Royal Family Portraits From The Last 10 Years Reflect How Much Has Changed
Over the past 10 years, the royal family has celebrated numerous marriages, welcomed a few adorable new additions, and experienced many memorable moments. In fact, portraits of the royal family taken throughout the last decade capture all of that. From Kate Middleton and Prince William's royal nuptials to the christening of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's son, there's a whole lot to reflect on and celebrate as this decade comes to a close.
For starters, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning monarch in British history in 2015 (she has currently served as Queen for 67 years). This decade has also given the Queen new successors to the royal throne, thanks to the birth of Prince William and Middleton's oldest son Prince George in 2013, Princess Charlotte in 2015, and Prince Louis in 2018. The royal family also welcomed a few new members who aren't directly in line for the throne, including Markle and her baby boy with Prince Harry, little Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born earlier this year.
With so many exciting and memorable moments to come out of this past decade, it's hard to remember all of them. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of photos to help jog the ol' memory. You're welcome.
Prince William, who's second in line for the royal throne behind his father Prince Charles, got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Middleton, on Nov. 16, 2020. The couple, who were both 28 years old at the time, got engaged while on vacation in Africa, according to ABC News. They were both incredibly excited, and a little nervous at the time, especially since their upcoming marriage meant their lives would change forever.
"We're sort of like ducks, very calm on the surface with little feet going under the water," Prince William said during their first televised interview as an engaged couple. "But uh no, it's been really exciting because we've been talking about it for a very long time so for us, it's a real relief and it's been really nice to be able to tell everybody."
The couple's official engagement photos, shot by Mario Testino, formally captured them as soon-to-be married couple.
Prince William and Middleton were married in April 2011, not too long after announcing their engagement, in a gorgeous televised wedding. On this day, Prince William and Middleton officially became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and started their lives together as husband and wife.
Royal watchers were so blown away by the couple that they even drew comparisons to Disney princess, Cinderella, at her wedding. And it's easy to see why; the official portraits taken from their wedding look like something out of a fairytale.
The following year, 2012, was little more quiet for the royal family. The Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, or celebrated having spent 60 years on the throne. A portrait of the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, was commissioned for this celebration and hung at an exhibit in London for people to visit and pay tribute to the monarch.
Middleton gave birth to their second child, Princess Charlotte, on May 2, 2015. She was christened two months later in July, where she looked a lot like her older brother in her official christening portraits.
Prince George turned 2 this year, which was captured in the sweetest birthday portrait.
But there is another reason why 2015 was a huge year for the Cambridges: it marked the first year they joined Instagram. The official Instagram account for Kensington Palace posted the first photo in January 2015, according to Hello! Magazine.
Instagram came in handy for the couple when it came time to sharing their first Christmas card photo as a family of four.
In May, the Queen posed with her youngest grandchildren and great grandchildren — in addition to posing for photos with Prince Philip, and her daughter, Anne — for a story in Vanity Fair.
In the beginning of the year, the Cambridges also posed for a very casual family photo while on vacation in March.
The royal family also posed for many royal portraits in 2017, and the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, according to the BBC.
Prince George also attended his first day of school this year, according to TODAY, posing for a photo with his dad on his big day.
The Cambridges' Christmas card was a little more formal this year, choosing to wear a similar blue hue and pose against a blank backdrop. This would be their last Christmas card as a family of four; Middleton announced she was pregnant with the couple's third, Prince Louis, in early 2018.
And 2017 also brought the first ever official portrait of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The couple announced their engagement in November that year, and shared their official engagement portraits a month later.
The royal family posed for many wedding portraits in 2018, as Markle and Prince Harry got married in May of that year. The couple posed for the sweetest portraits with their bridesmaids and pageboys, including Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
The royal family reunited a few short months later for Prince Louis' christening in July 2018.
A few months later, Prince George and Princess Charlotte slipped back into their bridesmaid and page boy roles when it came time for Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank in October that same year.
And Prince Charles celebrated his 70th birthday a month later, gathering his two sons and grandkids for a sweet family portrait that highlighted just how much the family has grown.
Two months later, the royal family came together to pose for a portrait for Archie's christening.
This year also marked some major milestones for the Cambridges — their youngest son, Prince Louis turned a year old and started walking.
And Princess Charlotte started school with Prince George at Thomas's Battersea in London. The brother and sister duo posed for a portrait with one another in honor of the big day.
As if the Cambridge kids didn't already seem so much older, their newest family portrait (shot by Middleton) released on Christmas Day highlighted how big everyone has gotten over the years.