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The royal year in review – Royal Central’s most read articles in 2016

2016 has been a busy year for the Royal Family, with lots of unexpected events and long anticipated milestones occurring. From Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, to the everyday engagements of the Royal Family, it has been a year full of excitement and celebration.

As of December 27, Royal Central has published 1737 articles in 2016. Here are ten of our most read articles:

10. Queen cancels Christmas travel plans

Only last week, it was announced that The Queen would not be travelling to Sandringham for the start of her Christmas break as originally planned. After much speculation by the media and public, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying that both Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh were suffering from “heavy colds”.

Fortunately, the delay only lasted for 24 hours, as the couple made their way to Sandringham on a helicopter the day after.

9. French hotel turns down The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry travelled to Somme in June to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Yet despite the nearly six-month advance booking, the five-star hotel had to turn down the Royal Family as they were already fully booked, citing it as “unethical” to kick out customers.

It has been reported that they were looking at two nights in four separate suites, which could cost up to £350-a-night. Le Hôtel Marotte is the only five-star hotel located close to the battlefields.

The owner said it was unethical to throw other customers out to make room for the young royals.

8. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrate 69 years of marriage

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary in 2016, making it just one year to go until the couple’s historic platinum wedding anniversary.

Her Majesty and Prince Philip spent the day together privately, enjoying a rare day away from work.

The Queen first met her future husband Prince Philip when she was just 13 years old at the wedding of his cousin, Princess Marina of Greece. It was love at first sight for the young princess. She kept in touch with the 18-year-old naval midshipman, corresponding with him during her teenage years.

In 2o17, Royal Central will bring you extensive coverage of The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s 70th wedding anniversary.

7. Can we please stop calling her ‘Kate Middleton’?

In this blog post, Royal Central’s Deputy Editor, Jamie Samhan, explains why it is incorrect to call the Duchess of Cambridge ‘Kate Middleton’.


In her post, Jamie says: “While I fully understand that those who are not royal watchers will get it wrong, major publications have no excuse. This year will be the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 5th wedding anniversary so it is about time we all get her name right!”

Do you agree with this? Click on the link above and comment on the article to share your thoughts.

6. Meet the new Duke of Westminster

2016 has certainly been a year which has kept the Obituary Editors busy. One such death in August was that of the Duke of Westminster, Major-General Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor.

When he died, his third child and only son took on the Dukedom and inherited much of his father’s £9.35 billion fortune and estate.

Hugh Grosvenor, the new Duke of Westminster, lives life in the shadows with very little detail of his life being made public.

Some of the land the young Duke now inherits includes 100 acres of Mayfair and 200 acres of Belgravia.

5. Duchess of Cambridge drops water bottle and picks it up all by herself

It might be the headline that made this article so popular, and it completely proves the point that the author is trying to convey.

In November, The Duchess of Cambridge dropped a water bottle on the floor, and shock horror, she picked it up herself! Catherine also visited a prison this morning and a charity that works with vulnerable women. So why has such a trivial thing taken up all of the headlines?

As proven by the huge amount of people to read the article, the reason for these headlines might be because the media can get readers to click on their articles. This is known as ‘clickbait’.

Royal Central’s article though was about the media coverage each royal receives, and why the trivial headlines (such as the one above) have to stop:

4. The Queen’s cousin becomes the first member of The Royal Family to reveal he is gay

In September, The Queen’s cousin, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, revealed for the first time that he is in a relationship with a man after coming out as gay.

Lord Ivar, who is the son of the 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven, was the first member of the extended Royal Family to come out as gay, although he says he does not feel “100 per cent comfortable.”

At the time, he said: “Coming out is such a funny phrase but it’s what I suppose I did in a rather roundabout way, emerging to a place I’m happy to be. I have struggled with my sexuality and in some ways I still do; it has been a real journey to reach this point.

“I was driven into the closet by not wanting to come to terms with who I was and facing friends and family in the early years. I buried it.

“I’m just so pleased now to have found someone who I am happy to call my partner.”

3. Stunning new photographs released to mark Queen’s 90th birthday

The third most read article on Royal Central in 2016 was when three new photographs of the Royal Family were released to mark The Queen’s 90th birthday.

The photographs were all taken by American photographer Annie Leibovitz, who depicted The Queen in a variety of photos released at separate intervals during the year.

One of the three photographs shows the 90-year-old monarch posing for the camera with two of her grandchildren and her five great-grandchildren. Her Majesty is seated in the photo with Princess Charlotte sat on her lap surrounded by the other children. They include James, Viscount Severn; Lady Louise Windsor; Mia Tindall (holding Her Majesty’s handbag), Savannah and Isla Phillips and Prince George.

Another of the photos shows The Queen sat with her daughter, Princess Anne, on a sofa as they both smile to the camera. The Princess Royal embraces her mother, as she places her arm around her back.

The third photograph shows The Queen posing for a portrait on a walk around the private grounds of Windsor Castle with her two corgis, Willow and Holly, and two dorgis, Candy and Vulcan.

2. New photos of Royal Family released ahead of Queen’s 90th birthday

The second most read post on Royal Central this year was also when new photos were released to mark Her Majesty’s milestone birthday.

These photos were used on stamps by Royal Mail. One of the Stamp Sheets was particularly special as it featured features four generations of the House of Windsor sat together, photographed by Ranald Mackechnie for Royal Mail.

The family portrait was taken in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace in the summer of 2015. Posed in the frame are The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George.

Six further stamps have also been issued. Three of these focus on Her Majesty’s family life, and the other three honour the ninety year old’s work life and dedication to the country

1. Only one taxpayer will fund the Buckingham Palace repairs; The Queen

Finally, Royal Central’s most popular post in 2016 was an opinion piece by Benjamin Knights on the restoration of Buckingham Palace, and why he thinks the media aren’t telling people the full truth about the matter.

The opinion piece came after it was announced that Buckingham Palace would be undergoing a £369m refurbishment, which is expected to last for ten years.

In his piece, Benjamin says: “The media have attempted, and succeeded to mislead and fool the British public. There are now a great many people all over the country who are angry because they believe that they will be made to pay £369 million for repairs to Buckingham Palace. The media have of course created this whole situation. Only one British taxpayer will foot the bill for the work, and she is The Queen herself.”

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