If there is one thing all of these end-of-year lists agree upon, it's that 2011 has been a big and momentous year for news. We've had more than our fair share of revolutions, toppled dictators, dead public figures, scandals and expensive natural disasters.
With all these world-changing events, it can be easy to forget that this has also been an important year for one young lady: Kate Middleton.
Here are some of the highlights in the Year of Kate, who is now known as the Duchess of Cambridge.
A typical American wedding takes months of preparations and tens of thousands of dollars. Kate's wedding to Prince William took wedding prep to an entirely new level. Private businesses got involved and made everything from jelly beans with their faces to Pez dispensers looking like the couple.
Perhaps as entertaining as the Royal wedding itself were the wedding super-fans who flocked to Buckingham Palace to get a glimpse of the activity. Here are interviews with them. And here are photos of the fans.
With every bride-to-be and fashionista following what Kate would wear at her wedding, there was a tad bit of pressure for her to look stunning. Kate's dress was designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen's fashion house, and she looked gorgeous.
It was beautiful.
Fitting for a princess.
An image of an adorable — frowning — young bridesmaid, Prince William's goddaughter, 3-year-old Grace van Cutsem, became one of the iconic photographs of the Royal wedding.
Kate and Will went on their honeymoon in Seychelles, an island chain in the Indian Ocean.
Kate's wedding dress later went on display at Buckingham Palace and attracted a record number of visitors to the palace.
Marilyn Monroe mishap
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and the former Kate Middleton, went on a 12-day visit to North America. Throughout their trip, they dressed perfectly for each occasion. But Kate wasn't prepared for one thing: the Canadian wind. Just minutes after arriving in Calgary, Canada, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by gusts of wind that blew up Kate's dress and gave her the "Marilyn Monroe effect."
They wrapped up their trip with a visit to Los Angeles, Calif., where they rubbed elbows with celebrities and wrapped their arms around the inner city youth, taking in a full range of life in California. They also exchanged a rare public kiss after William's team won a polo challenge in Santa Barbara.
In her new role as Duchess of Cambridge, Kate fashioned the hat in nearly every way possible this summer, ranging from a white cowboy hat in Calgary, Canada to a white brim hat at a royal family wedding in Scotland.
Fears of an eating disorder
Shortly after dazzling the world in her wedding dress, Kate prompted concern that she was losing too much weight. Photos of her touring North America showed she appeared to be dwindling dangerously down in size and risked becoming a "thinspiration" for girls suffering with anorexia and bulimia.
Kate made Vanity Fair's best dressed list for 2011.
Rumors that Kate Middleton might be pregnant with the future ruler of England intensified this fall. By November, "In Touch Weekly" reported that the Duchess has started putting together three nurseries, the couple had started choosing names and "Royal sources" were confirming a pregnancy.
Christmas with the Royals
Kate Middleton spent her first Christmas at church with Queen Elizabeth, her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, and much of the Royal family. A crowd of about 3,000 people lined up to watch Kate and William walk to and from the 16th century St. Mary Magdalene Church with their family on Dec. 25.
DISCUSSION: What key moments have we missed? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.