As 2012 draws to a close we can reflect on the stories that made up a great year in royal news. With royal babies in Sweden, royal weddings in Luxembourg, and Diamond Jubilee festivities in Britain the stories that follow will stay in our memories for years to come.
HRH Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume marries Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy
Just a few months after the heir to the throne admitted publicly that he was in a serious relationship, the Grand Ducal Palace announced his engagement to a Belgian Countess. On October 20 the two married in a lavish ceremony that brought Luxembourg a new Hereditary Grand Duchess in Stéphanie de Lannoy. The wedding brought together European royals in full regalia with many monarchs and heirs attending. The couple partied into the night with the public greeting the couple and the royals giving their thanks.
HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden gives birth to Princess Estelle
Sweden’s royals had an exciting year with the birth of their future Queen, HRH Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland. She was born on February 24 and then christened on May 22, the biggest event in Sweden since the royal wedding of the baby’s parents. The child’s godparents are Anna Westling, her paternal aunt, TRH Prince Carl Philip, The Prince of Orange, Crown Prince Haakon, and Crown Princess Mary. The Royal Court has continued to released photos throughout the year showing the Princess growing up quickly.
The world celebrates Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II
In an event that lasted the entire year, all of the realms celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of their Queen, HM Queen Elizabeth II. Highlights included the flotilla on the River Thames, the Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, and the royal tours the family undertook around the world. The Queen said she was “deeply touched” by the celebrations and thanked everyone involved for what she called a “humbling experience”. The public took part on an unimaginable scale, creating seemingly memorable events each and every week.
Zara Phillips wins Olympic silver medal
With the Jubilee year in flight, 2012 also welcomed the Olympic Games to London and put the spotlight on royal cousin Zara Phillips. Phillips is a former world champion equestrian and competed in three-day eventing that combines dressage, cross country, and showjumping. Zara and Team GB went toe-to-toe with the high-powered German team and came up just shy, winning the silver medal. There rooting her on in the crowd were her mother HRH Princess Anne, cousins TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and aunt the Duchess of Cornwall, among others.
HRH Princess Madeleine engaged to be married
In an already big year for the Swedish royal family, October brought the announcement that HRH Prince Madeleine was engaged to her American boyfriend Chris O’Neill. The couple announced their intentions via a video on the Royal Court website where Mr. O’Neill speaks a bit of Swedish. The couple announced recently that their wedding will be on June 8 of 2013 and that they will continue to reside in New York City full time. The engagement has not been without controversy, however, as some of Mr. O’Neill’s business dealings have come under fire from the Swedish press. He released a statement through the court clarifying his employment and hopefully putting the issue to rest.
TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expecting their first child
In news the whole world appeared to be waiting for, December 3 brought the announcement from Buckingham Palace that TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child. The baby will be the third great-grandchild for HM the Queen and the first grandchild for HRH The Prince of Wales. News of the pregnancy arrived with worry, however, as the Duchess was being admitted to the hospital with severe morning sickness. A few days later thankfully, the Duchess was released and the couple smiled broadly as they left the hospital waving at the waiting press.
Andrea Casiraghi engaged to longtime girlfriend and expecting first child
After seven years of dating, July brought the announcement from Princess Caroline of Monaco that her son Andrea Casiraghi is engaged to Miss Tatiana Santo Domingo. The couple lives together while he works at the embassy of the Emirate of Qatar and she is a player in the world of fashion. Within weeks, however, rumors were swirling that the couple was also expecting their first child. Tatiana was then photographed in early November showing a clear baby bump confirming the rumors. The couple is expected to marry next year.
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