So, just what is coming our way in 2017?
2016 was a year of upsets, emotional and political. It was a year of Trump, Brexit, celebrity deaths and other surprises, both good and bad. Here, Maariyah Pathan looks forward to some of the events already earmarked for this year.
● The New Year is anticipated to start with a bang as the Supreme Court hands down its Brexit decision. The 11 justices will rule on whether Prime Minister Theresa May has the legal power to use the royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start the two-year process of withdrawing from the European Union, or, as opponents claim, an Act of Parliament is needed.
● It may once have seemed impossible, but Donald Trump’s inauguration as 45th President of the United States will take place in Washington on January 20.
● The 59th annual Grammy Awards take place on February 12, with Beyonce dominating nominations. The Lemonade singer is up for nine awards, while Britain’s very own Adele is in contention for five for her 25 album.
● The 89th Academy Awards will take place on February 26 — a year after the 88th awards were marked by controversy over the number of non-white Oscar winners.
● March 24 will mark one year since co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked Germanwings Flight 9525’s captain out of the cockpit and deliberately set the plane on a collision course with an Alpine mountainside. All 150 people aboard, including Lubitz, were killed in the crash.
● March 31 is the deadline for Brexit Day — MPs voted in December in favour of the Government’s timetable to trigger Article 50 by this day and begin withdrawal from the European Union. The symbolic motion, which was non-binding, was approved by 448 votes to 75.
● The first round of the French presidential election will be held on April 23. Former Prime Minister Francois Fillon will be the Republican Party’s candidate, standing against the far-Right Front National’s Marine Le Pen and a field including an as-yet unchosen Socialist candidate. If no candidate wins an outright majority, the top two will go head-to-head in a second vote on May 7.
● Voters will head to the polls on May 4 for local elections in England, Wales and Scotland, which will be seen as a key test post-EU referendum for both Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
● Royalty and celebrities will mix with green-fingered experts at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show between May 23 and May 27. The five-day event is held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.
● Phil Collins will play his first live dates in 15 years when he takes to the stage for five nights at the Royal Albert Hall. The ex-Genesis frontman retired in 2002, but will play the London venue from June 4-9 before heading to France and Germany on the Not Dead Yet — Live! tour.
● Israeli actress Gal Gadot will bring Seventies comic figure Wonder Woman to the big screen. The character appeared in 2016’s Batman V Superman before landing her own film, slated for release in June, the fourth instalment in the DC Comics universe.
● All eyes will be on Andy Murray, hopefully still the tennis world number one, as he steps onto Centre Court at Wimbledon in a bid to retain his 2016 title. He ended 2016 at the peak of his career by defeating Novak Djokovic in the ATP world tour finals and being given a knighthood.
● August will mark 20 years since the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The mother of the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry was just 36 when she and boyfriend Dodi Fayed died in Paris in the early hours of August 31, 1997. In celebration of her life Kensington Palace, which was her home from 1981, will host a new exhibition and a commemorative garden open to the public.
● London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will host the IAAF World Athletics Championship, the biggest global sporting event of the year. It is the first time the Championships and the World ParaAthletics Championships will have been held at the same venue.
● After studying Saturn for 13 years, the spacecraft Cassini Huygens will be deliberately destroyed by being flown straight into the planet’s atmosphere. The European Space Agency probe landed on Titan in January 2005 — the first spacecraft landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System.
● The long-awaited seventh season of Game Of Thrones is rumoured to be hitting the screen in September. The series was moved from its usual spring start by creators to allow them to film in winter in order to create an authentic feel to cold weather scenes.
● Will we find out who was on the grassy knoll? The documents amassed by the JFK Records Act in 1992 must be revealed to the public by October 26. It includes copies of all US Government files relating to the assassination of John F Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
● The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary on November 20. They tied the knot at Westminster Abbey 70 years ago in 1947 while the Queen was still Princess Elizabeth.
● Star Wars: Episode VIII is due to hit cinema screens two years after Star Wars: The Force Awakens caused a sensation.
● Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero is expected to attempt the first-ever human head transplant in an operation that will last at least 36 hours. Mr Canavero and Xiaoping Ren, an orthopaedic surgeon from China’s Harbin Medical University, will undertake the controversial 10 million dollar procedure in the northern Chinese city of Harbin.
Belfast Telegraph Digital