Royals: The best and not-so-best of 2012 (Part I)

It was quite a year for the royals, from the Diamond Jubilee, to a couple of scandals, to a new heir on the way.

It seems an appropriate time, before the calendar flips another year, to look back. Hence ....

We present some of the images that told the story of a year in royals, moments that were important, or funny, or symbolic, or odd, or beautifully photographed, or all the above. We discovered quite a few, so we're dividing them into three parts over the next several days.


Best-Best of the royals 2012

What better way to start a retrospective than at the end ... with Prince William and Kate announcing they are expecting a baby. Here, they posed for a few seconds on Dec. 6 after Kate was released from hospital suffering from acute morning sickness. She was only about 10 weeks pregnant, so look for a late June, early July birth. A truly inspired storyline would see a birth on July 1, the birthdate of Prince William's late mom, Princess Diana. (AFP/Getty Images)


Best-Best of the royals 2012

Six-year-old Alex Logan tags Prince Harry with a toy penguin as he greets him at the WellChild awards ceremony in London on Sept. 3. This was the first public outing for Harry since he was caught with his pants and everything else down at a Las Vegas party in his suite. The photos captured by one of the guests made their way around the web world. Before meeting Harry, Alex, who has leukemia, announced he would tell the prince "I'm glad you've got your clothes on." Harry found out about the scheme and beat him to the punch. "You keep looking up at your mom," he told the youngster with a smile. "It looks like you're dying to say something and you're worried she'll tell you off. I heard you were on ITV earlier and you said something cheeky -- but lets not talk about that here." (AP Photo)


Best-Best of the royals 2012

Princess Anne hugged her daughter Zara Phillips on the podium with her British teammates after Zara helped win the silver medal in the team equestrian of the Eventing competition at the 2012 London Olympics on July 31. This was a special moment for both women. Zara was making her Olympic debut after missing out on the Beijing Games because of an injury to her horse. Princess Anne had competed, but failed to medal, at the 1976 Games in Montreal. (AFP/Getty Images)


Move-Best of the royals 2012

Never mind the high heels and what they could do to the artificial turf. This was every girl's dream ... returning in triumph to the school of her youth, as a duchess no less. Weaing tartan reminiscent of her school days, the Duchess of Cambridge tried out the new turf at her old school, St. Andrew's in Berkshire. She attended the school between 1986 and 1995. A few days after this little field hockey exhibition with students, Kate was in hospital with morning sickness. (AFP/Getty Images)


Move-Best of the royals 2012

A young girl looked a little dejected after giving up the flowers she was carrying to present to Prince Charles during a walkabout in Saint John, N.B, on May 21. Charles and Camilla were on a four-day visit to Canada to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. (CP Photo)


Move-Best of the royals 2012
In accordance with custom, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, take off their shoes before visiting the As-Syakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 14, 2012. The royal couple were on their second stop of a nine-day tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. (Reuters)


Not-Best of the royals 2012

A copy of The Sun newspaper in London featured a picture of a naked Prince Harry on Aug. 24. The tabloid was the first and only paper in the UK to print photographs of Prince Harry from his naked Las Vegas romp, igniting a huge debate on the boundaries of royal media coverage in the UK. The issue became even more of a lightning rod in the next month as photos of a topless Duchess of Cambridge were circulated in Europe. No publication in Britain dared to challenge the royal lawyers in that case. (Reuters)


Not-Best of the royals 2012

No, it wasn't her grandson. Queen Elizabeth seems intent to stare through the camoflage as she meets a sniper from the Household Cavalry during a visit to Combermere Barracks in Windsor on Nov. 26. (Reuters)


Not-Best of the royals 2012

Prince Charles and Lisa Shannon dance at the Dance-O-Mat during a visit to Feilding, New Zealand, on Nov. 16. The Dance-O-Mat was set up to give people the opportunity to keep dancing after many of the venues were destroyed by the earthquake of 2010. (Getty Images)


Portrait-Best of the royals 2012

In a rare moment of public physical contact, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hugged as the British men's pursuit team won cycling gold on Aug. 2 at the velodrome during the London Olympic Games. The pair were a regular attaction at Olympic events, acting as official Olympic ambassadors for Team GB. (Getty Images)


Portrait-Best of the royals 2012

Outside the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Kate looks relfective as she adjusts her scarf. In line with religious law, all vistors to the mosque must remove their shoes and women must cover their heads before entering. That didn't prevent Kate from looking very stylish in her $900 Sabitri dress by Beulah London. (AFP Photo)


Portrait-Best of the royals 2012

Prince Harry, Kate and Prince William waved in formation as they acknowledged the thousands who turned up to see the Royal Family on a barge, just one vessel among the flotilla of a thousand boats on the Thames on June 3. The river pageant was the highlight of a long weekend of festivities marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. (AFP/Getty Images)

MORE: Best of the Royals (Part II)


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