Friday, 14 December 2018

An Autumn Anmer Portrait for the Cambridges' 2018 Christmas Card!

There was a festive royal surprise from Kensington Palace this morning with the release of a gorgeous new family photograph of the Cambridges for their Christmas card. The photo was take in the autumn at their Norfolk bolthole Anmer Hall.


The family were casually dressed in blues, earthy greens and jeans for the photoshoot. I imagine images like this from Anmer fill their personal photo albums and take pride of place in frames around their homes. It's a glimpse into their country life. Note, Kate's holding her mini-me Prince Louis. Each time I see him he looks more like his mum!


The Duchess wore her Fjallraven Forest Green Sweater and Asprey Oak leaf earrings.


It does appear Charlotte is wearing the same blue Fina Ejerique cardigan she wore for her third birthday portrait with Louis.


It was first worn by George for the Queen's 90th birthday photos.


The photo was taken by photographer Matt Porteous. Most recently, he took a widely-praised portrait of Kate and Louis after the christening. Mr Porteous said: "It was an honour to be asked to photograph the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family at Anmer Hall. Capturing the fun and relaxed moments between such a wonderful family was a true privilege."


The candid family shot is in stark contrast to an official family portrait taken at KP which was chosen for last year's card.


It was a delight to see the coordination between Kensington Palace and Clarence House, releasing Christmas card photos from their principals together. I'm hoping it heralds the beginning of a new tradition. Below, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall pictured in the garden of Clarence House over the summer.


The lovely photo was taken by Hugo Burnard.


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a sweet black and white photo from their Windsor wedding reception.


I love all three Christmas card photos. Splendid choices all round. We'll see the Cambridges arriving for the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon next week :)

133 comments:

  1. I send a Christmas card to them. Will I get these photos in return? Because Gert's Royals said they use other photos for their Christmas replies. Is that true? Do they really have different cards for friends and the public?

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    1. The original tweet by KP said that these are the pictures they are using for their Christmas cards.

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    2. Yes, but what Christmas Card? The royals have a list of people they send their personal Christmas card too. But will these photos also be used on their Christmas replies.

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    3. They could certainly send a reply accompanied by this photo, but the wording by KP leaves some room for ambiguity. They may be using this photo for the personal Christmas cards they are sending and will use a different one for replies that are generated to the public. Or, they may use this photo for their personal cards and the replies to the public.

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  2. Charlotte really looks like Diana! Such a wonderful picture of all of them!

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    1. yes, this is the first time I see some of Diana in Charlotte.

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    2. Charlotte looks so much like William. I have compared pictures of them and there are many similarities between father and daughter. I too see Diana in her as well...the energy that hints of playfulness behind her eyes reminds me so much of Diana. William is the spitting image of his mother, and since Charlotte favors her father, she naturally has some of Diana's features.
      George is this handsome and adorable combination of William and Michael Middleton, and Louis most definitely resembles Kate right now. They look so content and at peace as a family. Diana would be very proud of both her boys and the families they now have. I think she would have been a very fun grandmother.

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    3. Anonymous in Colorado14 December 2018 at 18:43

      I see it, too! Charlotte's always been such a chameleon in terms of her resemblance!

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    4. I think she looks just like Queen Elizabeth when she was younger.

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    5. I never tire of looking at that photo of the Queen holding Charlotte and surrounded by her greats and grands. I think there is a striking resemblance of Charlotte and the Queen now, not just child pictures.
      Mia and the purse. It amazes me that HM both chose Annie L. as the photographer and approved that particular photo as the official one. The Queen definitely has a sense of humor and is not afraid to let the joke be on her. (the WI cake-cutting?) The Queen IS amused; probably more often than we realize.
      I think the reason Louis seems old-looking in that photo is his pronounced square shaped jaw and low forehead. There is also an expression in his eyes that does not seem babyish to me. Of course, Catherine has a rounded jawline and a relatively high forehead. I agree about similarity of Louis to Prince Andrew but I think it is because they both have features common to the Queen Mother. I can't see any resemblance to Kate. Certainly not in eye color and shape (Kate's eyes have more of an almond-shape) or facial bone structure.Noses are tricky to compare with an infant. I really would like to know just which features, if any, Louis shares with Kate that aren't seen in QM photos?

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  3. I LOVE the Cambridge’s picture. I love the casualness of it. George has jeans!! And his little boots. Louis looks so much like his mom. Adorable!! And Charlotte is precious!! I really expected a picture from the photo shoot from Charle’s birthday. Or maybe even not releasing one as we had those pictures recently.

    The photo of Harry and Meaghan is beautiful. I love the back of her dress. And Charles and Camilla’s photo is beautiful too. I was such a fan girl of Diana that I always disliked Camilla. But they really are a lovely couple.

    Merry Christmas to all my fellow royal watchers.

    Hope from USA

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  4. Looks like Kate is wearing the Fjallräven sweater!

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  5. This was the foto we were waiting for...a personal and und genuine family foto 💗 couldn't be happier 💕

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  6. They’re all lovely photos! The Cambridge kiddos are just the cutest! 😍

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  7. Each in their own ways... really perfect!!

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  8. I like all three Christmas photos of the royals. The Cambridges photo is very typical of an American Card in its informality rather then a stiff shot. All three children look adorable. Louie looks like a little man and really favors Kate in my opinion. I wonder which photo will get the most commentary from royal followers? We all know the answer, lol.

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    1. No Anon it is not a competition just an early morning first thought as each of the three are uniquely different reflecting each individual families personality. I am truly disappointed in your reading more into my innocent though. A good reminder for me that some people always want to read more into comments then truly exist. Hopefully, the Holiday Spirit will soon arrive.

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    2. My interpretation is that it's more like, sigh, here come the complaints and comparisons. :) It's not that long ago that Kate was viewed as difficult for spending time with her family.

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    3. Ok, I really don’t know how to take that second comment from you, USA Granny, but I’m just going to say Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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    4. We should all respect Charlotte 's request to keep this post about Kate and her ongoings and not use any comparisons of others. Those of us who don't follow the others won't have to listen to it. Thanks Charlotte for your lovely blog on Kate.

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  9. What a lovely photo and a nice glimpse at the “real” Kate off-duty.

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  10. Louis has such a grown up little face! So cute.

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  11. Is Louis wearing shorts and tights?

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    1. That's what I was wondering. Seems odd to me, especially for a boy, but then maybe it's a British thing. Don't get me wrong....I love all things British!

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    2. My thought was that Kate didn't want Louis to be too cold outside at 6-7 months old.

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    3. Yeah, seems like it. I think it's quite usual for babies to wear tights because socks fall off way too easy. And the Cambridges seem to be comfortable with the tradition of boys not wearing full trousers until older (George is so big now!!) so it makes sense for him to have tights or he would get very cold!

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    4. It was probably cold out

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    5. Instead of tights, it could be extra long knee socks that have been pulled up underneath his shorts. Personally, I would have just put a pair of long pants (trousers) over the onesie he is wearing. They do make jeans for babies too, of course.

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  12. Wonderful photo!

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  13. What a wonderful treat to share these cards!

    The photo of the Cambridges is lovely. Matt Porteous does an amazing job capturing moments that express emotion. The arrangement on the tree shows how tightly knit they are, yet the kids seem to be full of the joy and fun that children exude. So nice to see Louis—so strong, sitting upright, and happy. It’s no small feat to have thee kids engaged with the camera!

    I like Charles and Camilla’s photo as well. It strikes a nice balance of intimacy (capturing a lovely look between them), but openness for how they are still facing the camera—like they are ready to welcome you into their conversation. A sweet card.

    Harry and Meghan’s is an interesting choice for a holiday card. It’s a lovely photo—a very artistic and striking scene bringing back great memories of their special day. At the same time though, with their backs to the camera, it’s a very exclusionary photo. Almost feels like you have stumbled upon a private moment and you should sneak quietly away. Interesting choice for a holiday card.

    —T

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  14. what i lovely photos hmm how lovely prince george is growing so fast hmm i love how cutie princess Charlotte such a good little stunner and prince louis is growing so fast

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  15. Beautiful portrait! All children are adorable and Catherine and William look a stunning couple! Wow, just wonderful :)
    Thank you Charlotte!


    Silvia

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  16. Jenna from Glasgow14 December 2018 at 13:33

    Such a lovely family. With all the sticks and branches at the side of the photo it looks like they are building a den!

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  17. George is wearing jeans like a normal boy! Charlotte is playing coy with the camera! Louis looks bright & alert! What's not to love - Merry Christmas for sure!

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  18. Royal 👑 Watcher14 December 2018 at 14:25

    This year's Cambridge photo Christmas Card would be my favourite type of photo. Set in the natural surroundings of Anmer Hall, their favourite place to live and be. The children look so happy, Kate is beautiful and William very handsome. A dream Christmas Card! ps. I also like the one with Charles and Camilla, very sweet.

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  19. I love the Cambridge picture. Louis is such an adorable chunk, Charlotte looks slightly mischievous, and George looks happy and carefree. Kate and William look completely content and happy with their family in the country.
    Charles and Camilla’s pic looks nice. Say what you will about their history, but I think they are truly happy together.
    The Sussex pic is nice. Very different, but in line with how they come across as a couple. Not very traditional, a bit flashy, but in their own little world together and in newlywed bliss.
    I think each picture suits each family just fine.

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    1. I agree with all of your comments!! Each picture suits each couple, but the Cambridge family one is far and above my all time favorite of the three (quelle surprise :)). The photographer seems to have captured their happy essence! Louis looks adorable. What a beautiful happy country day and a lovely family moment. cc

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  20. Thank you for that wonderful photo from the Cambridges. It's great and full of love. Specially I like to see George so happy and joyful.
    In this three Christmas Cards I notice three nice surprises:
    George is allowed to wear long trousers for a "official" photo. I'm glad for him. He is jumping of joy... :)
    Camilla crosses her legs on their official Christmas Card. A novum.
    And the Sussexes are looking back to their special day, surely thankful and happy. After so many photos the last months and weeks I like that this photo is without a demonstration of the growing belly. Just a reflexive photo. Nice surprise.
    Merry Christmas to all of you!
    Anne

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    1. Nicole form France14 December 2018 at 17:12

      Yes Anonymous 14.46 I noticed too the crossed legs , and that her left leg follows the same angle as Prince Charles’s , may be even touching .....

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    2. I didn’t think of that!! I am actually very surprised it wasn’t that picture!!! Makes me actually appreciate the kinda detached Hollywood pose more!

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  21. What a great photo - I love the naturalness of the Cambridges as a family at home. The kids are adorable and great to see a more casual Duke & Duchess.

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  22. The Cambridge children are so beautiful and charismatic, I am in awe of this new generation of royal kids. Louie is gorgeous! Great choice for a holiday card.

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  23. What a lovely shot, I love peeks into their normalcy.

    Interesting, I don't think I see Kate's engagement ring. I'd take it off when I was casual too - too nerve wracking !

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  24. Love the Cambridge Christmas card! Princess Charlotte looks like a young Hermione Granger (been watching a Harry Potter marathon :-) ).

    Border Terrier lover :-)

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  25. I come home after meeting my sisters new puppy and see these pictures. Is the universe conspiring to give me sweetness overdoses?!

    What a wonderful family photo!! Warm and a bit fun but still very royal! Love it! And boy, Louis looks like an adult in the face. So funny! He's adorable, as are the other kiddies. And the adults for that matter!!

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  26. Love the Cambridges. George is just so hilarious. And William actually looks relaxed and happy. :)

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  27. Love, love, love the Cambridge family picture! They just seem genuinely happy, relaxed and playful -- yes, I think there is an abundance of fun behind the scenes. Diana must be beaming.

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  28. Just a wonderful card! Charlotte looks so "in charge." I'm so very happy to see George wearing regular pants, and Louis looks amazing. So very cute. All three photos are great moments in time.

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  29. Jessica in Los Angeles14 December 2018 at 16:09

    I love this card! It really captures the family as they are in this moment in time: a sweet baby Louis, a slightly mischevious looking Charlotte, and Prince George being a typical silly five year old. As a mother of two young kids myself, I’m just really impressed they got a photo of all three kids smiling and looking at the camera. I would love to know how long that took! Little Louis is getting so big and looks like his mama! They are such a beautiful family.

    On a different note, it looks like Louis is wearing tights. Here in America, that is something that you would only see on little girls. Is that a British thing because they don’t tend to put little boys in pants (trousers)? I’m just curious.

    I really like Charles and Camilla’s card as well. In the past they seem to have included random snapshots of them on engagements, but I like this posed one better.

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    1. Jessica, I don’t know whether it is traditional in England but it seems to be a very practical way to keep a baby warm. I don’t understand why people would even make a distinction as to what boys wear and what girls wear at that age.

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    2. I live in America. In Louis case they may not even be tights but long socks, but I have seen tights on both baby boys and girls.

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  30. Tammy from California14 December 2018 at 16:11

    This is my favorite Christmas card any royal has ever sent out!!! TRULY THEM. Everyone a little more, what I imagine their true lifestyle to be... I L O V E it. I will add here that I am a country girl so it is a natural winner for me.

    Charlotte, you are right, Prince Louis is absolutely his mom! And after going through everything she has to have 3 children, she deserves for one to look just like her ;P

    Merry Christmas to everyone here! Also a blessed, fulfilling and prosperous new year! Lots of love from me to you xoxoxoxoxo

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  31. Love all three cards. The kids all look so great in the photo.

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  32. I love this photo! What a difference from last year's oddly photoshopped photo where Kate's right arm disappeared. I am so glad Charlotte is NOT in a smock dress but is in a sweater and denim skirt like a normal girl and yay! Jeans on George. Also love the jeans/sweater combo on Kate.

    Everyone's mentioned how Kate has more "confidence" snce she returned from maternity leave. I see her as more comfortable being herself. The fact that she released this photo is one example. She's okay with us seeing her off-duty, and when she's on-duty she's more comfortable being herself.

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    1. Becca H in Colorado14 December 2018 at 22:54

      I agree, I haven't noticed any massive boost in regality or confidence, or what have you. I think she's simply more relaxed, especially since having Meghan take some of the spotlight.

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    2. Although I have to say Ivy I have a very normal girl who I dressed in smock dresses on a regular basis.

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    3. Me too. My daughter wore smocked dresses all the time. They are classic and timeless. I don't like the current trend of dressing young children as teens or adults.

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    4. I always thought that George only wearing those shorts with pulled up socks and Charlotte wearing smock dresses was a weird affectation. It was as if they were always "on duty" even as kids. It's nice to see that when there aren't photographers around they dress like normal kids would.

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    5. Of course the children wear more casual play clothes! Formal pictures and events usually include more traditional dress up clothes. For school picture day my daughter wore dresses to school. Other days she wore shorts, pants, and other playground appropriate gear. I'm sure every mother can relate to this.

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    6. Ivy Lin, I can see why you would feel that the kids “traditional/formal” outfits is affected. I felt the same way about the identical outfit Queen Maxima dressed her girls in until I read an interview with her where she explained that they treat it as a “team uniform” or in Kate’s case maybe “actors costumes”.
      I can imagine Kate telling the kids “Today is the Trooping/Airpory arrival/whatever so we put on our special clothes and our best behaviour.”
      It makes it easier for the kids to distinguish when they are “on duty” and when not.

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    7. Dressing boys in shorts is part of their tradition and culture. Other countries have their own traditional styles. One needs to respect that. It is not an affectation. Would anyone criticise an Asian or African family for dressing their child in an outfit reflecting their history.
      I have seen at least two pictures of George wearing pants- one when he was at a museum and another when he was visiting a farm.

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  33. Thoughts:
    George in pants!
    Louis is adorable -- I hope we see more of him!
    What is with Charlotte and that sweater?
    I really want to know the cut on Kate's jeans. Obviously fitted, but doesn't seem like skinny?

    -AZ

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  34. Oh my ! What a treat. They all look so happy and relaxed. Can't help but think, this is something William has always wanted. Beautiful wife, beautiful children, and a sense of contentment.
    The Kensington Palace twitter feed, has this photo having something like 19k likes ! Says it all really !

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  35. Silvia from Tuscany14 December 2018 at 17:07

    Happy to see the Christmas portraits! I do love the Cambriges' one. Nice to see the beautiful family informally dressed in the nature at Anmer, and the children, so cute! I think the Charles and Camilla photo very sweet and showing a very happy couple. As for the Harry and Meghan's one, it's a beautiful picture in black and white, very intimate, but less appropriate as a Christmas portrait.

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    1. Becca H in Colorado14 December 2018 at 22:52

      I don't think Harry and Meghan's picture is inappropriate for a Christmas card at all. It's just different from the norm.

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    2. Anglophile in Ohio15 December 2018 at 01:42

      I think a wedding photo for Christmas the year of the wedding is perfectly appropriate. I find it to be a very romantic picture.

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  36. Charlotte here starts to remind me of Diana as a little girl especially if you look at the famous pics where she was holding her hamster - something in her look and her eyes.

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  37. Beautiful loving family! I love the way the greens of Kate's and George's sweaters frame the family along with the green of nature. Not !ong now and we'll see adorable Louis in that blue cardigan...sweet!Great to see George so carefree for now.Charlotte will doubtless be great fun to watch as she grows... A strong sister between two brothers! Anyone who ever complained about Kate's "time off" should be able to see that the efforts she and William have expended in creating a firm family foundation are the most valuable asset these children have.

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  38. My goodness William is looking good in plaid lol. Great fun fall family picture.

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  39. A dream come true. :) I asked for such a fantastic photo of the Cambridge family and here it is! :) Merry Christmas to you Charlotte and to all of you! :)

    Elisabeth, Carcassonne, France

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  40. Don't take this the wrong way, but I think Louis has the cutest baby old man face! (My mom used to say that about one of my nephews, and she meant it very affectionately.)

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    1. Haha, I know right! I noticed that as well! Love it!

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    2. He does have a very grown up looking face for being under one. Everyone keeps saying looks like Kate but I have to say he also looks like Prince Andrew. Prince Andrew was my first thought and then Michael Middleton. Charlotte and George are still evolving although George does appear to be looking very much like William, not sure on Charlotte yet.

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    3. Aaahhh, Prince Andrew, yes, I can see that. It's the eyebrows and the eyes.

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  41. Adorable! Love the Cambridges picture! That George is a ham!

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  42. Great photos all around. The Cambridge family is adorable, and I did notice that Charlotte bears a resemblance to Princess Diana.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

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  43. I appreciate three photos but natural and so british picture of Cambridges steals my heart.Louis is adorable -he 's Kate 's baby -this smile is precious.

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  44. Adorable and perfect! What a lovely family. The shorts with the tights is interesting though. I have never seen that before. What precious children.

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  45. (I was super tired when writing this so don't remember if I sent it or not so if I did and it's just not showing yet, please ignore!!)

    I come home after meeting my sisters new puppy and see these pictures. Is the universe conspiring to give me sweetness overdoses?!

    What a wonderful family photo!! Warm and a bit fun but still very royal! Love it! And boy, Louis looks like an adult in the face. So funny! He's adorable, as are the other kiddies. And the adults for that matter!!

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  46. A beautiful candid family photo which feels like a real treat to share in. I enjoyed all of the photos as they seemed such congruent reflections of each couples nuanced values.
    Thank you Charlotte for your dedication and kindness in preparing these wonderful pages all year. I do appreciate the content and spirit of your writing each time. May you and yours and all the other readers have a blessed Christmas and new year!

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  47. Becca H in Colorado14 December 2018 at 22:52

    Thank god, this is SO much better than last year's stiff portrait! George has gotten so big and is so cute. Louis has the face of a man -- that is so strange! He really continues to be Kate's twin. I was surprised at how much both George and Charlotte both have looked like William's side of the family, so it's nice to have one of the kids favor Kate so strongly.

    I think Charles and Camilla's photo is very sweet. I've really never been a big fan of either of them, but my interest has grown since Meghan joined the family.

    Harry and Meghan's photo is stunning. It's unusual for a Christmas card, but I think it's a reflection of their unique style and is also a nice throwback to one of the happiest days for them of 2018. I don't think the Christmas card photos need to be just one certain way, so I don't mind how different it is.

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    1. Anglophile in Ohio15 December 2018 at 01:40

      Hmm, I still see Michael Middleton when I look at George, just with blond hair.

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  48. Merry Christmas to all of you as well, peace be with you all.

    And a happy new year to the royal trio and Kate and william.

    Love, From Canada.

    JC

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  49. This is a lovely photo. I can see that they are such a normal, happy family whenever they can be. Good to see a casual side since we always see them in a staged setting. Little Louis resembles Carole Middleton to me..the dark narrow eyes and thin lips, always smiling. The children are just adorable!

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  50. Beautiful picture! Prince Louis is the spitting image of his grandfather Michael Middleton! Lovely picture in their countryside element! Love it!

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  51. Since my mistress is in a tizzy with family due soon, I Pippin, otherwise known as Mr Pips or, thanks to the Duchess of Cambridge's sister's influence 'The Pipster' or most often just Pip especially when being called, (which comes out Piiiip....") will comment on these cards. I'm very fond of Christmas cards, I like the taste of them almost as much as the biscuits I'm hoping the guests will bring - the fancy one, the mistress never buys because she says we don't care what biscuits look like. Maybe even some doggie ice cream like Lupo has which I never even tasted, but which the guests from other places might find...
    So anyway about the cards. As for William's and Kate's the mistress says it's quite a nice family shot - George is quite elfin and looks like his school does teach ballet since he's working on an arabesque - William's open shirt reminds her a bit of Cold Comfort Farm - but there are no missing arms or floating babies which should help keep the Twitter roar down and she does like it...it looks like the sort of snap friends send her...
    I Pippin say how can it be a proper family shot without Lupo in it! Where is that Cocker? Inquiring spaniels want to know.
    As for Harry and Meghan - the mistress first said she has no words. I, Pippin doubt that as the mistress always has words and lots of them - I heard Tiffany adverts and 'terribly affected' and why does Harry look so broad....but they are splendid fireworks...
    I Pippin say I don't like fireworks. This is couple that desperately need a nice warm dog photo with that mysterious Beagle Gus (who seems to have eloped with the queen) to try to recapture some of that cosy, easy feeling that people liked so much with Harry and miss now he's gone all brittle Hollywood celebrity.
    As for Charles and Camilla - the mistress says grudgingly (she's always grudging with Camilla) that it isn't bad although a bit summery for the season but still she thinks she likes it the best of the lot because it doesn't seem to be trying to prove anything.
    I, Pippin, think it would be much improved by the presence of Bluebell and Beth who as Terriers always liven things up and would prove the now corgi-less royals are still dog lovers.
    So I will say we have to go to Monaco to find my favourite photo (if only we could, says the mistress, frantically searching for things that have gone missing since last Christmas) and vote for Albert and Charlene and the twins for best Christmas card because they, alone amongst the royals, had the good taste to include their dog! And I send a Christmas wish that Surfer Girl, my best mate, is well and returns here soon and Christmas doggie kisses to all...

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    1. Pippin, thank you for your delightful post, and a very Merry Christmas to you and your mistress!🎄

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    2. I agree that the photos are sadly dogless. And my cat Honey wants to know why none of the RF owns a lovely cat!!!

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    3. Bravo!! Best thing I read all day, Pippin and Julia! Merry Christmas🎄

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    4. Pippin absolutely loved your post. You must post more frequently is the mistress will allow. I agree with just about everything you posted, especially wanting Surfer Girl to come back. We miss her. Merry Christmas to you!

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    5. Enjoyable post Pippin and love your point of view!! cc

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    6. Big hug to Pippin and an extra hug (and a forceful push to nearest couch for a rest!!) for Mistress Julia!

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    7. HAHA! Julia...er-Pipster.

      MESSAGE from Lupo I to Sir Pippen-

      Appreciate the shout-out. The thing is, the Master and Mistress could not figure out how to get me into that tree and anyway I opted out of this one. I prefer a little action in my photos. I mean, just sitting there. No treats. No cats or go-carts to chase or tennis balls to fetch. BORING!

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    8. Pippin, Thank You for this delightful read!! I agree the Cambridge family pictures look adorable. But C& Cs Christmas card is something I will never appreciate,for obvious reasons.
      I wonder why H&Ms picture is black and white, wouldn't the fireworks looks beautiful in color? Nevertheless, it's still a cute picture.
      Thank You Charlotte and a very Merry Christmas to all!!XOXO
      Siddhii

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    9. Pippin you are quite the gentleman! Loved your post, and Molly, the Beagle, sends treats and Christmas fun.

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    10. Royal 👑 Watcher16 December 2018 at 02:12

      Oh what fun! Looking forward to Surfer Girl coming back. Merry Christmas Pippin! ps. My dogs are in my Christmas cards, they are sniffing sweet smelling presents from Fortnum & Mason!

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    11. With surfer girl missing, I take the liberty of using the same emoji she had always used for you, Pippin: 🐾😉

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    12. Princess Michael has Siamese cats.

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    13. Pip says thank you to all who sent greetings - he's particularly thrilled to hear from Lupo - and to learn he - Mr Pips - has been knighted - well-earned for his services in protecting the nation against impudent squirrels. He agrees that have photos taken is a bore - although necessary to indulge his and his fellow spaniels' admiring public.

      He thinks photos in trees are stupid - more suited for cats. He isn't quite sure about cats but sends very cautious greetings to Honey and hopes she's one of those rare felines who tolerates dogs. He agrees that the royals are cat deficient and even worse, Charles is said to be phobic about them! Princess Michael is the only cat lover.

      Pip also sends greetings to Molly the Beagle and to Royal Watcher's dogs and hope they join him with commenting occasionally - perhaps at that dog-friendly Irish Guards event. As for Fortnum and Mason - he'd like to do more than sniff! Julia is hoping for their rose and violet chocolates but Pip is thinking big with the post bringing a hamper full of lovely dog treats which he might deign to share (a few of) with his fellow spaniels! Dream on, Pippin!

      A Happy Christmas to all - Pip is thrilled to join in this wonderful blog - he knows Charlotte is a great dog lover and her readers are too - although now must go and allow the guests to take him for a walk - one of the heavy obligations of a good canine host!

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    14. Having read the mistress's last post - I Pippin think I do need to say that I've never actually succeeded in catching one of those dratted squirrels in spite of great efforts and a great deal of (unnecessary) noise. I wouldn't want Meghan to be made uncomfortable should Lupo decide to send me an invite for Christmas next year. I assure her that should the royals take me along on the Boxing Day shoot - they will come back with an empty bag as I will put the queen's Labradors in a complete muddle trying to help. On the other hand, I would be splendid at charades - I do a wonderful imitation of Dash, Victoria's spaniel.

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    15. Quite seriously, the more I think of it, that photo was taken in woodland and if so, it's probably wise they didn't include Lupo - if only to set a good example that people must take care.

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    16. Honey will let Pippin in on a secret -- as a previously lonely little rescue kitten, she had no idea how dog and cat families work. Happily, her human mom and dad have since adopted 7 stray cats (and even gave Honey a kitten of her own to raise) and 2 dogs. Honey uses the passive-aggressive approach to the large growling dog Sadie. Honey loves to cuddle with said doggie and joins the unhappy pooch in her bed, slowly using her sly cat muscles to inch the doggie out toward the edge. Honey finds it shocking that most of the RF is catless! She wishes Pippin could join her in a nice nap.

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    17. One must point out that, although Sir Pippen is knighted, and rightfully so, Lupo I is crowned.

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    18. My dog is a red heeler/Australian cattle dog who loves all kinds of forbidden food. She is probably around 10 years old, we aren't sure as she was a rescue. She is bilingual, understands both English and Spanish. We think she might have crossed the border as she had to be trapped out in the desert by Animal Control. Hates men in uniform. We took her to Ireland (and back) last year, cost us more for her than for the two of us. As to her foraging habits, she once climbed on a chair (she is a medium sized dog) to reach a packet of Walkers Shortbread I had on the second shelf of our hutch. She also ate a package of dark chocolate covered almonds. Was expecting she would have to go the vet but, no, she was perfectly fine. But her most dastardly deed was climbing from the back of the SUV and scoffing all of the plates of biscuits I had down by the front passenger seat, wrapped in plastic, that I was taking around the neighborhood last Christmas in the FIVE minutes I was out of the car.

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    19. Jo, we rescued two heeler pups last year and they drove Honey out of her mind. We knew we couldn't keep them and found them incredible homes---one lives with a trainer at Purina doing dog tricks lie catching discs and taking long leaps into water, and the other one (the one I called "the good one," and heeler owners know what that means) is a pampered house pet who wears pink tutus on Halloween. And Honey reminds me daily that she is Queen of the Universe, so I'm sure she could communicate well with Sir Pippen and Lupo I. :)

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    20. Undoubtedly, Allison. Lupo I has experienced feline "communication" and has great respect for his Anmer cat neighbors. Best to keep them beyond a paw's reach.

      Our Master has just returned home. In the excitement that followed there may have been an unintended extra paw on "publish."

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    21. Heelers sound like a great challenge like border collies - but at least as working dogs they have an excuse for being terribly naughty - it wouldn't take our spaniels five minutes to climb into the front seat and dispose of biscuits - they are fearless and wicked when it comes to food they mustn't have, and are like little monkeys. They lurk under the table - hoping guests will slip them something despite many warnings. When a guest has left for a moment - there's even been a spaniel found sitting in their place - about to put paws on the table and help themselves to the wine! The only thing the word 'No' means to them is that they've been caught and must try to be more discreet next time.

      Pip would get on splendidly with Honey - he considers napping an art and is used to females thinking they are queens of the universe - our little Purdey is convinced that she is. She was very timid when she first arrived,especially with men and noises, but soon realised how hopelessly besotted we were, especially Leo - she's now shameless flirting with him.

      Jo, your heeler is very fortunate to have you - what a history she's had! If she fears men in uniform, travel must have been so hard on her though. Allison - it sounds like you have quite a family there - and I agree on cats - my mum had cats, mostly ones who had found her and my dad, and always said Charles needn't to come and visit her if he was going to object to cats. (He must have heard that for he never did call!) Sadie sounds like a delightful dog - was she a rescue as well?

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  52. Wow what a difference a year makes. Between the 2017 and the 2018 photo is really rather incredible. One would think she might not have been pregnant in the 2017 photo and the changes in the kids is rather remarkable. W&K must love, love, love that photo. I feel as though I've seen a lot of family photos and theirs is really quite special.

    It wouldn't surprise me if their family connection wasn't part of how well W&K come across when they attend events. I don't know how to describe it.

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    1. If I remember correctly last year’s photo was actually taken in the summer of 2017 (before their Europe trip) so there is almost an 18 months difference. Kate was not even pregnant yet.

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  53. Wow, a great photographer for the Sussex picture. He captured a very beautiful romantic moment. They are standing, looking at the fireworks and the photographer simply captures the moment. It’s lovely. The Cambridge Family, appears in pictures, to be the happiest family on earth. Every family picture, casual or formal, show genuine happiness, IMO. All three pics capture the essence of who these people are, at this stage of their lives. That is actually what a picture is suppose to do. Thanks again, Charlotte.

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  54. I just can't get enough of adorable Prince Louis! What a wonderful photo of the Cambridge family. I also like the Sussex wedding reception photo -very unique and expressive.
    Thank you for another fabulous, quick, and insightful post, Charlotte.
    And happy holidays, everyone! I look forward to watching the Christmas morning church procession "with" you, no matter how busy we all might be. ;)

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  55. for the readers commenting on the the children's clothing What Kate's Kids Wore has identified most pieces. Louis clothes come from Amaia Kids: Children's Clothing Online

    https://amaiakids.co.uk/ The designer has a blog - very interesting and gives the the ethos of her work. Worth a read.

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  56. Lovely family portrait!!! I adore Charlotte!!!!

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  57. Lovely photos! The Cambridge children are so cute!
    I like also H&M photo, even if I don’t think it’s very appropriate as a Christmas Card...
    Do you know how can I send them a Christmas Card?

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  58. Love this picture! Louis is so cute🤩

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  59. What a lovely treat after a difficult day! Thank you, Charlotte! 😍

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  60. Oh, my heart! Louis has stolen it ❤️

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  61. I like the photo of the Cambridge’s, if you did not know they are from the royal family, it looks like an average family picture. I have read everyone’s comments on the outfits and looking at them closer the sweater Kate is wearing is a new one we have not seen, because if you look by her neckline it is a wide border and has blue specks in the design and the FJällräven sweater does not have either. If Baby Louis was wearing pant verses long shorts, this family picture you would think was a picture from a family in the U.S.A., we all know this is a English tradition. You are all right, Lupo the dog is missing for this causal family picture. We have a long wait to see Kate again until the holidays. So I am going to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

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  62. i adore this christmas card it's stunning, charlotte is beautiful! what a gorgeous family all the kid are adorable. i much prefer this card to harry and meghan's just because im more traditional :)

    thanks charlotte merry christmas to you and all readers

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  63. Charlotte are you going to your annual Christmas post this year?

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    1. Hello,

      On Christmas Day? Of course :)

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    2. I was talking about your annual post where you talk about how the Cambridge’s spent Christmas in the past and how they will celebrate this year. I always enjoyed your pre-Christmas celebrations post.

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  64. It’s a beautiful photo of the family. I think Kate has changed so much since having Louis, she seems so relaxed and confident in her role. When Kate met William she was a student with very little life experience, I think this carried through to her marriage and early Royal life. Now that she a mother of three, she suddenly seems to be regal, mature and comfortable in her position. Sinead

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    1. Charlotte, you may have already addressed this, but is The Queen hosting her annual Christmas Lunch & if so when?

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    2. Sorry Charlotte, please disregard my Queen's Luncheon question.... just saw it on the calendar! :0

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  65. Someone said Prince George was attempting an arabesque. Good to know. I thought he was just being a bit of a clown, like the boy in the Cambridges’ wedding picture. This is a jolly photo, though I’m not sure I really like the antics. I do like the informal woodsiness. Charlotte’s face has changed from her toddler resemblance to Lady Sarah Chatto. Now she looks a lot like William, and I do see the Diana smile someone mentioned. Probably Louis will go through similar changes of face.

    The C&C picture is cozy; everyone used a natural setting this year. I am especially taken with the beautiful artistry of the Sussex photo. The fiery celebratory drama of it seems to me quite appropriate to Christmas. And Meghan was no doubt thinking of Independence Day, maybe with a few goose bumps, as she stood there. That, too, seems beautiful to me, though perhaps less so to British recipients of their card.

    All in all, a very interesting set of holiday greetings. I hope we might also see the Queen and Prince Philip’s card.

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  66. The Cambridges are the image of a happy family. Louis wins - The 2018 Photo of the year! in my book, Louis smiling, Louis holding his mother's hand. Simply Louis is adorably charming and memorable.

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    1. Louis holding his mother's hand is by far the sweetest moment and I am sure something Kate will treasure in year's to come. Those are the sweet things that you miss most when your children are not longer little ones. cc

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