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2017: A busy year ahead for Britain's royals


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2017: A busy year ahead for Britain's royals

Royal-watchers in the UK and beyond will have plenty to keep them occupied in 2017, with a busy year ahead for Queen Elizabeth and her family.

The main concern as 2016 draws to a close, however, is for the health of Elizabeth, 90, the world’s longest-reigning living monarch.


Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip


Known for her robust constitution, the Queen sparked anxiety by missing a traditional Christmas Day church service for the first time in decades, due to a heavy cold. And until Elizabeth’s next appearance in public, concerns are sure to remain over her condition.

As she approaches 91, the Queen has decided to lighten her workload in 2017.

After more than six decades on the throne, she has cut back on international tours and is now handing over 25 patronages to other members of the Royal Family.

Elizabeth remains at the helm of some 600 national organisations, though, and is set to continue a busy schedule of public engagements throughout the year, alongside her husband Prince Philip, 95.

Indeed, British media reported that Philip carried out more public engagements last year than did his grandsons William and Harry, and William’s wife Kate.



In November 2017, the couple have a major landmark to celebrate – their 70th wedding anniversary. The event is set to be marked extensively in Britain and the Commonwealth, with thoughts turning back to their big day.



Charles and Camilla


The number 70 also has a special meaning for Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

That is because on July 17, Camilla will turn 70. No doubt her husband is planning a special celebration.



The couple are increasingly representing the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh abroad and a special photograph issued at the end of 2016 underscores the growing role Charles is set to play in royal events as 2017 gets underway.



William and Kate


Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, are widely forecast to move to London full time in 2017, with reports that Prince George, 3, will attend school in the capital.

Such a move would see Kensington Palace become the family’s permanent base.

This would be a big change for George and his little sister Charlotte, who have been used to country living at Kate and William’s Anmer Hall residence in Norfolk, eastern England.



Amid speculation that a third baby may be on the cards for Kate and William, the two cuties they already have are set to be a page boy and a flower girl at Auntie Pippa’s wedding in 2017.

Pippa Middleton, Kate’s sister, is due to walk down the aisle with hedge fund millionaire James Matthews in May.



Prince Harry


Speaking of weddings… gossip columns are rife with speculation that Prince Harry could, at last, be ready to settle down. He seems truly smitten with his latest girlfriend, American actress Meghan Markle, and some feel a royal wedding is just what he, and the rest of us, need in 2017.



Failing that, there is always Harry’s charitable endeavours, whether for wounded veterans, children in need in Africa or other worthwhile causes.



For both William and Harry, however, 2017 will mark a poignant milestone. On August 31, it will be exactly 20 years since they lost their mother, Princess Diana, in a car crash in Paris.


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Hold on a second… 2016 will be longer than you thought