WINDSOR, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (REUTERS) –
Scores of celebrities got married, announced their engagements or had children in 2018, but there was also a share of heartbreak and splits.
By far the biggest wedding of the year involved a coming-together of the worlds of showbiz and royalty as Britain’s Prince Harry and former U.S. actress Meghan Markle got married.
The pair wed in May in a dazzling ceremony that blended ancient English ritual with African American culture, infusing the 1,000-year-old British monarchy with a blast of modernity.
One person who didn’t want to comment on their much-anticipated nuptials was actress Emma Thompson. In a clip that soon went viral, she told a Reuters journalist who asked her about the wedding to ‘just stop it’ and said she was ‘not going to talk about the royal wedding’.
In October came the much anticipated announcement that Meghan was pregnant with the couple’s first child due in the spring of 2019.
There were more royal nuptials in October too, when Princess Eugenie tied the knot with Jack Brooksbank and took a horse-drawn carriage tour round Windsor after the service.
Eugenie, 28, daughter of the queen’s third child, Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, tied the knot with Brooksbank, 32, in a traditional ceremony at Windsor Castle’s 15th Century St George’s Chapel.
It was the same setting as the lavish wedding in May of Prince Harry and Meghan.
In other royal news, Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate welcomed a son Louis Arthur Charles in April.
The prince, who is fifth in line to the British throne, weighted 8 lbs 7oz at birth.
British actress Keira Knightley, who has a young daughter, made headlines in October after she penned an essay for book “Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies)” talking about childbirth. Some outlets accused her of criticising Prince William’s wife Kate’s polished looks coming out of hospital soon after labour.
“The comments that I made are purely about…are completely about our culture that silences women’s truths and forces us all to to hide. And I absolutely did not shame anybody in any way. In fact quite the opposite,” Knightley told Reuters on the red carpet for her new film “Colette”.
It was not such happy news for two members of Hollywood royalty, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — the pair have sought to move forward with their long and sometimes bitter divorce this year.
Jolie’s attorney filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court saying the actress wanted a judgement “returning the parties to single status during calendar year 2018.”
Pitt and Jolie were married for two years and enjoyed a 10-year romance that had made the pair one of Hollywood’s most glamorous couples. They have six children for whom she is seeking primary custody.
Actress Michelle Williams quietly married in July, telling Vanity Fair magazine she never gave up on love after the death of her partner Heath Ledger 10 years ago.
Williams, 38, the fiercely private Oscar-nominated star of “Brokeback Mountain,” told the magazine that she married American indie musician Phil Elverum at a private ceremony in the rural Adirondacks region of upstate New York.
Pop singer Justin Bieber married model Hailey Baldwin in a hush-hush civil ceremony in September.
The couple dated in 2016 but had broken up. In June, they appeared together publicly, leading to speculation from fans that they had rekindled their romance.
In a social media post in November, Bieber confirmed the pair were married, saying ‘my wife is awesome’ on his Instagram account.
“Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson confirmed in June that he and pop star Ariana Grande were engaged after dating for less than two months.
But by October People Magazine and other U.S. media outlets reported the couple had called off their engagement. In early November Grande released a new surprise single titled “Thank U, Next” in which she sings about her past relationships.
British actor Hugh Grant, 58, married Swedish television producer Anna Eberstein, 39, with whom he has three children, at a low-key civil ceremony in London in May.
Speaking about the union, after decades of deriding the idea of marriage, he said he tied the knot for a good reason.
“Immigration people would say, alright, all the Grants through here, and I’d go through with my children. And all the others through there. She’d go through with the nannies. It wasn’t right,” the “Love Actually” star said.
Celebrity couple Zayn Malik and supermodel Gigi Hadid announced they had split up in March after two years of dating, with both posting statements of mutual love and respect.
Malik, a former member of British boy band One Direction, and Hadid, a model for Victoria’s Secret, Fendi and Tommy Hilfiger, gave no reason for the split. They have reportedly since rekindled their romance, sharing happy snaps on social media.
In February, former “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston and her husband Justin Theroux said that they were separating after less than three years of marriage.
Aniston, 49, and “The Leftovers” actor Theroux, 47, married in August 2015.
“We have decided to announce our separation,” the couple said in a joint statement. “This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year.”
Another separation was announced in November with the media reporting that Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro and his wife of more than 20 years had separated.
In celebrity baby news, Kim Kardashian’s new daughter with rapper husband Kanye West, named Chicago, was born in January to a surrogate — the third child for the celebrity couple.
Meanwhile rapper Cardi B gave birth to her first child, a baby girl, in July.
The parents (the father is rapper husband Offset) named the child Kulture Kiari Cephus, Cardi B said in an Instagram post that featured a nude pregnancy photo of the 25-year-old “Be Careful” singer surrounded by flowers.
And there was more happy news for actress Gwyneth Paltrow – who married producer Brad Falchuck.
More celebrity nuptials are coming up — stars Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra announced their engagement in August and are reportedly set to tie the knot soon.