From Archie to Andrew: The Top 10 Moments of an Incredible Royal Year

2019 was a year full of adorable little royals' big milestones...as well as some less-than-positive news

01 of 10

Prince Philip's Crash

UK: Royal Windsor Horse Show - Day One
Prince Philip. Carl De Souza/Getty

The royal year literally started with a bang when Prince Philip crashed his Land Rover into the car of teacher Ellie Townsend, 28, outside Sandringham.

Townsend was left “very shaken” by the fender bender, which resulted in the Duke being pulled through the sunroof of his vehicle after it flipped onto one side.

The Queen's husband voluntarily gave up his driver's license shortly after.

02 of 10

Meghan's NYC Baby Shower

Meghan Markle, The Duchess Of Sussex, Steps Our Showing Her Baby Bump While Leaving Her Hotel In New York City Where Preparations Are Been Set Up For Her Baby Shower
Splash News Online

“It was exactly what she needed,” Meghan Markle’s longtime friend Daniel Martin told PEOPLE about her Feb. 20 baby shower in New York City, which saw guests including Amal Clooney, Serena Williams and Gayle King take part in a flower-arranging class for Repeat Roses.

"Snow was falling outside, and it was so cozy — we all sat on couches or on the floor and told stories and caught up,” he added. “It was like going to a family reunion."

03 of 10

Archie's Big Debut

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son Archie
Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

On May 6, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor officially became seventh in line to the throne.

"He has the sweetest temperament,” the proud new mom shared about her son during his debut appearance at Windsor Castle on May 8. “He’s really calm.”

04 of 10

Prince Louis' First Royal Wave

Trooping The Colour
Kate Middleton and Prince Louis. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Louis was a giggling, wriggling bundle of adorableness during his public debut on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

William and Kate couldn’t help but crack up at Louis' antics as he eagerly anticipated the colorful RAF flyover during the June 8 Trooping the Colour festivities.

05 of 10

Archie's Christening

royal-family
CHRIS ALLERTON/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son was christened on July 6 at Queen Elizabeth’s private chapel at Windsor Castle — with Archie following the tradition of his cousins by wearing a gown designed by the Queen’s assistant, Angela Kelly.

The new parents chose the ultra-private location because they “wanted an intimate, peaceful setting,” a royal source told PEOPLE.

06 of 10

Princess Charlotte Rules the Waves...and Waves the Rules

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte and Kate Middleton on charity sailing day 2019. ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty

Kate and William set sail for the King’s Cup Regatta on Aug 8 — and brought Prince George and Princess Charlotte with them.

The royal siblings rode in a boat with grandparents, Mike and Carole Middleton, wearing lifejackets and — in George’s case — an adorable captain’s hat.

Yet it was Princess Charlotte who stole the show by sticking her tongue out as Kate encouraged her to wave to crowd, sparking a huge chorus of laughter.

07 of 10

Princess Charlotte's First Day of School

Princess Charlotte
Princess Charlotte. Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Princess Charlotte found the best cure possible for her first day jitters: the guiding hand of mum Kate Middleton.

The 4-year-old royal started at Thomas’s Battersea on Sept. 5, joining Prince George in the playground of the private school, which is close to the royals' Kensington Palace home.

08 of 10

Prince Harry and Meghan's Africa Tour

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Chris Jackson/Getty

Meghan and Harry's tour of Africa proved to be a hugely emotional rollercoaster — and not only because baby Archie joined them.

After walking through an Angolan minefield in the 22-year-old footsteps of his mother Princess Diana, Harry dramatically told ITV anchor Tom Bradby that being in the spotlight was taking a heavy toll.

"Every single time I see a (camera) flash, it takes me straight back,” said Harry, adding that it is a “wound that festers.”

Meghan later said that she was also struggling to deal with the intense tabloid scrutiny, saying, "It’s a very real thing to be going through.”

09 of 10

Prince William and Kate's Visit to Pakistan

kate-middleton-f
Samir Hussein/WireImage

William and Kate's "most complex tour" ever included visiting charities and hospitals across Pakistan, witnessing the effect of climate change in the Hindu Kush mountains and riding in a colourful motorized rickshaw.

Dramatically, the royals were also forced to cancel part of their trip after their Airbus A330 RAF Voyager jet flew into a massive lightning storm over the capital Islamabad.

Kate stunned throughout in a series of elegant kurta, tunics and shalwar kameez.

10 of 10

Prince Andrew's Bombshell Interview

Prince Andrew BBC Interview
BBC/Mark Harrison

On Nov. 16, Prince Andrew sat down with BBC Newsnight anchor Emily Maitlis to address the allegations about his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

It backfired spectacularly: within four days the Duke of York was forced to "step back from public duties" in the face of huge public outrage — mainly because he never once expressed sympathy for Epstein’s victims.

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