Words and pictures that captured the headlines in 2018
The Royal Family filled newspapers and websites throughout the year, with an engagement, a baby and two weddings.
Brexit, Russian spies, extreme weather and football mania led the news agenda in 2018.
Leaping into the new year, Tom Cruise braved icy January winds as he sprinted across the roof of Blackfriars train station in London. A low-flying helicopter was filming the stunt for the sixth instalment of the Mission Impossible series.
The following month Cruise took to the skies for a second time, filming a scene from the chimney of the capital’s Tate Modern, standing high in the London skyline at 99 metres tall.
The Royal Family continued to hit the headlines throughout the year, starting with an engagement in January.
Princess Eugenie and her long-term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank announced they were to be wed at Windsor Castle in the autumn – the same wedding venue as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Extreme weather courtesy of the “Beast from the East” froze the British Isles in February.
The “beast” produced the coldest weather in five years, hitting transport and closing hundreds of schools.
In March, Facebook dominated the headlines: a year-long investigation by the Observer revealed million of profiles on the social media site had been harvested by data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.
Concerns that personal information had been used to influence choices at the ballot box in the UK and the US led to founder Mark Zuckerberg appearing in front of Congress in Washington.
He was ’empty chaired’ after declining to do the same in Westminster.
Earlier in the month, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found seriously ill on a bench in Salisbury.
The pair had been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in an attack which Prime Minister Theresa May said had “almost certainly” been approved by the Russian state.
The political agenda was dominated by the Windrush scandal in April when it was revealed that some immigrants who arrived from the Commonwealth decades ago as children had been told they were in the UK illegally and faced deportation.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned in the wake of the scandal although she made a return to the Cabinet later as Work and Pensions Secretary.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the birth of their third child, Prince Louis Arthur Charles, who is fifth in line to the throne, on April 23. His birth pushed his uncle, Prince Harry, down to sixth in the royal lineage.
But by the next month, Harry was firmly back at the top of the royal news agenda with the world watching as he wed US actress Meghan Markle in a ceremony at Windsor Castle.
A 600-strong guest list of Hollywood stars and royals, plus a combined UK TV audience of 11.5 million people at home, watched the proceedings.
Later in May, Ireland voted to legalise abortion in a historic referendum. Nearly two in three Irish voters opted to repeal the eighth amendment to the constitution.
The summer months saw a six week heatwave, with temperatures across the country regularly topping 30C. The Met Office declared it the hottest summer on record for England and joint hottest for the UK.
The balmy weather coincided with the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia and England made it to the semi-finals for the first time since 1990.
The British Beer & Pub Association said beer sales were up 4.4% on the previous year during the third-quarter of 2018 thanks to the success of the England team, who eventually lost to Croatia.
In July, Donald Trump visited the UK to meet with Theresa May and the Queen at Windsor Castle. His visit was marked by tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets of London, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan granting permission for a giant, nappy-wearing, baby Trump blimp to fly over the city.
A summit held at Chequers, the country residence of Mrs May, led to three ministerial resignations in July over a proposed Brexit deal.
Brexit Secretary David Davis was first out the door, followed by No 2 at the Department for Exiting the EU, Steve Baker.
Boris Johnson handed in his resignation letter soon afterwards, ending the Old Etonian former Mayor of London’s tenure as Foreign Secretary.
October saw the second royal wedding of the year, when Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank, a drinks brand ambassador. More than 800 guests were invited to the ceremony at the same venue her cousin Harry had used earlier in the year.
Meghan’s choice to wear a long coat to the wedding led to speculation she could be expecting. The following week, Kensington Palace revealed the Duchess of Sussex was indeed pregnant and due to give birth in the spring of 2019.
Earlier in the month, the Conservative Party conference briefly dominated the headlines after Mrs May made her way onto stage dancing to Abba’s before delivering her keynote speech.
November 11 marked 100 years since the end of the first First World War. The Prince of Wales led the nation in remembering those who gave their lives as he laid the wreath at the Cenotaph while the Queen watched from the balcony of the Foreign Office.
Foreign news dominated the final quarter of the year. There was worldwide outrage after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
British academic Matthew Hedges, who had been held in the UAE on spying charges since May, was sentenced to life in November. After diplomatic talks between the UK and UAE, he was granted clemency and returned to the UK after over five months in prison.
The year involved numerous negotiations, debates and protests concerning Brexit that are set to continue into 2019. On November 14, Mrs May published a 500-page withdrawal agreement that split the Cabinet and the country.
Following a year of high-profile resignations, Dominic Raab quit as Brexit Secretary over the proposed deal, followed by Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey.
A meaningful vote on the deal, due to be held on December 11, was postponed by the Prime Minister amid doubts it would pass through the House of Commons.
After months of attacks by Tory Brexiteers angry at her handling of negotiations with the EU, Mrs May finally faced a no confidence vote on December 12.
She won but more than a third of her party’s MPs voted against her.
And her victory did not bring an end to her troubles.
Herr Withdrawal Agreement has still not been approved by the House of Commons with the clock ticking down to Brexit day on March 29 when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.
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