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Five royal stories guaranteed to make headlines in 2013

The bump, a big wedding and a birthday: Watch royal watchers will be watching in the year ahead

Princess Madeleine of Sweden with her fiance Chris O'Neill (Anders Wiklund/Scanpix Sweden/AP)

There’s bound to be unexpected surprises in 2013 for the two dozen-odd royal families around the world. After all, who could have predicted that women everywhere would spend so much time analyzing Prince Harry’s derriere from his Las Vegas romp.

Here are five stories guaranteed to make headlines in 2013:

1. The bump: So much attention has already been paid on the pregnancy of Kate, duchess of Cambridge, that a purple-eyed alien from outer space could be forgiven for wondering if the newborn will one day be leader of the Earth. Kate and William will be under an intense spotlight until she delivers, expected to be in July. Every twinge, every smile or frown will be scrutinized. Poor dears.

2. The BIG wedding: Princess Madeleine of Sweden, a.k.a. the most beautiful princess in Europe, is getting married to Anglo-American financier Chris O’Neill. And that means tiaras, long gowns and lots and lots of fashionable royalty. Just feast your eyes on what happened when big sis Victoria got married in 2010.  BONUS POINTS:  Sweden will be doubly excited given it will happen in time for her father’s ruby jubilee (that’s 40 years on the throne.)

3. Prince Charles turns 65: He’s been heir to the throne for so long that he’s–take a deep breath–grown up, went to university, had a naval career, married Lady Diana Spencer, had two kids before the marriage implode in monumentally spectacular fashion, got divorced, then widowed, then spent eight years with his mistress, Camilla, before they married in 2005, and then spent another eight years together until now, his 65th birthday. It’s so long that he’s been in fashion, then out of fashion (when everyone thought he was a kooky enviro gardening artisto who hated all modernity) before coming back into fashion as the rest of the world realizes that, in this time of global warming and an out of touch elite, that a man born to his position who spends a huge amount of time trying to save the planet (without all of us having to plow a furrow) while getting young people off government aid and into jobs, might be allright.

4. William’s career change: The second in the line to the throne has a big decision to make–renew for another five-year stint with the RAF as a helicopter pilot or go into another military posting, such as the Household Calvary, that will allow him to carry out more royal duties now that his 91-year-old grandfather, Prince Philip, is having to slow down because of bad heath. William loves being a helicopter pilot, able to spend huge amounts of time out of the public eye. But he’s also a Windsor. And that means duty is encoded into his DNA. A true dilemma.

5. Runner-up weddings: Once Andrea Casiraghi’s fiancee gives birth, the second in line to the Monaco throne is supposed to marry heiress Tatiana Santo Domingo. Because of the family’s propensity for sleaze and scandal, expect most top royals to avoid the wedding like a plague. (“Oh so sorry, but that’s the weekend we always clean cobwebs in the turret rooms.”). And mere months after big brother Guillaume got married, Prince Felix of Luxembourg got engaged, giving us a second grand duchy wedding. And unlike Monaco, this will be packed with all the “right sort” of dignitaries.