Although 2013 may have been my favorite royal year to date, there will be no shortage of big events in 2014. To kick off the new year, I take a look at 14 royal moments to watch for in 2014. Some of these we know to be true, others are pure speculation and some are just made up so I could get to the number 14. Kidding, I would not just make things up!
1. Zara and Mike’s Baby
Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall are expecting their first child any day now! Princess Anne’s daughter is due to give birth in January 2014 with her rugby star husband, whom she married in July 2011. We will soon find out if Prince George will have a boy or girl cousin to grow up with.
2. Prince William Returns to School
We all wondered what the second-in-line would do after leaving the military this year, well.. today we got our answer! Kensington Palace announced that The Duke of Cambridge will become a full-time student at Cambridge University to study agricultural management. The Duke of Cambridge going to Cambridge? You can’t make this stuff up! Prince William will take a 10-week course, averaging 4-5 hours a day, in which he will learn of the issues facing the nation’s rural communities and farming industry. The course will begin in January and keep William quite busy through March.
3. Will Prince Harry Settle Down?
The question that is on every royal watcher’s mind – will Prince Harry pop the question to Cressida Bonas? The duo first stepped out together in the summer of 2012, have been through a Vegas scandal, tour of duty and a year + of speculation.. it seems like the natural next step, right? Not so fast – when has Harry ever been known to do the expected? Only time will tell…
4. Cambridges Down Under
After quite a lot of royal rumblings, it was confirmed this month that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will embark on a tour of Australia and New Zealand in April 2014. Although an official decision will not be made until closer to the date, one can only imagine Prince George will accompany his parents; no way they are leaving him behind for nearly a month of travel. A lovely nod to Prince William’s own first overseas visit with his parents in 1983.
5. Irish State Visit
April 2014 will bring another milestone visit for the monarchy as Ireland’s president is to become the first Irish head of state to make a visit to Britain. President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina accepted an invitation from Her Majesty for a 3-day visit, furthering the demonstration of positive relationship building after The Queen’s own landmark visit to Ireland in May 2011.
6. Prince George’s First Birthday
We spent 22 days of July 2013 watching a door; this year we will all take part in a much more ordinary custom – celebrating a first birthday. HRH Prince George Alexander Louis will turn one-year-old on July 22, 2014. One can only imagine the type of birthday festivities this adorable heir will see. We’re all bound to be invited to the party, right?
7. Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games will be held in Glasgow, July 23 – August 3 and it is expected that The Queen will open the games. Her Majesty did mention the international baton relay in her Christmas broadcast, and it is of obvious importance to her as head of the Commonwealth.
8. Prince Harry’s 30th Birthday
Ah yes, thirty glorious years of Prince Harry. He has accomplished so much in his life thus far and this is bound to be another exciting year for him. His twenties saw two tours of duty in Afghanistan, two royal tours overseas, a break-up and a new love. I dare say Prince Harry has will only pick up the pace in his thirties.
9. Beatrice – Princess Bride?
Her older cousin is not the only royal facing engagement speculation as the new year approaches. The royal rumor mill is flying with talk of Princess Beatrice walking down the aisle with longtime boyfriend Dave Clark.
10. A Banner Year for Britain
We can expect to see royal attendance in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games this coming summer, but I would count on participation in a number of other top events hitting Britain throughout the year. In 2014, Britain will also be home to the Ryder Cup, the passing of the Tour de France and world travelers will flock to Scotland for Homecoming. The year also marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare and the centenary of World War I.
11. Her Majesty Takes Flight at Heathrow
June 4, 2014 will mark the opening of the new Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport. Now, what does this have to do with the royals? Earlier this year Heathrow announced the terminal will be named in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, being called ‘Terminal 2 – The Queen’s Terminal.’ Her Majesty opened the original Terminal 2 in 1955, and recently opened Terminal 5 in 2008; one can gather that she or a member of her family will be present for this dedication as well. Please note – I am just guessing here!
12. Baby Cambridge Number 2?
We’re all thinking it, but only some of us are saying it. This is of course, not a guarantee, however I would not be surprised if we have a pregnancy announcement from Kensington Palace by year’s end. As Prince George turns one this summer and both William and Catherine have siblings about that close in age, it is not out of the question that they would hope for a sibling for him sooner rather than later.
13. Prince Charles Steps Up to the Plate
Although we saw quite a lot of this from the first-in-line to the throne in 2013, Prince Charles is sure to continue to take on greater responsibility on behalf of his mother. This year saw The Prince of Wales visiting Sri Lanka to take his mother’s role at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, and with The Queen marking her 88th birthday this April, it is likely his role will only increase with time.
14. The Year of Prince Harry
My love for Prince Harry aside, any royal watcher may have to admit that all signs point to Harry in 2014. Will he put a ring on it? I’m a bit sick of all this Cressida engagement talk and it hasn’t even happened yet! Another tour of duty? A third overseas tour? (Please yes!) Or perhaps a promotion? Captain Wales is on the brink of reaching the minimum requirement for a bump to major. At this point, your guess for Harry’s happenings are as good as mine.. but we all know that whatever happens, it won’t be boring.
What are your royal predictions for 2014?
Happy New Year!