A lighter look at the past year
Every year the Patra team write an uplifting review of the year’s highlights. If we’re being frank, it’s a bit of challenge to put a positive spin on 2020! However, never has there been a year when positive news was so desperately needed, so in this look back on 2020, rather than delving into pandemics and politics, we’ve produced a roundup of some lesser reported events – celebrations of births and weddings, plus some farewells to a few famous faces that were loved by many. In a year that has had to focus its gaze on the troubles in the world, we’d like to take a moment to remember other important events and celebrate some those parts of life that give it all a bit of meaning.
Even in these tough times a new family member is a wonderful way to lift the spirits and many famous faces around the globe have welcomed new bundles of joy in 2020. Singer Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda announced the arrival of their fourth child, interestingly named Beau Benedict Enthoven Williams.
As if he didn’t have enough on his plate in 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, and partner Carrie Symonds welcomed young Wilfred into the world on 29th April. He was given the middle name Nicolas as a tribute to one of the doctors who helped treat the PM when he was hospitalised with Coronavirus.
Running sensation Usain Bolt and his partner Kasi Bennett became parents for the first time in 2020, with the birth a baby girl, aptly named Olympia Lightening. Another sporting legend, Anna Kournikova, and her singer husband Enrique Iglesias welcomed in the new year in January with the birth of their daughter Mary. Other famous faces blessed with new babies this year included Cameron Diaz, Ronan Keating, Ed Sheeran, Quentin Tarantino and Katie Perry.
Despite that fact that weddings have been a lot harder to take place this year and many opted to cancel altogether, it hasn’t stopped some celebrities tying the knot.
Having had to delay their wedding, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, got married in a small private ceremony on 17th July with 20 guests, including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Actor Sean Penn embraced social distancing when he married Leila George in July with the couple’s wedding taking place via Zoom. Other famous faces who said ‘I do’ in 2020 included Scarlet Johansson and Colin Jost, Emma Stone and Dave McCary, Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie and Lily Allen and David Harbour.
This year the world lost more than its fair share of lives, some of those were household names who brought joy and entertainment into our everyday life. In 2020 we lost two British female acting legends. Dame Diana Rigg, most famous for her role as Emma Peel in The Avengers and later for Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, sadly passed away in September in London. Dame Barbara Windsor, famed for her humorous Carry On characters as well as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, died this month after suffering from Alzheimer’s for many years.
The actor, producer and director Kirk Douglas also passed away this year, the legendary star of films such as Spartacus and Ace In The Hole, Douglas is survived by his wife, Anne and three sons Michael, Joel and Pete. Another acting great, Sean Connery, famed for his role as James Bond, died this year. Aged 90, the actor passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in the Bahamas.
The world of sports also said goodbye to two champions. Diego Maradona, Argentina’s most famous footballer, died in November of this year at the age of 60. And Kobe Bryant, US basketball legend, tragically died in a helicopter crash at the beginning of the year.
There were many other icons of screen and stage that we’d like to pay tribute to, including Dame Vera Lynn, Ennio Morricone, Olivia de Havilland, Caroline Flack and John le Carré.
There were some exciting new discoveries made in 2020. The smallest dinosaur ever unearthed in Myanmar in March, named Oculudentavis khaungraae it is even smaller than a bird. In the UK, new archaeological evidence found a large circle of shafts near Stonehenge which they believe is the largest prehistoric structure in Britain.
From a more positive perspective, 2020 hasn’t been bad for the environment. Greenhouse gas emissions dropped 17% worldwide in April 2020, when the world was in lockdown. And in Australia, a new coral reef 500m high was discovered north of the Great Barrier Reef.
And there have also been some steps in equality. This year Christina Koch, a US astronaut, completed the longest continuous spaceflight by a female astronaut after 328 days. And Scotland has become the first country in the world to provide free access to period products.
It goes without saying that 2020 hasn’t been a great year, many of us have experienced loss, hardship and loneliness. At the end of this year it is important to acknowledge the true heroes of 2020 – the people who helped make this time a bit more positive. All our nurses, doctors, carers and staff in the NHS and care homes who worked tirelessly throughout two lockdowns, all the teachers that went the extra mile to educate our children and all the rest of those keyworkers, who kept the country running – the delivery drivers, supermarket staff, refuse collectors and more – Patra would like to say a huge thank you. This year also proved that crisis can sometimes bring out the best in people, with many volunteering their time to help their neighbours and the vulnerable, and of course, the wonderful Captain Tom, who raised £33 million for the NHS this year – we salute you all.
All the best for 2021 from the Patra team.