For many, 2022 felt more than a year.
Within 12 months, the UK had three prime ministers (and two monarchs) in a span of twelve months.
Russia went to war against Ukraine, creating a global financial crisis and energy crisis. After dominating our lives for over two years, the coronavirus epidemic finally took a backseat.
Let’s grab a cup of tea or mulled wine, depending on the hour, and look back at the top stories this year.
The UK started 2022 in the midst the Omicron coronavirus virus wave. Many had experienced what they thought would be their first COVID-free Christmas for two years, but it was ruined by cases.
However, infections remained high. Ministers decreased the legal isolation period to five days on 17/01/2018. Three days later, the legal requirement that you wear a mask on public transport was removed. They also provided guidance on how to work from home if possible.
In January, another Chinese Communist Party agent was exposed to have interacted in UK politics through large donations to Labour MP Barry Gardiner. Chinese officials denied Christine Lee’s involvement in interference.
There was anger in Down Under after Novak Djokovic , the tennis world champion , was granted a medical exemption to participate in the Australian Open. This was despite him not having met COVID vaccine requirements. He was finally deported and missed the entire tournament.
The Met Police’s own investigation delayed Sue Gray’s investigation into Westminster lockdown-breaking parties.
On 31 January, an first excerpt appeared. This forced Boris Johnson, then-prime minister, to apologize for violating his own rules.
One that you may have missed: Jonathan Chew, a 24-year-old Essex man, was imprisoned for eight weeks for harassing England’s chief physician, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, in St James’s Park, London, the previous summer.
Kurt Zouma, West Ham footballer, caused outrage by being filmed punching and kicking his cat.
Later, he was charged under the Animal Welfare Act. He was sentenced to 140 hours community service.
In the same month, Virginia Giuffre (the woman who accused Prince Andrew, as a teenager, of sexual assaulting her) made the surprising decision to drop her US civil lawsuit against him and to settle out of court.
The Duke of York, who had already had his military titles and patronages stripped, donated to her victims’ charity on top of his undisclosed settlement – reported to be up to PS12m.
Several days later, Queen was tested positive for coronavirus. Buckingham Palace stated that she had “mild cold-like symptoms”.
Later in the year, she spoke out about how it leaves one “tired and exhausted” during a video call with COVID families who have lost loved ones.
Boris Johnson declared it was time for “living with COVID” on 24 February.
This meant that people no longer had to be isolated after contracting the virus. It also ended universal free testing.
Vladimir Putin’s troops crossed into Ukraine the same day as the “special military operation”.
The UK, US and EU condemned the war and quickly imposed sanctions and offered military support.
The death of YouTuber and founder of SBTV Jamal Edwards , at the age 31 was shocking news in showbiz.
Edwards, whom Ed Sheeran and Skepta thanked for their careers had a heart attack after taking cocaine. A coroner later determined that Edwards died.
You might have missed this: Jane, a mom, went viral when she spotted radio DJ Greg James riding a train from Edinburgh. She was too shy to approach James so she texted her daughter to confirm that it was him. Jane’s daughter sent James a tweet and James quickly surprised Jane by asking her: “Are your Jane?”
The Kremlin’s plans to storm Kyiv and claim a quick victory were dashed when the Ukrainian troops stood firm.
Despite the terrible losses suffered, many citizens refused to give up, and many children and women tried to flee to other nations.
Economic sanctions were imposed in the UK on all Russian assets including Chelsea Football Club, which is owned by Roman Abramovich , an oligarch close to Mr Putin.
The club was unable to sell new tickets, merchandise or purchase players, leaving fans dismayed.
After six years in Tehran prison, the dual Iranian-British national Nazanin Zghari-Ratcliffe returned to the UK on 17 March.
She was accompanied by Anoosheh Ashoori (a fellow detainee who has been held since 2017).
Following emotional pictures of her being reunited to her husband Richard and her daughter Gabriella, there were claims that she was forced to sign a false confession before British officials.
On March 31, actor Will Smith made the internet scream when he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars for making fun of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith was later described as “the slap heard all over the world” and was banned from Oscars ceremonies the following 10 years.
You might have missed it: After an officer searched a black schoolgirl during her period, he wrongly suspected her of possessing cannabis, the Met Police had to apologize.
April was a busy month in showbiz news. It began with the passing of June brown , a beloved EastEnders actor , at 95.
A High Court judge ruled Ed Sheeran’s favor and he did not plagiarise Sami Switch’s song Shape of you.
Sheeran claimed that his lyrics were strikingly similar to Oh Why, which he had written in 2015.
The US saw David Beckham’s eldest child, Brooklyn, marry the daughter of billionaire American businessman Nelson Peltz (Nicola) in a ceremony .
While promoting Don’t Worry Darling, Harry Styles’s ex-partner Olivia Wilde received divorce papers live from her.
In the UK, Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie, as well as Rishi Sunak, were each handed fixed penalty notices for violating lockdown rules.
This made Johnson the first prime minister to face a reprimand from the police.
Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, also fell foul COVID rules . She was also confronted by police for failing to comply with face mask rules.
Ali Harbi Ali, 26, was sentenced for the stabbing death of Sir David Amess, Southend MP in Leigh-on-Sea in October 2021.
You might have missed this: The Otley Burger Company, Yorkshire banned an advertisement that made fun of the disappearance in Portugal of Madeleine McCann, a toddler.
It said: “With burgers so good, you’ll be leaving your children at home.” What could be worse? The background featured a man running with Madeleine in his hand, and the words “Happy Mother’s Day all moms out there!”
On 9 May, the Queen missed the state opening of parliament for only the third time during her reign.
It was 1959 and 1963, and she didn’t follow the advice of her doctors because she was pregnant with Prince Andrew (and Edward).
Prince Charles replaced her because of mobility issues she was experiencing since autumn.
The Wagatha Christie trial started at the High Court of London the next day.
After Coleen Rooney claimed that she had conducted her own sting operation to find out who was leaking information about her to the media in 2019, it was given this name.
Vardy filed a lawsuit against Vardy for libel after she claimed it was Rebekah Vardy’s wife, a fellow footballer. Six weeks later, the judge sided in favor of Rooney.
Salvador Ramos, 18, shot his grandmother on 24 May before storming Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas and killing 21.
Ramos was killed and the police were later criticized for not engaging Ramos within an hour, which triggered a larger discussion on US gun laws.
The long-awaited Sue Gray report on lockdown gatherings at Downing Street in the UK was finally published in its entirety.
It revealed shocking revelations about parties in which civil servants were so drunk that they became sick, breaking the swing of the prime minister’s son.
May was also the month that the first instance of monkeypox in the UK was confirmed.
You might have missed this: Jake Daniels, a Blackpool player, was 17 years old when came out, and became the first openly homosexual male professional footballer in Britain.
A Virginia court ruled that Amber Heard, an actor, had defamed Johnny Depp in a Washington Post article that was published on June 1.
She was ordered to pay PSD8.5m in damages. She almost immediately stated that she would appeal.
This happened after Depp was convicted in the UK of libel for an article that called him a “wife-beater”.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was celebrated by the long bank holiday weekend that Britons enjoyed from 2-5 June.
To the delight of the nation, Queen Elizabeth II performed a skit with Paddington Bear. In which she confessed to hiding marmalade sandwiches inside her handbag,
After she was unable to attend the Buckingham Palace concert, and other events due to her mobility issues, concerns were raised about her health.
Prince Louis stole show on the palace balcony, displaying his dislike for the loud flypast.
More showbiz news: Justin Bieber revealed that he had suffered from facial paralysis. He had to cancel his tour dates.
The prime minister narrowly survived a no confidence vote on 7 June over the Commons findings by Sue Gray.
The Supreme Court overturned the US’s historic abortion law, which guaranteed rights to all 50 states in June.
Fears about abortion rights in other countries were sparked by the ruling on Roe V Wade.
The UK Health Security Agency issued a warning after traces of Polio were discovered in London’s sewage.
On 29 June, campaigner Deborah James passed away five years after she was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Prince William gave her a damehood at her Surrey home and she raised more than PS7m to support cancer research through her Bowel Babe fund.
You might have forgotten: The Binley in Coventry rose to worldwide fame after it became a TikTok sensation.
The UK was hit hard by heatwaves and travel chaos as summer began.
On 19 July, temperatures surpassed 40C (104F).
Airlines struggled to deal with the shortages of staff, leading to thousands of cancellations, creating holiday chaos for families.
However, July started with a political crisis.
Two more allegations of sexual assault against Chris Pincher, Conservative deputy chief whip, were made on 3 July.
It was discovered that concerns regarding his behavior had been raised to Downing Street previously and were ignored. This triggered a massive backlash within Tory Party.
Boris Johnson was already furious at his involvement in lockdown parties and the momentum against him grew to the point that there was no turning back.
On 7 July, he was seen outside Number 10 to formally announce his resignation.
He admitted that “them’s the brakes” and suggested he might go back to frontbench politics, referring to Cincinnatus, the Roman leader.
An earlier in the month, Labour leader Sir Keir Sternmer and his deputy Angela Rayner were cleared of the beegate scandal.
They were willing to resign if they were found guilty of violating lockdown rules by attending a Durham campaign meeting with a beer or curry. However, they were cleared by police on the 8th.
July was the month that England got behind its Lionesses at the European Championships, and football came home at Wembley with a 2-1 victory over Germany
They looked slightly worse in bucket hats when they sang Sweet Caroline at the London victory parade in Trafalgar Square on the next day.
You might have missed this One Study was published proving that the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea explains why humans have grandparents.
The heatwave left Britain’s parks and streets smoldering, so wildfires raged throughout Europe.
Later, a report revealed that more than 5,000 miles of land had been burned.
In the UK, the long High Court battle between doctors, family members, and a 12-year old boy from Essex, Archie Battersbee, culminated in his life support being shut off.
After being found unresponsive at his home, he was declared brain stem dead by doctors. However, his family claimed that he had shown improvement.
On August 10, Dame Olivia Newton John, who was 73 years old, succumbed to cancer.
John Travolta, her co-star in the film, led tributes and signed his signature: “Yours since the first time I saw you and forever!” Your Danny, your John.”
The British-Indian author Sir Salman Rushdie was then stabbed twelve times while he spoke on stage at New York.
Sir Salman lost his sight in one eye, and one of his hands during the attack. The trial of a 24-year-old American man continues in the US.
The UK was shocked by the murder of nine-year old girl Olivia PrattKorbel at her home in Liverpool. Thomas Cashman, 34 has been charged with her murder as well as Cheryl’s attempted suicide. He will face trial in 2023.
Boris Johnson, the outgoing prime minister, travelled to Kyiv to meet Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his Ukrainian counterpart.
One that you may have missed: Two motorized surfboard riders were called “idiots” in Venice by the mayor for speeding down Venice’s famous canals.
Only licensed vehicles can use the waterways, as there are concerns about the foundations of buildings.
September was undoubtedly the most important month for news in the UK in many decades.
It began with Liz Truss defeating Rishi Sunak in order to become Prime Minister and Conservative Leader on 5 September.
After his defeat, Mr Sunak kept it low – 43% to Ms Truss’s 57% – but he was able to replace her seven weeks later as leader.
Ms Truss traveled to Balmoral to be officially appointed by the Queen as leader, as opposed to Buckingham Palace as per tradition.
They were photographed together in Scotland. Many commented on Her Majesty’s fragile appearance.
Three days later, on September 8, business in the Commons was disrupted by Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle. He announced that the Queen’s doctors were “concerned about her health” and that she was now “under medical supervision” at Balmoral.
After hours of speculation, it was announced that the Queen had died.
Flags were reduced to half-mast not only in the UK but all over the globe. King Charles’ reign was marked by a period of national mourning.
People waited in line all day to see Her Majesty’s coffin. One man was even arrested for trying to grab it.
Television presenters Holly Willoughby & Philip Schofield were subject to a strong backlash due to allegations that they were able skip the long wait. This was known as queuegate.
The funeral was held on September . The Duke and Duchess were able to return from the US to pay their respects.
Three days after normal day life resumed, the new PM Liz Truss announced her “plan for growth” with her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.
The mini-budget as it was known included an energy price cap and massive tax cuts. However, the forecast for how the PS45bn would get funded from the Office for Budget Responsibility was not included.
After the Bank of England sent the pound, pension and mortgage markets plummeting and mortgage rates skyrocketing, it had to make an extraordinary intervention.
You may not have noticed: A Norfolk man aged 48 was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his neighbor in a dispute over noise from his motorbike. According to him, “Killing people doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.”
The October mini-budget caused a general lack economic confidence, further aggravating the cost of living crisis that started earlier in the year. Inflation reached a record high of 11.1% .
The mortgage rates were almost prohibitive, and house sales and purchases declined.
The chancellor U-turned his attention to one of his most controversial mini-budget measures, a tax cut for those in the top 1%.
A sacked Thai policeman murdered 36 people at a daycare centre on 3 October.
The trial of former nurse Lucy Letby began back in the UK. She denied the murders of seven children and attempted to kill 10 others while she was in her care.
Kwasi Kwarteng flew back from the USA on 15 October but was delayed by rumours about his impending sacking.
After only 38 working days, he resigned that day.
He quickly replaced Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary.
Five days later Liz Truss appeared at Downing Street to resign, making her the most-serving PM in history.
Rishi Sunak, her former rival in leadership, replaced her after five more days.
At the end of October, more 150 people were killed during a crowd at a Seoul Halloween event. Elon Musk bought Twitter, launching a new chaotic era for the social media company.
You might have forgotten: Tim Gough , a beloved local radio presenter, died while broadcasting live from his Suffolk home. He was 55.
November began with the strange news that Matt Hancock, former health secretary, had signed up for I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!
The Conservative Party whip was suspended by him, but he said he had not lost his marbles and wanted to prove that politicians are “real people”.
After suffering many bushtucker trials, and having tense conversations about the handling of the pandemic among his campmates , he was third . He later declared that he would be stepping down at next election.
In what his supporters called an assassination attempt, the former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Kan was shot four more times in the leg.
The US midterms saw Republicans win control of the House of Representatives while Democrats retained the Senate, having won Pennsylvania.
It took over a month to declare the Georgia Senate results. Democrat Raphael Warnock beat former American footballer and Donald Trump-backed Republican candidate Herschel Walk.
On 16 November, Donald Trump declared his intention to be president again – despite the fact that most of his competitors lost their races.
The coroner in the UK ruled that a 2-year-old boy named AwaabIshak died from the effects of mould and damp in his Rotherham family flat.
It was a “defining moment” that prompted politicians to call for better social housing conditions.
The next day, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt released his delayed fall statement.
NASA launched on 16 November the first stage in its historic Artemis mission, which was designed to return humans to the moon.
The FIFA World Cup began in Qatar four days later amid controversy about the country’s treatment for LGBTQ people and migrant workers.
Wales qualified for the tournament for the first time since 1958, but did not make it to the group stages.
Cristiano Ronaldo, a footballer, gave a TV interview in which he criticised Manchester United’s management. This quickly prompted his departure form the club.
One that you may have missed: A Kidderminster angler showed off a 30kg huge goldfish which he called “the carrot” after fishing it from a French lake.
In December, rare protests erupted across China after three years of China’s zero COVID policy.
Fears of a brutal crackdown erupted after protestors chanted “down With Xi Jinping” on the streets. However, party officials lifted restrictions .
The Royal Family was rocked by new racism allegations after a London charity boss claimed that she was repeatedly asked “Where in Africa” at a Buckingham Palace reception.
Lady Susan Hussey was one of Queen Elizabeth’s longest-serving ladies in-waiting. She apologised for her mistake and resigned.
In December, the palace was further strained by the release of the tell all Netflix documentary.
England was eliminated from the World Cup in Qatar by France. Argentina won the final.
In the US, scientists performed the first ever nuclear-fusion experiment to obtain a net energy gain. This opened the door for a new “clean energy source” that could transform the world.
The UK was hit hard by snowfall, which was compounded with strikes at travel, the NHS, and the postal service.
Two brothers and their cousin, as well as a friend, were killed when fell through a frozen lake near Solihull in the West Midlands.
You might have missed this: The parole hearing of the man who killed his wife in 1985 in the UK was held for the first time in public.
Russell Causley lied to the hearing that he had never killed her and said he returned home from his mistress’s house to find her dead. He said, “It was a beautiful summer’s day, and my wife was dead in the garage.”