2016 has been dubbed “officially the worst year in the history of the universe” on social media, with another adding: “2016 can end any time now.” But if we look back at the things that has happened, they weren’t all bad. New chemotherapy breakthroughs have increased the 5-year survival for pancreatic cancer from 16% to 27%, coffee consumption has been proved to help curtail cancer and suicide rates, and tiger, manatees and panda numbers are growing. In Buckingham Palace, many wonderful things happened in 2016 too. The royal family has released a collection of nine photos on Instagram and they can pretty much sum up the year for them.
1. Prince George appeared on his first stamp after a secret photo shoot captured the Queen and her three direct heirs to commemorate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. The two-year-old future king had to stand on blocks to make him the right height for the picture. And while Prince Harry and Duchess Katherine often describe him as “naughty”, the photographer who took the picture said he was a delight.
2. Princess Charlotte started walking. She also celebrated her first birthday in May at Anmer Hall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Norfolk home. She was showered with presents from all over the world including a cot blanket sourced from the Waverley Woollen Mills in Launceston, embroidered with the Australian floral emblem, the wattle, by members of the ACT Embroiderers’ Guild.
3. The palace released a heartwarming photo of Prince Charles and the queen revealing a tender moment between mother and son. The photograph of the Queen and the Prince of Wales was released to mark the end of the monarch’s 90th birthday year.
4.Prince George turned three but it was this photo showing the barefoot future king appearing to feed his pet spaniel Lupo an ice-cream lolly which sent social media into a meltdown. Many raised concern that the dog would fall ill from eating the ice cream.
5. Duchess Catherine wore the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara for the second time in five years. It was given to Diana as a wedding present from the Queen in 1981. Kate paired it with a red Jenny Packham dress, and a pair of diamond earrings for a diplomatic reception at the Buckingham Palace.
6. The palace released a Christmas message from the queen who said, “I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special. They are an inspiration to those who know them.” Her Majesty reflected on ‘Inspiration’ in her annual Christmas broadcast to the Nation and Commonwealth, from Olympic and Paralympic athletes to unsung heroes in the community.
7. ‘Gan-gan’ took a photo with all her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Annie Leibovitz took this picture of the Queen with James, Viscount Severn, Lady Louise, and her five great-grandchildren Mia Tindall (holding handbag), Savannah Philipps, (right of the Queen) Isla Phillips (right), Prince George and Princess Charlotte (on her knee). The photograph was taken in the Green Drawing Room, part of the Windsor Castle’s semi-State apartments just after Easter.
8. The queen celebrated her 90th birthday. There were many events which commemorated the Queen’s ceremonial birthday including Trooping the Colour and a special Patrons Lunch. But it was that moment where the royal grandmother told Prince William to stop crouching that had the internet in stitches.
9. The palace released a rate photo of the queen and Prince Philip. Although the pair are always together for work, they are seldom photographed side-by-side as the queen would always be walking in front followed by her husband.