For the last 2 years, the world has been going through unexpected and unprecedented times. The Pandemic changed the whole perspective of life. What remained stable and constant in the world was The Royal Life. But the second half of 2022 said no let me show you what change means and the world lost one of its oldest leaders who made 96 years of her life an inspiration around the globe – Queen Elizabeth II. The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was arguably one of the biggest political and social events of the year.
The Queen’s demise brought a change in the modern history of British Royal Life. A change that was last seen in 1952. The United Kingdom and the realms got a new Monarch – King Charles III. The new King did not waste time in ensuring that the consistency that constitutional Monarchy provides will continue. The first step was the announcement that gave the UK a new Prince and Princess of Wales.
“Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty. With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given” – King Charles III
Catherine who got married to the future King, Prince William, in 2011 is now the 11th Princess of Wales. It was a monumental shift in the Royal journey of Catherine who was known around the globe for more than 11 years as The Duchess of Cambridge. In a way, the Royal community was waiting for this moment. Since the demise of Prince William’s mother, Lady Diana Spencer – 9th Princess of Wales, the most glamorous royal title has been waiting for its rightful owner to claim it publicly. The 10th Princess of Wales, Camilla, used a lesser title, The Duchess of Cornwall, for her Royal addressing.
“The Prince and Princess of Wales are focussed on deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales over time. They will approach their roles in the modest and humble way they’ve approached their work previously. The new Princess of Wales appreciates the history associated with this role but will understandably want to look to the future as she creates her own path.”
With the new title comes new expectations. But the change could not have come at a worse time. The then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a huge change in their personal life just a few weeks before the death of the family matriarch. The Royal couple moved from Kensington Palace to Adelaide Cottage on Windsor Grounds just before Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis started at a new school in Berkshire. The change was made to give their children a better upbringing away from the city hustle-bustle that could have also given them a chance to be near their Gan-Gan but nature had its own planning.
2022 began with a bang when Kensington Palace released three stunning portraits of The Duchess of Cambridge to mark her milestone 40th birthday. It was a step away from the usual portraits the Palace usually releases to mark the big days of Royal family members. Catherine stood for a special photoshoot with Italian Fashion Photographer Paolo Roversi at the Kew Gardens in November 2021 and the result was a collection of pictures that were inspired by the 19th century.
January has always been a slow month when it comes to public engagements for The Duchess of Cambridge. She usually started stepping out only once the kids are back in school which means sometime around mid-January. This time was not an exception either. Catherine undertook her first engagement on January 19th when she visited the Foundling Museum. The next day, she joined her husband for an away day in Lancashire. And the last event of the month which was also Catherine’s first Solo engagement of the year was the Celebration of Shout UK’s 1 Million conversations.
February brought a much-awaited announcement, The Duchess of Cambridge became the patron of the English Rugby Union. The news was followed by a rare joint engagement for the Then Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Camilla, with the Duchess of Cambridge. Then The Duchess visited PACT to mark the Children’s Mental Health Week as the patron of Place2Be and Anna Freud Centre.
When we talk about Catherine and her public role as a member of the British Royal Family, the first thought that comes to our mind is her iconic style and the second thought is her legacy – The Early Years. Catherine has made the well-being of children a better start to their life the focus of her public role. 2022 saw her taking this initiative overseas when she visited Denmark for two day-long working visits to learn how the country has the best childhood experience in the world.
Catherine undertook various engagements in Denmark before meeting Queen Margarethe II and Crown Princess Mary. Back home she concluded the month with a Six Nations Rugby match between England and Wales at the Twickenham stadium where she was joined by The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George.
March was set to be a busy month. The Duchess of Cambridge joined her husband, Prince William, for a visit to Wales – their first one of the year. Then the Royal couple visited Ukrainian Cultural Centre to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people who had their lives changed drastically due to the Russian invasion. Then came the annual Commonwealth Day service that took us back to the pre-pandemic routine followed by the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Then came the much-needed royal rain to the droughted Royal world – an International tour. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed for their first Caribbean tour. Prince William and Catherine visited Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas for seven days. The tour had everything in it – The couple met with governments, local organisations, public members, highlighting various causes and events. There was a perfect element of royal style and sartorial diplomacy, avoidable controversies and a reflection of history. Despite the media sabotage, The couple held their heads high and concluded the tour on a somewhat successful note.
March ended with a tribute to Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh who died in April 2021 and due to the pandemic restrictions, the family was not able to pay him the much-deserved tribute. The British Royal Family was joined by foreign royals for the family event.
April was another slow month as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were on school break and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took time off to be with their children. The first outing of the month was a family event – The Easter Sunday service at Windsor Castle where Prince George and Princess Charlotte made their Easter debut. Then The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Disaster Committee Headquarters to learn about the donation appeal. The Cambridge family marked the 4th birthday of family star – Prince Louis privately and shared cute pictures with the public.
Then it was time for another annual event – Anzac day. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey. April month’s highlight was one of the rarest public engagements. The Duchess of Cambridge joined Princess Royal, Anne, for a joint engagement to highlight the hard work of midwives. Arguably the engagement was the most-loved event of the first 4 months of the year.
May marked the 7th birthday of Princess Charlotte and we got a cute picture of Cambridge Princess. Then it was time for the summer style. In a breeze of fresh fashion, The Duchess of Cambridge presented the Queen Elizabeth II Fashion award – another first for her. Next, Catherine became the patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance as part of her early years initiative.
The Duchess of Cambridge joined the Duke of Cambridge for a visit to Machester where they officially inaugurated the Glade of Light Memorial. Then it was time for the first Scotland visit of the year. Prince William and Duchess Catherine visited Glasgow to meet various organisations that have gone above and beyond in community services. The couple also participated in the Mental Health message that month.
May saw the return of glorious Royal events and it began with the annual Buckingham Palace garden parties. The members of the Royal Family attended various garden parties at Buckingham Palace on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II and thanked people around the country for their hard work. And then it was time to meet Tom Cruise. The Royal couple attended the London premiere of Top Gun Maverick as personal guests of Tom Cruise. William and Catherine ended the royal month with another Garden party at Buckingham Palace.
June was the month of the Royal Celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s historic reign. The UK came together to mark the historic milestone of 72 years of stability. various events were organized around the country to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. It began with the annual Trooping the Colour parade where Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis made their carriage debut. Then the extended Royal family go together to attend a service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The Queen due to her health decided not to attend all the events of the celebrations. Then came another debut for Prince George and Princess Charlotte – they joined their parents for a visit to Wales to participate in platinum jubilee celebrations there.
There was a Party at Buckingham Palace where Prince Louis stole the show. The Royal family once again celebrated the historic Platinum Jubilee with music in front of Buckingham Palace and this time all the royal kids joined them in the fun. Cambridge children had their own celebration and baked Platinum Jubilee cake at Kensington Palace. The 5-days long celebration came to its conclusion with the Platinum Jubilee pageant in London where Queen Elizabeth II made her last balcony appearance. The Queen thanked the country, realms and commonwealth for their support. No one had thought at that time that it would be the last time we will see our beloved Queen on that historic balcony for the last time.
The Duchess of Cambridge resumed her regular royal duties a few days later and visited Little village. The year saw the return of a long-standing tradition – Order of Garter Service and for the first time, the service was led by Prince Charles on the behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. Then The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the grieving family members of the Grenfell Tower victims to mark its 5th anniversary.
Then the Duchess of Cambridge hosted the first Early year Round table. Next, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to the Ascot grounds.
Towards the end of the month, The Duchess of Cambridge joined Prince William for the National Windrush Monument inauguration. Next, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had an away Day in Cambridgeshire. The month ended with Palace releasing Catherine’s pictures from military training to mark Armed forces day. Six months later we would be hearing something special about this army training and Catherine’s role.
July was set to slow the pace of Royal events as it marks the beginning of Royal summer. The month began with the patron of Wimbledon making her first visit to the annual Tennis grand-slam tournament. The Duchess of Cambridge also joined her husband for a charity Polo match. Polo matches used to be a staple event of William and Catherine’s dating life but they have gradually decreased now to once here and there. Then it was time for Wimbledon finales. Catherine attended the Ladies’ singles final and presented the trophy to the winners.
The next day she was joined by Prince William and Prince George with the Gentlemen’s singles finale. That was the last joint engagement of the month and the family retired for summer break. Prince George celebrated his 9th birthday. The month ended with The Duchess of Cambridge returning to the waters for a friendly 1851 Trust race.
August saw only one official engagement and Princess Charlotte’s solo debut. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought Princess Charlotte to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Kensington Palace also confirmed that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have moved to Adelaide Cottage on Windsor Grounds where Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will be starting at Lambrook School in September.
September was the month that changed British Royal history. It began on a happy note. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge just came back from Balmoral Castle after spending time with the Queen. Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis began the school term at the new school – Lambrook and they were joined by their parents for the settling day just a day before the official start.
Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable at Balmoral
But that day, The Royal Family came to a halt. Buckingham Palace announced that The Queen had to cancel her privy council meeting. And the next day, Palace announced a very unexpected update on The Queen’s health that broke the Royal norms. By afternoon, the whole world’s media was focused on Balmoral Castle. The Royals were summoned to Balmoral.
In the evening, Palace confirmed the worst everyone was fearing. “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow“.
The next two weeks saw the family grieving publicly while maintaining the royal pace and ensuring the transition from The Elizabethan reign to the Carolean Era. The country has the new King and Queen and the new Prince and Princess of Wales.
The Royal family cancelled all the scheduled engagements. The country started preparing for the last rituals to bid farewell to the Queen. The Queen left Balmoral for her last journey to her final resting home. The country stepped out on the roads to observe the last journey and pay her tribute.
World leaders, heads of countries, Foreign Royals, and millions of the public joined the Royal Family in this difficult time.