The Royal 2017: a year of big birthdays

The old year is winding to an end, leaving its memories in its wake. And amongst them are a string of big royal birthdays that were celebrated in 2017. A half century, one big 4-0 and several sisters with serious celebrations make this line up. As the year comes to an end, here's  a look back at who passed major milestones in the Royal 2017....

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands turned 50 on April 27th 2017

The first king to rule the Netherlands marked his half century in April 2017 with the whole country turning out to party with him at the annual King's Day celebrations. Willem-Alexander turned 50 exactly 150 years after the last Dutch King (Willem III) celebrated the same milestone. Willem-Alexander starred in a series of official portraits to mark the event before his royal household launched themselves onto Instagram on King's Day itself. The party continued with a huge dinner for 150 guests all celebrating landmark birthdays themselves on the same day, an exhibition on his 50 years that opened for 50 hours non stop and an epic group photo to round things off. Well, sort of. He held another party  for friends and family on April 29th. Let's hope he kept the streamers - his mum, Beatrix, is 80 in January 2018.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden celebrated her 40th birthday on July 14th 2017

Victoria, heir to the throne of Sweden, is about as popular as a royal gets right now so it was no surprise that her milestone 40th birthday was marked with two days of celebrations attended by huge crowds. The Crown Princess began her birthday events with a Te Deum at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on the morning of her birthday with her proud mum and dad leading royal guests, friends and family into the ceremony. This was followed by a reception, a speech from the birthday girl, official gifts and a balcony appearance before the Crown Princess and her family took a carriage ride through the streets of Stockholm which were packed with wellwishers. The following day saw Victoria and her family head to Solliden for more informal celebrations which involved a long walkabout among big crowds who had come along to wish Victoria a happy birthday. In another happy year for Sweden's royals, the future queen was once more the star of the show.

The Duchess of Cornwall was 70 on July 17th 2017

It's a big birthday and was marked by a big party but most of the celebrations went on in private. The Duchess of Cornwall turned 70 this summer. Camilla's birthday was marked with the release of two official photos by Mario Testino. At the end of the year, a snap of Camilla and Charles at the private birthday party was used on their Christmas card. 

Princess Astrid of Norway turned 85 on February 12th 2017

She was her country's first lady for many years and made royal history by marrying a man with no royal title so it's no wonder that celebrations broke out to mark the 85th birthday of Princess Astrid of Norway. King Harald's big sister celebrated her special day on February 12th with two portraits including a rather moving one of her posing between paintings of her parents, King Olav V and Crown Princess Martha of Norway. Astrid was also at the heart of the celebrations for the 80th birthday of her baby brother, King Harald V, and sister in law, Queen Sonja, which dominated the Norwegian royal summer.

Princess Birgitta of Sweden turned 80 on January 20th 2017

She's the fabulous sister who does things her own way but on her 80th birthday in January this year, Princess Birgitta of Sweden was the very image of a discreet princess as she posed for a special photo with her siblings. The second of the Haga princesses celebrated eight decades on January 20th this year with a dinner hosted by her brother, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, and attended by friends and family. Birgitta's birthday was the first big royal milestone of 2017 and she got the party season started in style.


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