental health implications of homophobic bullying. "You should be proud of the person you are and you have nothing to be ashamed of," he told readers of the publication. Wise words from the future king.
Prince Harry Took a Live HIV Test
The late Princess of Wales was a supporter of Aids charities, and in July, Prince Harry continued the work of his mother by taking a HIV blood test live on Facebook. The prince, who hoped to show how easy it is be checked, highlighted his commitment to tackling the HIV epidemic later in the year, when he took another test with Rihanna during his visit to Barbados.
Prince George Waved Goodbye to Canada
The little royal was at peak cuteness during his first visit to Canada in September. The trip provided plenty of adorable moments, including George's refusal to high five Justin Trudeau upon arrival, but his farewell at the end of the tour was a truly special occasion. It confirmed that this young prince has mastered the all-important royal wave.
Queen Elizabeth II Became the World's Longest-Reigning Monarch
Following her special birthday, the Queen reached another milestone later in 2016. In October, she added the "World's Longest-Reigning Monarch" to her list of titles following the passing of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It also means that Elizabeth II, who has been the monarch for 64 years, has surpassed the 63 year reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
Kate Middleton Flew Commercial and Shocked an Entire Plane
When the Duchess of Cambridge departed the Netherlands after her first solo trip abroad, she did what any non-royal would do. Kate traveled back to the UK on a commercial British Airways flight and proved that royals are just like us.
Prince Harry Got Himself a New Girlfriend
In November, Kensington Palace confirmed the happy news we had all been waiting for and the most-talked about relationship of the year became official. The royal love story caused quite a stir, which led to Prince Harry asking the media and public to respect Meghan Markle's privacy out of fear for her safety. The Suits star has since become the most Googled actress of 2016.
When Harry Met Rihanna...
During his two-week royal tour of the Caribbean, Prince Harry met Rihanna at a party in Barbados. But that was just the beginning of their get together. Afterwards, they went to a concert together in Bridgetown before they met up again the next day to do an HIV drug test to raise awareness on World AIDS Day. Best of friends? We like to think so.
The Royal Family Embraced Holiday Spirit
Have you ever wondered what the royals would wear to a Christmas jumper party? The people at London's Madame Tussauds gave us the answer in December, when they shared this photo of the Queen and co in their festive sweaters. Even the Corgis got dressed up, although it was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who took the limelight. Their his-and-hers design was everything.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.