FROM crown jewels to regal nipples, 2012 will probably be best remembered as the year in which no fewer than three members of the British royal family were pictured with their bits on view. Affairs, make-ups and break-ups were also the big celeb stories of the year, beginning with our own Ronan and Yvonne Keating, who announced in March that they had split up after 14 years together.
While they tried to salvage their relationship for the sake of their three children following hitherto squeaky-clean RoRo's affair with Boyzone backing dancer Francine Cornell, the couple finally admitted that they just weren't able to make it work.
Luckily, nobody is ever single in Celebville for long, and Ronan, who is a judge on the Australian X Factor, started dating blonde Aussie TV producer Storm Uechtritz a few months ago, while Yvonne is now stepping out with separated father-of-six John Conroy.
To say the bearded cameraman is the absolute antithesis of Keating would be putting it mildly, and the now-brunette Yvonne seems to have happily washed the crooner right out of her hair, along with the blonde dye she sported for 20 years.
Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart managed to occupy weeks of airtime in a generally slow summer following the news that Kristen, 22, had had an affair with married father-of-two and Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, 41. Despite the fact that (a) they had barely admitted that they were in a relationship themselves at that stage, and (b) nobody actually cared, acres of print were devoted to KStew's apparent efforts to rekindle her romance with RPatz during the promotional tour of the final movie in the Twilight franchise, Breaking Dawn Part 2.
Alas, nobody seemed to dwell very much on what became of Sanders, who has not been signed up to work on the sequel to the Snow White film, and is reportedly desperately trying to make it up to his wife, Liberty Ross.
Last year also gave us the phenomenon known as Kimye, as Kim Kardashian and her beau du jour Kanye West popped up everywhere, wearing matchy-matchy outfits. Unhappy with her previous image, Kanye appointed himself Kim's stylist, and having purged her wardrobe during an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, announced that they were "getting on best-dressed lists now".
Alas for the rapper and music producer, his efforts have garnered nothing but derision, as Kim has appeared in a succession of badly-fitting, unflattering, fringed, feathered, revealing and generally ill-advised outfits. There have also been various stories circulating about him wanting her to lose weight, and her wanting to do so to please him, so it seems that, yet again, Kimberley has lost herself in her relationship with a man.
It hasn't been a great year for Kim all around, with two of her sisters now threatening to eclipse her fame. Khloe, the funny one, became the presenter of the US X Factor this year, while 17-year-old model Kendall has already scored the cover of Australian magazine Miss Vogue. Kim will need to pull something big out of the bag to reclaim the Kardashian Queen crown in 2013, so we're predicting a bling-bling wedding with 28 feather-wearing bridesmaids. This will be followed by the immediate arrival of mini-Kimye sextuplets, conceived from Kim's frozen eggs and born via a gaggle of surrogates.
Speaking of models, two of our finest exports have been making waves internationally. Georgia Salpa is now based in London, where she has cannily traded Calum Best in for millionaire businessman Joe Penna. Grafton Street's loss is the UK's gain, as Salpa came in at number five on FHM 'Sexiest Women 2012' list this year.
With her star firmly in the ascendant, it is quite likely that the half-Greek beauty didn't lose any sleep when she parted company with Irish model agency boss Andrea Roche. Andrea said Georgia had been sacked, amid allegations of her cancelling photoshoots following her success on Celebrity Big Brother – something denied by Georgia herself.
Georgia's old pal Vogue Williams from her days with Assets married singer Brian McFadden at the Castello Di Vincigliata in Florence, Italy, in September, in a ceremony that was attended by none of his former Westlife bandmates. DJ Vogue also hit the headlines when she went out partying following her eviction from the Australian version of Dancing With The Stars, and missed her contracted media interviews the following day.
On the royal front, ever since her sister's bottom upstaged her on her wedding day, commoner-turned-princess Kate Middleton has barely put a nude-court-shoe-clad foot out of place – or at least it would have remained that way if that pesky photographer and her long lens hadn't captured the royal nipples tanning al fresco as Prince William and his bride sunbathed at a French chateau.
An international scandal ensued as the revealing images were splashed over the French edition of Closer magazine in September, and while all sorts of dire recriminations were expected to ensue, it appears to me that the only person that has been sent to the tower so far is Michael O'Kane, former editor of the Irish Daily Star, who resigned in the wake of the newspaper's decision to publish the topless photographs.
On that memorable occasion in August, pictures of the fun-loving younger prince cavorting naked with girls were splashed across the world's media.
His grandfather, Prince Philip, then completed the hat-trick of royal exposures at the Highland Games in Scotland in September, as he unwittingly gave the crowd an eyeful as he sat in an awkward position, proving that neither Scotsmen nor royal nonagenarians wear anything under their kilts!
While Michael D may be a great president, orator and poet (although back in February, leading critic Professor Kevin Kiely called his latest book "lame, stale and stilted", and decreed it so bad that the President "can be accused of crimes against literature") it has to be said that he's a little bit lacking in star quality.
This might explain why we have been surreptitiously joining our neighbours on royal womb watch for the past year- and-a-half, even if we like to feign lack of interest in the House of Windsor.
Sadly, what should have been a time of international jubilation was marred when Kate's pregnancy announcement had to be made too early, at eight weeks, as she was hospitalised with hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes severe, debilitating vomiting. And then, a tragic and unexpected turn of events ensued. DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig from the Australian radio station 2Day FM prank-called the hospital one night pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, and were put through by Jacinta Saldanha, an Indian nurse covering reception.
Her colleague unwittingly disclosed information on her royal patient, and the tape of the call went viral. In the wake of the ensuing drama, Ms Saldanha committed suicide.
While any fair-minded person would absolutely believe the Australian DJs' claim that they never expected for a minute to be put through, and it has been widely reported that the mother-of-two had attempted suicide on two previous occasions, Christian and Greig have been vilified worldwide and are devastated at what has occurred. The tragic situation has caused consternation around the globe, and you would have to pity every single person involved.
Of course, we're expecting our very own pair of celebrity babies this year now that HuberBod and Brippa are both safely preggers, so we are duty-bound to turn our attention to Jennifer Aniston.
Ever since the wholesome Friends star was dumped by her husband Brad Pitt for that vampish, tricky Angelina Jolie, we have been firmly and collectively batting for Team Aniston. While our poor girl remained loveless and childless, the bold-as-brass Brangelina were busy assembling a set of six super-cute rainbow children around them, three of whom are adopted.
Therefore, the relief we felt when 43-year-old Jen announced her recent engagement to Justin Theroux was palpable, particularly as Brad and Angie are expected to tie the knot any day. We were pretty certain that we spotted Jen sporting a baby bump recently.
Let's hope that 2013 is a good year for all of us, especially poor, tragic, hot, successful, multimillionaire Jennifer, and for all our sakes, let's say a prayer that Princess Anne doesn't decide that this is the year that she decides to try out skinny-dipping!