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Our tribute to the year that was including the birth of four royal babies, two weddings and four funerals.

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Royal Babies

Bhutan’s Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema welcomed their son, Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, The Gyalsey (heir apparent) on 5 February.


Sweden’s Royal Family welcomed two new arrivals this year. Crown Princess Victoria gave birth to her second child, Prince Oscar, Duke of Skåne, on 2 March. Prince Oscar was christened on 27 May at the Royal Chapel at The Royal Palace.

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia became the proud parents of Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland on 19 April. Prince Alexander’s christening was held on 9 September at the Royal Chapel at Drottningholm Palace.

Luxembourg’s Prince Félix and Princess Claire are now the proud parents of Prince Liam Henri Hartmut who was born on 28 November at 3.59 am at the Clinique générale Beaulieu in Geneva, Switzerland.

Birthdays

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden celebrates his 70th birthday on 30 April.

HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden Photo: Anna-Lena Ahlström royalcourt.se

Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 90th Birthday on 21 April, with official celebrations held throughout the year in Britain.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh celebrated his 95th birthday on 10 June

Anniversaries and Jubilees

King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway celebrate their Silver Jubilee (25th Anniversary) on 17 January.

King Harald V and Queen Sonja.

King Bhumibol of Thailand celebrates his Platinum Jubilee (70th Anniversary) on 9 June.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia celebrated 40 years of marriage on 19 June.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Silvia Sommerlath married on 19 June 1976 in Stockholm.

Weddings

Earl Mountbatten’s granddaughter The Honourable Alexandra Knatchbull married her fiance Thomas Hooper on 25 June. Prince Charles gave the bride away.

Albania’s Prince Leka II (King Zog’s grandson) married Elia Zaharia on 8 October a lavish ceremony in Tirana. This has been the second royal wedding in Albania’s history.

Royal Passings

Queen Anne of Romania, King Michael I’s consort, passed away on 1 August in Switzerland, aged 92. She was born Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma on 18 September 1923. She met King Michael at the wedding of her cousins, Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth to Prince Philip of Greece before he was forced into exile. They married on 10 June 1948 in Athens, Greece.

Japan’s Prince Mikasa, Emperor Akihito’s uncle, died on 27 October, aged 100. He had been hospitalised in May for severe pneumonia. Prince Mikasa and his wife Princess Yuriko had celebrated his 75th wedding anniversary in hospital on 22 October, five days before he died.

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) died on 13 October, aged 88, and a 70-year reign. King Bhumibol had suffered poor health for a few years, as he had spent most of the last year of his reign in hospital. His son Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed King on 1 December, after a period of mourning.

Queen Elizabeth’s cousin and best friend, The Honourable Margaret Rhodes, passed away on 25 November, after a short illness. Margaret was one of the Queen’s eight bridesmaids at her wedding. The Queen and members of the Royal Family attended her funeral on 11 December. However, the Queen lost another bridesmaid this year, as Lady Elizabeth Longman had also died from a short illness on 8 December.

Royal Visits to Australia

King Carl XVI Gustaf, as Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation, took part in a Scout trip as he attended the 69th Baden-Powell Fellowship Event from Thursday, 17 to Monday, 21 March in Melbourne. King Carl Gustaf participated in the ceremony for the construction of the Scouts’ Victoria Education Adventure Centre and he presented medals to 30 young scouts and cut the cake during the Celebrating Scouts Dinner on Friday, 18 March.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visited Perth, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane during their visit from Monday, 31 October, to Friday, 4 November. Their visit coincided with the 400th Anniversary of Dirk Hartog’s landing on the Western Australian Coast in 1616, visiting the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and launching a scholarship in Sydney.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima on Sydney Harbour © Carolyn M Cash

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan visited Canberra and Sydney from Wednesday, 23 to 25 November to discuss bilateral relations including economic investment and trade ties and focused on international issues such as terrorism and money-laundering. Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC)’s Tony Jones interviewed King Abdullah on Lateline whilst in Canberra.

Other Highlights

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, attended the Battle of Jutland commemorations in Orkney, Scotland, on Tuesday, 31 May, after her father, Prince Philip was unable to attend, following medical advice. The Queen’s father, George VI had served in the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Collingwood at the Battle of Jutland during World War I.

Prince George accompanies his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for his first official engagement in Britain on 8 July at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Royal Air Force Fairford.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex set off from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, on Monday, 19 September, cycling 445 miles (716 km) to Buckingham Palace, London, for her Diamond DofE Challenge, as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s 60th anniversary.

Prince Harry announced on 12 November that the Invictus Games 2018 will be held in Sydney.

Happy New Year!

We look forward to bringing news of more royal events in 2017 and wish everyone a Happy New Year.