George was 2014’s royal superstar

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Published: Friday 26th December 2014 by The News Editor

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2014 saw royal superstar Prince George charm his way round New Zealand and Australia, while his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced they were expecting their second child.

The young Prince was dubbed the “republican slayer” for boosting the monarchy’s appeal down under on what was his first ever official overseas tour.

He met a bilby named after him, stole another baby’s toy on a playdate and, according to his mother, gained an extra fat roll while he was away.

George, who celebrated his first birthday in July, is being prepared for a new royal arrival after it was revealed in September that Kate was pregnant again.

The Duchess, who was not seen for several weeks as she struggled with severe pregnancy sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum, emerged at the state visit in October, telling the Singaporean president: “I’ve been looking forward to getting out of the house, that’s for sure.”

A three day trip to US at the end of the year saw William and five months pregnant Kate charm New Yorkers on their first ever visit to the Big Apple.

William confessed to US president Barack Obama at the Oval Office in Washington DC that in the chaos of the delivery room he forgot to ask if Prince George was a boy or a girl, while Kate surprised youngsters in Harlem who thought they were meeting Princess Elsa from the movie Frozen.

The couple paid their respects at the 9/11 memorial and later rubbed shoulders with US elite at a lavish 10,000 US dollar-a-head (£6,400) dinner to mark the 600th anniversary of the University of St Andrews where they first met.

Over the last 12 months, the Queen sent her first tweet, hosted the first ever incoming state visit by an Irish president to the UK and marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day with a state visit to France.

2014 also saw the younger generation take on more responsibility to help the monarch, with the Prince of Wales and William carrying out some investitures and William, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cornwall hosting receptions on behalf of the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

William, Harry and Kate commemorated the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of First World War in Mons, Belgium in August, while the Queen, who was staying at Balmoral, marked the occasion with a service in the UK at Crathie Kirk Church in Aberdeenshire.

The Queen travelled to Rome to meet Pope Francis for the first time and went to Belfast, visiting the interior set of the hit US TV drama Game of Thrones and touring the notorious Crumlin Road jail.

As Scotland prepared to vote in the independence referendum, she took the unusual step of breaking her silence on the issue, telling a well wisher: “Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.”

In the end, Scotland voted “no” but David Cameron found himself in trouble after he was caught on camera telling Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, that the Queen had “purred down the line” after he gave her the news by telephone.

An embarrassed Prime Minister apologised and vowed “never again” to discuss his conversations with the Queen.

The Queen sent her first tweet in October which ended with the sign off “Elizabeth R” while opening the Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

Meanwhile, for William, 2014 was a “transitional year” as he attempted to carve out his role after leaving the military.

He completed an agricultural management course at Cambridge University – training for when he will inherit the Duchy of Cornwall estate – and also focused on his charity work.

He launching the #WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign with David Beckham to help stigmatise the buying of ivory and rhino horn and joined forces with the online game Angry Birds to promote the “Roll with the Pangolins” tournament to highlight the threat of poaching.

It was also revealed that William is to become a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service in the spring of 2015, allowing him to pursue a career rather than full time royal duties and be close to the Cambridges’ new family home Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

2014 was a busy year for Prince Harry who took a military desk job, split from his girlfriend Cressida Bonas, hosted the Invictus Games, turned 30 and inherited the multi-million pound estate left to him by his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

He paid official visits to Estonia, Italy, Brazil and Chile and travelled to Afghanistan on Remembrance Sunday to pay tribute to the fallen.

Harry confessed a personal secret in support of his charity Sentebale’s #FeelNoShame campaign for World Aids Day, revealing that he gets ”incredibly nervous” before giving a speech or entering a room full of people.

The Prince of Wales spoke out about the response to the flood stricken Somerset Levels, saying it was a “tragedy” that “nothing happened for so long”.

But Charles also sparked a diplomatic crisis with Russia when he likened Vladimir Putin’s actions to some of those of the Nazis while speaking to a former Polish war refugee during a royal tour to Canada.

The Prince and Camilla also paid a two week official trip to Mexico and Colombia. 2014 was a difficult year for the Duchess after the unexpected death of her beloved brother Mark Shand following a fall in New York.

Other royal events included the birth of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall’s first child – Mia Grace – whose name was announced by her father via a tweet.

Equestrian eventer Zara returned to the saddle to work towards gaining a place in Team GB for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, while her mother the Princess Royal prompted anger from animal welfare campaigners by calling for an end to a ban on gassing badgers.

The Duke of York became the first British royal to take and publish his own selfie at the final of his Pitch @ Palace competition at St James’s Palace.

Kate’s family – the Middletons – raised their profile in the States with her sister Pippa reportedly being hired as a correspondent for NBC’s breakfast show Today in a lucrative deal and her brother James discussing George, the Duchess, the forthcoming royal baby and Lupo the dog in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America show to promote his range of personalised sweets.

Published: Friday 26th December 2014 by The News Editor

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