Over the last ten years Britain has seen some of the greatest changes in its history, with a surging music industry and renewed interest in politics.
But there have also been times of deep despair, when the country has had to drag itself to its feet following horrific terror attacks such as two on London Bridge and one at the Manchester Arena.
Throughout the highs and lows the Royal Family has remained a constant, but even it has gone through transitions, with a string of weddings, a shake-up of the royal succession rules topped off by poorly shielded private spats.
As 2019 comes to a close, MailOnline looks back on a decade marked by political turmoil, extreme weather and the Queen’s acting debut at the Olympics.
Terrorism grips the streets of London, Manchester and West Yorkshire:
It has been a turbulent 10 years packed with plenty of turmoil.
Dozens of lives were lost in the Manchester Arena bombing, the Grenfell Tower blaze and a series of violent attacks across the capital that saw the decade defined by terror and tragedy.
The shocking deaths of MP Jo Cox – stabbed to death by Neo-Nazi Thomas Mair in her constituency in 2016 – and Fusilier Lee Rigby – rammed with a car before being hacked to death in 2013 – horrified the nation.
Some 71 people died when flames engulfed Grenfell Tower in London’s deadliest fire since the Second World War.
The shocking deaths of MP Jo Cox (pictured, the aftermath) – stabbed to death by Neo-Nazi Thomas Mair in her constituency in 2016 – and Fusilier Lee Rigby – rammed with a car before being hacked to death in 2013 – horrified the nation
In 2017, election campaigning was suspended for three days when 22 lives were claimed following an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert (pictured, a vigil after the attack)
People receive medical attention in Thrale Street near London Bridge following a terrorist incident during the attack in June 2017
The decade closed with the murders of Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, at the hands of convicted terrorist Usman Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event in London on November 29 (pictured)
A woman grieves as she lay flowers at the beach next to the Imperial Marhaba Hotel where 38 people were killed in a terrorist attack on June 27, 2015, in Souuse, Tunisia
Relatives and survivors are still searching for answers after the inquiry’s phase one report, published more than two years after the tragedy, found the London Fire Brigade’s preparation for a tower block blaze to be ‘gravely inadequate’.
The second stage of the public inquiry is due to begin early next year.
In 2017, election campaigning was suspended for three days when 22 lives were claimed following an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert.
Some 71 people died when flames engulfed Grenfell Tower in London’s deadliest fire since the Second World War
London Bridge, Westminster and Finsbury Park all became targets for terrorists in the same year, making it one of the most significant of modern times.
The decade closed with the murders of Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, at the hands of convicted terrorist Usman Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event in London on November 29.
The attack came just weeks after the UK’s terrorism threat level was downgraded to ‘substantial’ from ‘severe’.
The decade’s sense of tragedy and terror was also felt across the world in a string of international attacks.
Anders Breivik, disguised as a policeman, killed 77 people in two separate gun attacks in Norway in 2011.
Paris became a target for terrorism in 2015, when gunmen stormed the building of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and months later targeted the Bataclan concert hall.
The same year Britain joined air strikes on IS targets in the war-torn country of Syria after MPs voted in favour of extending military action from Iraq.
Also in 2015 the shocking image of the body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi lying face down on a Turkish beach made headlines across the world at the height of the European migrant crisis.
In 2016, some 32 people were killed in terror attacks on Brussels and more than 80 were murdered in Nice when a lone terrorist drove a lorry into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.
The public reengages with politics but a dragging Brexit turmoil polarises:
The public went to the polls in four general elections and a referendum that divided the nation and shaped the decade’s later years.
Dramatic changes to the UK’s political landscape began in 2010, when the Conservative Party gained power for the first time since 1997 in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
After months of arguments, offers and confrontations, Scotland voted to remain in the UK in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014.
David Cameron returned to Number 10 as the head of a majority government the following year, delivering a crushing blow to Labour’s Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg, who both went on to quit as party leaders.
But the biggest political controversy of the decade was the UK voting to leave the EU after 52 per cent of the public supported Brexit in 2016.
It was a victory for then Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who became one of the most recognisable political figures of the decade, and a humiliating defeat for Mr Cameron, who brought an abrupt end to his six-year premiership with a hasty resignation.
Divisions deepened during the tenureship of Theresa May, who will be remembered for her failure to deliver Brexit, and Boris Johnson, who took the public to the polls for the first December general election in nearly a century.
Dramatic changes to the UK’s political landscape began in 2010, when the Conservative Party gained power for the first time since 1997 in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Pictured: David Cameron and Nick Clegg (left) and Mr Cameron with with Samantha (right)
Left: Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street after an audience with The Queen in May 2010. Right: Mr Cameron holding his baby daughter, Florence Rose Endellion Cameron who was born during his family summer holiday in Cornwall in August 2010
After months of arguments, offers and confrontations, Scotland voted to remain in the UK in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014. Pictured: SNP leader Alex Salmond and SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon in 2011
Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn (right) standing but not singing as the national anthem plays out during a service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in September 2015
Divisions deepened during the tenureship of Theresa May, who will be remembered for her failure to deliver Brexit, and Boris Johnson (left and right in 2015), who took the public to the polls for the first December general election in nearly a century
Vote Remain and Vote Leave campaigners face off ahead of a visit to Winchester by Boris Johnson, as part of his tour on the Vote Leave campaign bus, in 2016
It was a victory for then Ukip leader Nigel Farage (pictured in 2016), who became one of the most recognisable political figures of the decade, and a humiliating defeat for Mr Cameron, who brought an abrupt end to his six-year premiership with a hasty resignation
Brexit was not the only political upset during the decade. After 18 months of campaigning – often bitter, frequently bizarre and sometimes barely believable – Donald Trump triumphed over Hillary Clinton and was elected President of the United States (pictured with Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018)
Mr Johnson promised to lead a ‘One Nation’ government and urged people ‘to find closure and to let the healing begin’ following a landslide Tory victory that saw the party win its biggest majority in Westminster since the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher.
Brexit was not the only political upset during the decade.
After 18 months of campaigning – often bitter, frequently bizarre and sometimes barely believable – Donald Trump triumphed over Hillary Clinton and was elected President of the United States.
It was a decade when people woke up to the realities of the climate crisis and the world’s nations united for the historic Paris climate agreement.
Spells of flooding destroyed homes while the ‘Beast from the East’ froze the British isles in 2018, just a year before the UK recorded its hottest day on record.
An explosion of social media usage was not without its controversies. The 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal rocked the tech industry when an investigation found data from millions of Facebook profiles had been harvested to influence choices at the ballot box.
WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange spent seven years of the decade seeking asylum in London’s Ecuadorean embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape allegation he had always denied.
WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange spent seven years of the decade seeking asylum in London’s Ecuadorean embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape allegation he had always denied. Swedish authorities discontinued the rape investigation in November but, after being dramatically removed from the embassy building in April, Assange was jailed for 50 weeks in May for breaching his bail conditions (pictured)
Mark Duggan’s death at the hands of a Metropolitan Police marksman sparked nationwide riots and days of unrest in summer 2011, as buildings were set alight and protesters engaged in stand-offs with riot police (pictured)
Saffiyah Khan (left) faces down an English Defence League (EDL) protester Ian Crossland during a demonstration in Birmingham in the wake of the Westminster terror attack in 2017
Spells of flooding destroyed homes while the ‘Beast from the East’ froze the British isles in 2018 (pictured), just a year before the UK recorded its hottest day on record
Firefighters tackle a wildfire on Winter Hill near Bolton, during devastating blazes across the region last summer
Police in hazmat suits wait for decontamination after securing a tent covering a bench in the Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found critically ill by exposure to nerve agent novichok last year
Big Ben stopped chiming in 2017 for the undertaking of major repair conservation work, expected to run until 2021. It is expected to be the longest silence for the bell, which did not chime for two years during the First World War
Some 888,246 hand-made ceramic flowers provided a scene of remembrance in November 2014 as the nation marked 100 years since the start of the First World War. There were also events for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, with elderly veterans making what was for many their last visit to Normandy to commemorate the events of June 6 1944. Pictured The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Remembrance in 2017
As he begins a new term as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (pictured) has promised tougher sentences to ensure terrorists spend longer in prison
How has Britain changed in numbers over the decade?
- 3,676,000 – the increase in Britain’s population from 62,760,000 in 2010 to 66,436,000 in mid-2018.
- 20 – the percentage point increase in homes with access to the internet, from 73% of households in 2010 up to 93% in 2019.
- 88 – the average pence increase in the cost of a pint of lager, from £2.84 at the start of 2010 to £3.72 at the end of the decade.
- 65,688 – fewer seizures of Class B drugs such as cannabis by police forces in 2018/19 (109,266) compared with 2010/11 (174,954).
- 53,940 – increase in people being accepted onto university and higher education courses, from 487,300 in 2010 to 541,240 in 2019.
- 116.9 – the amount in billions reduced from the deficit since 2010. A £158.3 billion deficit in 2010 has dropped to a £41.4 billion deficit in 2019.
- Eight – the number of general elections or large referendums in Great Britain. As well as the 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019 general elections, voters went to the polls for the 2011 Alternative Vote referendum and the 2016 Brexit vote. Parts of the country also ticked boxes for the 2011 Welsh Devolution referendum and the 2014 vote on Scottish independence.
- 66,089 – the reduction in the number of live births per year in England and Wales between 2010 (723,165) and 2018 (657,076).
- 2,837 – people arrested on suspicion of terror offences in Great Britain since September 2009.
- 143 – medals won by Team GB across five summer and winter Olympics.
- Eight – royal babies born since 2010. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had children George, Charlotte and Louis while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed son Archie. The Princess Royal’s son Peter Phillips became father to daughters Savannah and Isla while his sister Zara Tindall gave birth to Mia Grace and Lena Elizabeth.
- 2,488 – days Julian Assange spent in the Ecuadorian embassy in London between June 19 2012 and April 11 2019.
- 28,290 – fewer divorces of opposite-sex couples in 2019 (91,299) compared with 2010 (119,589).
- 4,100 – million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) approximately released into the atmosphere by the UK and Crown Dependencies between 2010 and 2018.
- 9,796 – the number of births registered to same-sex couples since 2010, after the law was changed to recognise same-sex parents in late 2009.
- 1,169,000 – the reduction in unemployment in people aged 16 and over from 2,475,000 in September 2009 to 1,306,000 in September 2019.
- 3,600,000 – the approximate number of people who vape in Great Britain in 2019.
Swedish authorities discontinued the rape investigation in November but, after being dramatically removed from the embassy building in April, Assange was jailed for 50 weeks in May for breaching his bail conditions.
Mark Duggan’s death at the hands of a Metropolitan Police marksman sparked nationwide riots and days of unrest in summer 2011, as buildings were set alight and protesters engaged in stand-offs with riot police.
A worldwide movement began in 2013 using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to protest against the police treatment and systemic racism of black people.
Officers have been deployed in their masses for a series of protests across the decade, including at demos against student fee increases in 2010, anti-Brexit marches and, most recently, action staged by Extinction Rebellion.
Questions were asked over the actions of police and other authorities following the exposure of child sexual exploitation rings in Rochdale and Rotherham.
The 2012 murders of schoolgirls April Jones, five, from Machynlleth in west Wales, and Tia Sharp, 12, from south-east London, prompted an outpouring of grief.
And police forces found themselves under pressure from a rise in knife crime, with scores of teenagers stabbed to death on the nation’s streets in recent years.
Tony Blair gave evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry twice, in 2010 and 2011. The long-awaited report criticised the actions of the former prime minister and other leading politicians and senior officials when it was published in 2016.
The actions of the press also came under scrutiny in Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into media standards. A series of revelations about phone hacking saw the closure of the News Of The World in 2011 and recommendations were made about the future of press regulation.
Big Ben stopped chiming in 2017 for the undertaking of major repair conservation work, expected to run until 2021.
It is expected to be the longest silence for the bell, which did not chime for two years during the First World War.
Some 888,246 hand-made ceramic flowers provided a scene of remembrance in November 2014 as the nation marked 100 years since the start of the First World War. There were also events for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, with elderly veterans making what was for many their last visit to Normandy to commemorate the events of June 6 1944.
As he begins a new term as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has promised tougher sentences to ensure terrorists spend longer in prison.
But with the nation divided over one of most contentious political issues of modern times, Mr Johnson’s top priority will be to keep his promise to end Brexit uncertainty by ensuring Britain starts the new decade by leaving the EU as soon as possible.
The Royals see stunning weddings, bouncing babies as well as family fallouts:
The royal family’s decade has been one of celebration, from weddings, milestones and a jubilee to an abundance of royal babies.
Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in history, the Duke of Edinburgh retired after decades of royal service, and the pair welcomed eight great-grandchildren.
As the Queen and Philip both entered their nineties and called time on their overseas travel, the younger generation of royals gradually stepped up in support.
Princes William and Harry carved out their own roles, left the military and transitioned into full-time royals.
Two new families – the Cambridges and the Sussexes – came to the forefront of royal life, along with two new high-profile women, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex.
But the past 10 years have not been without their troubles.
Scandals, setbacks, in-family rifts and battles with the press have all shaped this latest chapter, which is drawing to a close with the Duke of York stepping down from public duties amid the fallout from his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Here is a look at some of the key moments from the royal family’s 2010s.
The Windsors enjoyed a major boost when Prince William proposed to his former university flatmate Kate Middleton.
William presented Kate, dubbed ‘Waity Katy’ during their long courtship, with Diana, Princess of Wales’s sapphire ring and popped the question as they holidayed in Kenya in 2010.
In April 2011, millions tuned in to watch their royal wedding in London’s Westminster Abbey.
Kate, in a lace Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown, became an HRH and a future queen after saying her vows.
The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kissed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, as the crowds turned out in celebration.
The Windsors enjoyed a major boost when Prince William proposed to his former university flatmate Kate Middleton. William presented Kate, dubbed ‘Waity Katy’ during their long courtship, with Diana, Princess of Wales’s sapphire ring and popped the question as they holidayed in Kenya in 2010. In April 2011, millions tuned in to watch their royal wedding in London’s Westminster Abbey. The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kissed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (pictured), as the crowds turned out in celebration
The wedding for the Windsors was a major boost as Prince William proposed to his former university flatmate Middleton
The pair, who became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, tied the knot in a romantic, star-studded ceremony in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018 (pictured with baby Archie)
Zara Phillips and former England rugby player Mike Tindall wed the same year.
But royal fans had to wait another seven years for the next high-profile nuptials.
Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement in 2017 following a whirlwind 16-month romance after meeting on a blind date.
The pair, who became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, tied the knot in a romantic, star-studded ceremony in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018, with Meghan dressed in a simple, boat-necked pure white wedding gown by Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy.
The ex-Suits star became the first mixed race person in modern history to marry a senior British royal.
Just months later, the Queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie married her long-term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank at St George’s in October 2018.
Eugenie’s sister Princess Beatrice got engaged and is due to wed in 2020.
It was also time for a new generation of Windsors to put in an appearance.
The Queen and Philip’s first great-grandchild, Savannah Phillips, was born to Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn in 2010, followed by her sister Isla in 2012.
At the end of 2012, it was announced Kate was pregnant and being treated in hospital for severe morning sickness.
Future king Prince George of Cambridge arrived among much media hype in July 2013, and made his public debut outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London.
At the end of 2012, it was announced Kate was pregnant and being treated in hospital for severe morning sickness
Future king Prince George of Cambridge (left and right with his father) arrived among much media hype in July 2013, and made his public debut outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London
Princess Charlotte arrived less than two years later in 2015. She slept soundly as she was introduced to the world dressed in a cream knitted bonnet (pictured)
Princess Charlotte falls over as she, Prince George and their parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited Airbus in Hamburg, Germany in 2017
The Duke of Cambridge walks with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, where the Duke’s third child, Louis, was born
William and Kate’s third child Prince Louis was born on St George’s Day – April 23 – in 2018. The duke joked he had ‘thrice the worry’ as they took the prince home to Kensington Palace
Princess Charlotte arrived less than two years later in 2015.
She slept soundly as she was introduced to the world dressed in a cream knitted bonnet.
William and Kate’s third child Prince Louis was born on St George’s Day – April 23 – in 2018.
The duke joked he had ‘thrice the worry’ as they took the prince home to Kensington Palace.
Meanwhile Zara Tindall welcomed Mia in 2014, and another daughter, Lena, in 2018.
Then Harry’s dream of parenthood came true as he and Meghan celebrated the arrival of their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in May 2019.
Announcing his birth, the duke said: ‘This little thing is absolutely to die for, so I’m just over the moon.’
The royal births were followed by royal christenings, and then nursery and school starts for George and Charlotte, and appearances on the balcony for Trooping the Colour.
Philip turned 90 in 2011 and then came the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – 60 years on the throne – in 2012.
More than 1.25 million spectators braved the rain and freezing cold to line the banks of the Thames for the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, which featured more than 1,000 boats.
Celebrations also included a jubilee pop concert in front of Buckingham Palace organised by Take That’s Gary Barlow.
Philip was forced to miss the majority of the events after being in hospital with a bladder infection, not long after enduring the wet and windy River Pageant.
A slimmed-down monarchy appeared on the palace balcony with the Queen for a flypast – only those at the very top of the succession list and their wives: Charles, Camilla, William, new recruit Kate and Harry.
Philip turned 90 in 2011 and then came the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – 60 years on the throne – in 2012. They are pictured together in 2014
The Queen smiles during a visit to the headquarters of British Airways at Heathrow Airport, London, to mark its centenary this year
A slimmed-down monarchy appeared on the palace balcony with the Queen for a flypast – only those at the very top of the succession list and their wives: Charles (left, with the Queen during the State Opening of Parliament in October), Camilla, William, new recruit Kate and Harry
Actress Angelina Jolie is presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by the Queen in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, in October 2014
The Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016 (pictured) was marked in public and private with a walkabout, beacon lighting and a black tie dinner for family and friends in Windsor on her actual birthday
Zara Tindall became the first member of the British royal family to win a medal at the Olympic Games, earning a silver in the team eventing at London 2012.
In 2015, the Queen passed Victoria’s milestone to become the nation’s longest-reigning monarch on September 9, having reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 30 minutes.
She admitted in a speech at the Borders Railway in Tweedbank that the royal record was ‘not one to which I have ever aspired’.
The Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016 was marked in public and private with a walkabout, beacon lighting and a black tie dinner for family and friends in Windsor on her actual birthday.
A weekend of national celebrations including a Patron’s Lunch party on The Mall was staged for her official birthday in June.
The Queen also became the world’s longest reigning living monarch after the death of the revered Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej.
In 2017, the Queen reached the 65th year of her accession – a rare Blue Sapphire Jubilee, but the occasion was not publicly celebrated.
William and Harry marked the 20th anniversary of their mother Diana’s death the same year, with Harry revealing how he came close to a breakdown after not speaking about his loss for many years.
The Queen and Philip poignantly passed their platinum wedding anniversary – 70 years of marriage – in November 2017.
In 2018, Charles turned 70. The monarch paid tribute to her eldest son at a glittering private black-tie party at Buckingham Palace, calling him a ‘duchy original’ and an heir to the throne comparable with any in history.
The Queen’s final corgi died the same year.
Whisper, who was adopted following the death of his owner, a former Sandringham gamekeeper, died in October 2018, leaving the Queen without any corgis, and only two dorgis.
The past 10 years have seen a royal family in transition.
The ageing monarch and Philip inevitably called time on their overseas travel, and then, at the age of 96, the duke retired from public duties.
He carried out his final official solo engagement – his 22,219th since 1952 – as he met fundraising Royal Marines on the Buckingham Palace forecourt in August 2017.
The duke now spends much of his time in the sanctuary of Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate.
Adjustments were also made for the Queen’s comfort.
She stopped using the stairs at the State Opening of Parliament, opting for the lift instead, and in 2019 kept the lighter George IV diadem on throughout rather than switching to the heavy Imperial State Crown.
Charles – a king in waiting – opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in 2013, representing his mother in the role for the first time.
Charles (pictured driving the steam train ‘Salmon’ during his visit to the Royal Deeside Railway in Banchory in 2017) – a king in waiting – opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in 2013, representing his mother in the role for the first time
Charles began the practice of laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in 2017 on behalf of the Queen as she watched from a nearby balcony. He is pictured with the Royal Family last year following Trooping the Colour
In 2018, the prince (left in new Zealand this year and right, in Malaysia in 2017) announced a major restructuring of his charities ahead of his 70th birthday, viewed as planning for the time when he will be king
The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams at the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland, in 2015
His role as future head of the Commonwealth was secured in April 2018 when the Queen publicly lobbied in favour of her son at the CHOGM in London, and world leaders backed the decision. Pictured: With the Queen in March
The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Charles and Prince Harry look at a mobile phone during day two of the Invictus Games Athletics competition, at Lee Valley Athletics Centre, London, in 2014
The Prince of Wales drives a steam train during a visit to Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway in Exbury, Hampshire, in 2011
But there were tensions behind the scenes.
Writer Catherine Mayer, who was given rare access to the prince, said he was ‘joylessly’ increasing his royal workload and believed becoming king would be akin to ‘prison’, which Clarence House denied.
The Queen, accompanied by Philip, Charles and Camilla, was back at the CHOGM in 2015, delivering the opening speech in Malta.
In the royal household, the Queen’s well-respected private secretary Sir Christopher Geidt, who sought to unify the often-competing courts of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, departed in 2017 amid reported tensions over transition.
The same year, Charles began the practice of laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of the Queen as she watched from a nearby balcony.
In 2018, the prince announced a major restructuring of his charities ahead of his 70th birthday, viewed as planning for the time when he will be king.
His role as future head of the Commonwealth was secured in April 2018 when the Queen publicly lobbied in favour of her son at the CHOGM in London, and world leaders backed the decision.
There were major lifestyle changes for both William and brother Harry – both left the military and became full-time royals.
William first worked as a helicopter pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance, and also started carrying out investitures on behalf of the Queen, before focusing on royal duties.
Harry took a military desk job, launched his Invictus Games competition in 2014, and then in 2015 said goodbye to Army life after 10 years.
Former mistress-turned-royal wife Camilla slowly took on a more prominent position.
Former mistress-turned-royal wife Camilla (pictured in 2012) slowly took on a more prominent position. She sat next to the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee carriage procession in 2012 and attended her first State Opening of Parliament in 2013 – moves that would have been unthinkable a decade earlier
The Duchess of Cornwall is pictured burying her head in flowers at the Garden Museum to view a British Flowers Week exhibition last year
The Duke of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cornwall laugh during the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, in 2014
Camilla (pictured with her husband and a John Lennon statue in Cuba earlier this year) was made a Privy Counsellor on the Queen’s official 90th birthday, meaning she will be permitted to be at Charles’s side during the Accession Council which takes place following the death of a sovereign
The statement ahead of her 2005 wedding to Charles that the duchess intended to be known as Princess Consort (pictured in Liverpool in February), rather than Queen, when the time came, was quietly removed from the couple’s website
The Duchess of Cornwall enjoys an ice cream with Dame Judi Dench at Queen Victoria’s private beach, next to the monarch’s holiday home in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, last year
She sat next to the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee carriage procession in 2012 and attended her first State Opening of Parliament in 2013 – moves that would have been unthinkable a decade earlier.
She was made a Privy Counsellor on the Queen’s official 90th birthday, meaning she will be permitted to be at Charles’s side during the Accession Council which takes place following the death of a sovereign.
The statement ahead of her 2005 wedding to Charles that the duchess intended to be known as Princess Consort, rather than Queen, when the time came, was quietly removed from the couple’s website.
A radical shake-up of the historic royal succession rules came into force in 2013, ahead of George’s birth, removing male bias.
Meanwhile, royal author Robert Jobson reported in 2014 that the courtiers were examining regency scenarios, later saying the Queen would only seriously consider it once she reached 95.
The royals carved out their own roles through their charity work, with the Cambridges and Harry focusing on mental health.
Kate also championed early years support, Harry HIV, wildlife conservation and landmines, Meghan female empowerment and education, and Camilla’s engagements centred on literacy and the issue of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Jubilee tours, Brexit trips and royal babies making their mark on their first official overseas visits were among the travel highlights for the globe-trotting royals.
In 2011, the Queen made a historic journey to the Irish Republic.
Amid unprecedented security, she became the first British monarch to travel there in 100 years and the first since the nation gained independence from Britain.
She bowed her head in Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance to pay tribute to the rebels who rose up against British rule in 1916, spoke Irish in an address to a state banquet and visited Croke Park stadium, where British forces shot dead 14 spectators at a Gaelic football match in 1920.
The same year, Harry journeyed to the Arctic on a charity trek, and William and Kate went on their first joint overseas tour to Canada and the US.
The Diamond Jubilee saw Harry display a natural talent for diplomacy in Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica, while William and Kate travelled to the Far East.
Charles and Camilla visited Australia and New Zealand, where the duchess was pictured holding a nine-month-old orphaned koala called Matilda.
Prince Harry and Prince William pose with a rock python during a visit to the Mokolodi Nature Reserve in Gabarone, Botswana, in 2010
Prince Harry wears an immersion suit on the island of Spitsbergen during his trip to the Arctic in which he battled sub-zero temperatures in a punishing charity trek as part of the Walking with the Wounded expedition team in 2011
Prince Harry dances with Chantol Dorner during a visit to the Rise Life charity project in Jamaica as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour where he represented his grandmother, the Queen, in 2012
The Duke and The Duchess of Cambridge are pictured on an open-top vehicle, shaped as a traditional canoe with a leaf roof canopy as they departed from Henderson Airport, Honiara, Solomon Islands, during the nine-day royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012
Prince Harry (right) or Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, races out from the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to scramble his Apache with fellow Pilots, during his 12 hour shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan, where he served as an Apache Helicopter Pilot/Gunner with 662 Sqd Army Air Corps, from September 2012 until January 2013
Prince Harry is shown the Apache flight-line by a member of his squadron at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where he operated from during his tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner in 2012
Prince Harry is pictured during a race against Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt at the University of the West Indies, in Jamaica, 2012
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pose for media with Uluru in the background during the sixteenth day of their official tour to New Zealand and Australia in 2014
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry watch riders at the finish line of Stage 1 of the Tour de France in Harrogate in 2014
In 2014, nine-month-old royal superstar George charmed his way round New Zealand and Australia on an official tour with his parents, just like William did when he was a baby
William and Kate went to Bhutan and India without George and Charlotte in 2016, and posed in front of the Taj Mahal just like Diana (pictured)
The Duke of Sussex walks through a minefield in Dirico, Angola, during a visit to see the work of landmine clearance charity the Halo Trust, on day five of the royal tour of Africa in September. The picture replicates a similar one taken of his mother Princess Diana
Prince Andrew faced criticism for his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and has been accused by Virginia Roberts of having sex with her when she was 17 (pictured left together in 2001). He was grilled for an hour by BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis (right)
In 2014, nine-month-old royal superstar George charmed his way round New Zealand and Australia on an official tour with his parents, just like William did when he was a baby.
The Cambridges took George and Charlotte skiing in the Swiss Alps, and Harry trekked in the foothills of the Himalayas during his first trip to Nepal in 2016.
William and Kate went to Bhutan and India without George and Charlotte in 2016, and posed in front of the Taj Mahal just like Diana.
In the wake of the EU referendum, the royals set off on Brexit diplomacy tours at the request of the Foreign Office.
The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, on the fourth day of the royal visit to Pakistan in October
William and Kate took George and Charlotte to Germany and Poland in 2017, with the princess having a little tantrum, falling to the ground in Hamburg.
William went to Finland on a solo trip, while the Duke of Sussex went to Denmark, and Charles went on a host of European visits.
In 2018, William carried out a key trip to the Middle East, becoming the first member of the royal family to make an official trip to either the Occupied Palestinian Territories or Israel on behalf of the Government.
Charles and Camilla also made a historic trip to Cuba in 2019, becoming the first royals to visit the Communist state in an official capacity.
High-profile incoming state visits included US president Barack Obama in 2011 and the first state visit to the UK by an Irish president in 2014, with Michael D Higgins staying at Windsor Castle.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited in 2016 and Mr Obama’s successor Donald Trump carried out a controversial stay in 2019.
Harry and Meghan went on their first long-haul official overseas trip – to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, carrying out more than 70 engagements over 16 days.
Highlights included a trip to Bondi Beach in Australia, and a Maori welcome in Rotorua, New Zealand, and the tour began with news that the duchess was expecting a baby.
On their 2019 tour to southern Africa, the couple took along baby Archie, who was introduced to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Meghan, in a speech to girls in Nyanga township in Cape Town, said: ‘While I’m here with my husband as a member of the royal family, I want you to know from me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister.’
On a visit to Pakistan in 2019, William and Kate arrived at a reception in Islamabad by tuk tuk, with the duke dressed in a traditional sherwani coat.
Charles read the weather during a tour of BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay headquarters, carrying out the live broadcast with ease and adding a touch of humour to the script.
The Queen filmed her own cameo appearance alongside Daniel Craig’s James Bond for the London 2012 Games opening ceremony, and a stunt double dressed as the monarch parachuted into the Olympic Stadium.
Lighter moments on royal engagements included Kate dancing with a giant Paddington Bear at Paddington station, Charles exiting from a Doctor Who Tardis door and Harry racing Usain Bolt.
The Queen filmed her own cameo appearance alongside Daniel Craig’s James Bond for the London 2012 Games opening ceremony, and a stunt double dressed as the monarch parachuted into the Olympic Stadium (pictured)
The Queen is pictured with James Bond actor Daniel Craig ahead of the London Olympic Games opening ceremony in 2012
The Queen dropped in on London Fashion Week and Prince George was spotted looking bored on the palace balcony during Trooping the Colour.
Bridesmaid Savannah Phillips had pageboy George trying to stifle his laughter during Princess Eugenie’s wedding when she entertained him by pretending to play the trumpet in St George’s Chapel.
Camilla was photographed with her nose buried deep in a bouquet of flowers on a visit to London’s Garden Museum in 2018.
A meeting with the Queen was so overwhelming for nine-year-old Nathan Grant in 2018 that he dropped to the floor and crawled out of the nearest door, shouting ‘Bye’ to amused onlookers at the Coram children’s charity in London.
There were low points too for the Windsors.
A raucous road trip to Las Vegas in 2012 ended with photos of a naked Harry, who was frolicking with a woman in his hotel room after a game of strip billiards, being printed around the world.
Harry was just about to begin his second frontline stint with the military in Afghanistan.
Kate was left distressed when topless photos of her sunbathing in France were printed in foreign magazines, and legal action was launched and won.
Charles sparked a diplomatic crisis with Russia in 2014 when he likened Vladimir Putin’s actions to some of those of the Nazis while speaking to a former Polish war refugee during a royal tour to Canada.
A 10-year legal battle by The Guardian led to the publication of secret letters written by Charles to government, showing the prince had tackled then prime minister Tony Blair over the lack of resources for the armed forces fighting in Iraq and lobbied ministers over badgers and TB, herbal medicine and illegal fishing of the Patagonian toothfish.
Meghan’s new life as a royal was followed by an estrangement from her father Thomas Markle and then a reported rift, first between Kate and Meghan, and then William and Harry (pictured in 2017)
In 2016, William was branded ‘workshy William’ for the number of engagements he carried out in combination with his part-time air ambulance pilot role, but dismissed the criticism as ‘part of the job’.
Philip sparked controversy in January 2019 when he was involved in a serious car crash involving a mother and a baby.
Meghan’s new life as a royal was followed by an estrangement from her father Thomas Markle and then a reported rift, first between Kate and Meghan, and then William and Harry.
The Sussexes moved to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor and split from the Royal Foundation, setting up their own charity.
They faced accusations of hypocrisy in the summer of 2019 amid a row over their use of private jets despite speaking out on environmental issues.
Their taxpayer-funded official tour of southern Africa in 2019 was overshadowed when the duchess launched legal action against a newspaper group and the duke delivered a scathing attack on the British press.
In an emotional ITV documentary, Meghan admitted to feeling vulnerable and Harry did little to dispel reports of a rift by saying he loved William dearly but they were ‘on different paths at the moment’ and had ‘good days’ and ‘bad days’ in their relationship.
It was the Duke of York’s association with convicted sex offender Epstein that caused the worst crisis through the decade.
In 2011, the Queen’s second son quit his role as UK trade envoy after photos showed him visiting the disgraced financier in New York after Epstein’s release from jail for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
It also emerged that the duke’s ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York was given £15,000 by Epstein to help pay off her debts, just 18 months after he was released.
Four years later, Andrew faced allegations in civil court papers in the US that he had sex on three separate occasions with Virginia Giuffre, when she was still a minor under US law.
The duke categorically denied the claims.
In November 2019, in the wake of Epstein killing himself in prison, Andrew’s attempts to defend himself against Ms Giuffre’s accusations and explain his friendship with Epstein in a BBC Newsnight interview were branded a ‘car crash’ and led to him withdrawing from public duties.
He was widely criticised for failing to show remorse for his association with Epstein or empathy with Epstein’s victims.
Ms Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein, gave an interview to BBC Panorama and said she was left ‘horrified and ashamed’ after an alleged sexual encounter with Andrew in London in 2001.
She claimed she danced with Andrew in Tramp nightclub, adding he was ‘the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life’ and ‘his sweat was … raining basically everywhere’.
The Twittersphere takeover continues and the era of the Instafamous celebrity:
The 2010s will be remembered as the decade of the streaming wars, as television and film watching habits were altered forever.
It has seen a shift from appointment-to-view television on the small screen and buying a ticket and popcorn at your local cinema, to consuming nearly everything on a hand-held device of some sort.
Global streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+ and others claimed their stake in the watching habits of people all over the world – and in doing so changed the face of consumerism irrevocably.
The launch of series like House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black on Netflix gave rise to ‘binge-watching’ culture and the risque internet euphemism ‘Netflix and chill’ invaded popular vocabulary.
Thanks to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat – launched in 2011 – celebrities found a new way to connect directly with their fans. Cue self-named fan groups including Miley Cyrus’ Smilers, Beyonce’s Beyhive, Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters and Justin Bieber’s Beliebers.
The launch of series like House Of Cards (pictured) and Orange Is The New Black on Netflix gave rise to ‘binge-watching’ culture and the risque internet euphemism ‘Netflix and chill’ invaded popular vocabulary
Social media also gave rise to a new generation of entrepreneurs: the YouTubers and Influencers. In the digital space, harnessing and monetising a social media fanbase became a full-time job, with youngsters like Britain’s Zoella (real name Zoe Sugg) and Swedish YouTuber star PewdiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg) becoming self-made millionaires.
The newly harnessed social media collective also exposed the dark side of fame, with internet bullying and social media trolling taking centre stage.
While the noughties became the breeding ground for reality TV and nabbing 15 minutes of fame, the next decade has felt the backlash of big brother-style viewing and its impact on the people whose lives were put under the TV microscope.
As the decade ends, a duty of care towards reality TV contestants is the new catchphrase going forward, especially following the end of former daytime TV staples like The Jeremy Kyle Show.
The programme was axed following the death of a guest, and fellow ITV show Love Island also came under increased scrutiny this year over the aftercare it offered following the deaths of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.
While some reality TV careers waned, none became stronger in the last decade than that of The Kardashian collective.
The American family – Kris Jenner and her daughters Kim, Kylie, Khloe, Kendall and Kourtney – have owned the last decade as their empire expanded beyond the borders of their E! series.
Musical breakthroughs Ed Sheeran and Adele storm to chart-topping success:
The British invasion of music continued in the 2010s with artists such as Adele and Ed Sheeran becoming some of the biggest acts in the world.
Singer-songwriter Sheeran was named number one artist of the decade by the Official Charts Company for having 12 number ones across the singles and album charts in the UK between 2010 and 2019, more than any other artist. He has also spent the most weeks in the top spot across both charts over the decade, at 79 weeks.
One of the most exciting genres of music to stake a claim on the charts in recent years is grime, the British electronic and hip-hop style that originated in London. Stormzy, Wiley and Skepta are among the artists who have helped grime enter the mainstream. Stormzy also made history in 2019 as the first black British solo artist ever to headline Glastonbury Festival.
The British invasion of music continued in the 2010s with artists such as Adele (left) and Ed Sheeran (right) becoming some of the biggest acts in the world
The last decade has been huge in terms of celebrity romances, with some now-classic couples getting together and many others splitting up.
Perhaps the most memorable split of them all came when Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin not only ended their marriage but also added a new turn of phrase to the modern popular lexicon when they announced they were to ‘consciously uncouple’.
The amiable term caught on and it has now become a staple when people talk about their own break-ups. There were a handful of other major celebrity splits too, including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck.
There was some good news romantically, though, as some of the most popular star couples were formed over the past 10 years, including George and Amal Clooney, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds and John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.
#MeToo movement and focus on diversity in film and TV sees evil moguls fall:
Diversity and inclusion have become buzzwords in recent years, with more and more broadcasters and people behind the scenes taking notice.
On TV the BBC is among the organisations highlighting moves to make changes, hiring June Sarpong in a newly created role of director of creative diversity and offering shows such as Famalam and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
Jodie Whittaker also became the first woman to play the Time Lord in Doctor Who.
However many broadcasters are still working to meet their diversity and inclusion targets as we go into the next decade.
The BBC has attracted criticism since 2017 when the salaries of its highest paid stars were made public at the command of the Government.
Talent such as Gary Lineker, Chris Evans and Graham Norton were revealed to be among the corporation’s highest earners, while the BBC also faced a challenge from its former China editor Carrie Gracie.
Gracie resigned from her position in January 2018 in protest at pay inequalities at the broadcaster, becoming a figurehead for other women after she made the announcement in an open letter.
On the big screen, many stars and creators have spoken out about the lack of diversity in cinema, particularly in terms of female voices and representation of people of colour. Marvel’s Black Panther in 2018 was a major moment in Hollywood and the film was praised for having a predominantly black cast with a powerful message.
But perhaps the most prominent cultural shift in Hollywood came in late 2017 following sexual assault allegations against leading film producer Harvey Weinstein. A number of major stars were among those who stepped out with claims against the mogul, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan, Cara Delevingne and Lupita Nyong’o, prompting the Time’s Up campaign and the #MeToo movement, which encouraged people to share their own experiences of harassment to raise awareness.
Since then, women in the industry have demanded equality across all jobs, and other names have faced allegations of sexual misconduct since Weinstein, who denies all accusations of non-consensual sex.
The 2010s saw the deaths of a large number of major Hollywood, music and TV stars, with perhaps the most shocking year being 2016 when David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Victoria Wood, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, Caroline Aherne and Sir Terry Wogan died.
Other deaths that shook fans were Amy Winehouse in 2011, Whitney Houston in 2012, Paul Walker in 2013, Robin Williams in 2014, Sir Bruce Forsyth in 2017, and Luke Perry and Keith Flint in 2019.