This year has been a huge one in the royal calendar – there has been a pregnancy, a proposal, Prince Philip leaving full-time royal duties, Prince William taking them on, and foreign trips and state visits galore.
For people constantly in the public eye, the royals are unsurprisingly great at shaking the right hands, smiling at the right moments, and generally keeping it all together to make sure they get things done.
But every now and again, even watching from a distance, we get a bit more than that. Away from the setpiece events, these are photos of the royals laughing, gawping, eye-rolling, and generally acting like normal folk. Here are the best from 2017.
In January Prince William made a solo venture to Centre Point, a homelessness charity in London. Here he plays a game with a young woman being helped by the charity (he has to guess the name on the note — which says “David Beckham”).
It’s not all relaxed though — here’s all three royals making a run for it at a sports event in east London in February.
Prince William had more fun and games trying to put up a tent blindfolded in Abergevenny, Wales, while launching a children’s award scheme.
The Duchess of Cambridge gets to meet some major dignitaries — including this St Patrick’s Day appearance where she gave a shamrock to Domhnall, an Irish Wolfhound and the Regimental Mascot of the British Army’s Irish Guards.
The next day, she and William were in Paris, and enjoyed a quiet moment looking out over Paris from behind the clock face of the city’s Musee D’Orsay.
There were sad times too. Here the Royal trio bow their heads outside a remembrance service held a few days after the terror attack on Westminster Bridge at the end of March.
But life goes on — and William and Kate were soon enjoying themselves again with bull horns at the London Marathron in late April.
Summer brings with it garden party season — here Prince Harry eggs on a young-looking Spider-Man to get stuck in to his slice of cake at a Buckingham Palace party for children whose parents were killed while in the UK armed forces.
Not long after, Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton got married. Here’s Kate looking after bridesmaid Princess Charlotte along with other children at the ceremony.
There was a cute father-son moment from Prince William, who made a face at Prince George while the family was gathered for the annual Trooping the Colour military parade.
There were more sombre scenes in the summer as the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death drew near. Here Harry and William look over old family photos in a documentary aired by ITV.
Not long after, William and Kate took a trip to Germany, and got the giggles trying to make pretzels in the town of Heidelberg.
The trip was a bit too much for Princess Charlotte, who threw a minor tantrum on the runway before a helicopter ride.
The princes have long been fans of advanced technology — especially helicopters, which both men flew for work. Here William looks very interested in helping to assemble a McLaren at a factory in Woking, Surrey.
Meanwhile Prince Harry made a trip to Toronto to see the Invictus Games for injured servicemen and women, where he met Barack Obama.
But his most entertaining ring-side moment was with two-year-old Emily Henson, who managed to steal most of Harry’s popcorn before he noticed.
Harry also took a moment to enjoy a spin in a tiny Land Rover, driven by five-year-old Daisy Gommers, during the games.
Later, he took time to hang out with this little guy behind the scenes of one Invictus event.
And he went from babies to bears — getting to meet a larger-than-life Paddington Bear at London’s Paddington Station in October.
Kate was also there, and went one better, joining him in a dance.
But William and Kate were not the couple of 2017 — here’s Harry and new fiancée Meghan Markle sharing a candid moment while filming their engagement interview with the BBC.
Another surreal royal moment came near the end of the year, at the European premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” when the BB-8 robot stopped in front of William and Harry on the red carpet and gave the bemused pair a bow.
But there was one more to come. At the annual royal outing to church at Sandringham, Norfolk a local mother, Karen Anvil, beat out the world’s media to get a super-sweet photo of both princes, Meghan Markle and the Duchess of Cambridge all posing together — a first.
— Karen Anvil (@Anvilius) December 25, 2017
The squad snap ended up getting Anvil big money as media all over the world reproduced her work on a slew of front pages and websites.