SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please considering donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

British RoyalsThe Queen

A Look Back at The Queen’s Royal Year


Pete Maclaine / i-Images

January

The Queen spent Christmas at Sandringham and continued to stay there through February, so news was slow at the beginning of the year. Case in point? Our first story about The Queen in 2019 was titled “Inquiring children’s minds want to know: does The Queen eat pizza?”

Embed from Getty Images

Kate was asked during a visit to an Islington garden and told the children there that she didn’t know for sure, but would ask Her Majesty the next time she saw her.

The Queen attended the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Institute at Sandringham and spoke about the need to look for common ground in the midst of Brexit.  

February

The Queen sent a message of support to the President of Brazil following a dam collapse in Brumadinho. It was also revealed that there were evacuation plans for The Queen if Brexit became unruly.

The Queen attended church; and on 6 February, Her Majesty marked 67 years since her accession. Adding to this historical event, a poll revealed that 80% of Britons only knew one monarch: Her Majesty.

We also asked the (seemingly eternal) question: will Prince Charles become regent when The Queen turns 95? (we asked it again in November following the Prince Andrew fallout).

The Queen’s racing plans were thrown into doubt following an outbreak of equine flu; she attended church for the last time this winter at Sandringham; then arrived back in London on 11 February. She was back to work two days later welcoming diplomats to the palace

Embed from Getty Images

The Queen made an unannounced visit to the GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence, security, and cyber agency; welcomed a new Communications Secretary; visited Wellington Barracks to recognise army chaplains; and welcomed King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan to Buckingham Palace.  

March

The Queen held a special event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Prince Charles’s investiture as Prince of Wales; a few days later she made her very first Instagram post.

Embed from Getty Images

Ahead of Commonwealth Day, The Queen released a message to the citizens of the Commonwealth; later she led the procession for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

Embed from Getty Images

The Queen granted The Duke and Duchess of Sussex their own office within Buckingham Palace as the Cambridges and Sussexes split their Kensington Palace household. Following a terrorist attack at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, The Queen sent a message of support.

The Queen’s horse won big at Kempton; Her Majesty and The Duchess of Cambridge attended a joint engagement at the University of London; and she sent a message of support to the countries affected by Cyclone Idai (Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi).  

On a day of engagements in Somerset, The Queen ran into a familiar face: The Countess of Wessex’s father. To close out the month, Buckingham Palace marked Earth Hour by turning off all the lights, and Her Majesty was reported to have given up driving following Prince Philip’s car accident earlier in the year.

April

The Queen hosted a reception for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations; granted Royal Assent to an EU-withdrawal bill; following a devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, sent a message of support to the people of France; and former First Lady Michelle Obama’s supposed breach of protocol when meeting The Queen in 2009 came up again.

The Queen marked her 93rd birthday at Windsor Castle; and distributed Maundy money with Princess Eugenie at St George’s Chapel. She also sent a message of condolence to the German President following the Madeira bus crash, and one to the Sri Lankan people following a series of explosions at churches and hotels at Easter.

Embed from Getty Images

In late April, it was confirmed that The Queen would welcome President Trump for a state visit in June (Corbyn said he wouldn’t attend the state banquet). Following Grand Duke Jean’s death, The Queen sent a message of condolence to the Grand Ducal Family.

May

Ahead of Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding mid-month, it was confirmed at the beginning of May that The Queen would attend the ceremony. And following the birth of her newest great-grandchild, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, The Queen was confirmed to meet him.

Embed from Getty Images

The Queen attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show and stunned in coral at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding. She visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and saw Kate’s Back to Nature Garden; and attended her first garden party of the season at Buckingham Palace. Ahead of the announcement that Theresa May would step down as Prime Minister in early June, we looked at all of Her Majesty’s Prime Ministers.

June

The Queen hosted President Trump for a State Visit in early June and amidst all the pomp and ceremony, showed him a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pose for a photo with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall Monday, June 3, 2019, prior to attending a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in London. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On 5 June, The Queen attended a service for the 75th anniversary of D-Day and gave a moving speech to the veterans.

Embed from Getty Images

At Trooping the Colour, The Queen arrived in the Scottish State Coach; and took the salute alongside The Duke of Kent.

It was revealed ahead of Garter Day that King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima would attend the service for his installation as a supernumerary knight; later on 17 June, she installed both King Willem-Alexander and King Felipe of Spain as supernumerary knights. All of her children were there as well, as was The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  

Embed from Getty Images

The Queen then attended Royal Ascot (Day 1, Day 4, and Day 5 coverage here), but her jockey was suspended from a race for overusing his whip. That didn’t deter her winnings, which totalled more than £20,000. All of our fashion coverage for Her Majesty can be found here.

Elsewhere, The Queen was hit in the face with a scarf at a polo match; she attended the Windsor Cup, and the royal finances for the previous year were announced;

July

The Queen was in Scotland for Holyrood Week and spoke of her affection for the country. She and her children attended a garden party, and on the last day of Holyrood Week, she took a walk with a duck.

Embed from Getty Images

It was revealed that The Queen would miss Archie’s christening because she would be away on a private vacation with Prince Philip; and if you were wondering if The Queen could still plant a tree? She says she’s perfectly capable. Elsewhere, her swans were counted in the 800-year Swan Upping tradition; and The Queen was listed as one of the world’s most admired people.

Her last engagement before departing for Balmoral? Receiving her 14th Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

August

The Queen began her summer break at Balmoral. It was revealed that she was allegedly dismayed at her politicians’ inability to govern amidst concern that she could be dragged into a political storm in September and Boris Johnson asking her to prorogue Parliament. The Queen and her advisors were reportedly angered at how prorogation was handled, as ‘Abolish the Monarchy’ began trending on Twitter.

September

At Balmoral, The Queen attended the Braemar Games (always a staple on her summer calendar) with other members of the Royal Family; and she sent a message of support to the people of the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian.

Embed from Getty Images

Former Prime Minister David Cameron landed in hot water over remarks he made about The Queen in his new book, but that wasn’t the only book about The Queen this month: The Queen’s most trusted confidant, Angela Kelly, wrote a book about her working relationship with Her Majesty (a royal first!)

After the Supreme Court ruled that Boris Johnson misled The Queen by asking her to prorogue Parliament, we asked: should The Queen return to London in the face of all this controversy? A former Prime Minister weighed in on Johnson’s request; and finally, 62% of people thought Johnson should apologise to The Queen for asking her to prorogue Parliament.

October

The Queen returned to London after a summer at Balmoral Castle on 8 October and carried out an Investiture, but the biggest event on Her Majesty’s October calendar? The State Opening of Parliament.

Embed from Getty Images

The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall attended a service for Westminster Abbey’s 750th anniversary; The Queen held a reception to close out The Queen’s Trust; and finally, The Queen carried out an engagement with The Countess of Wessex to celebrate the work of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

November

The Queen led the nation in Remembrance activities: she undertook an engagement in Kent to visit the Royal British Legion; attended the Festival of Remembrance and the Remembrance Sunday events with the rest of the Royal Family.

Embed from Getty Images

It was a rough personal month for The Queen: Prince Andrew gave an ill-advised and disastrous interview with the BBC about his friendship with a convicted sex offender and it was rumoured that Her Majesty had given her consent. He later retired from public duties under intense scrutiny on The Queen’s 73rd wedding anniversary – The Queen had an engagement minutes after the news broke.

The Queen left her stamp at the Royal Philatelic Society’s 150th-anniversary celebrations and penned a message of support for the heroes who stopped the London Bridge terrorist attack.

December

A gruesome start to the last month of the year, with vicious social media rumours spreading that The Queen had died. It was later confirmed to be the result of a navy training exercise taken literally.

The Queen and Prince Charles attended the second State Opening of Parliament mid-month. After departing London on 20 December, Her Majesty was joined by the rest of the Royal Family for Christmas at Sandringham.

Stephen Lock / i-Images
Stephen Lock/i-Images

The Queen’s Christmas Message, which you can watch here, noted a 20% increase in viewership over last year.

The Queen will remain at Sandringham throughout January and will return to London in February.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.