32 of the most joyful royal moments - from babies, betrothals and beyond

The Royal Family's most joyful moments over the years, from jubilees to weddings, have united the nation in celebration

L-Queen Elizabeth II, R-Prince William and Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Royal Family have long understood their importance - they aren't just celebrities with crowns, they can represent the mood of a nation.

Historically, throughout times of war and strife, people turn to the royals for support, guidance and moments of joy. As the years go by, this has persisted, with the family sharing intimate family moments and joining the nation to celebrate with them. 

These are some of the most joyful royal moments over the years, from romantic weddings which lifted the spirits of the nation to euphoric moments of history.

32 of the most joyful royal moments

The wedding of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their wedding day

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On November 20, 1947, the future Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey. 

2,000 guests were invited to the ceremony and thousands upon thousands gathered in London to celebrate the nuptials. Not only were fans excited about a royal wedding, but the glorious ceremony came just a couple of years after the end of World War II. 

People needed the relief and the joy of a royal wedding - so much so that hundreds of people from across the UK sent Her Majesty their rationing coupons to help make the dress, willing to sacrifice their own rations to create the perfect day. (Her Majesty sent back the rations, however, as it would be illegal to use them - but the thought still counts).

The birth of Prince Charles

L-Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth with Prince Charles, R- Elizabeth holds a young Prince Charles

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Charles Philip Arthur George was born on November 14, 1948. 

The now King Charles' birth was a hugely joyful moment for the Royal Family, and for the nation, as the young prince was born as the second in line to the throne.

In the late hours, a broadcast confirmed the news, with the announcement from Buckingham Palace declaring Princess Elizabeth "was safely delivered of a prince".

The nation gets a new princess

The Queen and Prince Philip hold their two children, Charles and Anne

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The Royal Family brought more joy when a second child was born to the then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. 

Joining older brother Charles, Princess Anne was born on August 15, 1950. She would be the only daughter - but she famously loved never being the typical image of a princess. 

She once said, "As a young princess I was a huge disappointment to everyone concerned. It’s impractical to go around in life dressed in a long white dress and a crown."

A leader emerges

Queen Elizabeth II and President Eisenhower

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A royal tour of the United States was one of the first tours undertaken by Queen Elizabeth II after her coronation - and it brought joy across both sides of the pond because it proved a natural leader was born. 

Hard to believe now - after she served as the longest-reigning monarch in history - but, as a young woman thrust into the role after her father's untimely death in 1952, some were doubtful of Her Majesty's skills.

The hugely successful US tour in 1957 was her first time showing off what would become her signature poise and natural leadership.

She formed a great bond with President Eisenhower, even trading recipes with him. In a widely cited story, she would write to him, stating, "Seeing a picture of you in today's newspaper standing in front of a barbecue grilling quail reminded me that I had never sent you the recipe of the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral. 

"I now hasten to do so, and I do hope you will find them successful."

... And Edward makes six

The Queen and Prince Philip with Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward

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Prince Edward would join his parents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and his three older siblings on March 10, 1964. 

The youngest child, he completed the family unit and arrived when Her Majesty was 37 years old. Despite a 16-year-age gap with his oldest sibling, the now King Charles, Edward's arrival was a joyful addition and the family shared heart-warming photos of the siblings bonding as they grew up in the most unusual of circumstances. 

The boys bring it home for Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II presents the World Cup to the England squad in 1966

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Queen Elizabeth II still holds the rare honour of being the only monarch to be serving when the country brought home the Football World Cup. 

In 1966, the Queen took part in what might be one of the most joyful memories for countless Brits. She was on hand to present the 1966 football squad with their first - and to date, only - World Cup trophy. 

Football came home for Her Majesty, and we can't help but wonder who will be the monarch the next time this takes place?

The Queen's Silver Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II during her Silver Jubilee tour

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In 1977 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Silver Jubilee, marking 25 years of service. 

The mood of the nation had never been so joyful or celebratory, and fans were reciprocating the affection shown by the Queen and Prince Philip. To mark the occasion, the royal couple did something unprecedented - they visited a total of 36 counties. No monarch had ever visited more of the United Kingdom in such a short span of time before. 

The trip started with record crowds gathering to see Her Majesty in Glasgow and included stops in Lancashire, where a record one million spectators came to greet them.

The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana

Prince Charles and Princess Diana on their wedding day

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Perhaps a rogue inclusion considering we know how it all sadly turned out in the end, but it cannot be overstated just how far-flung the joy and excitement ushered in by the royal wedding was. 

The now King Charles and the late Princess Diana took place on July 29, 1981. Gripping people the world over, it was dubbed as a fairy tale wedding come true, attracting a global TV audience of 750 million people.

Any moment between Diana and her boys

Princess Diana, Prince Harry and Prince William

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Princess Diana gave the now King Charles an heir and a spare (but let’s not go there) with her two sons, Princes William and Harry. 

It goes without saying that the late Princess and her boys brought joy wherever they went. Any photo of Diana with her sons exudes pure happiness, especially as she defied convention and tradition and let the young sons enjoy a relatively normal life, visiting theme parks and other things.

Zara makes history - and Princess Anne gets to be involved

Princess Anne gives Zara Tindall her Olympic Medal

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Anne, the Princess Royal, was always one for breaking boundaries and setting her own path, and this was never truer than when she became the first member of the Royal Family to compete in the Olympic Games. 

Anne rode the Queen's horse, Goodwill, in the equestrian three-day event at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Phillips, followed in her mother's footsteps by competing in the same equestrian three-day event at the 2012 London Olympics.

In what might be one of the most moving and happy moments, Princess Anne had the true privilege of presenting her daughter with her Silver Medal, in her capacity as President of the British Olympic Association. 

King Charles and Queen Camilla's happily-ever-after

King Charles and Queen Camilla laughing

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Their love story took a few detours, but it's hard to deny that the stranger-than-fiction journey of King Charles and Queen Camilla has proven to be worth the bumps - and fans across the globe enjoy seeing them enjoy their happily-ever-after together.  

From being there for huge moments of support like at the coronation to simple everyday joy, the pair are regularly seen embracing or making one another laugh. 

In one particularly happy photo taken during their visit to New Zealand, both are so caught up in their in-joke that they do away with the typically prim and proper poses, heartily laughing away as the camera captures the moment.

Any time the late Queen cheered on her horses

Queen Elizabeth II cheering on her horses at the horse show

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Even with all the tiaras and titles, the royals really are just like us - nothing brought more joy than cheering on a winner at the races. 

If you ever wanted to see the late Queen let go of her typical unreadable demeanour, one just had to go to a horse show or racing event. Screaming with happiness and rooting on her own horses, Her Majesty's reactions and contagious joy spread to those around her.

Her love of horses lasted most of her life. As a child, she was given her first horse, a Shetland pony named Peggy. By 18, she was a strong rider and she also bred racehorses. 

Prince William proposes

Prince William and Kate Middleton

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On November 16, 2010, the world was treated to some real fairy tale joy as Prince William and Kate Middleton made things official with their engagement announcement. 

Broadcasting from St James's Palace, the now Princess of Wales looked typically chic in one of her best style moments - the now iconic royal blue Issa dress which would immediately sell out as women copied her looks in what's dubbed the "Kate Effect".

As well as her stunning dress, the Princess debuting her engagement ring - the same sapphire ring worn by Princess Diana - made people's hearts melt the world over.

The birth of Prince George

Prince William and Kate Middleton with Prince George

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George Alexander Louis was born at St Mary's Hospital, London on July 22, 2013. 

For months, fans had been eager to see the arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal baby.

The arrival of George was celebratory for many reasons. He was the first child of the Prince and Princess of Wales, turning William and Kate from newlyweds to parents. George's arrival was also celebrated across the Commonwealth, as it heralded the arrival of a future King.

Baby #2 - and the first princess - for William and Kate

Prince William, Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte

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Another royal baby for the always-popular Prince and Princess of Wales was always going to bring plenty of joy, but there might have been even extra cause for celebration when it was announced the new addition was a daughter.

The couple's only daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, was born on May 2, 2015. 

Princess Charlotte has continued to be a symbol of joy for the royals and their fans, often stealing the show with her adorable ways and impeccable style from a young age. 

Prince Louis joins in the fun

William and Kate with Prince Louis after he was born

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The Wales family got their final addition on April 23, 2018, when Louis Arthur Charles was born at St Mary's Hospital. 

His birth was marked by gun salutes and bell ringing, and the excitement at another royal baby was just as high and widespread as ever. 

Louis has grown up to be something of a star in the family, known for cheeky antics and show-stealing moments

King Charles and Princess Anne have a laugh

King Charles and Princess Anne laughing

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The peculiar thing about the royals is that they are some of the most photographed people in the world, but often fans don't get to see too many different sides of them. 

This is why it was such a joyful and merry moment when King Charles and Princess Anne showcased a side of their sibling relationship many might not have seen before, as the two senior royals let their proverbial hair down and cackled away together at the Highland Games in 2022. 

Anne has often been considered a rock-solid support for the King, with countless stories of her stepping in to help the transition as he became King following their mother's death. 

Olympics fever sweeps the nation in 2012

Prince William and Kate Middleton

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The 2012 Olympics held in London brought another joy and patriotism to the country that everybody got swept up in the moment - but the added cherry on top was just how visible the royals were throughout. 

Not only did Queen Elizabeth II take part in the now iconic opening ceremony, where she made a surprise cameo during a James Bond sketch, the family made sure to lead the charge and attend as many events as possible, cheering on Team GB. 

In one of William and Kate's most romantic moments, they even enjoyed a rare bit of PDA.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get engaged

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

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Many Brits saw Prince Harry grow up as the devastated young boy who lost his mum at a tender age. So, after a few failed romances and his alleged party boy years, when he met his soulmate in Meghan Markle, it was a real cause for celebration. 

Harry and Meghan - now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - announced their engagement on November 27, 2017 after starting dating in July 2016.

The pair looked smitten as they posed for pictures at the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, giving romantics and royal fans everywhere another dose of fairy tale romance coming true.

The Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II during the Golden Jubilee 2002

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In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years on the throne. 

This is a considerably rare achievement for any monarch, and before her, the only others to reach the milestone were Henry III, Edward III, James VI, George III and Queen Victoria. 

For her Golden Jubilee, the Queen and Prince Phillip toured the UK and the Commonwealth and held an epic concert at Buckingham Palace, which saw legendary Queen guitarist Brian May entertain crowds of thousands performing on the roof of the palace. 

A moment in history, and one which delighted the nation.

The Diamond Jubilee, 2012

Prince Charles kisses the hand of Queen Elizabeth II

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II gave the nation another reason to be joyful in 2012 when she became only the second monarch in history to achieve a Diamond Jubilee - 60 years on the throne. 

Before her, Queen Victoria achieved it, having served for a total of 63 years and 216 days. 

For Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, a spectacular concert was thrown with the likes of Paul McCartney performing, plus other epic events included a maritime parade of 1,000 boats from around the Commonwealth on the Thames, the largest flotilla seen on the river in 350 years. 

Sarah Ferguson delights the fans of Friends

Sarah Ferguson and Matt LeBlanc on Friends

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Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York created a truly memorable, happy moment for royal fans (and television fans) when she made a surprise cameo in Friends

Playing herself in the episode where the gang travels to London for Ross' wedding, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) runs into the Duchess who remarks how she finds his Union Jack hat "dashing".

In I'll Be There for You: The One About Friends, Kelsey Miller writes that the royal had been "coaxed into the appearance by her daughters (Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie)".

Harry and Meghan's Royal Wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding day

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On May 19, 2018, the nation came together to celebrate the star-studded wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

Taking place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, many of actress Meghan's celebrity pals were in attendance, bringing much escapism and glamour. Well-dressed royal wedding guests included George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey.

The Queen cracks up with Meghan

Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth II

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The late Queen Elizabeth II proved she could always form strong bonds with the younger generations, welcoming the likes of Catherine Middleton and Meghan Markle into the fold when they met her grandsons. 

In one of the most heart-warming and joyful moments, the Duchess of Sussex joined her husband's grandmother for their first joint appearance in 2018. 

The pair delighted fans when they were spotted giggling and gossiping away like old chums.

Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet join the family

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Prince Archie

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From the young boy who lost his mother, Princess Diana, to a proud husband and father, Prince Harry's journey was a poignant and joyful one for fans of the Royal Family.

On May 6, 2019, Harry and Meghan's first child, Prince Archie was born.

At the time, Harry said, "It's only been two and a half days, three days, but we're just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy."

A couple of years later, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten Windsor was born on June 4, 2021, in Santa Barbara, California.

Archie was presented to the world a few days after his birth, however, Lilibet has made less frequent public appearances following the family's move to California.

The Queen's Covid message soothes a nation

Queen Elizabeth broadcast in Piccadilly Circus, London

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While there was nothing joyful about the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most memorable messages of support came from Queen Elizabeth II. 

Proving that she still knew how to be the leader people needed, Her Majesty made a televised message which touched on themes of hope. It was moving and brought comfort to millions - and the inclusion of a line from Dame Vera Lynn's wartime song, We'll Meet Again, led to an unexpected resurgence in popularity for the song from people of all ages. 

Paddington Bear becomes an honorary royal

Queen Camilla with Paddington Bear teddies

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As part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II, Her Majesty sat down for tea and marmalade sandwiches with Paddington Bear. 

Even though the heartwarming skit came 70 years into Her Majesty's reign, it became one of the most iconic and impactful moments and immediately cemented a bond between the beloved bear and the Queen. 

Such was the joy people felt that many well-wishers left Paddington Bear teddies as a tribute to the Queen after her death. Queen Consort Camilla would later pose with the countless tributes, sharing that they were donating all of the toys to charities so children in need would get comfort from them.

Any time King Charles showed off his moves

Two photos of King Charles dancing

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ABBA might have sung about Dancing Queens, but King Charles' natural affinity on the dancefloor could be reason enough for a subtle rewrite. 

The lithe monarch has been known to cut up on the dancefloor throughout the years, always bringing plenty of joy and smiles when he proved he can shed the stuffy stereotype of the traditional royals. 

William, Harry and Kate being a fab three

Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry having a race

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While the relationship has been somewhat less joyful since Harry and Meghan moved to California - and Harry released his memoir, Spare - there were plenty of years when Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton brought plenty of happy moments to royal fans. 

Joining his brother and sister-in-law for countless appearances, the trio were incredibly close and always brought a smile with their antics, modernising the monarchy.

The Coronation of King Charles

King Charles and Queen Camilla during the Coronation

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On Saturday, May 6, 2023, Britain and the Commonwealth Nations turned their attention to London to watch the Coronation of King Charles III. It was the first coronation of a new British monarch in over 70 years.

It is estimated that the ceremony was watched by an audience of some 400 million worldwide, as people tuned in to be swept up in the pageantry of the historic ceremony, and the beginning of a new era. 

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II during her Platinum Jubilee reading cards from fans

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In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II made history - she became Britain's longest-reigning monarch and the first sovereign in history to ever achieve 70 years on the throne

To commemorate, the country put on elaborate and joyful celebrations across the country. From a huge concert, which saw the likes of Motown legend Diana Ross perform, to street parties, the mood of the nation was euphoric. 

New photos of the beloved monarch were released in celebration, too.

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince William and Kate Middleton on their wedding day

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On April 29, 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton's enchanting royal wedding took place - and to say the world celebrated would be an understatement. 

There hadn't been a royal wedding on this scale since that of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and royal wedding mania saw an estimated one million people line the streets of London in hopes of seeing the now Prince and Princess of Wales. 

There are plenty more interesting facts about William and Kate's royal wedding, from the now Princess' elaborate dress requiring a team of embroiderers working around the clock to the iconic tiara that the Princess almost didn't wear, but one of the biggest indisputable facts remains that it was perhaps one of the most joyful and unifying royal moment in recent years. 

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.