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The best royal photo of the decade?


The 2010s have been a time of change for royalty across Europe and, as the decade ends, reflections on the years that have passed throwback images that will last forever. For a picture, the capturing of an instant, can tell a story far better than words. In a royal decade marked by the rise of social media with its never-ending demand for images, there is no shortage of photos to tell the regal tale. Here, Royal Central’s editors share their favourite images and explain why they think they should be the photo of the decade.

Lydia Starbuck, News Editor: the Abdication of King Juan Carlos of Spain, Palacio Real, Madrid, June 18th 2014

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Here, in an instant, is the passing of a crown. On June 18th 2014, just moments after he had signed the instrument of abdication that would bring his 39-year rule to an end, King Juan Carlos of Spain embraced the son for whom he had given up his throne.

Felipe, then still Prince of Asturias, had watched as his father put pen to paper to enforce an act that would seal the abdication and which would take effect at the stroke of midnight. Politicians had given their approval, commentators had debated what the change would mean. But ultimately, amidst the constitutional and political discussion, it was a simple moment between father and son that said everything. The embrace lasted just seconds but captured the historic event forever. Two kings, father and son – and the passage of power.

Brittani Barger, Deputy Editor: Princess Estelle at Victoriadagen, Oland, Sweden, 14 July 2014

I think this photo really shows the personality of the second in line to the Swedish throne. She was only two at the time, so her personality was really beginning to shine at this time. Swedes could see her vibrant personality, and she has brought so much joy and laughter in the years since to her parents, grandparents, other family members, the Swedish public and royal watchers around the globe.

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Plus, it’s just an adorable photo!

Moniek Bloks, Assistant Editor: Queen Máxima at King Willem-Alexander’s inauguration

I love this photo because it shows what a happy occasion an abdication and peaceful handover can be. I know the British have mostly negative experiences with abdications while the Netherlands has seen many and it is seen as a tradition. Only two of the Netherlands’ monarchs died while on the throne – King William II and King William III. I especially love how proud Maxima looked that day and the many smiles were exchanged between the new King and Queen and their family on the first row in the church.

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Those re our picks but do you agree? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or you can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.



About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.