2012: the year in royals

By Ian Jones, MSN UK news editor Ben Cawthra/Rex Features
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Royal baby, diamond jubilee, London 2012 and other key moments

2012 was a momentous year for the royal family. The Queen celebrated her diamond jubilee, taking part in an enormous pageant on the River Thames, watching a spectacular concert outside Buckingham Palace, and visiting every corner of the UK. Meanwhile members of her family toured the world, competed in London 2012, fought in Afghanistan and became pregnant. This picture shows the Duchess of Cambridge leaving the King Edward VII Hospital in London on 6 December 2012 after being treated for severe morning sickness. A public announcement of the duchess' pregnancy, before the usual three-month mark, was prompted by her medical condition. She spent a total of three days in hospital.

Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images
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Prince of the dancefloor

Prince Harry joins in with some dancing on the first day of an official visit to Belize, on 3 February 2012. Harry represented the Queen on a number of foreign visits to mark her diamond jubilee.

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images
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A hug from the duchess

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Alder Hey Children's NHS foundation trust in Liverpool on 14 February 2012. It was her first solo visit as a member of the royal family.

REUTERS/Arthur Edwards
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Taking control

Prince Charles test-drives a London Underground train built for the Metropolitan line at the Bombardier factory in Derby, on 24 February 2012.

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A day out at the shops

The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge inspect hampers during a visit to the Fortnum and Mason store in London on 1 March 2012.

REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
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When Harry met Usain

Prince Harry and Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt strike a pose on the running track at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica on 6 March 2012.

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Long to rain over us

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall presents a weather forecast during a visit to BBC Scotland's news studio in Glasgow on 10 May 2012.

Chris Jackson - WPA Pool /Getty Images
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Kate picks up sticks

The Duchess of Cambridge joins in with the British hockey teams at the Riverside Arena in the Olympic Park on 15 March 2012. The duchess was a noted hockey player at school.

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Digging in the dirt

The Queen plants a jubilee tree during an official visit to Aberfan and Glanusk Park in Wales on 27 April 2012. Members of the royal family visited all parts of the UK during the year, as well as every country in the Commonwealth.

REUTERS/Steve Parsons
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A royal hug

The Queen is greeted by a member of the Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda during a tea party for the cast of a diamond jubilee pageant at Windsor Castle, on 11 May 2012.

AP Photo/Peter Macdiarmid
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Thames pageant

Hundreds of boats take part in a pageant on the River Thames on 3 June 2012. It was the centrepiece of the diamond jubilee celebrations, and involved thousands of craft of a variety of sizes, ages and backgrounds.

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A cruise down the river

The Queen and Prince Philip on board the Spirit of Chartwell during the diamond jubilee pageant on the River Thames on 3 June 2012.

AFP PHOTO/Dave Thompson
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Her Majesty meets her Grace

The Queen greets singer, actress and model Grace Jones and British comedian Rob Brydon (centre) backstage after the diamond jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace in London on 4 June 2012. A host of performers took part in the concert, including Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tom Jones and the group Madness, who performed on top of the palace roof.

AP Photo/Phil Noble
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A royal relaxes

The Duchess of Cambridge laughs along with the Queen while watching part of a children's sports event during a visit to Vernon Park in Nottingham on 13 June 2012.

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Historic handshake

The Queen shakes hands with Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness watched by first minister Peter Robinson (centre) at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast on 27 June 2012. The occasion was a symbolic gesture of reconciliation between McGuinness, a veteran supporter of an independent united Ireland, and the monarch.

Indigo/Getty Images
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Feathers in their cap

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Princess Anne, the Princess Royal arrive at St. Giles' Cathedral to attend the Thistle service on 5 July 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. During the ceremony Prince William was installed as a Knight of the Thistle.

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Climbing up the wall

Prince Charles climbs on a traversing wall in the gym at Grainville Secondary School on St Helier in the Channel Islands on 18 July 2012.

REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
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Medal winner

The royal family made numerous appearances at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London - and not just as spectators. The Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips took part in the equestrian competition. She won a silver in the Eventing Team Jumping on 31 July 2012, and was presented with her medal by her mum: Princess Anne.

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Hands up

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take part in a Mexican wave as they watch the cycling in the Velodrome during the first day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on 30 August 2012.

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Back on duty

Prince Harry is shown the Apache flight-line by a member of his squadron (name not given) at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 7 September 2012, at the start of his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner. The prince returned to Afghanistan to serve as a military helicopter pilot four years after his previous deployment there had to be cut short.

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Far East

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge look at the headstones as they visit the Kranji Memorial Cemetery in Singapore on 13 September 2012. The couple undertook a nine-day south-east Asian and Pacific tour in September to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee. The Kranji Memorial Cemetery is a second world war memorial and final resting place for allied forces who perished in Singapore.

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
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In remembrance

The Queen, Prince Philip and other members of the royal family attend the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in London on 11 November 2012.

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View from the balcony

Sophie, Countess of Wessex (left), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (centre) and Lady Susan Hussey (right, lady-in-waiting to the Queen and Godmother to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge) attend the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph in London on 11 November 2012.

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A prince meets a hobbit

Prince Charles meets actor Peter Hambleton during a visit to the Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand on 14 November 2012. The workshop had been used to create costumes and props for the film The Hobbit.

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Tucking in

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge eat some cookies during a visit to Jimmy's night shelter in Cambridgeshire on 28 November 2012. At the time, the duchess' pregnancy had yet to become public knowledge. Their trip came a few days before the duchess was admitted to hospital with severe morning sickness.

REUTERS/Jeremy Selwyn
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A Queen and her cabinet

The Queen poses with members of the cabinet inside 10 Downing Street in London on 18 December 2012. She was the first monarch to attend a meeting of the cabinet in peacetime since 1781. The cabinet presented her with a gift to mark the end of her diamond jubilee year: 60 placemats. On the same day it was also announced that part of Antarctica is to be renamed Queen Elizabeth Land.