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HELLO! magazine's top 20 personalities of 2010

16 DECEMBER 2010

From a future king and his bride-to-be to Hollywood royalty, our top 20 personalities of the year had one very important thing in common: a story that not only made headlines but also touched our hearts.

Selected by an international team of HELLO! editors in 14 countries, these individuals and couples got our vote for their influence and inspirational qualities.

Topping the list were Prince William and Kate Middleton, whose engagement announcement sent ripples of joy around the planet. Indeed, love was in the air for many of our favourite personalities.

Prince Albert of Monaco also set a wedding date with his gold-medal girl, Charlene Wittstock.

Tales of triumph over personal struggles, such as Sandra Bullock's comeback after her divorce and Michael Douglas' brave battle with throat cancer, also resonated with the HELLO! editorial staff.

Here, hellomagazine.com celebrates the year’s most compelling personalities.

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1 - Prince William and Kate Middleton

The elated looks on their faces as they announced their engagement said it all. After eight years together, Prince William and Kate Middleton, both 28, were clearly overjoyed to be headed to the altar.

"We're both very, very happy," said William, who proposed to his bride-to-be with his late mother Princess Diana’s engagement ring while on holiday in Kenya.

Now happily ensconced in their farmhouse in Anglesey, Wales – where the future King works as a search and rescue pilot for Britain’s Royal Air Force – the couple are knee-deep in planning their lavish April 29, 2011, nuptials at London’s Westminster Abbey, which is already being billed as the wedding of the century.

 

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2 - Sandra Bullock

In a span of just six months, Sandra Bullock won the highest honour in her field, endured a heartbreaking public divorce – making her one of the world’s top news stories – and became a mother for the first time.

All told, these dramatic highs and lows are more than many will experience in a lifetime, but the 46-year-old faced it all with a dignity and grace that earned her the world's admiration.

Her strength was remarkable – especially since it was a mere eight days after taking home an Academy Award for The Blind Side that Sandra learned of her husband Jesse James' infidelity. She weathered the media storm from the privacy of her home, secretly caring for a newborn son she'd adopted.

Fans were delighted when Sandra introduced baby Louis in the pages of HELLO! in May, declaring that she’d decided to focus on motherhood as opposed to mourning her marriage.

Sandra has since built a new life with her son, splitting time between Austin, Texas, and her baby's hometown of New Orleans, and has resumed making public appearances. With her divorce troubles now firmly behind her – and little Louis the apple of her eye – life is clearly on the upswing for the beloved actress.

 

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3 - David and Victoria Beckham

From the world of fashion to the world of sports, David and Victoria Beckham were everywhere this year. Victoria continued to expand her fashion empire, winning rave reviews – and celebrity clients – for her dress designs and adding handbags to her line.

The former Spice Girl, 36, also made forays into television, guest cohosting The View and doing a stint as a judge on American Idol in January. David, meanwhile, showed stoicism in the face of heartbreak when a March injury ruined his chances of playing in the FIFA World Cup in June.

The soccer star, 35, still went to South Africa to cheer on his team and joined Prince William in a recent campaign to bring the soccer tournament to the UK.

Despite their tight schedules, David and Victoria made time to model together - and to spend time with their beloved boys: Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, eight, and Cruz, five.

4 - Penelope Cruz

It proved to be a year of firsts for Oscar winner Penelope Cruz. At the Cannes International Film Festival in May, Penelope's longtime love, Javier Bardem, reduced her to tears with a touching – and unexpected – tribute to her.

"I share this joy with my friend, my companion, my love," he said while accepting the Best Actor award. "Penelope, I owe you a lot and I love you so much."

It was the first time the private pair had publicly acknowledged their relationship. Several months later, they wed in a secret summer ceremony – a first marriage for both – and the over the- moon newlyweds are expecting their first child early next year.

5 - Michael Douglas

When Michael Douglas learned of his throat cancer diagnosis earlier this year, he pledged to his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones: “I’ll beat this.” And that is exactly what the brave star has set about doing.

The tenacious 66- year-old has maintained an upbeat attitude throughout the difficult year, undergoing treatments with his wife, 41, at his side.

The couple – who recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary and have two children together – Dylan, ten, and Carys, seven – have been brought closer by the ordeal and appear more in love than ever.

The Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps star has said that his illness helped him forge a deeper bond with his family. "Cancer has shown me what family is," Michael has reflected. "It showed me a love that I never knew existed."

6 - George Clooney

With his devotion to helping Haiti, an Academy Award nomination and a red-hot romance with an Italian beauty, George Clooney's name has rarely been out of the news this year.

The handsome star kicked off 2010 by organizing a hugely successful telethon for Haitian earthquake victims, raising millions with the help of celebrity friends. Meanwhile, his stand-out performance in Up in the Air garnered rave reviews – and earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Still, it was the news that the notorious bachelor may be ready to settle down that dominated headlines.

The 49-year-old fell head over heels in love with Italian TV host Elisabetta Canalis, 32, and after introducing her to his mother, accompanied his lady love to Sardinia to meet her family. "I've never seen George so serious about a girlfriend before," marvelled a friend.

7 - Orlando Bloom

From boyfriend to fiancé and then husband, actor Orlando Bloom, 33, has relished playing many different roles this year, but the best title is yet to come: father.

Having secretly wed his Australian girlfriend, Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr, 27, in July, the Pirates of the Caribbean star announced shortly after that they're expecting their first child in January.

The self-professed romantic – who asked for Miranda's parents’ permission to marry her – has been all smiles ever since, and has been constantly at his wife’s side as they await the arrival of their little one.

"He's a sweetheart," Miranda has said of her husband, whom she started dating in 2007. "He is an incredible man and he's a very genuine and authentic individual. I'm grateful that he’s in my life."

Orlando, who was recently honoured for his charity work at the 2010 Bambi Awards in Germany, is clearly on top of the world. "Life is great!" he has said.

8 - Queen Rania of Jordan

For Queen Rania, 2010 can be summed up with one word: busy.

Not only did the philanthropist and mother of four carry out countless royal engagements with her husband, King Abdullah II, she also became a bestselling children’s author with her new book, The Sandwich Swap, and prepared to launch the Queen Rania Foundation, to promote cross-cultural understanding and education.

To add to that, the self-professed "mom and wife with a really cool day job" underwent a heart procedure. Thankfully, she made a full recovery and was back with her family – and the humanitarian work she's so devoted to – in no time.

One has to wonder where she gets her endless energy from. How does she manage to do it all?

"It is a constant juggling act," the tech-savvy royal, who has more than 1.4 million followers on Twitter, has said. "Achieving that balance is about keeping some of the balls up in the air most of the time."

9 - Celine Dion

For Celine Dion, 2010 will go down as the year her greatest wish came true. Early in February, the singer delighted fans by announcing plans to embark on a new three-year Caesars Palace show beginning in 2011.

That same month, Celine opened up about a much more serious topic – her struggle with fertility. The 42-year-old was frank about her desire to give son René- Charles, nine, a sibling, and shared her experience with IVF treatments with the world.

In May, Celine made the exciting announcement that she and husband Rene Angelil were expecting not one but two babies.

An overjoyed Celine gave birth to twin sons, Nelson and Eddy, on Oct. 23, and chose an exclusive interview and photo shoot with HELLO! to introduce them to the world.

10 - Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock

Prince Albert of Monaco's engagement to former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, 32, made a big splash this summer.

The 52-year-old royal's lady love – whose beauty, style and poise is reminiscent of Albert's late mother, Princess Grace – is popular with residents of the tiny European principality and royal enthusiasts alike.

For his part, Albert can't say enough about his bride-to-be. He recently praised the South African native's "great sense of humour and insatiable curiosity" and irresistible joie de vivre. "[She] loves to try new things," he enthused.

The couple, who fell in love in 2006, will wed in a lavish civil ceremony July 2, 2011 and a religious ceremony the following day – the first time since Albert's parents' 1956 wedding that a ruling prince has walked down the aisle.

11 - Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts' star shone noticeably brighter this year, as she stepped into the spotlight once again with the highly anticipated film Eat Pray Love.

And that's not all – the American beauty also became the first-ever "global ambassadress" for Lancome, appeared in the feel-good romantic comedy Valentine's Day and was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

On the home front, the 43-year-old couldn't be happier, juggling her career resurgence with a cozy life with her husband of eight years, cinematographer Danny Moder, and their three children. "My life at home gives me absolute joy," the radiant actress says.

12 - Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

When Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden said "I do" on June 19 to her very own Prince Charming, personal trainer Daniel Westling, it represented the country's first wedding of a female heir to the throne.

The couple's fairytale love story – regarded as a new twist on the old classic, Cinderella – captured the attention of the entire world, with 500 million tuning in to the televised nuptials.

"I love you, Victoria, and I am proud of what we have together and so happy to be your husband," Daniel, 37, said to the Swedish beauty, 33, on their big day, attended by many of the globe’s royal families. More in love than ever, the newlyweds recently moved into a palace in Stockholm.

13 – Rafael Nadal

This year marked an incredible comeback for Rafael Nadal. The Mallorca-born sports star reclaimed the World Number One title from Roger Federer in June after winning his fifth French Open title. He made history in 2010 as the only male player in the open era other than Rod Laver - winner of the Grand Slam in 1969 - to triumph in three consecutive major tournaments in a calendar year. After lifting the French Open trophy, he went on to triumph at Wimbledon, and the US Open.

14 – Carla Bruni

Wherever she goes, Carla Bruni –widely regarded as one of the world's glamourous women - has the world's press falling under he spell. Since love delivered her into the arms of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the brunette beauty has focused all her attentions on her new role of being France's First Lady. But she has lost none of the poise and elegance she displayed during her modelling heyday.

As commentators sat up and took notice in 2010, so too did Woody Allen, who asked her to appear in one of his films. Carla's cameo in Midnight in Paris marked her silver screen debut, and an unforgettable experience for the beautiful 42-year-old.

15 – Roberto Cavalli

There was a definite career high for fashion maestro Roberto Cavalli in 2010 – as he marked an incredible 40 years in the business.

Helping him celebrate this summer at a huge bash in Paris – and modelling his designs, or course - were some of the biggest names in fashion, including Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, Heidi Klum, Bar Refaeli, and Lily Donaldson.

16 – Cheryl Cole

It hasn't been an easy year for Cheryl Cole. The Geordie beauty's personal life was thrown into turmoil when there were new claims of her husband Ashley Cole's infidelity. She divorced him, and shortly after was struck down by Malaria. But the elegant brunette soon recovered and returned to the spotlight in her capacity as X Factor judge and with a second number one album, Messy Little Raindrops. She's now tipped for fame in the US.

17 – Crown Princess Letizia of Spain

Crown Princess Letizia has steadily become one of the most stylish royals of Europe, and this year has seen her debut some of her most elegant outfits yet, including the beautiful red gown she wore for Princess Victoria of Sweden's wedding.

18 – Prince Nicolas of Greece and Tatiana Blatnik

As the sun dipped low over the hills on the picturesque island of Spetses, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, for years one of Europe's most eligible bachelors, promised to love and honour events planner Tatiana Blatnik in a ceremony that mixed pomp with traditional touches. The romantic wedding was attended by some of Europe's most high profile royals.

19 – Princess Caroline of Monaco

After her marital crisis, Princess Caroline returned to Monaco with her best smile to begin a new life. Throwing herself into work she managed to forget her worries and restore a sense of normality, making a triumphant return to royal life.

20 – Lourdes Leon

Collaborating with her mum Madonna on her first ever fashion project put Lourdes firmly in the spotlight this year. And with her spunky personality and strong sense of style it's clear Lourdes will be just as successful as the Material Girl.

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