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The best candid photos of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Princess Charlotte, and the whole royal family from 2018

Sinéad Baker

2018 has been big for the royal family, with two weddings, a birth, a christening, and a pregnancy as well as a packed schedule of events and foreign trips.

Most of these moments show members of the family at their most composed, ready for the cameras and the crowds.

But sometimes we get to see the family in genuine moments of laughter or contemplation, and generally acting like a regular family.

And as the family expands and changes, we get even more chances to see the royals together.

Here are the best candid moments from the year.

In January, Kate Middleton and Prince William visited Sweden, where Kate tried her arm at a form of ice hockey called Bandy hockey and William laughed along.

The pair knew their family would grow this year, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement, plus a new baby on the way. Here is the foursome laughing away at a Royal Foundation event in February, where Kate is visibly pregnant.

But the Queen was sure to remain in the public eye as the head of the family, chatting with American Vogue Editor Anna Wintour at the front row of London Fashion Week that same month.

The Duchess of Cambridge's popularity with the public has continued. Here she is greeting some schoolchildren in Oxford in March

But attention this year has mostly been on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Here's Meghan giving her then-fiancé a loving look during a visit to Northern Ireland in March.

Keeping up the Irish theme, Kate can be seen here meeting the British Army's Irish Guards for St Patrick's Day where she pinned a sprig of shamrock to their regimental mascot, the Irish wolfhound Domhnall.

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, stayed in the public eye too. In March, he visited a wheelchair basketball team in London.

April saw a big royal moment — the birth of Prince Louis, who was shown to the world on the steps of the London hospital where Kate has given birth to all three of her children.

Princess Charlotte stole the show as she went to go and visit her newborn brother alongside her father, Prince William, and brother Prince George. The princess kept waving to the public as her father brought her in.

But the royal wedding in mid-May was the event of the year. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle often seemed oblivious to the world watching, and stole some genuine moments on their special day.

Intimate moments showed the couple at their most in love.

And the day highlighted the strong bond between the family's two brothers, who stood awaiting the bride's arrival.

But it was Princess Charlotte that stole the day once again, sticking out her tongue at the crowd as she arrived.

Dressed similarly to her mother, the three-year-old princess managed to capture everyone's attention even just for sneezing.

The princess was in slightly worse spirits at the annual Trooping the Colour parade in June, which celebrates the Queen's birthday. She shed a few tears after a small fall on the balcony, but was comforted by her mother.

Prince George, meanwhile, was given harsher treatment, with his cousin Savannah Phillips putting her hands over his mouth during a rendition of "God Save the Queen."

A few days after the gathering, Meghan Markle and the Queen had their first joint public engagement at the opening of a bridge in Cheshire on June 14, and got on great.

The family was together again for Prince Louis' christening on July 9, where Kate looked happy that her son managed to spend most of the day quietly sleeping.

The royals released a behind-the-scenes photograph of Prince Louis and Kate, and the mother and son looked radiant.

But, once again, Princess Charlotte was a highlight of the day, telling photographers on her way to a private afternoon tea: "You're not coming."

You can watch a video of the cute moment here.

The family was together again the next day to watch the RAF fly past on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The royals snuck some laughs in between the air displays.

Meghan and Harry then jetted off to Ireland, where Meghan proved that she has gained a new host of fans who follow the monarchy. During their visit to Dublin in July, crowds came to see Meghan and Harry, and presented Meghan with flowers.

But she was perhaps most popular with the Irish president's dogs, Bród and Síoda, during a visit to the president and first lady's residence, Áras an Uachtaráin.

The couple had another cute interaction when three-year-old Walter Cullen playfully tugged at Meghan's hair at Croke Park stadium, earning a playful telling off from Harry.

And Harry charmed his country when he said that football was "most definitely" coming home, predicting an England victory at the World Cup. Here's the cheeky smile he gave when a journalist posed the question. Unfortunately, England lost their next game and got knocked out of the tournament.

The trip wasn't all fun, however. There were somber scenes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the memorial for the Irish Famine, which killed one million people in the 1840s and 1850s.

Queen Elizabeth fulfilled her duties from home, where she welcomed US President Donald Trump on July 13.

Things seemed more relaxed when Meghan joined Kate for a day at Wimbledon on July 14, marking the first time the pair stepped out solo together. The pair laughed together and seemed invested in the tennis.

William took Meghan's place the following day for the Men's Singles Final, and the couple seemed delighted to spend time together.

Prince Harry met with the RFU Injured Players Foundation in London on July 18. Here is fistbumps a member of the organisation in Twickenham Stadium.

And Harry also proved his own athleticism when he competed in the polo on July 16.

He shared a kiss with Meghan on stage at the event, showing a moment of intimacy that we don't usually get to see between royals – and hopefully symbolizing even more happy moments to come for the family.

One of those moments was Prince George's birthday on July 21. We were treated to a photo — and it shows just how fast the young royal is growing.

But the royal family has to balance official functions with personal celebrations. On August 8, Prince William journeyed to France to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Amiens with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

In September, Queen Elizabeth II shared some smiles with her children as she attended the Braemar Highland Gathering in Scotland. Prince Charles's face was very red.

And Prince William showed off his charm to children at the University of Birmingham at a ceremony for winners of the SkillForce Prince William Award, which promotes leadership and self-reliance in young people.

Meghan Markle also bonded with the community as part of her first solo charity endeavour as a royal — helping to publish a cookbook in aid of those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

You can read more about the cookbook here.

On October 2, Kate Middleton returned from maternity leave to visit an environmental community center in Ewhurst, Surrey, where she bonded with some schoolchildren.

And Harry bonded with a dog in Sussex the following day, on his first visit to his namesake county as the Duke of Sussex.

William and Harry showed off their brotherly bond again on October 10 at a reception to open the 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference.

The whole family was together a few days later for Princess Eugenie's wedding. The four young royals sat together in St George's Chapel in Windsor.

The bride and her groom, Jack Brooksbank, looked resplendent.

Prince William and Kate Middleton also shared a rare moment of public physical affection at the ceremony.

Royal fans were delighted by the moment.

But again, all eyes were on Prince George and Princess Charlotte during the ceremony.

Here are some of the cutest photos of the pair from the event.

Prince George was snapped laughing with his cousins while doing his duty as a page boy.

Princess Charlotte had a small tumble on the steps outside, but she soon recovered.

Harry and Meghan began their first official royal tour in Australia, where Harry had an emotional reunion with 98-year-old royal superfan Daphne Dunne on October 16.

Daphne and Harry had met twice before on the prince's visits to Sydney.

You can see the adorable moment, and read about their history, here.

Normal duties remained for the royals back in the UK. Queen Elizabeth looked at a new portrait of herself on October 17, commissioned to mark 100 years of the Royal Air Force Club.

The queen's iconic handbag made an appearance.

While Prince William rubbed shoulders with celebrities as he attended the World Premiere of 'They Shall Not Grow Old' with director Peter Jackson in London.

Back in Australia, Meghan and Harry met five-year-old Luke Vincent, who broke royal protocol to rub Harry's beard and give Meghan a hug.

His school principal said that Luke's favourite person is Santa Claus, and that might be behind his love for Harry and his beard.

The pair shared plenty of intimate moments on the trip, like when they shared an umbrella as, ironically, rain began to fall in the drought-stricken region they were visiting.

They shared another moment when they went barefoot on the beach to join an 'anti-bad-vibe circle' with surfers with a community that raises awareness of mental health issues.

The duke and duchess adopted a more casual style and took off their shoes for the beach session.

But their tour featured somber moments too. On October 20, they attended the official opening of a memorial in honour of those from Australia and New Zealand who have lost their lives in battle.

And Harry paid tribute to injured servicemen and women through the Invictus Games, which he founded in 2014. On the second day of the games he helped a competitor put on his helmet.

The royal family is set to grow again, with Kensington Palace announcing that Meghan is pregnant. Meghan was pictured holding her bump on October 22, hopefully a signal for more happy moments to come for the royal family.

Markle is due in spring 2019, according to the palace.

The pair got active, too. They faced off in a wellington-boot-throwing contest in New Zealand, with Meghan's team emerging victorious.

And they managed to steal a moment of quiet on the Redwoods Tree Walk.

The royals were together again on November 11 for a service marking the 100-year anniversary of the end of fighting in World War I at Westminster Abbey.

It was a sombre occasion for William and Harry.

The Queen looked solemn as she reflected on the occasion with Kate Middleton and her daughter-in-law, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

But it was happier times a few days later when Kate shot William a look of love during a visit to the BBC.

On November 21, Meghan visited the community kitchen to see how funds they raised together made a difference and to make food for local charities.

Markle put on an apron and helped to prepare Middle Eastern foods, including Egyptian lamb fattah, Persian chicken, and barberry rice for homeless people and the elderly.

And on November 30 the Queen got to see a new portrait of her, painted by Stuart Brown to celebrate the RAF Regiment's 75th anniversary.

Kate had some fun on December 4, when she threw a fake snowball during a pretend snowball fight with the children of troops stationed overseas.

And she looked like a real-life princess later in the evening for the Queen's Annual Diplomatic Reception.

She paired the dress with the Queen Mary's Lover's Knot tiara, which was previously owned by Princess Diana.

The Queen wore a similar look, also topped off with royal jewels.

The Queen met a child who was so overwhelmed to meet her that he dropped to his knees and crawled out the door on December 5.

9-year-old Nathan Grant was a bit overwhelmed as the Queen visited the UK's oldest children's charity, Coram, to open its Queen Elizabeth II Centre.

She also decorated a Christmas tree with 8-year-old Shylah Gordon.

Kate and William were all smiles when they visited troops stationed overseas in Cyprus the same day.

They were bringing the troops presents from their families back home.

And they even had some candid moments when they were supposed to be posing for a photograph, as William made a joke about Kate's outfit looking like the Christmas tree.

You can read more about the moment here.

And Kate was joyful again a few days later when she visited Evelina London Children's Hospital.

The Queen had another adorable interaction on December 13, when she matched four-year-old Evie Hayden in one of her signature colour-block looks.

William also seemed to have a great time joining some of the children in Christmas games.

Meghan got into the festive spirit on December 18 as she made Christmas decorations with nursing home residents.

And the Queen prepared for Christmas a few days later by taking the train to Sandringham House, which is where the royals spend the holiday.