Google’s ‘top trends’ of 2018: Meghan and Roxanne Pallett get Brits searching

Composite picture of Roxanne Pallett and the Duchess of Sussex Credit: Matt Crossick and Jonathan Brady/PA

The Duchess of Sussex and actress Roxanne Pallett were the “top trending” people in the UK in 2018, Google has announced.

The technology company’s Year In Search project compared the UK public’s search habits this year to that in 2017 and compiled lists of the people and subjects that saw the biggest relative increases in interest.

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While Meghan’s name was top of the chart for individuals, “royal wedding” – a search that spiked during her wedding to Prince Harry – was also the top trending news event in the country.

Ms Pallett made headlines in September after claiming fellow Celebrity Big Brother contestant Ryan Thomas had hurt her by punching her, in an exchange which many viewers defended as play fighting.

After quitting the show, she said she felt she was “the most hated girl in Britain”.

The top trending search query overall in the UK was the World Cup, in a year in which the England football team reached the semi-finals of the tournament.

The film Black Panther and video game Fortnite also made the top 10 queries, having both enjoyed runaway success in 2018.

Singer Demi Lovato was third on the list of people after reportedly suffering an overdose in the summer, while TV presenter Ant McPartlin came in fourth after a year which saw him divorce his wife, enter rehab for drug addiction and gain a conviction for drink driving.

Other notable entries in this year’s diverse list include GDPR, the new European data protection legislation introduced in May, and reality star Khloe Kardashian, who gave birth to her first child in April.

Here are some of the top 10s from Google’s Year In Search:

UK top trending Google queries

  • World Cup (held this summer, won by France)<br>2. Meghan Markle (actress married Prince Harry to become Duchess of Sussex)<br>3. Royal wedding (star-studded ceremony held in Windsor)<br>4. Black Panther (record-breaking action film released)<br>5. Roxanne Pallett (embroiled in Celebrity Big Brother ‘punch’ row)<br>6. Fortnite (video game which became hugely popular in 2018)<br>7. Demi Lovato (entered rehab after she reportedly suffered overdose)<br>8. Ant McPartlin (took break from presenting after drug problems)<br>9. A Star Is Born (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper film)<br>10. Khloe Kardashian (reality star gave birth to her first child)

UK top trending people<br><br>1. Meghan Markle (actress married Prince Harry to become Duchess of Sussex)<br>2. Roxanne Pallett (embroiled in Celebrity Big Brother ‘punch’ row)<br>3. Demi Lovato (entered rehab after she reportedly suffered overdose)<br>4. Ant McPartlin (took break from presenting after drug problems)<br>5. Khloe Kardashian (reality star gave birth to her first child)<br>6. Alexis Sanchez (footballer signed for Manchester United from Arsenal in January)<br>7. Sir Alex Ferguson (underwent emergency brain operation in May)<br>8. Logan Paul (YouTube star criticised over video featuring dead body)<br>9. Sylvester Stallone (announced he was quitting the role of Rocky Balboa)<br>10. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (footballer signed for Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund)

UK top trending news events

  • Royal wedding (star-studded ceremony held in Windsor)<br>2. Royal baby (Prince Louis was born in April and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced in October they would be having a baby)<br>3. GDPR (new European laws on data security introduced in May)<br>4. Jeremy Thorpe (police revisited 1970s scandal, shortly after BBC series aired)<br>5. Spice Girls (reunited for stadium tour without Victoria Beckham)<br>6. Carillion (Construction firm went in to liquidation in January)<br>7. Australian flu (Brits concerned over strain of illness that spread in January)<br>8. Hurricane Florence (US storm caused devastation and death in August and September)<br>9. Stormy Daniels (former porn actress who claimed affair with Donald Trump pulled out late on from Celebrity Big Brother appearance)<br>10. iPhone XR (new Apple product announced in September)<br><br>UK top trending sporting events

  • The World Cup<br>2. Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury<br>3. Grand National<br>4. Wimbledon<br>5. Winter Olympics<br>6. Ryder Cup<br>7. Commonwealth Games<br>8. Super Bowl<br>9. Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker<br>10. Cheltenham Festival