2014 in pictures: The 100 best images that shaped our vision of Britain this year

It has certainly been an eventful 12 months

Adam Withnall@adamwithnall
Wednesday 31 December 2014 12:03
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Cadet Harry Alexander Hayes plants the last poppy during a remembrance day ceremony into the ceramic poppy art installation by artist Paul Cummins entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' in the dry moat of the Tower of London
Cadet Harry Alexander Hayes plants the last poppy during a remembrance day ceremony into the ceramic poppy art installation by artist Paul Cummins entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' in the dry moat of the Tower of London

A sea of red poppies at the Tower of London, missing posters adorned with bright yellow ribbons, a swan gliding past a line of submerged vehicles: these are the images of 2014 that Britain will remember.

The fact that the creators of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation have been named in the New Year Honours list is a testament to the power of images to shape how the country views itself.

Millions went to London to visit the display – and many more will remember it for the vivid depiction of remembrance it provided.

The year started with a similarly visual news event provided not by artists, but by nature: few could forget the images of devastation that emerged in the wake of January’s widespread flooding.

In February, Prince Charles performed a traditional sword dance during a Saudi Arabian culture festival, while a giant hedgehog captured the imaginations of Britain’s children.

A car drives through flood water on the Somerset Levels near Langport in Somerset
Mark Duggan's family, along with Duggan's aunt Carrol Duggan (R), make a statement outside the High Court in central London
Labour Party launch a new poster ahead of the Budget in London. The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will deliver his Budget statement to Members of Parliament in the House of Commons

The Budget was announced in March – accompanied by images of a serious George Osborne visiting businesses across the nation – and David Cameron launched an historic poppy campaign by the Royal British Legion in April.

May saw a vigil to Stephen Sutton held at Lichfield Cathedral, and in June the actress and UN special envoy Angelina Jolie created a special moment of her own when she embraced Neema Namadamu at a London summit.

In July the Tour de France began by passing with great procession through England, and August was marked with the Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda’s ‘Spectra’ light installation in London.

US actress and UN special envoy Angelina Jolie (R) embraces Neema Namadamu of the DRC during the second day of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London
A "Yes" campaign flag flies from a derelict cottage on the Island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides
Charity runners dressed as Father Christmas await the start of the 'Santa Run' charity fun run in Battersea Park in London. Hundreds of participants dressed in Santa suits and white beards ran through Battersea park in aid of winter sports charity Disability Snowsport in this 6km festive fun run

A giant hippo floated down the Thames in September, while in October the British-American researcher John O'Keefe was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

In November, a cadet planted the final poppy at the Tower during a remembrance day ceremony 100 years after the start of the First World War – and December was treated to Bob Geldof, posing in Asda, promoting the launch of Band Aid 30.

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