Another royal record awaits the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2017
(photo Royal Family Twitter)
A whole year awaits, sparkling and new, ready for tales to be told and history to be made. We may not know many of the royal tales to be told yet, as 2017 gets under way, but we do know of some regal highlights already marked in diary of the year to come. Here are 6 royal stories waiting to make their mark on 2017.
1. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's Platinum Wedding Anniversary
It's set to be another record breaking year for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as they celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary. On November 20th 2017, they will become the first British monarch and consort to celebrate 70 years of marriage - in fact, one of the few couples in the country to ever make this landmark. Yet more reason to celebrate for the House of Windsor in a decade dominated by the Queen and Prince Philip. Meanwhile, in Denmark Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik will celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary while King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands mark fifteen years of marriage.
2. Invictus, part three
In just three years, Prince Harry has turned the Invictus Games from a good idea into an international fixture in the sporting calendar. While that's no mean achievement in itself, the structure and ethos of the games means that they are also highly anticipated and guaranteed to provide great sporting action as well as inspirational stories. The third games take place in Toronto between September 23rd and 30th and there will no doubt be added interest as it just happens to be home right now to a certain Meghan Markle. Put it in your diaries, the end of September is going to be royally spectacular.
3. Prince George starts school
September is looking to be a big month in the royal calendar for a certain George Alexander Louis of Cambridge is scheduled to start school then. George turns four on July 22nd so he'll be among the youngest in his year. It's also not known - yet - where he'll attend class with both Norfolk and London in the running. But wherever it is, stand by for photos of the third in line in his uniform with mum and dad looking even more nervous as their little prince opens a whole new chapter in his royal life.
4. The end of Infanta Cristina's trial
A judgement in the trial of Infanta Cristina is expected in 2017 - she is on trial for tax fraud, a charge she denies. The sister of King Felipe VI walked into the dock and the history books in January 2016 when she became the first person from her ruling house to face criminal proceedings. Her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, is also on trial as are fifteen others. Whatever the outcome, the verdict will provoke debate and mark another major moment in modern Spanish royal history.
5. Big birthday bonanza
The sales are on so get busy, you're going to need a lot of birthday cards this year. King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway both turn 80 with joint official celebrations on May 10th while King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium will both also mark that birthday this year. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will turn fifty in April while Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden reaches the big 40 in July. And that royal baby boom of 2007 will bring a whole host of tenth birthdays with Princess Isabella of Denmark, Infanta Sofia of Spain, Princess Ariane of the Netherlands, Princess Eleonore of Belgium and James, Viscount Severn all marking that big moment. And everyone's favourite super cute royal superstar, Princess Estelle, will be five - yes, five - in February. The 2017 birthday portrait album is already bulging at the seams.
6. From modern to vintage
The House of Windsor officially turns 100 this year. George V changed the name of his royal house from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor by royal proclamation on July 17th 1917 as anti German feeling during World War One grew. In modern royal history, the House of Windsor has been, well, modern but as of this year it takes on that vintage vibe and starts to sound even more historic.
That's just for starters, 2017 promises lots of royal excitement - I hope you'll join me to enjoy all that the new royal year brings!