Royals

The best and worst of 2019: We look back on some of the royal family's biggest highs and lows

What a roller coaster of a year!

The year 2019 has been eventful for many, but for none perhaps more so than the Bristish royal family.
The Queen and her immediate family have endured some real ups and downs, with some of the best and worst moments in royal history playing out on the world stage in just 12 months.
We've witnessed joy, sorrow, new life, the end of a career. There's been an engagement, important milestones have been met and for some 2019 has represented the end of an era.
Here, we look back on some of the royal family's best and worst moments of 2019.

The arrival of baby Archie

In 2019 there was no birth more anticipated than that of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's first child.
Archie was born almost a year to the day after his parents were married in the wedding of the decade. For those of us who never forgot the forlorn and lost figure Prince Harry cut as a 12-year-old boy following behind his mother Princess Diana's coffin in 1997 at her funeral, Harry's finding the girl of his dreams and starting a family only carried even greater meaning.
We got our first glimpse of wee Archie two days after he was born, when Meghan and Harry gave a photo call inside St George's Hall at Windsor Castle.
Details surrounding his birth plan had been shrouded in secrecy, but the Duke and Duchess were happy to talk to media when they introduced their baby son to the rest of the world.
Meghan told the press she was "really happy" about becoming a mum.
"It's magic, it's pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world so I'm really happy."
Harry said of becoming a dad, "It's great. Parenting is amazing.
"It's only been two and a half days, three days, but we're just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy and to be able to spend some precious times with him as he slowly starts to grow up."
A few hours later Harry and Meghan revealed their son's name - Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Prince Philip's car crash

On the morning of January 18, New Zealanders woke to the news that Prince Philip had been involved in a car accident.
The 97-year-old royal had pulled out of a driveway onto a freeway in Norfolk, close to The Queen's Sandringham Estate, and collided with a Kia, which was being driven by a 28-year-old woman.
He was left shaken but uninjured when his Land Rover flipped onto its side.
The driver of the Kia received cuts on one knee and her nine-month-old baby, who had been strapped into a car seat in the back seat was uninjured. However a 46-year-old passenger, Emma Fairweather, broke her wrist.
Fairweather was particularly vocal after the accident, telling media she felt "lucky to be alive" and that she expected an apology from the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Duke had asked after the trio in the Kia, and the Queen's lady in waiting had phoned to pass on the Queen's best wishes, but Fairweather was incensed that she had not heard directly from the Duke.
In the end Prince Philip delivered, sending a handwritten apology note to Ms Fairweather dated January 21.
The accident left many asking whether the Duke was still fit to drive at the age of 97, and in February the fiercely independent royal voluntarily surrendered his drivers license.
The Queen, who is the only person in the UK not legally required to own a drivers' license, followed suit and quit driving in April.

Princess Charlotte starts school

On September 5th Princess Charlotte started school and we all let out a collective 'awwww' when images emerged of the royal youngster, looking cute as a button, on her first day.
Walking through the gates of Thomas's Battersea, which big brother Prince George also attends, Charlotte appeared much more shy than usual as she clutched the hand of her mum Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. George, 6, and her father Prince William were also there.
The four-year-old couldn't have looked more adorable in her school uniform and we note that she had also added a very special accessory to her school bag - a sequinned unicorn keychain!
Mum Catherine reassured her with the words, "George will lead the way."
And we bet he took that responsibility very seriously.

Prince Andrew's spectacular fall from grace

When speculation about Prince Andrew's friendship with convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein began dominating world headlines, the eighth in line to the throne made a call, without his mother the Queen's official consent, to quieten the noise with a televised BBC interview.
But the move backfired terribly on him. He came across arrogant, self-centred and disconnected.
American mother-of-three Virginia Roberts Giuffre had alleged that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on three separate occasions after she was introduced to him by Epstein and his girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. She was 17 at the time and said she'd been trafficked by Epstein, and worked for him as a masseuse.
Prince Andrew has always vehemently denied the allegations and downplayed his friendship with Epstein, who died by suicide in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
And in the BBC interview he failed to explicitly express sympathy for Epstein's victims or directly denounce Epstein's behavior.
Since it aired Buckingham Palace has forced the Duke of York to step down from his public duties and many of the charities, companies and institutions he formerly worked with have cut ties with him.
The Queen even cancelled his birthday party. Prince Andrew turns 60 on December 19.

Prince Louis takes his first steps

Thank god for the Cambridges, we say. Every time there's a scandal in the family, one of the Cambridge kids goes and does something adorable and then all feels right in the world again.
We're talking about Prince Louis taking his first steps, here.
Have you ever seen anything cuter?
A photo of the one-year-old toddling through Kate's Chelsea Flower Show Garden, was released in May. It was taken by his mum, the Duchess of Cambridge, no less and all we can say is how ADORABLE.
The duchess reportedly told fans that her youngest son "is keeping us on our toes".
"I turned around the other day and he was at the top of the slide – I had no idea!"
Too cute!

Beatrice announces her engagement

Hot on the heels of sister Princess Eugenie's lavish 2018 wedding, Princess Beatrice has announced that she, too, is getting married.
Princess Beatrice of York announced her engagement to property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in September.
Who is Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi? Edoardo is the son of former Olympic skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi and Nikki Shale.
He reportedly began dating Beatrice in November 2018, although the couple have known each other for a number of years.
In contrast to her younger sister, Beatrice is said to have shunned the idea of a showy wedding, in favour of a smaller and more casual ceremony. It has even been reported that the princess is considering forgoing a wedding reception at Windsor Castle - although any kind of wedding planning has been somewhat delegated to the backburner for now, in light of the scandal that currently shrouds her father, Prince Andrew.

Harry and Meghan open up about their mental health

In a move that has been coined as unprecedented, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave televised interviews in which they admitted that they were struggling emotionally after months and months of intrusion, scrutiny and criticism at the hands of the tabloid press.
The couple opened up to ITV News presenter Tom Bradby in interviews for a documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.
Meghan admitted that life has been a struggle since she joined the royal family. She also said that while she had never thought being a royal would be easy she did think the media coverage would be "fair".
"Any woman, especially when they're pregnant, you're really vulnerable. So, that was made really challenging," Meghan said.
"And, then when you have a newborn, and especially as a woman, it's a lot. So, you add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed…"
Harry revealed that the constant presence of the media in his life was a continuous reminder of the death of his mother Princess Diana.
"I think being part of this family, in this role and this job - every time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash – it takes me straight back."
He also addressed rumours of a rift between him and his older brother William, admitting, "We're certainly on different paths at the moment but I will always be there for him and as I know he'll always be there for me."
While many applauded the couple for their honesty and courage, Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan slammed them on social media and Prince William and Duchess Catherine were reportedly worried for the pair.
Here's to a smoother sailing 2020, perhaps with just as many highs but fewer lows.