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The biggest bombshell royal moments of 2023

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The news came after several reports in the British press that King Charles wanted to take Frogmore back from the couple. Originally a gift from Queen Elizabeth in 2019, the couple continued to use it as a U.K. base even after they quit their royal roles and moved to the United States in 2020. They officially moved out in June 2023.

Although speculation started that Prince Charles offered Frogmore to his brother, Prince Andrew—who came under fire for his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein—no formal announcement has been made about its new occupants.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter, Lilibet, is christened

“I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor,” the spokesperson for the Sussexes said in a statement back in the spring. The official website for Buckingham Palace also updated her and brother Archie’s title to include “Princess” and “Prince,” respectfully.

The coronation of King Charles III

On May 6, King Charles III was officially crowned at Westminster Abbey in a coronation ceremony of historic pomp and circumstance. In the lead-up to the event, many wondered if the Sussexes would attend. In the end, Prince Harry flew from California to London without his wife.

The new Princess of Wales, meanwhile, made headlines for her regal choice of attire. She wore a white Alexander McQueen dress adorned with embroidery featuring rose, thistle, daffodil, and shamrock motifs which represent the four nations of the United Kingdom, along with a meaningful matching floral headpiece.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s “car chase”

A week and a half after the coronation, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made headlines after their spokesperson said they were in a “near-catastrophic car chase” with paparazzi while in New York City for the Ms. Foundation’s Women of Vision gala. “This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near-collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers,” they said. “While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety.”

In their official statement, The NYPD confirmed the couple had been followed by paparazzi. However, the New York City Police Department’s deputy commissioner for Public Information, Julian Phillips, presented a more subdued account: “On Tuesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard,” he said.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle part ways with Spotify

After a reported $20 million deal was inked in 2020, the Sussexes and Spotify announced in June 2023 that they were ending their agreement. “Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together,” the companies said in a joint statement. Immediately, the couple came under fire—with many noting that, during their nearly 3 years with Spotify, they only managed to produce a singular season of one series.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce a Netflix movie—that they don’t star in

In August, news broke that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were set to make a new movie—one not about the royal family. Penguin Random House confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s production company, Archewell, has secured the rights to the New York Times best-selling novel Meet Me at the Lake. They partnered with Netflix to bring the project to life After months of frenzied press coverage over their differences with the royals back in Britain, it was the first time in a while that news from their professional lives had made headlines.

Meghan Markle makes a stylish return to the spotlight

After staying largely out of the spotlight over the summer, Harry and Meghan have slowly started to make public appearances again—and in September, they attended the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf and in October, they attended a World Mental Health Day panel in October. Throughout it all, Meghan wore a polished yet casual wardrobe, mostly comprised of neutral colours. It was hard not to read into her adaption of a subdued, stylish way of dressing. Her clothes were (or seemed to be) more relatable, reserved, and not, well, distracting—a new goal, perhaps?

The Prince and Princess of Wales release their 2023 Christmas card

Photographer Josh Skinner captured the Wales family—including young children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—at Windsor for their annual Christmas card. Presented in an artful black and white, the image delighted many royal fans. But it also confused them, as some pointed out that Prince Louis was missing a finger. Was it a Photoshop fail or just a young toddler making an odd hand motion? The world may never know.

The Crown’s final season premieres

December saw the premiere of The Crown season six. Divided into two parts, it covered both the death of Princess Diana as well as the beginning of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s romance. The latter, in particular, was sensationalised—and included a plot point that Carole Middleton encouraged her daughter to pursue the Prince. Yet, throughout the sensationalised portrayal, the Princess of Wales stayed silent.

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