Here's the royal Britain was most interested in this year

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·6 min read
The Queen, Kate, Meghan and Prince Andrew. (Getty)
The Queen, Kate, Meghan and Prince Andrew. (Getty)

It’s fair to say 2020 was a year no one could have predicted.

While it has been an eventful year in general, there have been some big changes for the Royal Family as well.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sent shockwaves through the family in the first month of the year, when they announced they wanted to step back from their roles as senior royals.

The move sparked the Sandringham Summit, when Prince Charles and Prince William met with the Queen to work out how such a change could work.

It came soon after the biggest royal crisis of 2019, when William and Harry’s uncle, Prince Andrew, had stepped back from his work for the foreseeable future, because of his friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein.

Although coronavirus dominated the news by March, there was still plenty of interest in the Royal Family, as they adapted to the new normal, and changed the way they worked.

KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends church in Hillington at St Mary the Virgin church in Sandringham on January 19, 2020 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Rare public appearances, like this one in January 2020, haven't stopped Andrew being searched for by Yahoo users. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Read more: Is this the picture that shows who will be in - and out - of the royal fold in 2021?

Many of the royals remained busy working throughout 2020 but despite this, the most searched royal of the year was one who didn’t - Prince Andrew.

As his legal battle with the US authorities continued, he was top of the search terms for Yahoo.

After that was the Duchess of Sussex, who came in second, and her husband Prince Harry, who came in third.

But, outside of the royals, Harry and Meghan together were the third largest search term overall. They were beaten only by Donald Trump and coronavirus.

Andrew, 60, has been trying to lay low throughout 2020, after admitting his former friendship with the disgraced financier Epstein was a distraction to his royal work.

US authorities investigating Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, who was a friend of Andrew, have asked for the Duke of York to cooperate with their inquiry.

He claims he has offered to help, but that his offers are ignored.

The couple hosted and moderated talks with people who are working in the digital space. (TIME)
Harry and Meghan are highly searched for as they build their new life in LA. (TIME)

Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan have hit headlines throughout the year as they seek to build a new life outside the world of senior royals.

They announced this year that they have signed deals with Netflix and Spotify to create documentaries and podcasts respectively, thought to be worth millions of pounds.

They now live in Santa Barbara, California, with their son Archie.

Earlier this year, Meghan also wrote about the heartbreaking moment she realised she had suffered a miscarriage.

She was widely praised for opening up on the subject, which remains something of a taboo despite it affecting one in four pregnancies.

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Cardiff Castle on December 8, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking a short tour of the UK, using the Royal train, ahead of the Christmas holidays to pay tribute to the inspiring work of individuals, organisations and initiatives across the country that have gone above and beyond to support their local communities during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge, here in Cardiff in December 2020, is one of the most popular royals. (Max Mumby/Getty Images)

Of the working royals who are still in the UK, the Duchess of Cambridge is still one of the most popular, and was the fourth biggest royal search term in 2020.

Kate is followed by a loyal legion of fans who seek to emulate her fashion and beauty style.

The mother-of-three had a busy year, homeschooling two of her children throughout the first lockdown, when the family of five decamped to their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall.

She also launched what is likely to be her biggest project yet, as she unveiled the results of a huge survey she carried out with Ipsos MORI on children under five.

The project on early years is likely to be the key focus of her royal work for the next few years.

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales wearing a protective face covering to combat the spread of the coronavirus, visits the Gloucestershire Vaccination Centre at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on December 17, 2020 in Gloucester, central England, to meet with front line health and care workers administering and receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Charles, who recovered from COVID-19 in March, was more searched for than his son. (Chris Jackson/AFP)

Surprisingly, Prince Charles was a more popular search term than his son Prince William, coming in at sixth. He contracted coronavirus in March, but only suffered mild symptoms and was able to keep working throughout his recovery.

Since then, he has adapted readily to working from home, releasing dozens of video messages on behalf of his charities.

Prince William was the seventh most searched for royal, two places below his wife.

He has spent the year having to shift the way he worked as well, though managed to release two big projects he is passionate about despite the coronavirus challenges.

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visits Cardiff Castle on December 8, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking a short tour of the UK, using the Royal train, ahead of the Christmas holidays to pay tribute to the inspiring work of individuals, organisations and initiatives across the country that have gone above and beyond to support their local communities during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)
William, here in Cardiff in December 2020, got two big projects out this year despite the challenges. (Max Mumby/Getty Images)

Trailed over the New Year, he finally confirmed details of the EarthShot prize in November, announcing a star studded judging panel who will help him give out millions of pounds over the next decade to countries, towns, individuals and organisations who are tackling the big problems facing the planet.

And despite lockdown, he managed to finish off a documentary on mental health in football, though the last interviews had to be conducted via video calls.

Although he is retired, Prince Philip beat his wife in the search list, ranking at eighth.

He has spent much of the year with the Queen at Windsor Castle, a change from his retirement residence of Sandringham.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JULY 22: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh  during the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles at Windsor Castle on July 22, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Duke of Edinburgh has been Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles since its formation in 2007. HRH served as Colonel-in-Chief of successive Regiments which now make up The Rifles since 1953. The Duchess of Cornwall was appointed Royal Colonel of 4th Battalion The Rifles in 2007. (Photo by Samir Hussein-Pool/WireImage)
Philip on his public engagement in July 2020, a rare moment as he retired in 2017. (Samir Hussein-Pool/WireImage)

He even carried out an engagement, stepping out at Windsor Castle to formally hand over his colonel-in-chief of The Rifles role to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

He also celebrated his 99th birthday and his 70th wedding anniversary, with photographs shared for the occasions.

The Queen was the ninth most searched for royal. While she has had to shield because of her age, she has done her best to keep up with virtual engagements, making several over video calls.

In July, she was able to attend her granddaughter, Princess Beatrice’s wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and granted a knighthood to Col Sir Tom Moore.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II attends an event to thank local volunteers and key workers from organisations and charities in Berkshire, who will be volunteering or working to help others over the Christmas period in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle on December 8, 2020 in Windsor, England. During the event members of the Royal Family also listened to Christmas carols performed by The Salvation Army Band. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo - Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen focussed on outdoor engagements, like this carol concert in December, and on video calls. (Max Mumby/Indigo - Pool/Getty Images)

The popularity of the fourth season of The Crown helped Princess Diana become the 10th most popular search term for the royals.

The latest Netflix series covers the arrival of Diana and her marriage to Charles. Her brother, Earl Spencer, has been vocal in his frustration at some of the season’s inaccuracies though.

He has also pushed for a new inquiry into the interview Diana did with Panorama two years before her death, in which she told Martin Bashir there were “three people” in her marriage, “so it was rather crowded”.

Princess Diana’s appearance in the top 10 search terms comes after she was 14th most searched in the UK in 2019.

24/02/1981: On this day in 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announce their engagement  PRINCE CHARLES AND LADY DIANA SPENCER AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THEIR ENGAGEMENT.  Picture by PA Court Photographer Ron Bell
The popularity of 'The Crown' means more people are searching for Princess Diana. (Ron Bell)

Read more: The Crown: All the answers to every question you'll ask while watching season four

In 2019, Meghan was the most popular royal on search, followed by Kate in second place.

Of overall search terms for the whole of 2020, Prince Andrew ranked at sixth, and William and Kate taken together were number 10.

Year in Review compiles the most searched topics over the last year on Yahoo Search in the UK.

User location is not tracked, but most users are within the UK. Similar search terms are grouped together.

General queries are not included in the overall search term analysis.

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