It’s been an eventful year for the romance world, and we’ve been lucky enough to be here for it all. From celebrity couples’ first major public appearances to luxurious wedding days, we’ve been reminded of how precious and fleeting love truly is.

It all started with the engagement and subsequent wedding of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. The couple, who’ve been romantically linked since 2012, made headlines around the world when they announced their engagement back in March. Just two months later, on June 24th, 2019, the happy couple said ‘I do’ in a gorgeous spectacle that was beamed around the world. The engagement and wedding celebrations were a celebration of love – and a major moment for the actor who began his career in indie films and became a household name with his role in the ‘Twilight’ films (the first of which was made into a major motion picture in 2012).

The celebrity wedding was a glittering event, with hundreds of well-wishers packing out London’s most famous and stylish churches and synagogues. Celebrities from J. K. Rowling to Tom Hanks sent congratulatory messages via speeches and heartfelt toasts.

The newlywed couple then retreated to their luxury honeymoon residence, which is designed by their respective partner’s family and boasts a spectacular ocean view. It seems that 2018 was a very good year for love – and it’s only just begun.

Romantic Cycles

It is now well and truly spring, which means flowers, sunshine and – most importantly – romantic feelings. And what a romantic season it has been!

Whether it was former ‘BFF’s’ Cara Delevingne and Louis Vuitton’s artistic director Michael Bate, or Gigi and Bradley Cooper who met on the set of their film ‘Avengers: Endgame’, the world has been abuzz with newfound romance. It seems that people are just as likely to meet that special someone as they are in their droves to fall in love with an Instagrammable animal.

In light of the current state of affairs in the romantic world, it’s interesting to look back at the beginning of the year and recall how things were. Let’s take a trip back in time to review some of the biggest news stories from the start of 2019.

New Faces

The year began with the premiere of ‘The Laundromat’, a French-Italian co-production that explores the dark side of professional relationships and the lengths to which people will go to maintain appearances. The French actress Marion Cotillard stole the show in her role as an unscrupulous bank teller who poses as a kind and generous woman but is in fact a calculating fraud. The film also stars Gerard Depardieu and Federico Fellini. The story is based on a real-life scam that saw a laundromat owner con several wealthy families out of millions of pounds in fraudulent checks. The film was released in France on January 17, 2019, and has since been viewed over a million times. It currently has an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – proving once again that French actors are absolutely relatable and capable of transforming themselves into any role.

Downton Abbey

We also had the hugely popular ITV series ‘Downton Abbey’ come to an end this year after six glorious seasons. The period drama followed the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family as they adjusted to life in the modern world following the death of their esteemed patriarch, Lord Crawley. Fans of the drama couldn’t let go of the period settings and rich costumes and instead spent hours poring over the sermons of Charles Crawley, played by Brendan Coyle, on social media. Like many other period dramas, ‘Downton Abbey’ tackled important social issues such as classism, sexism and racism. The finale brought an end to the Crawley family’s 191-year history, and saw Robert, Lady Mary and their children leave the estate for Melbourne, Australia, to start a new life. While in Australia, Lady Mary becomes the first British person to marry an Australian citizen. The scene was a wedding cake-themed party attended by 300 guests, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny, as well as the happy couple’s parents and other family members. The final episode drew an audience of 7.3 million viewers in the UK – the biggest audience for an ITV drama this year. The ratings also climbed by 69% compared to those of the previous year, and were 25% higher than the average episode of ‘This Is England’.

First Steps

The big news story from the start of the year was undoubtedly the Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee, James Pattinson. The 53-year-old actor began the year by making his Broadway debut in the premiere production of Simon Stephens’ play ‘First Person’. In the two-hander, James plays a man who comes out as gay to his family – a role that was loosely based on Stephens’ own experience. James’ character is confronted with his sexuality as he grapples with the recent death of his partner of 20 years, Graham, from cancer. The actor’s performance was described by many as ‘phenomenal’ and ‘haunting’ and led to him being hailed as a ‘legend’ by his fans. The actor received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Graham, which saw him win the coveted Rolex Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role at the 2019 SAG Awards. Just a few days later, on January 16th, 2019, it was announced that Pattinson would be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The actor will be presented with his star on Friday, February 8th at 6:30pm.

Carry On

Speaking of Hollywood Walk of Fame stars, we also had the honour of welcoming one of 2018’s most memorable breakthrough stars to the iconic sidewalk in 2019. The acclaimed comedian and actress Cara Delevingne earned her place in the Hollywood history books with her portrayal of Alice in ‘Swingtown’, the second part of the dystopian satire ‘Aftermath’. The upcoming release of ‘Swingtown’ sees Delevingne play a character inspired by the Duchess of Windsor and is the actor’s second major role this year after playing Princess Diana in HBO Europe’s ‘Diana — Her Rise to Power’. Directed by Declan Lowney, the movie is an intimate portrayal of the late Princess’ final public appearance, just days before she died in a car crash in 1997. The role required a lot of research and culminated in Delevingne travelling to Paris to watch Diana’s final interviews – something she said was “one of the most thrilling experiences of [her] life”. It seems that even in death, Diana continues to inspire.

Dress To Impress

Dressing to impress is a common instinct for many of us when we meet someone new. Whether it’s to impress your friends with your stunning looks or because you believe that clothes help you connect with people, dressing to impress is something that we do. And it seems that this year, people have been doing it in spectacular fashion!

When it comes to dress codes and clothing influences, the one-woman show ‘Dress To Impress’ can’t fail to impress. The eight-part Netflix series examines the way women around the world dress to impress, from the conservative offices of Abu Dhabi to the catwalk of Milan. In the Middle East, women are expected to wear abayas – black-and-white robes with a long skirt – and cover their hair with a headscarf. In Milan, Italy, women favour shorter skirts and heels as well as stylish and revealing clothes. This season’s big theme is colour and women are experimenting with various bold and beautiful outfits. One of the most interesting trends this year is the return of colourful fashion, as seen in Rihanna’s abayas in ‘Dress To Impress’ or Emma Walpole’s shocking red outfits in the Hulu series ‘Private Life’.

Hollywood Housewives

As well as the fashion influences stemming from a global perspective, we also had the opportunity to witness some very traditional Hollywood housewives this year. The six-episode second season of Netflix’s ‘The Housewives’ saw the return of the glamorous ladies of Beverly Hills as they adjusted to their new lives post-pandemic. Season two also introduced us to new faces in the form of Kyle Richards and Gizela Ismail, who are the daughters of former NHL player and real-life hockey dad Keith Richards. Although the social distancing guidelines imposed as a result of the pandemic saw the ladies of Beverly Hills confined to their home kitchens, the social media world still got a taste of what went on behind closed doors when the ladies of ‘The Housewives’ Facebook groups shared exclusive content with their fans.