2021 was supposed to be the year to move forward from the crippling clutches of the COVID-19 pandemic but the novel virus decided to stick with the world and continued to ruin many precious moments of our lives. The Royal world was not any exception. Continuing the drill from 2020, The British Royal Family canceled many big Royal events that are usually a staple in the Royal Calendar i.e. Traditional Commonwealth service, Garden Parties, usual Trooping the Colour Parade, Order of Garter Service, State visits, Diplomatic Reception, and the much anticipated Sandringham Christmas Walk.
But one person who continues to amaze us throughout the year was The Duchess of Cambridge- Pride of the British Royal Family. For the last few years, the Cambridge couple used to start their years with traditional Sunday service in Norfolk with The Queen and some friends. But in 2021 the year started with The Duchess of Cambridge’s private 39th birthday celebration at Anmer Hall that was marked with the release of a beautiful picture of The Duchess of Cambridge from the 2019 Train Tour.
January 2021 was full of zoom engagements during which The Duchess of Cambridge met with various individuals and organizations online – i.e. five nurses from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Burns night treat to frontline workers in Tayside, a call that reunited her with Holocaust Survivors and a video call to fellow parents and headteacher of Roe Green Junior School.
But the highlight of the month was the selfie-video that Catherine made for Children Mental Health week during her daily morning run at Anmer Hall where she was living at that time. In her very first selfie video shared with the public, The Duchess of Cambridge said, “This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is all about expressing yourself – about finding creative ways in which to share your thoughts, ideas, and feelings.”
February continued on to the same path and we have various online engagements as the UK was still in the second lockdown. The engagements include a series of video calls and spoke one-on-one with teachers from Ribbon Academy in County Durham, a joint video call with Duke of Cambridge to the nursing students of Ulster University in Northern Ireland, a Baby Bank Charity Call, and another joint video call to the NHS front line workers.
March began with a video call to family supported by SHOUT UK that was followed by a Commonwealth call ahead of Commonwealth Day that was celebrated in a unique way in 2021 with a digital event. The Women’s Day was marked with a call to Atlantic rower. March brought the first in-person engagement – The Duchess of Cambridge School 21 in Stratford, London. It is a matter of belief that the engagement was supposed to be a solo engagement for Catherine but in the aftermath of the lies fest that people call Oprah Interview of the Sussex couple, Prince William decided to join his wife on this event, which turned out to be a right decision.
The Duchess privately stepped out to pay her tribute to Sarah Everard – a 33 years old Marketing Executive who was murdered by a police officer earlier in March. Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis made a cake to mark Mother’s Day. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge marked St. Patrick’s Day with a cute video. Then the Royal couple visited the Ambulance Station in London. February and March were also overshadowed by the worrisome news of Prince Philip’s hospitalization.
In the last week of March, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Westminster Abbey vaccination center, then they thanked the team behind the ‘time to change’ campaign. The month ended with a much-awaited announcement that the 2020’s successful project ‘Hold Still’ will be turned into a book.
April began with news that the Royal world was dreading since the first news of Philip’s hospitalization. The Iron Duke, Prince Philip, left the world at the age of 99, a few months short of his 100th birthday, on April 09th at Windsor Castle.
The Royal family went into mourning the loss of the Family head and beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather privately. The much loved Duke was paid lots of tributes with a series of family portraits and letters.
The Family Laid Prince Philip to the Rest in a Poignant Ceremonial Funeral at Windsor Castle. The funeral ceremony, which was scaled back due to the COVID-19 guidelines, fulfilled The Duke’s wish of ‘no fuss’. The Duke of Edinburgh was closely involved in the planning of his own Funeral that was given a codename ‘Operation Forth Bridge‘. As a result, it involved a number of unique touches which reflect his life and work. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s next engagement was a tribute to their beloved Grandfather – a visit to RAF Cadets.
April was supposed to be the month of celebrations. Prince Louis was turning 3 and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. The Royal Couple visited County Durham where they visited charities that benefitted from their wedding funds in 2011.
May began with the Princess Charlotte birthday picture. Next came a video call to mark the completion of the Nursing Now campaign to which The Duchess became patron in 2018. Then was the time for a sweet call to the wee star of Hold Still 2020 – Mila.
The first public engagement of May was the launch of the Hold Still book that brought us a stunning style from Catherine’s wardrobe. Kensington Palace released a few more telephone calls to the hands behind the awesome pictures of the Hold still project. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited West Midlands.
May brought us a second style moment when Catherine visited Victoria and Albert museum. Catherine marked the end of the Nursing Now campaign with a salute to the nurses.
The month was had the first inland tour of the year when The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Scotland. The 5 days long tour brought us some really iconic and gorgeous moments of the whole year. The first stop was was Turning Point Scotland – a social care charity providing services to adults with complex needs.
In the year of their 10th anniversary, William and Catherine took a walk down the memory lane and visited the place where they first met 20 years ago in 2001 – St. Andrew’s University.
Then we had a true Scottish style moment when Catherine stepped out in a tartan evening look at the premiere of Cruella held for the NHS and frontline workers at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
The next day of the royal couple in highlands featured gardening and tennis. Then The Duchess of Cambridge fulfilled her promise to little Mila and wore a gorgeous pink dress to meet her at the royal residence of Scotland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge concluded the Scotland tour in a most appropriate and Royal way – The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. They also attended a Beating the Retreat ceremony before leaving for London.
May ended with Palace releasing the picture of Duchess getting her COVID vaccine.
The Month of June started with a bang. The Duchess of Cambridge had a joint engagement with the First Lady of the US, Dr. Jill Biden. Then Catherine joined The Queen at the G7 reception.
Then came the milestone of the year and The Duchess of Cambridge’s journey of Early years – the Launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. Next Catherine visited the Natural History Museum. It was also revealed that The Duchess of Cambridge became Royal Navy HMS Glasgow’s Sponsor. The month ended with Prince George joining The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at EURO Match.
July the month of Wimbledon started with a chic blue look for the first Wimbledon appearance. After the appearance, Catherine was scheduled to join Prince William at a service marking the 73rd anniversary of NHS but she came into contact with a person who tested COVID positive and had to isolate her before stepping out once again hence canceling the service appearance.
The second appearance of July was the women Wimbledon finale. A gorgeous green Emilia Wickstead was the choice of the day.
The final Wimbledon outing was a Father-Daughter moment. The Duchess was joined by her father Michael Middleton at the men’s finale. In the 10 years of her marriage, it was the first time when any of Catherine’s parents joined her at any event where she was in an official capacity.
The last public event before the summer break was the final of the Euro Cup where she joined Prince William and Prince George. The month ended with the 8th birthday celebration of Prince George. Then The Cambridge family moved to Norfolk for Summer break.
The Duchess of Cambridge came back to Royal duties in September when she visited Afghan evacuation heroes. The next outing was to Lake District to meet the Holocaust wonderkids. The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated the success of Hold Still with a reception at Buckingham Palace. Then Catherine met with the US Open Champion Emma Raducanu.
And then came the show-stopping look that will be remembered down the history lane in the future. The Duchess of Cambridge joined Prince William, Prince Charles, and Duchess Camilla at the premiere of the James Bond movie – No Time to Die. Catherine chose an absolutely gorgeous gold gown from her go-to label, Jenny Packham, for the star-studded night.
The next day, The Duchess did a complete 360 and chose a vibrant purple Emilia Wickstead suit when she joined William for a day-long visit to Northern Ireland.
October came with a UCL to learn about The ‘Children of the 2020s’. Then she joined Prince William at the Kew Gardens for a few Earthshot prize generation events. Then came another iconic moment of the year – The Earthshot Awards night, where the Duchess of Cambridge decided to rescue her 10 years old Alexander McQueen Gown. After the award night, Kensignton Palace and Royal Foundation released a few more pictures from the night.
The last public event of the month was the passionate keynote speech at the Action on Addiction event. Then the Cambridge family was seen in their casual gear at London’s Heathrow Airport when they left for a private holiday. It was revealed in December that they went to Jordan.
November month saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge heading back to Scotland for COP26. The Duchess’ second appearance at COP 26 was the reception for the world leaders. Next, The Duchess of Cambridge opened two Exhibitions at Imperial War Museum. The next event turned The Duchess into an interviewer for the Generation Conversation for Remembrance Centenary.
Catherine joined the Royal Family sans The Queen at the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and the next day at the Cenopath for the annual Remembrance Sunday Service.
The last stunning and show-stopping moment was the return of the stunning Jenny Packham sequin gown from the Pakistan tour at the Royal Variety Performance. The Month ended with Catherine choosing pretty in Fuchsia for a School visit.
In December, The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Fabergé exhibition at Victoria and Albert Museum. The highlight of the month was the Christmas Carol service that Catherine hosted at the Westminster Abbey.
The month ended with the joyous broadcast of The Duchess of Cambridge’s ‘Together at Christmas’ Carol Service on Christmas eve. The Duchess of Cambridge gave a very pleasant surprise to the Royal world when she gave a heart-warming duet performance with Tom Walker at the Carol service.
Catherine learned piano during childhood and practiced a lot during the lockdown. About the duet performance, Tom Walker said, “I’ve met the Duchess a couple of times at various different charity events and the last one we did together was for Action on Addiction, and she gave a speech at that particular one and I sang my song ‘Leave A Light On’ and performed it live.
Afterward, she got in touch with me and my team and said would you mind performing this live at the carol service? And I said absolutely no problem, but I’ve actually written a Christmas song this year that nobody’s heard yet, I’ll send it over, why don’t you listen to that because it might be more suitable for the service. Anyway, she heard the song and “absolutely loved it and asked if I could come down and perform that.
And then about a week later, her team got in touch and said she was really keen to play the piano on the song. I didn’t even know she played piano. I was a bit like this is crazy, but”absolutely, that would be wicked. We arranged a rehearsal together. It was very secret, very secret – even the studio didn’t know what was going on.
We were sitting on opposite sides of the room for Covid, rehearsing. That was a couple of weeks ago, I want to say maybe three weeks ago, something like that – it’s hard to tell because we’ve been talking about this for a while now but nobody actually knows about it. So we got together, we rehearsed the song like nine times and by the end of it she’d absolutely nailed it, and then she went away for a couple of days and practiced it, and then we finally got to do the recording of it.
And I was really impressed because it’s one thing playing along with me in a studio, just the two of us, but then to jump straight into playing with a live string quartet and a pianist and two backing singers, all of which she’d never met before, and then doing live takes in front of the camera – that’s a whole other jump from jamming. She absolutely nailed it and I was so surprised at how great she was at keeping time because she had to start the song off and lead it.
Amazing musician and what an amazing day, it was crazy.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released their Christmas card picture earlier than the usual time period to avoid it getting leaked online. The picture was taken in Jordan during the family holidays.
Her Majesty The Queen decided to cancel the pre-Christmas family lunch and Sandringham Christmas celebrations due to the Omicron. The Queen decided to celebrate Christmas at Windsor Castle with Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who headed to Norfolk after the second week of December chose to celebrate Christmas at Anmer Hall where they were joined by some members of the Middleton Family. Hence no Christmas walk watch or Christmas style for us. We had to do with looking at the previous year’s styles.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thanked the nation-wide NHS frontline workers with a special ‘Thank you’ Card. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated Christmas at Sandringham Estate with their three children and Catherine’s parents. The year surely was something unprecedented with a combination of online and in-person engagements, ranging from casual to show-stopping styles. It was less busy for Catherine on the royal front but much busier for her on the private end with three kids.
She marked a personal milestone of her wedding anniversary, suffered the loss of Grandfather-in-law, launched the landmark Royal Foundation center for Early Years, and stunned the world with a gorgeous show-stopping gown at the world premiere of a James bond movie before ending the year with a nurturing touch of elegance to Christmas.
If I have to pick two personal moments it would the release of the family video and the return of Jenny Packham at the Royal Variety. What are your favorite moments of the year?
In 2022 we would be looking forward to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge turning 40. Her Majesty the Queen celebrating her platinum jubilee with nationwide events and hopefully we will see the returns of more tours and in-person visits. The words shared by a Twitter Royal Fan @RoyallyBlunt conclude The Duchess of Cambridge’s journey in the year 2021 perfectly: