RESULTS: Top Royal Moment 2020
You voted to pick your favourite royal moment of 2020 which defined The Monarchy this year. See the results below!
DECEMBER 29th, 2020
t’s been a hectic and unpredictable year for the Royal Family, and like for many of us, 2020 is a year they’ll be happy to see the back of. There has been moments of celebration, including the wedding of Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, the knighting of Captain Tom Moore, the adorable photos of Prince Louis in honour of his second birthday, and the formidable Princess Anne turned 70-years-old, but there has also been some testing times too.
We’ve seen the Duke and Duchess of Sussex controversially step back from royal duties and begin their new life in Los Angeles. There has been the continuing saga surrounding Prince Andrew and his more than questionable friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, and the release of two highly contentious biographies over the breakdown in the relationship between Prince William and Prince Harry.
We asked you to vote in our online survey to see which moment you felt defined 2020 for The Royal Family. Take a look below to see which moment our readers picked as their top moment of 2020.
30. Prince George's shark-tooth gift causes bizarre fallout with Malta politicians. – (3 votes, 0%)
After meeting his hero, Sir David Attenborough, Prince George was gifted a prehistoric shark tooth collected by Attenborough when he was a child. The tooth caused a bizarre reaction from the Maltese Culture Secretary Jose Herrera, who claimed that the gift should be returned to Malta.
Not long after the row erupted, the backlash began, with many officials arguing that the Maltese had more pressing matters that Prince George being gifted an innocent shark tooth. The negative response to the Culture Secretary’s comments resulted in Malta’s Prime Minister saying: “We should avoid creating unnecessary controversies.”
29. Prince William appears in Peter Crouch's podcast. – (5 votes, 0.1%)
It seems that the year 2020 was the Cambridge’s year of the podcast. After the Duchess of Cambridge appeared in an episode of “Happy Mum, Happy Baby”, the Duke sat down with former England footballer Peter Crouch and friends.
The podcast was a hit with fans, with many noting how natural William came across, as well as his sense of humour. The Duke even bought a takeaway for them to share as well as a pint of cider. The podcast focussed on male mental health as well as football and all manner of subjects.
28. Prince George's seventh birthday photographs are released. – (8 votes, 0.2%)
It’s hard to believe that Prince George turned seven-years-old in 2020 and as new photographs were released to the public (once again taken by the Duchess of Cambridge) the public noted how much the future king had grown.
The images captured Prince George at Anmer Hall in Norfolk, with the little prince smiling at the camera and looking like a typical happy seven-year-old.
27. Princess Charlotte helps deliver food parcels for her fifth birthday. – (9 votes, 0.3%)
On Princess Charlotte’s fifth birthday, as has become a new tradition, the public received new photographs taken by her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge. The image showcased the Princess, joined by her parents and older brother Prince George, delivering food parcels to elderly locals in Sandringham.
26. Harry and Meghan sign deal with Netflix. – (10 votes, 0.4%)
After leaving the Royal Family, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex began life outside of the firm and moved to Los Angeles. After COVID-19 effectively paused their plans for 2020, the couple did sign a multi-million-dollar deal with the streaming giant Netflix.
The deal, which is said to be worth over $100m involves the couple creating programs based around the environment, gender equality and an already planned animation series. The deal naturally received a mixed reaction, with many questioning what other programs the couple could be planning.
A rumour, which was denied by the couple, surrounded a documentary which would follow the couple’s first year outside of the Royal Family, though critics this was an example of the couple using the link to the monarchy as a money-making scheme.
Either way, it is expected that the couple’s first projects won’t land on Netflix until late 2021/early 2022.
25. Princess Diana's Panorama interview investigation. – (13 votes, 0.5%)
This year marked the 25th anniversary since Princess Diana’s historic Panorama interview with Martin Bashir. The interview, watched by over 25 million people in the UK, was a landmark moment in the fallout between the late Princess and the Royal Family.
Twenty-five-years on, new allegations surfaced around how the BBC, specifically Bashir, was able to convince the Princess to sit down for the interview. These allegations involved accusations of manipulation and emotional extortion of the Princess, who was already paranoid.
Some of the more disturbing claims are aimed at Bashir himself, which include convincing Diana she was being watched and that the Royal Family were planning on having her “removed”. On top of this, Diana was also told that her son Prince William had been gifted a watch which was “spying” on the Princess.
The revelations resulted in an independent investigation into the BBC’s conduct and Bashir’s behaviour in acquiring the interview. There are also calls for there to be a criminal investigation too, both of these investigations have received the backing from both of Diana’s son Prince’s William and Harry, as well as her brother, Charles Spencer.
24. Prince Charles diagnosed with COVID-19. – (16 votes, 0.6%)
As the pandemic began to take its hold on the UK, with the Prime Minister becoming gravely ill with the virus, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Charles too have contracted COVID-19.
Thankfully the Prince’s symptoms were mild, and the future King was able to keep working whilst in isolation throughout. The news caused some panic amongst the public which was the reason behind Prince William’s decision to keep his own diagnosis of contracting the virus under wraps until a more appropriate time.
23. The Duchess of Cambridge appears on 'Happy Mum, Happy Baby' podcast. – (18 votes, 0.7%)
In what was her first ever podcast, the Duchess of Cambridge joined Giovanna Fletcher on her hugely successful podcast series ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby’. In the 30-minute interview, the Duchess spoke about her children, her pregnancies and facing the public on the steps of the Lindo Wing after the birth of Prince George.
Kate spoke with brutal honesty, which, according to Giovanna was the advice given to her by the Duke of Cambridge before the recording of the episode.
22. The Duchess of Cambridge's holocaust portraits. – (22 votes, 0.8%)
The Duchess of Cambridge’s photography skills are well known, and we have mainly seen them on display when she is photographing her own family. Yet in 2020, to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holocaust, the Duchess undertook a poignant and emotive project to capture two survivors with their family.
The portraits feature Steven Frank and his granddaughters Maggie and Trixie, and Yvonne Bernstein and her granddaughter Chloe.
The images captured by the Duchess featured in an exhibition alongside another 75 images of survivors and their family members. The Duchess stated that her aim was to make the portraits “deeply personal to Yvonne and Steven – a celebration of family and the life that they have built since they both arrived in Britain in the 1940s”.
21. The Duchess of Cornwall's speech on domestic violence. – (24 votes, 0.9%)
The Duchess of Cornwall has made domestic violence a pillar of her charitable work. Throughout the pandemic she has highlighted how the lockdown’s have had a huge impact of the horrific abuse of women.
Earlier this year the Duchess became patron of the domestic abuse charity SafeLives and delivered a powerful speech in March at the Grand Opening Session of the Women of the World Festival.
The speech reminded the public that domestic abuse is everyone’s problem and stated, “charity begins at home, but so does domestic violence.”
20. Princess Anne's 70th Birthday ITV Documentary. – (25 votes, 1%)
She is the Royal Family’s hardest working royal and this year Princess Anne turned 70-years-old. In honour of her landmark birthday, ITV commissioned a unique and rare insight into the Queen’s only daughter’s life.
In the aftermath of the documentary’s airing, the public fell in love with the Princess’ ‘no nonsense’ approach, her hilarious response to Twitter and how she was perplexed at the length of time to took to recreate her hairstyle for Netflix’s The Crown.
The programme also highlighted how incredibly hard the Princess works for the Royals and her commitment to her duty and charities. It reminded us all how lucky we are to have her.
19. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's royal tour of Ireland. – (27 votes, 1.2%)
In a tour, which seems as if it happened years ago, in January the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Ireland for a royal tour. The couple’s visit was requested by the Government and took place in the early stages of the pandemic. Across three days the couple visited County Meath, County Kildare and Galway.
The trip highlighted the many strong links between the UK and Ireland, with the couple meeting people from the creative arts, business and charity sectors.
18. The Cambridge's meet Sir David Attenborough. – (30 votes, 1.3%)
In a surprise video, to celebrate the release of Sir David Attenborough’s Netflix documentary about his life, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge filmed their three children asking the acclaimed broadcaster a series of questions.
The adorable video was highlighted by a certain Prince Louis and his pronunciation of the word “amamal” instead of “animal”.
17. Prince Andrew steps back from royal duties. – (41 votes, 1.5%)
If Royal interviews are anything to go by, Prince Andrew’s might just be the worst ever conducted. In an excruciating and explosive hour-long interview, the Duke of York addressed the questionable and deplorable friendship he shared with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The interview, conducted by Emily Maitlis on the BBC’s Panorama programme, looked to bring clarity over the Duke’s controversial decisions to continue a friendship with Epstein, as well as the allegations he personally faces by Virginia Giuffre.
The interview DID NOT go well. Andrew consistently failed to answer any of the questions, and even when he did, they were incredibly far-fetched (the less we mention about Pizza Express, the better).
In the aftermath of the interview, Prince Andrew was forced to stepdown from royal duties and effectively go into hiding. The Duke has since been asked by the FBI to provide information to their investigation as a witness, though as of yet, he has failed to be forthcoming. 2021 looks to be another year for Andrew which will be plagued by the sordid affairs of his “friends”, and his own alleged behaviour.
16. Harry and Meghan's final appearance as senior royals at Commonwealth Service. – (43 votes, 1.6%)
After the dramatic announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be stepping down from royal duties and deciding to live in Canada, which subsequently became California, there was one last appearance that the couple would make alongside the Royal Family – the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey.
Following on from much of the drama surrounding the ‘Sandringham Summit’, even before the service there was an unease amongst the family, specifically on who would walk in the Queen’s procession. The Sussexes had been excused from the formalities due to them stepping back, much to the frustration of Prince Harry. The fallout resulted in the Cambridge’s too excusing themselves from the procession.
For royal watchers, the Duchess’ fashion and intricacies of the ceremony weren’t on the initial agenda, instead all eyes were on the interactions (or lack of) between the Cambridges and the Sussexes. The perceived frosty atmosphere ultimately confirmed that the brother’s relationship had all but fractured catastrophically, though relationships are said to be better.
15. Prince Louis' paints his NHS Rainbow to celebrate his birthday. – (57 votes, 1.7%)
He is the youngest Cambridge, and yet he is quickly becoming the next royal superstar. To celebrate Prince Louis’ 2nd birthday, the Duchess of Cambridge released a set of hilarious images of the prince painting rainbows to honour NHS staff.
The delightful images were highlighted by an hilarious Instagram post caption “Instagram vs reality”, which showed Prince Louis rubbing paint all over his face.
14. Birthday photographs of Prince William with George, Charlotte and Louis – (89 votes, 2%)
To celebrate Prince William’s 39th birthday, Kensington Palace released a stunning collection of images – once again taken by the Duchess of Cambridge – which featured the Prince with his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
The images were captured at their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, and delighted fans with their relaxed nature and playful theme. One image in particular, which excited fans the most, was the Duke playfully wrestling with his three children.
The images gave a unique and honest look at the loving relationship William shares with his children and how wonderful of a father he is.
13. Kate's Early Years survey findings are released. – (132 votes, 3%)
The Duchess of Cambridge’s 5 Big Question’s survey was a landmark moment for her work, and earlier this year this finally revealed the survey’s findings. In an online address the Duchess thanked all those who worked within the early years sector and announced that the survey’s results would help plan any future initiatives within the area.
The survey was praised by professionals and early years experts who claimed the Duchess’ work would help change the trajectory of the sector and finally see the early years be discussed in a more mainstream avenue.
12. The Royal's clap for our NHS heroes. – (43 votes, 1.6%)
It was a simple act which reminded the NHS nurses and doctors we were right behind them as they battled on the frontlines of the pandemic – every Thursday the country would stand on our doorsteps and applaud their bravery.
The act was joined by the Royal family, including the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children.
11. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Royal Train Tour. – (188 votes, 4%)
In an attempt to thank the public across the UK for their hard work and commitment throughout the pandemic, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge jumped aboard the Royal Train to head across the country to do just that.
The royal tour was a hit with the majority of the public, though did face some pushback from politicians, most notably Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, even though all three national governments, the UK Government, Scottish and Welsh signed off the trip.
Whilst there were many highlights, for fans, the Duchess being able to meet Len Gardner – an 85-year-old pensioner she had been talking to on the phone as part of an initiative to combat loneliness – was the defining moment of the tour, as well as the couple meeting with other members of the Royal Family at Windsor Castle.
The tour also included meeting with care homes and NHS staff, students and key workers who had kept the country going throughout the pandemic.
10. Photo released of Prince Charles and Prince William for Father's Day. – (221 votes, 4.2%)
After Prince Harry left the UK, the relationship with his elder brother Prince William reportedly continued to fracture. Yet, William’s relationship with his father, Prince Charles, seemed to blossom, and a sweet picture of father and son captured by the Duchess of Cambridge seemingly proved this.
Taken at Christmas in 2019, the photograph showed the Prince of Wales lay his head upon his son’s shoulder. The poignant image had fans touched by the intimate and informal photo of the two future kings, and although some commentators claimed the image showed the gulf between themselves and Prince Harry, others saw the photo for what it was – a warm portrait of a father and son.
9. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary. – (234 votes, 5%)
Whilst 2020 was a year the Royals will hopefully wish to forget, there were some positives, including the 73rd wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
To commemorate the day Buckingham Palace released a sweet photograph of the couple in Windsor Castle reading a card made by the great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
8. Prince William launches the Earthshot Prize. – (255 votes, 5.2%)
The Duke of Cambridge’s passionate advocacy for the environment is well known. He is patron of many charities which promotes protecting our environment and the rare species who live within them. Yet this year, the Duke took his work to new levels by launching the Earthshot Prize.
The awards, which were launched by Sir David Attenborough, are to become the most prestigious environmental awards in the world and will gift the five winners, chosen each year for the next decade, with a £1 million grant.
The winners will be picked by the Earthshot council, which includes Prince William, Cate Blanchett, Shakira and many more. The first ceremony will take place in London and will continue annually in a different city across the globe.
7. The Cambridge's 'Pantoland' visit. – (291 votes, 6%)
Throughout the pandemic the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge became the face of the monarchy, and in the run-up the Christmas, the royal couple surprised the public by attending the annual pantomime in honour of frontline key workers with their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
The visit was the first time all five of the Cambridge’s have attended an official royal engagement together and fans were quick to spot how much the younger Cambridge’s had grown – especially Prince Louis.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s attendance alongside their children was the family’s way of thanking key workers for all their hard work throughout the pandemic, and specifically around the Christmas period.
6. The wedding of Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. – (367 votes, 7%)
After the announcement that Princess Beatrice was to be married to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, royal fans were excited to be watching another Royal wedding. Though sadly, due to the pandemic and earlier the allegations against Beatrice’s father Prince Andrew, the wedding looked to be postponed for some time.
However, in a sweet surprise, Buckingham Palace announced that the Princess had married Edoardo in a private ceremony at the Royal Chapel of All Saints, Royal Lodge, Windsor. With only minimal guests allowed to attend due to social distancing rules, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were the only senior royals in attendance. The Duke of York attended as well as the Duchess, Sarah Ferguson. Princess Eugenie alongside her husband Jack Brooksbank also attended too.
Whilst the ceremony was a surprise, Beatrice’s wedding dress was too. Instead of having a dress made, the Princess instead wore a "Peau De Soie taffeta" vintage dress in shades of ivory by Norman Hartnell that belonged to the Queen and was "trimmed with duchess satin and encrusted with diamante". Angela Kelly and Stuart Parvin modified the dress for the Princess.
5. The Queen knights (Sir) Captain Tom Moore. – (411 votes, 8%)
This year, it wasn’t just the Queen who inspired the public, another 90-year-old did too – Captain Tom Moore. The former soldier raised over £30m for NHS charity by walking 100 laps of his garden to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Captain Tom only intended on reaching £1,000 for the NHS charity, though surpassed that number in record time and quickly reached his impressive total. The public were so moved by Tom’s actions that a petition was organised to award the now 100-year-old a knighthood.
The public’s wish came into fruition, and before the annual Trooping the Colour – which had been scaled back due to the pandemic – the Queen knighted Captain Tom Moore in the Quadrangle in Windsor Castle.
4. Harry and Meghan step back from the Royal Family. – (433 votes, 8.5%)
It was the event which caused the most controversy this year, as Harry and Meghan bid farewell to the Royal way of life. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex dramatically announced in January that they would be “stepping back” from Royal duties to carve out their own future outside of the Monarchy.
The decision caused both support and severe backlash against the couple, with many inside and outside the palace slamming the Sussexes for blindsiding the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William. The actions of Harry and Meghan resulted in the Prince being summoned to the infamous “Sandringham Summit” whereby a deal was thrashed out for the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
They would no longer be allowed to use the ‘HRH’ stylings officially, Prince Harry would be removed from all military associations, they would no longer officially represent the Queen in any capacity, and their pre-planned charitable foundation ‘Sussex Royal’ would be refused on the grounds of commercialising the couple’s royal connection. These conditions would be subject to a year-long review, whereby any future arrangements would be debated in March 2021.
The fallout from the decision resulted in the breakdown in relationship between Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, a controversial biography, as well as the couple’s popularity plummeting. However, royal sources do claim that Harry and Meghan are on better terms with the Royals since leaving “the firm”.
3. Kate's Hold Still initiative launches. – (500 votes, 9%)
The Duchess of Cambridge is a passionate photographer and has consistently released photos of her own children in honour of special events, specifically birthdays. This year, however, she turned her talents to a new idea by asking the public to submit their own photographs of the pandemic to help create a “national portrait of the nation at this unique moment in time.”
Over 32,000 entries were submitted with the top 100 being showcased in a digital exhibition, as well as being displayed across the country on billboards and advertisements. The images were so successful that the Queen recently used them in her Christmas address to help highlight the nation’s response to the pandemic.
2. The introduction to The Queen's "magnificent seven". – (503 votes, 10%)
After a turbulent year with members leaving and expelled from “the Firm” the Queen looked to add some clarity to a situation which had dominated 2020 for The Royal Family – the future. After the Royal Train tour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the couple joined the Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne, for a photoshoot on the steps of Windsor Castle’s Quadrangle.
The photo was designed to relay a message to the public, one orchestrated by the Queen herself – this is your Royal Family. The “Magnificent Seven” – as they have been dubbed – will enter 2021 with a renewed approach, so expect to see much more joint engagements between the senior members of the royals. The message was also one to clearly determine that the monarchy is now looking to the future instead of the controversial past year which saw the Sussexes leave and Prince Andrew expelled from Royal duties.
1. The Queen's COVID-19 address. – (1034 votes, 18%)
2020 has been a year unlike any other, specifically due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which effectively shut down the world. For the UK, in times of instability, we look to our Head of State and Monarch – The Queen, and she didn’t disappoint. In an historic address, regarded as her greatest yet, Her Majesty spoke to the nation and wider Commonwealth from Windsor Castle, delivering a stoic and deeply emotional speech which provided comfort to her people.
The speech was watched by 24 million people in the UK alone, and predictions from OFCOM claimed that over 1 billion tuned in around the world, making the Queen’s address one of the most watched events in the last decade.
In her speech, Her Majesty honoured the NHS staff and key workers across the country and uttered words which have become synonymous with the monarch – “we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”
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