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2010s were a decade of change for the Royals

Prince William and his new wife Kate Middleton kissing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, after their wedding at Westminster Abbey in April 2011. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Chris Ison.

Prince William and his new wife Kate Middleton kissing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, after their wedding at Westminster Abbey in April 2011. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Chris Ison.

PA Wire/PA Images

The 2010s were an eventful decade for the Royal Family, from weddings, milestones and a jubilee to an abundance of royal babies.

Meghan Markle walking down the aisle as she arrived in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Danny Lawson.Meghan Markle walking down the aisle as she arrived in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Danny Lawson.

Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in history, the Duke of Edinburgh retired after decades of royal service, and the pair welcomed eight great-grandchildren.

As the Queen and Philip both entered their nineties and called time on their overseas travel, the younger generation of royals gradually stepped up in support.

Two new families - the Cambridges and the Sussexes - came to the forefront of royal life, along with two new high-profile women, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex.

But the past 10 years have not been without their troubles.

Prince Harry joins the Walking with the Wounded team on the island of Spitsbergen, for training before starting a charity trek to the North Pole. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/David Cheskin.Prince Harry joins the Walking with the Wounded team on the island of Spitsbergen, for training before starting a charity trek to the North Pole. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/David Cheskin.

Here are some of the key moments:

Royal weddings

The Windsors enjoyed a major boost when Prince William proposed to his former university flatmate Kate Middleton.

The Prince of Wales, and The Duchess of Cornwall hold Koalas at Government House in Adelaide, Australia. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Chris Radburn.The Prince of Wales, and The Duchess of Cornwall hold Koalas at Government House in Adelaide, Australia. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Chris Radburn.

William presented Kate with Diana, Princess of Wales's sapphire ring and popped the question as they holidayed in Kenya in 2010.

In April 2011, millions tuned in to watch their royal wedding in London's Westminster Abbey.

Zara Phillips and former England rugby player Mike Tindall wed the same year.

Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement in 2017 following a whirlwind 16-month romance after meeting on a blind date.

The christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandringham Church in July 2015 Picture: Matthew Usher.The christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandringham Church in July 2015 Picture: Matthew Usher.

The pair, who became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, tied the knot in a romantic, star-studded ceremony in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018.

The ex-Suits star became the first mixed race person in modern history to marry a senior British royal.

Just months later, the Queen's granddaughter Princess Eugenie married her long-term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank at St George's in October 2018.

Eugenie's sister Princess Beatrice got engaged and is due to wed in 2020.

Princess Charlotte on her Christening day. Picture: Matthew Usher.Princess Charlotte on her Christening day. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Royal babies

The Queen and Philip's first great-grandchild, Savannah Phillips, was born to Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn in 2010, followed by her sister Isla in 2012.

At the end of 2012, it was announced Kate was pregnant and being treated in hospital for severe morning sickness.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, after he was born in May. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Dominic Lipinski.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, after he was born in May. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Dominic Lipinski.

Future king Prince George arrived in July 2013. Princess Charlotte arrived less than two years later in 2015.

She slept soundly as she was introduced to the world dressed in a cream knitted bonnet, pushed to Sandringham Church to her christening in an antique pram.

William and Kate's third child Prince Louis was born on St George's Day - April 23 - in 2018.

Meanwhile Zara Tindall welcomed Mia in 2014, and another daughter, Lena, in 2018.

The Duke of Edinburgh's car after the crash on the A149  Picture: Chris BishopThe Duke of Edinburgh's car after the crash on the A149 Picture: Chris Bishop

Then Harry's dream of parenthood came true as he and Meghan celebrated the arrival of their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in May 2019.

Milestones

Prince Philip turned 90 in 2011 and then came the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - 60 years on the throne - in 2012.

Queen Elizabeth II at Tweedbank Station, on the day she became Britain's longest reigning monarch, as she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, travel by steam train to inaugurate the new £294m  Scottish Borders Railway. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Andrew Milligan.Queen Elizabeth II at Tweedbank Station, on the day she became Britain's longest reigning monarch, as she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, travel by steam train to inaugurate the new £294m Scottish Borders Railway. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Andrew Milligan.

More than 1.25m braved the rain and freezing cold to line the banks of the Thames for the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, which featured more than 1,000 boats.

A slimmed-down monarchy appeared on the palace balcony with the Queen for a flypast - only those at the very top of the succession list and their wives: Charles, Camilla, William, new recruit Kate and Harry.

Zara Tindall became the first member of the British royal family to win a medal at the Olympic Games, earning a silver in the team eventing at London 2012.

In 2015, the Queen passed Victoria's milestone to become the nation's longest-reigning monarch on September 9, having reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 30 minutes.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis join other members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Place to acknowledge the crowd after the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her official birthday. Picture: PA Archive/PA ImagesThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis join other members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Place to acknowledge the crowd after the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her official birthday. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

The Queen's 90th birthday in 2016 was marked in public and private with a walkabout, beacon lighting and a black tie dinner for family and friends in Windsor on her actual birthday.

The Queen also became the world's longest reigning living monarch after the death of the revered Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In 2017, the Queen reached the 65th year of her accession - a rare Blue Sapphire Jubilee, but the occasion was not publicly celebrated.

William and Harry marked the 20th anniversary of their mother Diana's death the same year.

US President Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth II make a toast during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, London, on day one of President Trump's three day state visit to the UK. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Dominic Lipinski.US President Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth II make a toast during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, London, on day one of President Trump's three day state visit to the UK. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Dominic Lipinski.

The Queen and Philip passed their platinum wedding anniversary - 70 years of marriage - in November 2017.

In 2018, Charles turned 70. The monarch paid tribute to her eldest son at a glittering private black-tie party at Buckingham Palace.

Changes

The past 10 years have seen a royal family in transition.

The ageing monarch and Philip inevitably called time on their overseas travel, and then, at the age of 96, the duke retired from public duties.

He carried out his final official solo engagement - his 22,219th since 1952 - as he met fund raising Royal Marines on the Buckingham Palace forecourt in August 2017.

The duke now spends much of his time in the sanctuary of Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate.

Adjustments were also made for the Queen's comfort. She stopped using the stairs at the State Opening of Parliament, opting for the lift instead.

There were major lifestyle changes for both William and brother Harry - both left the military and became full-time royals.

William first worked as a helicopter pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance, and also started carrying out investitures on behalf of the Queen, before focusing on royal duties.

Harry took a military desk job, launched his Invictus Games competition in 2014, and then in 2015 said goodbye to Army life after 10 years.

The royals carved out their own roles through their charity work, with the Cambridges and Harry focusing on mental health.

Kate also championed early years support, Harry HIV, wildlife conservation and landmines, Meghan female empowerment and education, and Camilla's engagements centred on literacy and the issue of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

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Royal tours

Jubilee tours, Brexit trips and royal babies making their mark on their first official overseas visits were among the travel highlights for the globe-trotting royals.

In 2011, the Queen made a historic journey to the Irish Republic.

Amid unprecedented security, she became the first British monarch to travel there in 100 years and the first since the nation gained independence from Britain.

The same year, Harry journeyed to the Arctic on a charity trek, and William and Kate went on their first joint overseas tour to Canada and the US.

The Diamond Jubilee saw Harry display a natural talent for diplomacy in Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica, while William and Kate travelled to the Far East.

Charles and Camilla visited Australia and New Zealand, where the duchess was pictured holding a nine-month-old orphaned koala called Matilda.

In the wake of the EU referendum, the royals set off on Brexit diplomacy tours at the request of the Foreign Office.

William and Kate took George and Charlotte to Germany and Poland in 2017, with the princess having a little tantrum, falling to the ground in Hamburg.

William went to Finland on a solo trip, while the Duke of Sussex went to Denmark, and Charles went on a host of European visits.

Charles and Camilla also made a historic trip to Cuba in 2019, becoming the first royals to visit the Communist state in an official capacity.

High-profile incoming state visits included US president Barack Obama in 2011 and the first state visit to the UK by an Irish president in 2014, with Michael D Higgins staying at Windsor Castle.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited in 2016 and Mr Obama's successor Donald Trump carried out a controversial stay in 2019.

Harry and Meghan went on their first long-haul official overseas trip - to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, carrying out more than 70 engagements over 16 days.

On their 2019 tour to southern Africa, the couple took along baby Archie, who was introduced to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Humour

Charles read the weather during a tour of BBC Scotland's Pacific Quay headquarters, carrying out the live broadcast with ease and adding a touch of humour to the script.

The Queen filmed her own cameo appearance alongside Daniel Craig's James Bond for the London 2012 Games opening ceremony, and a stunt double dressed as the monarch parachuted into the Olympic Stadium.

Lighter moments on royal engagements included Kate dancing with a giant Paddington Bear at Paddington station, Charles exiting from a Doctor Who Tardis door and Harry racing Usain Bolt.

A meeting with the Queen was so overwhelming for nine-year-old Nathan Grant in 2018 that he dropped to the floor and crawled out of the nearest door, shouting "Bye" to amused onlookers at the Coram children's charity in London.

Troubles

There were low points too for the Windsors.

A 10-year legal battle by The Guardian led to the publication of secret letters written by Charles to government, showing the prince had tackled then prime minister Tony Blair over the lack of resources for the armed forces fighting in Iraq and lobbied ministers over badgers and TB, herbal medicine and illegal fishing of the Patagonian toothfish.

Philip sparked controversy in January 2019 when he was involved in a serious car crash involving a mother and a baby at Babingley, near King's Lynn. The duke later apologised and agreed voluntarily to hand in his licence.

The Sussexes faced accusations of hypocrisy in the summer of 2019 amid a row over their use of private jets despite speaking out on environmental issues.

Their taxpayer-funded official tour of southern Africa in 2019 was overshadowed when the duchess launched legal action against a newspaper group and the duke delivered a scathing attack on the British press.

In an emotional ITV documentary, Meghan admitted to feeling vulnerable and Harry did little to dispel reports of a rift by saying he loved William dearly but they were "on different paths at the moment".

It was the Duke of York's association with convicted sex offender Epstein that caused the worst crisis through the decade.

In 2011, the Queen's second son quit his role as UK trade envoy after photos showed him visiting the disgraced financier in New York after Epstein's release from jail for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

In November 2019, in the wake of Epstein killing himself in prison, Andrew's attempts to defend himself and explain his friendship with Epstein in a BBC Newsnight interview were branded a "car crash" and led to him withdrawing from public duties.

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