Dec. 17, 2014 at 3:52 PM ET
It was a year of international travel, charity events, photobombs, pregnancy announcements, George’s cheeks and more for the royal family in 2014. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Prince William, Duchess Kate, Prince Harry and wee Prince George had a lot on their excellent agendas. Here are the highlights:
February: Letting loose! Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, sipped a few pints during a day trip to the English county of Essex.
March: The world got a peek at the royal family’s newest addition — 8-month-old Prince George — and confirmed that his chubby cheeks were in fact still intact.
April: Will and Kate made their first official royal trip as parents with little George during a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. On the agenda: yacht races, play dates, aerial views, DJ classes, zoo visits and more.
In New Zealand, Kate smoked Will in a yacht race.
Prince George also held court with a group of other tots. “George is bubbly, quite feisty and he took control,” said Grant Collins, whose son was among the prince’s New Zealand playmates.
The couple took a precarious peek over the cliffs of Australia’s Blue Mountains.
William and Kate tried their hand at scratching vinyl while visiting a community music center for youth.
George (and the rest of the world) learned what a bilby was.
June: Pippa Middleton revealed to Matt in her very first television interview that she and Kate have a “very normal” relationship, her iconic bridesmaid’s dress was supposed “to sort of blend in” and she thinks America “is amazing.”
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip took a three-day tour of Northern Ireland in June and visited one of the bloodiest thrones in history: The Game of Thrones throne, that is.
July: Will, Kate and Harry attended the Commonwealth Games in Scotland. The event was exciting. Better though? Their reactions.
Another July milestone: George turned 1 — and showed off his walking skills!
And then there was the queen’s possibly first, definitely best photobomb.
September: Prince Harry turned 30!
Also… another baby! The royal household announced in September that Kate and Will are expecting their second child. Cue the bump watch.
October: Prince Harry surprised his friend Ben McBean, a disabled Afghanistan veteran, after McBean crossed the finish line of a 31-mile race through London that benefited the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.
November: Prince Charles showed off his dancing skills while visiting the coastal town of Campeche in Mexico.
December: America got a dose of Britain’s charm during William and Kate’s three-day tour of New York City and Washington, D.C.
The prince visited the capital to meet with President Obama…
As Kate visited a child development center in Harlem.
And together they met America’s own royal couple — Jay Z and Beyoncé — at an NBA game in Brooklyn.
Before jetting home, the duo stunned at a gala honoring their alma mater, University of St. Andrews.
Just days after their East Coast visit, the couple shared holiday photos of little George. Rosy cheeks? Check!
What was your favorite moment? Ours, if it’s not obvious, is George’s cheeks.
Prince William and Kate Middleton will be spending Christmas at Anmer Hall for the first time, according to Vanity Fair. The home has been undergoing extensive renovations since Queen Elizabeth II gave the estate to them as a wedding gift, and it seems to finally be ready for the royals.
Luckily the residence is close to Sandringham House, where the Queen hosts dinner on Christmas Eve. However, Kate’s family reportedly won’t be at that dinner because the Queen didn’t send them an invite. The snub wasn’t out of spite, but out of necessity. There just isn’t enough space at Sandringham House.
“The Queen is fond of Kate and doesn’t mean to exclude her family – indeed she has broken many of the old rules for them in the past. But if all of her children and grandchildren’s wives had their families to lunch, there wouldn’t be enough room, even at Sandringham House’s dining room,” a source told the Daily Mail.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will reportedly attend the dinner at Sandringham House and attend a Christmas Day service the next morning. They’re expected to attend St. Mary Magdalene Church, the Mirror reports. They went to the same church last year, but Prince George wasn’t in attendance. No word on if George will be there this year.
Later, the couple will have Christmas dinner at Anmer Hall. The Middleton family is invited, but Kate’s siblings, Pippa and James, might not bring dates. Vanity Fair reports that they still haven’t been told if they’re allowed to bring guests to the family affair, even though they’re both in relationships. James has been dating TV personality Donna Air while Pippa has been in a relationship with stock broker Nico Jackson.
While planning any holiday gathering can be stressful, it seems that the family will likely relax at the end of the day with the “Downton Abbey” Season 5 Christmas special. Prince William himself told “Downton” executive producer Gareth Neame that he was looking forward to the episode.
“He said that he was really looking forward to the episode that we run on Christmas Day [in the U.K.], which is the season finale [for American viewers]. . .so we know that William and Kate are fans,” Neame said.
The holiday is almost here and it seems that the family is ready to host a celebration. Kate already proved that she is in the Christmas spirit on her quick trip to New York when she wrapped Christmas gifts at the Northside Center for Child Development. Prince George has even shown some holiday cheer in his new photos.
Prince George got a pre-Christmas treat when he was taken to see Santa in an English country town on Saturday.
And he got a special memento of his visit: a little wooden toy train set.
George, 17 months, and his parents Prince William and Kate, both 32, joined the throng of locals winding past penguins and polar bears and saw elves getting presents ready before meeting the man in red in Thusford, Norfolk.
They spent about 45 minutes enjoying the sights like all the others taking the journey.
“There was no special treatment for them,” general manager Geraldine Rye tells PEOPLE. “They walked through like everyone else. People were just happy to see them, like all the other families enjoying the experience.
“Like all the children, George was excited by what he saw and excited to meet Santa,” Rye added.
And, like the other kids, he walked away with the wooden toy train. William, who wore a jacket and tie while Kate had a brown jacket over a cream dress and knee-length boots, wished the young people playing Santa’s elves, “Merry Christmas.”
The couple is expected to join the rest of the royals for the walk to church service on Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham estate on Christmas day.
Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, released photos Saturday of Prince George posing in a courtyard at Kensington Palace in London in late November.
The great-grandchild to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and third in line to the British throne was born July 22, 2013.
The young prince will no longer be an only child with the arrival of a baby brother or sister, due in late April.
On a recent trip to New York, Kate spent time wrapping presents with students at the Northside Center in Harlem. The centre offers support and care for children working to overcome issues such as poverty, discrimination and mental health.
British actor James Corden caused a security scare at a London airport as Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge returned from their first official trip to New York after mindlessly wandering into a blocked off area of the runway.
The star, who features in new Disney movie musical Into The Woods, reveals he found himself sitting in the same first class cabin as the U.K. royals when he was flying home earlier this month.
He says, “I don’t normally fly first class on aeroplanes, I’ve never done it, but because I’m in a Disney film, that’s what happens…
“So I’m in the plane, and I’m on the plane with William and Kate in the same cabin… My first thought was, ‘If this plane goes down, no one mentions that I’ve died…!’ It’s just, ‘They died… and 200 other people…’”
Corden claims he and one fellow male passenger were the only others in first class not travelling with the Duke and Duchess, so he was inadvertently led astray as he exited the plane upon arrival in London.
He explains, “I’m going off the plane, I’m listening to (music) in my headphones and I’m very happily wandering along. As I’m getting off the plane, this side door opens and the people in front of me go in through the door, and so I just go through the door and I’m going down these stairs and then I’m on the runway, on the tarmac, with all these cars and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, Disney have really… looked after me on this trip…!’”
However, Corden soon discovered the waiting vehicles were not meant for him and he was flagged as a royal security risk.
He continues, “Then this arm goes (stops me) and (the bodyguard) goes, ‘What are you doing?’ I’m like (taking my headphones out), going, ‘What?’ and he went, ‘What are you doing here?’ And I just went, ‘I’m in a Disney film. I’m the lead in it, I think it’s probably… one of these cars are mine.’ And he goes (speaks into a microphone in his sleeve), ‘We’ve got a 526 down on the tarmac’. I go, ‘No no, I’m not a 526, honestly, I’m not a 526. I don’t know what a 526 is, but I’m not it.’ He goes, ‘Sir, you’re gonna have to go back up the stairs and go back to the top.”
Corden followed the instructions, but was stopped again by another bodyguard moments later.
He says, “I go back up the stairs (to the main airport terminal), and then this hand goes, (stops me again) and (a guard) goes, ‘What are you doing in the stairwell?’ (I said), ‘I don’t normally travel in first class and I got a bit confused…’ and he goes (speaks into his sleeve mic), ‘We’ve got a 526 in the stairwell.’ I’m like, ‘Honestly, I’m not a 526!’”
The plane drama has since convinced Corden to talk up his royal encounter by suggesting the trio “slept together”.
He exclaims, “For all of that (drama), I can legitimately say that I’ve slept with the future king of England. There’s no denying it; I slept with him. In fact, we all slept together! The three of us slept together one night, coming back from New York, it’s no big deal, get over it!”