Celebrity of the Year Finalist #4: The British Royal Family!

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With the days remaining in 2011 becoming fewer every 24 hours, it's time to raise a glass to the year that was - and the stars that made the past 12 months so great.

At THG, we're doing that by counting down the 10 most newsworthy celebrities of 2011. First, there was the arresting centerfold Lindsay Lohan at #10. What a mess!

Jennifer Lopez came in at #9, Selena Gomez at #8 and a batch of hilarious viral video stars at#7 spot Katy Perry and Justin Bieber were #6 and #5, respectively.

Now, at #4, we salute ... the new generation of the British Royal Family!

Official Royal Wedding Portrait

Approximately a billion people watched Prince William marry Kate Middleton April 29. A billion. More than 36 million watched in the U.S., where they don't even live. 72 million streamed the Royal Wedding live on just YouTube!

It was a big deal is what we're saying.

In these troubled times mired by financial duress, armed conflict, natural disasters and a growing sense of uncertainty, the world looked to the matrimony of two wonderful young people - true class acts - as a respite from its daily struggles.

That's a lot of weight on William and Kate's shoulders, but they handled it as well as any 29-year-olds could. Their exchange of vows was as celebrated as any in history.

Are they real celebrities in the entertainment sense? Even the celebrity gossip sense? Not really. But William is the descendant of King George, people. King George!

It's hard to comprehend just how revered William and his entire family are throughout in much of the world, but equally surprising how much he lives up to that billing.

That's part of their appeal, in a sense.

William and Kate - and their famous siblings Harry and Pippa - are accorded celeb status without being in entertainment, and thus seeming like rather normal people.

There's a certain authenticity about them as a result, and the fact that all have actual jobs (yes, we're counting Kate's royal duties) lends itself to that perception.

William and Kate, and to a point Pippa and Harry, are simultaneously regular kids growing up before our eyes, role models for an entire generation, and gossip magnets.

Finally, let's be honest: Whichever gender you fancy in that way, MAJOR cuties alert. You could do worse in the looks department among people in their late 20s.

So congratulations on your #4 ranking, you guys. We have a feeling we'll be hearing a lot more about you in the years to come, and we look forward to all of it!

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