Annus Horribilis II?

A Mad 2012 for the House of Windsor (Photos)

From baby joy and nude scandals to a nurse’s tragedy, a look at the Windsors’ shocking year. By Tom Sykes.

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What a year 2012 has been for the royal family. It was meant to be the year in which our attention was focused on the queen celebrating the Jubilee but the celebrations were comprehensively overshadowed by a never-ending tide of extraordinary events and scandals: Pippa's party pals pointing guns, Kate and Harry in nude photo scandals and then an extraordinary tragedy when a nurse caring for the Duchess of Cambridge was tricked by pranking radio DJs took her own life. On balance, however, the royals have come out on top, with Kate's pregnancy meaning that several more years of fantastic PR and photo-ops await, while, constitutionally, the line is secure thanks to a change in the rules of succession meaning a boy or girl can inherit the throne. Relive a remarkable royal year with this Daily Beast gallery.

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Don't You Know Who My Sister Is?

The question of what to do about Pippa appeared to be solved earlier this year: write a book. Only trouble was, the book was unspeakably awful, containing advice such as “turkeys are perfect for feeding larger gatherings,”  and her publishers have declined to commission another. She called the attention paid to her behind after last year's royal wedding as “startling,” in the book, Celebrate, released in October.

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Pippa Get Your Gun

Pippa got a taste of how crazy royal life is when a pal of hers pointed a toy gun at paparazzi after a wild party thrown by Arthur de Soultrait in Paris. The world went crazy for about three days, then forgot all about it.

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Sex Offender Joins Jubilee

The Jubilee boat procession has been retrospectively branded a triumph of British spirit and grit, but the Royalist was there, and, to be quite frank, it was a miserable, cold, wet day that nearly killed the Duke of Edinburgh. Things got worse when it was revealed that Harbinder Singh Rana (background center, a convicted sex offender) joined Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge onboard the Spirit of Chartwell during the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Oops.

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Philip in Hospital

Back in June, we only knew the King Edward VII hospital as the place where Philip seemed to be spending much of his time. Here, 90-year-old Prince Philip (center), the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, waves as he leaves the hospital in central London on June 9, 2012 after five days of treatment for a bladder infection following the Jubilee.

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Harry Naked

Just when you thought Harry couldn't get any cooler ... A man passes a newstand displaying copies of The Sun newspaper featuring a picture of a naked Prince Harry in London, August 24, 2012. The Sun tabloid published photographs of Prince Harry naked in Las Vegas, becoming the first British publication to defy a request from the royal family's lawyers.

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And Your Punishment Is....

Was it pure coincidence that a few days after the naked pics scandal, Harry was sent to Afghanistan, and is still there, missing the holiday party season? Apparently, it was. This image from video AP purports to show smoke rising over Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, after what the Taliban media unit said was an attack at the base. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack  saying it was to avenge an anti-Islamic film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad and also because Britain's Prince Harry is serving there.

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I Can Flash Too!

The Duke of Edinburgh flashed his wanger at the Braemar Gathering in Scotland. Trying to keep up with Harry?

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Kate Topless

 Prince William's wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge adjusts her scarf outside a mosque at KLCC in Kuala Lumpur on September 14, 2012, the day a French magazine published long-lens pictures of her sunbathing topless.

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Kate Topless Avenged

Outraged by the publication of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, William began legal proceedings for breach of privacy against the publisher of the French magazine Closer, requiring that the magazine be forbidden to sell the photos. Here French attorney Delphine Pando leaves the Nanterre courthouse on September 17, 2012 in Nanterre, France.

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Yes, This Time She Really Is Pregnant!

A selection of the front pages of the U.K. national newspapers showing news of the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy on Dec. 4, 2012 in London, England.

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Kate Morning, Noon, and Night Sickness

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, leaves King Edward VII hospital in London on Dec. 4, 2012, where his wife, Catherine, was being treated for acute morning sickness.

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Good News Travels Fast

Members of the media gather outside the King Edward VII hospital on Dec. 5, 2012 in London. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was spending a third day in the hospital after the announcement of her pregnancy and the fact she was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or acute morning sickness.

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Kate Leaves Hospital

Britain's Prince WiIliam, the Duke of Cambridge, poses for pictures with his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as they leave the King Edward VII hospital in central London, on Dec.6, 2012, four days after she was admitted for treatment for acute morning sickness. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Aijaz Rahi/AP


A student of a nursing college places a candle in front of a picture depicting nurse Jacintha Saldanha, during a candlelit vigil organized by a local politician in Bangalore, India, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. An inquest into the apparent suicide of Saldanha, who was duped by a hoax call from Australian DJs about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, discovered that she was found hanging in her room, had wrist injuries, and left three notes.

Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Indian Funeral

A somber end to the royal year: Saldanha's husband, Benedict Barboza, center, holds his son Junal, right, and daughter, Lisha, during the nurse's burial at her hometown, Shirva, near Mangalore in southwest India, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012.