Duchess Kate

A royally good year: The Brits' best moments in 2013

Dec. 26, 2013 at 8:36 AM ET

By George, this has been a great year for the British monarchy!

The royal family had much to celebrate in 2013: The birth of a new heir to the throne, the diamond anniversary of the Queen’s coronation and an extended show of noble maturity for Prince Harry, who stayed out of trouble and instead served his country proudly on trips abroad.

In her annual Christmas speech, the queen referenced the royal baby, saying "our own family is bigger this year." Topped by that much-anticipated tot, here are five of the best royal moments of the year.

1. It's a boy! The biggest royal event, of course, was the July 22 birth of Prince George. He made his world debut the following day as Prince William and Duchess Kate proudly showed him off on the steps of St. Mary’s Hospital in London.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St ...
Oli Scarff / Getty Images
Prince William and Duchess Kate depart St. Mary's Hospital in London with their newborn son on July 23, 2013.
Prince Charles (L) and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive at the St Mary's Hospital in London, on July 23, 2013. Britain's Prince William a...
Andrew Cowie / AFP - Getty Images
Prince Charles, the proud grandfather, arrives with his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at St Mary's Hospital to see his new grandson.

The world went nuts.

Heathrow Airport in London handed gift boxes with this t-shirt to the first 1,000 passengers who flew in and out of its terminals after the birth of Prince George.
Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport in London handed gift boxes with this T-shirt to the first 1,000 passengers who flew in and out of its terminals after the birth of Prince George.

2. THOSE CHEEKS! An unofficial family portrait, taken by Kate’s father, was revealed shortly later, but George made a more formal appearance at his Oct. christening, where the world finally got a solid look at the adorable face of their potential future king. 

Prince George
TODAY
Baby George did not disappoint, flashing his chubby cheeks outside St. James's Palace.

3. Will rocks it out! Prince William retired from his career as a helicopter pilot for the Royal Air Force, moved with his family into a 20-room apartment at Kensington Palace that cost more than $2 million to renovate and focused on spending more time on charity work and royal duties. He combined the two in a Nov. gala where he got to rock out with Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift.

Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, right, sings with US singers Taylor Swift, left, and Jon Bon Jovi at the Centrepoint Gala Dinner at K...
Dominic Lipinski / AP
Prince William rocks the mic with Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi at Kensington Palace on Nov. 26, 2013, at a charity gala supporting homeless youth.
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meets singer Taylor Swift at Kensington Palace for the Centrepoint Winter Whites Gal...
WPA Pool / Getty Images
Prince William with Taylor Swift

3. Prince Harry goes on tour. In Feb., he visited the nations of Lesotho and South Africa on behalf of charities he co-founded to help children living with HIV and AIDS.

MASERU, LESOTHO - FEBRUARY 27: Prince Harry dances with deaf children during at visit to the Kananelo Centre for the deaf, a project supported by his ...
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Prince Harry dances with children during at visit to the Kananelo Centre for the Deaf, a project supported by his charity Sentebale, on Feb. 27, 2013 in Maseru, Lesotho.
Britain's Prince Harry bakes at the Kananelo Centre for the Deaf on February 27, 2013 in Maseru. Prince Harry visited his charity projects in Lesotho ...
STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP - Getty Images
Prince Harry bakes at the Kananelo Centre.

A few months later, his week-long American tour included stops at the White HouseArlington National Cemetery and the Jersey Shore.

epa03700011 Britain's Prince Harry (L) listens to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) in Mantoloking, New Jersey, USA, 14 May 2013, as the governor...
The Star Ledger/Pool via EPA
Britain's Prince Harry listens to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in Mantoloking, N.J., on May 14, 2013.
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 09:  HRH Prince Harry and first lady Michelle Obama prepare to attend an event to honor military families at the White House duri...
WPA Pool / Getty Images
First lady Michelle Obama and Prince Harry at a Mother's Day tea at the White House.

He ended the year with a remarkable, 200-mile journey across Antarctica to raise awareness for wounded veterans.

Prince Harry (L) poses for a photograph with Margaux Mange of Team U.S. at the South Pole in this December 13, 2013 handout from Walking With the Woun...
HANDOUT / Reuters
Prince Harry poses for a photograph at the South Pole on Dec. 13.

4. Prince Charles does the hokey pokey. Harry's dad, Prince Charles, turned 65 in the fall. He received much attention for both being a proud grandfather, but also for claiming his sons inherited their dance moves from him. He got to walk the talk while visiting a classroom of physically and developmentally disabled students in Sri Lanka and sweetly showing off his skills. 

NUWARA ELIYA, SRI LANKA - NOVEMBER 16:  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales takes part in the 'Hokey Cokey' with disabled children as he visits MEDCAFEP D...
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Prince Charles takes part in the Hokey Pokey with children at a school he visited Nov. 16 during his visit to Sri Lanka.
NUWARA ELIYA, SRI LANKA - NOVEMBER 16:  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales takes part in the 'Hokey Cokey' with disabled children as he visits MEDCAFEP D...
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Prince Charles shows off his moves.

5. Queen Elizabeth celebrates 60. And of course, last but certainly not least, the year was grand for the monarch herself, Queen Elizabeth, who marked 60 years on the throne this year.

Although Elizabeth became queen upon the death of her father, King George VI, in February 1952, her formal coronation didn’t take place until 16 months later to allow for a mourning period as well as time to plan for a formal ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

From unique prints to fabulous hats, the British monarch’s fashion choices often show a sense of fun. Take a look through Queen Elizabeth II’s signature looks over the years.


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