Our tribute to the year that was with the birth of a new prince, major birthday celebrations and anniversaries, a forthcoming engagement, royal children off to school with some passings.

Royal Babies

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia’s second son Prince Gabriel of Sweden was born on 31 August 2017 at Danderyd Hospital in Stockholm. He was christened at Drottningholm’s Royal Chapel on Friday, 1 December 2017. His godparents include his paternal aunt, Princess Madeleine, his father’s cousin, Thomas de Toledo Sommerlath, his maternal aunt Sara Hellqvist, his father’s friend Oscar Kylberg and his mother’s friend Carolina Pihl.

Prince Gabriel, five days old, taken at Villa Solbacken. Photo Prince Carl Philip, Kungahuset.se

Major Birthdays

King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway celebrated their 80th birthdays on 21 February and 4 July with joint celebrations in Oslo on 9 and 10 May.

WASSENAAR:
Wilfried de Jong interviews King Willem-Alexander at Eikenhorst for his 50th birthday. Photo: © ANP / Koen van Weel

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands celebrated his 50th birthday on 27 April, with a festive dinner with Queen Máxima and 150 Dutch citizens at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. The Royal Palace was also open for 50 hours. King Willem-Alexander also gave an interview on Dutch TV

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden celebrated her 40th birthday on 14 July in Stockholm and Öland.

Photo: Erika Gerdemark, Kungahuset.se

The Duchess of Cornwall celebrated her 70th birthday on 17 July, with a star-studded event four days earlier.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark hosted a dinner aboard the royal yacht Dannebrog to celebrate Prince Nikolai’s 18th birthday on 28 August.

Anniversaries and Jubilees

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark celebrated 45 years on the throne on 14 January but no official celebrations took place.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain passed her Blue Sapphire Jubilee (65 years) on 6 February.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Henrik celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on 10 June, with the unveiling of a statue, Miss Fredensborg five days earlier, and the release of an official photo taken aboard the Royal Yacht Dannebrog.

Prince Henrik with Queen Margrethe II aboard the royal yacht Dannebrog. Kongehuset ©

Prince William and Prince Harry marked the 20th anniversary of their mother Diana Princess of Wales’ death in August, including interviews in the ITV documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, and the BBC documentary, Diana 7 Days. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the White Garden at Kensington Palace created in Diana’s memory.

Photo: Matt Holyoak/Camera Press.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their Platinum Wedding Anniversary (70 years) on 20 November, becoming Britain’s longest-married royal couple.

Engagements

Prince Harry announces his engagement to actress Ms Meghan Markle on 27 November 2017.They will marry at St George’s Chapel Windsor on 19 May 2018.

Photo: Kensington Palace

Weddings

Serbia’s Prince Philip, the second son of Crown Prince Alexander and first wife Princess Maria da Gloria of Orleans-Braganza, married Miss Danica Marinkovic at Suborna Church in Belgrade on 7 October, with Crown Princess Victoria as the Matron of Honour. Queen Sofia of Spain, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg were among the royal guests who also joined in the celebrations at a lavish reception at the White Palace.

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Pregnancies

The Swedish Royal Court announced Princess Madeleine of Sweden and her husband Christopher O’Neill are expecting their third baby in March 2018.

Kensington Palace announced on 4 September that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in April 2018, after Catherine again suffered severe morning sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum).

Starting School

Denmark’s Princess Athena, aged 5, starts Grade 1 at St Joseph Sisters’ School on 11 August. Her cousins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, aged 6, began Grade 0 (Kindergarten) at Tranegård School the following week on 15 August.

Source: Facebook/HRH The Duke of Cambridge

Prince George starts school at Thomas’s Battersea, London on 7 September. However, his distant cousin, Maud Windsor (Lord Frederick Windsor and his wife Sophie Winkleman’s eldest daughter) is attending the same school.

Retirement

Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh retires from public life on 2 August, aged 96, with his final official engagement, braving the pouring rain to meet Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace.

Passings

Princess Margaret’s former husband and photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, died on 13 January, at Kensington, aged 86. His funeral was held at St Baglan’s Church in the Welsh village of Llanfaglan, near Caernarfon, on 20 January. He was buried in the family plot in the churchyard. His son David succeeded his title as Earl of Snowdon.

Tonga’s Queen Halaevalu Mata’hato, consort of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, died in Auckland, New Zealand, on 19 February, at 10.15 pm, aged 90. Her body was flown back to Nuku’alofa where her body lay in state overnight before the funeral and her interment in the royal tomb, Mala’ekula.

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Princess Benedikte of Denmark’s husband Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, died suddenly at Berleburg Castle on 13 March, aged 82. Prince Richard’s funeral service was held on Tuesday, 21 March at 14.00 at the Evangelische Stadtkirche Bad Berleburg, Germany.

Countess Mountbatten of Burma died at her home, Newhouse, in Mersham on 13 June, aged 93. She was a survivor of the IRA bomb attack which killed her father, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and her son Nicholas in August 1979. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh and other senior members of the Royal family attended her funeral on 27 June 2017 at St Paul’s Kensington. Countess Mountbatten was buried at her home in Mersham.

Former Governor-General of Australia, Sir Ninian Stephen, died on 29 October, aged 94. He was sworn in as the Governor-General on 29 July 1982, after Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser announced he would succeed Sir Zelman Cowan. His term lasted until 16 February 1989. Queen Elizabeth appointed Sir Ninian as a Knight of the Garter (KG) in 1994, the most recent Australian to be granted a knighthood.

King Michael I of Romania died soon 5 December at his home at Aubonne in Switzerland, aged 96, from cancer. He played a crucial role during World War II as Romania changed sides to fight alongside the Allies. Prince Charles, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia from Spain were also present as over 20,000 Romanians attended his state funeral on 16 December.

“King Michael I of Romania by Emanuel Stoica” by Emanuel Stoica [1] – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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