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Prince & Princess of Wales

Stepping into the spotlight: a wonderful year for the Waleses

It’s been an eventful year for the Prince and Princess of Wales. Their first full year in their new roles came to a close with new high-profile initiatives for young people, homelessness, and the environment. There were official overseas visits and ceremonial state occasions. And, as an added treat, we saw so much more of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis! So let’s take a step back and look back on 2023 for the Waleses!


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The Wales Family resurfaced after the Christmas holidays in Merseyside to thank NHS workers at the newly-opened Royal Liverpool University Hospital. They also paid a visit to Open Door Centre.

Catherine paid a visit to the Foxcubs Nursery in Luton; William visited Depaul UK in London; and Catherine celebrated England’s Wheelchair Rugby Football team’s win at the World Cup with a reception at Hampton Court Palace.

William received cooking lessons in Slough on a visit to youth charity Together As One and spoke with Australian first responders as devastating flooding hit the Commonwealth realm.

William’s work with the Earthshot Prize continued in full force, with the news that he’d participate in the first-ever Earthshot Retreat in Windsor; the royal couple visited a foodbank in Windsor to shore up support as food scarcity hit a high.

We reported that William would be the only royal duke to pay homage to King Charles III at his coronation. As New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, stepped down, we reported William and Catherine’s messaging to the out-going politician: “Thank you @jacindaardern for your friendship, leadership and support over the years, not least at the time of my grandmother’s death. Sending you, Clarke and Neve our best wishes. W & C”

William spoke with some of the volunteers and athletes competing at the 2023 Arctic Winter Games in Wood Buffalo, Canada.

Catherine launched Shaping Us, the newest endeavour from the Centre for Early Childhood, at the end of the month. She wrote an open letter sharing that she is “absolutely determined that this long-term campaign is going to change” the perception on the impact of the early years.

As January came to a close, she attended a pre-launch event at the BAFTA facilities, and officially launched Shaping Us on 31 January on a visit to Leeds, with stops at the Kirkgate Market and the University of Leeds.

Elsewhere, Catherine celebrated her 41st birthday privately in Windsor—her first as Princess of Wales. We shared 41 facts about the future queen here; shared our picks for her most famous royal moments; and looked back at her style evolution and her spectacular jewellery.


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In February, Catherine celebrated Captain Preet Chandi’s solo polar expedition at Landau Forte College in Derby.

William and Catherine are known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in Cornwall, paid their first official visit to the area, visiting the National Maritime Museum Falmouth and the Dracaena Centre. Catherine flipped pancakes for Shrove Tuesday and later announced their support for a new therapy initiative in Wales.

William gave a hint of the homelessness initiative he would launch in the summer, telling people on a visit to The Passage that he hopes homelessness will become rare. He also paid a visit to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Ipswich Hospital.

On St. David’s Day eve, William received a new patronage: the Wales Air Ambulance charity. The royal couple visited Brynawel House Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Pontyclun and the Aberavon Celtic Leisure Centre in Port Talbot before opening the new patient room at Wales Air Ambulance.

Their competitiveness came to the fore when William and Catherine attended the Six Nations Rugby match between Wales and England in Cardiff (Catherine’s team won). Their red carpet glam came to the fore when they attended the annual BAFTA awards.


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William and Catherine paid a visit to the Welsh Guards at Combermere Barracks near Windsor to present leeks on St. David’s Day. William took over as Royal Colonel of the Welsh Guards in late 2022.

On International Women’s Day, Catherine paid a visit to the Irish Guards in Wiltshire—her first since being named its Royal Colonel in late 2022. On St. Patrick’s Day, she would present shamrocks to the Irish Guards at Mons Barracks in Hampshire.

Throughout the year, William and Catherine would spend more time meeting with heads of state and their fellow heirs, and it began in March with a visit from Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

The couple paid a visit to the Hayes Muslim Centre in Middlesex; Catherine held meetings to launch the Business Taskforce for Early Childhood; and William made his first overseas visit to Poland.

In Poland, William visited British troops at the Rzeszow-Jasionka International Airport then travelled to the Polish military base in Rzeszow. There, he met with British and Polish soldiers helping out within the country and with Ukraine. Later, he met with Ukrainian refugees.

On the second day of his Polish visit, William laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw; met with Poland’s President; and met with Ukrainian refugees and staff at Hala Koszyki.

Elsewhere, the couple attended the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey alongside other members of the Royal Family. William spoke during the annual Comic Relief television programme about homelessness and said his mother would be disappointed at how widespread homelessness still is. A Member of Parliament drew headlines for publicly calling for Prince George to attend a state school over Eton.


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April was a very quiet month for the Waleses. We featured Prince George in an article about the younger royals who will one day rule their countries, but William and Catherine didn’t resurface until 20 April for an away day to Birmingham, where William helped take restaurant bookings at the Indian Streatery.  

Prince Louis turned five, and Catherine released new photos to mark the youngest family member’s special day. On a visit to a baby bank in Windsor, Catherine shared that she feels her children are growing up too quickly.

William attended the ANZAC Day service at Westminster Abbey and laid a wreath at Wellington Arch.

On a visit to Morlay in Wales, William and Catherine took part in abseiling with the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team. They also paid tribute to those lost in the Aberfan disaster.


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Perhaps the biggest month for the Royal Family was May: King Charles III and Queen Camilla were crowned on 6 May at Westminster Abbey, and the Wales Family played a central role.

Ahead of the coronation, William and Catherine celebrated at the pub after traveling the Elizabeth Line on the train to London.

Prince George was announced as a Page of Honour for his grandfather and carried out the role with great aplomb. You can’t have a balcony moment without Prince Louis stealing the show! Prince William praised his father, telling him at the Coronation Concert, “Pa, we are all so proud of you.” Princess Charlotte had a blast at the concert, singing along to Katy Perry from the royal box. William and Catherine popped up along the Long Walk ahead of the concert.

The day after the coronation, William, Catherine and their children joined in the Big Help Out with the Scouts, where Prince Louis undertook his first royal engagement that wasn’t a family event.

William and Catherine took time to meet with world leaders during the coronation as well. William met with New Zealand Prime Minister, Christopher Hipkins, and the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. They attended receptions at Buckingham Palace with Commonwealth and world leaders; revealed where their procession would take them on coronation day; and on the day of the coronation, we gave Catherine’s white floral outfit its own post. Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis also got special mention; and William’s choice in military uniform received a post as well.

The Wales family featured prominently in coronation portraits; and William and George starred with King Charles III in a special heirs portrait. William and Catherine attended a coronation garden party;

Elsewhere, Princess Charlotte celebrated her eighth birthday, and Catherine released new photos to mark her special day. We covered Catherine’s coronation style and how she mirrored the late Queen Elizabeth II with her use of bright colours in crowds.

After the hullabaloo died down, William announced that the 2023 Earthshot Prize ceremony would be held in Singapore; Catherine visited Bath for Mental Health Awareness Week and later showed off her beekeeping chops on World Bee Day. She also visited the Foundling Museum and attended a Children’s Picnic at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show.

William took part in a rowing competition for Mental Health Awareness Week; attended the Women’s Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United; met with Grenfell survivors who have been supported by the Queens Park Rangers Football Club; visited one of the 2022 Earthshot Prize winners and launched a partnership with YouTube to promote the Earthshot Prize.


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William and Catherine attended the royal wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Princess Rajwa in Amnan, Jordan at the beginning of the month.

Back in the UK, William attended FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium; Catherine visited the Windsor Family Hub and the Maidenhead Football Club to learn more about men’s mental health as it relates to fatherhood.

The royal couple made a donation to a foodbank in Swansea after learning it had been robbed; William opened the Oak Cancer Centre at the Royal Marsden and later led the Colonel’s Review ahead of Trooping the Colour (the Welsh Guards presented their Colour this year); and Catherine praised the work of health visitors on a visit to Nuneaton.

At Trooping the Colour, Queen Camilla and Catherine sat for the Trooping event and we posted about their sartorial choices, and the young Waleses watched the event with their aunt Sophie. The night before, William and Catherine attended the Senior Colonels’ Conference and Dinner at Clarence House.

On Father’s Day, William was the star. He also opened the Reuben House housing on behalf of Centrepoint and attended the theatre with Aunt Sophie for United for Wildlife. He also paid a surprise visit to St. George’s Park to wish the England Women’s Football team good luck ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Both King Charles and William paid tribute to the Windrush Generation and William later attended the Royal Norfolk Show.

Catherine reopened the National Portrait Gallery after extensive renovations and chatted with Sir Paul McCartney; penned a letter for Children’s Hospices Week; and, as the resident tennis-lover, helped mark the opening of Wimbledon with a cheeky video with Roger Federer. She also visited the Hope Centre and launched the Young V&A.

At the end of June, William officially launched his homelessness initiative: Homewards. It aims to make homelessness rare, brief and unrepeated, and launched in a few communities around the UK.


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Catherine celebrated Roger Federer at Wimbledon’s Centre Court after he announced his retirement. Throughout the tournament, Catherine was a staple and brought William and her children along to matches.

The royal couple held a surprise party to celebrate the NHS’s 75th anniversary; and played polo for their charities. In Cornwall, William praised the sustainability of a new restaurant; the family attended the Royal Air Force Tattoo; and William gained a new patronage. He also flipped burgers with Earthshot Prize finalists!

Ahead of King Charles III’s Scottish celebration (an event known as the Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication in St. Giles’ Cathedral), William and Catherine travelled up to Edinburgh for engagements, including a garden party. We also dove into the history of their Scottish titles, the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay.

Elsewhere, Prince George celebrated his 10th birthday and Kensington Palace shared new snaps. We also looked back at the day he was born, his family, his life in photos, and how his public profile has increased in the recent past.


August is always a quiet month for William and Catherine. Their last engagement for the summer is typically the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Championship, and this year was no exception.

They had no entries in the Court Circular, and the only story we ran that featured the Wales Family was about Dolly Parton, who revealed that she’d once had to decline an invitation from Catherine for a pretty funny reason!


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On 8 September the world marked the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. On the site, we looked back at William’s first year as Prince of Wales, Catherine’s first year as Princess of Wales, and covered how the royal couple marked their late grandmother’s passing in Wales. In Pembrokeshire, they visited with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, a patronage that Queen Elizabeth II strongly supported.

Elsewhere, William visited Bournemouth for Homewards; both William and Catherine showed support for their rugby teams ahead of the Rugby World Cup; Catherine visited the HMP High Down Prison in Surrey; and William visited a construction site to talk men’s mental health with Mates in Mind.

The couple travelled again to Cornwall, and later in the month, William visited BEST – Be a Better You, a youth charity. The Prince and Princess of Wales advertised for a CEO to oversee their household; then William dashed off to New York for the Earthshot Prize Summit. During his meetings, he met with the UN Secretary General and dipped into a New York City harbour. Later in the month, William announced this year’s Earthshot Prize finalists (and it was revealed that Catherine would not attend the Singapore ceremony due to Prince George’s exams).

Catherine had fun with a lifejacket during a visit to the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton and talked about the transformative power of Streets of Growth during a visit to the charity. She also popped up in Kent in support of the early years. Textiles formed a cross-country day for Catherine, with engagements in Leeds and Lancaster. We also looked back on some of her greatest tiara moments here.


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William and Catherine travelled to Cardiff to support the Windrush Generation; later, Catherine visited the Vsi Razom Community Centre in Bracknell to meet with Ukrainian refugees in the area.

In Hull, Catherine tried out wheelchair rugby; William penned the opening of an environmental children’s book urging young people not to be afraid or discouraged by environmental challenges.

As World Mental Health Day came, William and Catherine observed the occasion. Their foundation shared new survey results from young people about their mental health; Catherine gave a speech at a Royal Foundation event in Birmingham; William visited the Blue Light Hub in Milton Keyes and replied to a student’s invitation to visit his school to discuss mental health.

Catherine showed up to classes—at Nottingham Trent University—to talk with students about their mental health; and at Bisham Abbey Sports Centre, the royal couple discussed sports as related to mental health.

William spoke to firefighters and first responders about the devastating wildfires across Canada over the summer. When a terror attack hit Israel, the royal couple released a message. Prince George joined his father in Marseilles for the Rugby World Cup match between Wales and Argentina (spoiler: Wales lost). Catherine traveled solo to Marseilles the next day to watch England and Fiji (spoiler: England won).


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William landed in Singapore ahead of the 2023 Earthshot Prize early in November. While dragon boating, he was offered a new sports role by his team; his tie made headlines; he announced a new international effort to stop the illegal wildlife trade; and finally, the winners were announced at the Earthshot Prize.

On his last day in Singapore, William gave a candid interview where he announced his intentions to ‘go further’ than members of his family have in the past. His last day was spent among the treetops.

Catherine paid a visit to the 1st The Queen’s Dragoons Guards, her first since being named its Colonel over the summer; at the Festival of Remembrance ahead of Remembrance Sunday, we covered her jewels that had previously been worn by Queen Elizabeth II. The Waleses featured in our coverage of Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph as well.

William and Catherine carried out a series of engagements in Moray; elsewhere, Prince George was revealed to be training for a school triathlon. William attended the funeral of Sir Bobby Charlton and Catherine attended the Shaping Us National Symposium.

On the television programme Children in Need, Catherine was the special surprise guest. She also announced her third Together at Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey; and stole the sartorial show during the South Korean State Visit in late November.

William joined the Mercian Regiment on an exercise, his first visit since becoming their Royal Colonel; presented at the Tusk Awards; and Catherine launched a Christmas initiative with the baby banks.

For their final engagement of November, William and Catherine were joined by Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel for the Royal Variety Performance at Royal Albert Hall.


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Ahead of the Together at Christmas carol service, we wrote about how young people are at the forefront of this year’s service. We also talked about the guest list, and after the service, the Wales Family released their annual Christmas card.

William attended the Lord High Admiral’s Divisions at Britannia Royal Naval College and Catherine met with people supporting the early years the night before her carol service airs on ITV.

On Christmas morning, the Wales Family joined King Charles and Queen Camilla at Sandringham, wrapping up their year!

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.