The biggest royal stories of the year

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Oprah
In March, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke with Oprah Winfrey for their first sit-down interview since leaving their royal duties.
  • 2021 was a big year for the royal family.
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle dropped bombshells in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
  • Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie both gave birth to royal babies.
In February, Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank welcomed their first child, a baby boy.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at an event in September 2021.
Jack Brooksbank (left) and Princess Eugenie.

"Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie was safely delivered of a son today, 9th February 2021, at 08.55 hrs at The Portland Hospital. Jack Brooksbank was present," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Insider. "The baby weighs 8lbs 1oz."

The couple later announced their baby's name via Instagram, alongside a family photo. 

"We wanted to introduce you to August Philip Hawke Brooksbank," Eugenie wrote on Instagram. "Thank you for so many wonderful messages. Our hearts are full of love for this little human, words can't express. We are excited to be able to share these photos with you.⁣"

In March, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down for a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey about their decision to step back from royal life.
Oprah Winfrey interviews Meghan and Harry
Oprah Winfrey spoke to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared intimate details about their personal lives and their struggles as working members of the royal family in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Markle and Harry said there were "concerns and conversations" about how dark Archie's skin would be before he was born, that Markle had suicidal thoughts after she joined the royal family, and that Prince Charles stopped taking Harry's phone calls before Harry and Markle announced they were stepping back from the royal family.

Buckingham Palace responded to the interview in a statement saying that "the whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan."

It continued: "The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately."

Later in March, Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter Zara Tindall gave birth to a baby boy on her bathroom floor.
Zara Tindall and Mike Tindall in 2020.
Zara and Mike Tindall.

Zara, the daughter of Princess Anne, and her husband, Mike Tindall, welcomed Lucas Philip Tindall in a home birth that took place on their bathroom floor on March 21.

Mike, a former rugby player, revealed the news on an episode of his podcast, "The Good, The Bad, and The Rugby," telling his co-hosts: "Sunday got even better because a little baby boy arrived at my house."

"Arrived very quickly. Didn't make it to hospital. On the bathroom floor," he added.

Mike went on to describe the frantic process they undertook to prepare for the unexpected home birth.

"So yeah, it was running to the gym, get a mat, get into the bathroom, get the mat on the floor, towels down, brace, brace, brace," he said. 

On April 9, Prince Philip died at the age of 99.
prince philip
Prince Philip.

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," Buckingham Palace said in a statement obtained by Insider. "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had marked their 73rd wedding anniversary in November.

Prince Philip's funeral took place in St. George's Chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle. 

Harry reunited with the royal family for the first time since his and Markle's explosive interview for Philip's funeral.
Peter Phillips, Prince William, and Prince Harry during the funeral of Prince Philip in April 2021.
Peter Phillips, Prince William, and Prince Harry during the funeral of Prince Philip in April 2021.

The funeral marked the first time that Harry and William had publicly reunited in a year. 

The brothers remained apart as they walked either side of their cousin Peter Phillips during the funeral procession behind their grandfather's coffin, but video footage showed them chatting after the ceremony.

Harry traveled to the UK for the funeral alone as Markle, who was pregnant with their second child at the time, did not receive medical clearance from her physician to make the trip.

Harry teamed up with Winfrey again in May for "The Me You Can't See," an Apple+ docuseries focusing on mental health.
Prince Harry speaks with Oprah in a scene from 'The Me You Can't See'
Prince Harry speaks with Oprah in a scene from "The Me You Can't See."

"The Me You Can't See," co-created and executive produced by Harry and Winfrey, explored stories centered around emotional well-being and mental health. The series also featured interviews with Glenn Close, Lady Gaga, Virginia "Ginny" Fuchs, poet Hussain Manawer, and celebrity chef Rashad Armstead.

Harry opened up about using alcohol and drugs to cope and cover up his mental-health issues when he was younger, and he spoke about how difficult it was to cope with the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

Markle and Harry welcomed their second child, Lilibet Diana, on June 4.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in the trailer for "The Me You Can’t See."
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in the trailer for "The Me You Can’t See."

"Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet," Meghan Markle and Prince Harry said in a statement on the website for their organization, Archewell. "Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales."

The couple welcomed the new arrival to the family in Santa Barbara, California, making their 2-year-old son, Archie Harrison, an older brother.

"She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we've felt from across the globe," the couple said in a statement. "Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family."

Buckingham Palace said in a statement to Insider that the royal family was "delighted" by the news. 

Markle also published a children's book in June called "The Bench," which became a New York Times bestseller.
Meghan Markle's picture book "The Bench."
Meghan Markle's picture book "The Bench."

"The Bench" started as a Father's Day poem for Harry, but it turned into a book filled with "moments of love and shared experiences between a diverse group of fathers and sons," according to Archewell.

Within a week of being released, the book became a New York Times bestseller.

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden paid their first visit to Queen Elizabeth in June.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden talk with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.
President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden meet with Queen Elizabeth.

The Bidens visited Queen Elizabeth while in the UK for the Group of Seven summit, an organization of leaders who meet annually to discuss pressing issues on a global scale.

"We had a long talk, and she was very generous. I don't think she'd be insulted, but she reminded me of my mother in terms of the look of her and just the generosity," Biden said of meeting the Queen, speaking with a pool of reporters before boarding Air Force One for Brussels.

In August, Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew accusing him of sexual assault.
Left: Prince Andrew. Right: Virginia Roberts holds up a picture of herself.
Virginia Roberts filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew accusing him of sexual assault.

Roberts Giuffre accused the 61-year-old royal of sexually assaulting her at Epstein's mansion when she was 17, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. 

The prince has been embroiled in the Epstein saga for almost a decade. The royal said he became friends with the multi-millionaire financier in 1999 and sparked controversy in 2010 when he was photographed walking with the then-convicted sex offender.

A spokesperson for Prince Andrew did not return a request from Insider for comment on the lawsuit, but in a previous statement to Insider, his representatives said he "categorically" denied "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors."

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi welcomed their first child, a baby girl, in September.
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi walk hand in hand in December 2021.
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

"Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice and Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their daughter on Saturday 18th September 2021, at 23.42, at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"The baby weighs 6 pounds and 2 ounces. The new baby's grandparents and great-grandparents have all been informed and are delighted with the news. The family would like to thank all the staff at the hospital for their wonderful care."

The couple named their daughter Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi, the royal family announced on Instagram. 

In October, Markle wrote a letter to Congress to advocate for paid family and medical leave.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with their first child, Archie. Markle holds Archie as Harry looks on.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with their first child, Archie.

"I'm not an elected official, and I'm not a politician," Markle wrote in her letter. "I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent. And because you and your congressional colleagues have a role in shaping family outcomes for generations to come, that's why I'm writing to you at this deeply important time — as a mom — to advocate for paid leave."

Markle also called US senators in November to encourage them to pass paid leave as part of the Build Back Better bill, Politico reported.

After she was criticized by a palace aide for getting involved with US politics, Markle said she doesn't consider paid leave to be political at The New York Times' DealBook summit.

"There's certainly a precedent in my husband's family and the royal family of not having any involvement in politics, but I think paid leave, from my viewpoint, is just a humanitarian issue," she said.

Queen Elizabeth spent a night in the hospital for some "preliminary investigations" after canceling a trip to Northern Ireland in October.
Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the Chichester Theatre while visiting West Sussex on November 30, 2017 in Chichester, United Kingdom.
Queen Elizabeth.

The 95-year-old monarch canceled a trip to Northern Ireland at the last minute on the advice of her doctors. 

Buckingham Palace told the BBC that the Queen was "in good spirits" after returning to Windsor Castle, despite being disappointed about her canceled trip.

Prince Charles spoke to a reporter from Sky News about his mother's health in a video tweeted by the outlet in November.

"Once you get to 95, it's not quite as easy as it used to be," he said.

Read the original article on Insider

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