Saturday, 21 December 2019

Festive Photos of the Queen & Three Heirs Released

With just four days until Christmas, the Palace shared three new photos of the Queen with heirs Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George. The Cambridges' separate arrivals for the pre-Christmas luncheon made headlines all over earlier this week. It turns out William and George arrived first to participated in the photoshoot in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace.

Kensington Palace

The royals were photographed preparing Christmas puddings as part of the launch of the Royal British Legions' Together at Christmas initiative. I think George is at the age where he's very much aware aspects of his life are different to his school friends. There's a marked difference in the fun and playful little boy we see through Kate's photos of her children or shots from the polo to posed photo opportunities where he appears much more shy and a little anxious. Since he was a boisterous baby, he's always been a delightful child, and at 6 years old moments like photos with Dad, Grandpa, and Gan Gan (as Charlotte affectionately calls the Queen) at the Palace will serve as some of his earliest memories as a future king.

Kensington Palace

Majesty Magazine's Joe Little reports: "HM and TRH are pictured preparing Christmas puddings in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. The four generations represent a cross-section of those supported by the Legion, from the children of service personnel to Second World War veterans. The puddings will become the centrepieces of next year’s get togethers, and form part of 99 puddings distributed across the charity’s network in the UK and Commonwealth, also marking the Poppy Legion's 99th year."

Kensington Palace

Footage of the pudding preparation will feature during the Queen's Christmas day speech.


More on the Legion's plans for next year from Emily Nash:



More from the Royal British Legion on the royal gathering:

“Bringing people, families and communities together lies at the heart of the Legion’s work and has done since we were founded in 1921," says Charles Byrne, The Royal British Legion’s Director General.
"As we head towards our centenary in 2021, we are proud to start a new tradition for our community with the support of our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, and three generations of her family. We are keen that the people we support and the wider public understand that the Legion is not only here for older veterans, but all ages of the Armed Forces community.
"As the Monarch and next three generations, Her Majesty and Their Royal Highnesses represent a cross-section of those supported by the Legion, from the children of service personnel, to Second World War veterans.
“Christmas can be a time when people’s troubles and worries are exacerbated by the financial pressures of the season or feelings of loneliness and isolation. The extra support the Legion can give, and the camaraderie of our get togethers can make a big difference to our community’s well-being.
"Making and eating Christmas puddings has traditionally been a shared family activity, and we look forward to sharing these special puddings made with the help of The Royal Family.”

It's the third time we've seen photos of Her Majesty and her heirs. The first was one of the official portraits for George's christening.


In 2016, a new image of the foursome was released to mark a new set of stamps by Royal Mail in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday. Just months from his third birthday, cherubic George was smiling as he held William's hand. He looked quite a bit like Louis does now.


During a media briefing at Kensington Palace over the week, members of the press were told we'll hear several announcements regarding the Cambridges, including a new initiative for William, over Christmas break. There's also speculation another Cambridge family photo will be released in the coming days.

UPDATE: A video of George in action :)

85 comments:

  1. super cute! although - I'm sick of Pr. George in that shirt! LOL....

    what the heck is in Christmas pudding!? (just wondering)

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    1. Christmas pudding is made mostly from mixed dried fruit, the recipe often varies from family to family but usually contains fruits such as sultanas, raisins, currants, lemon/orange peel and perhaps cranberries, cherries, dates, or prunes too. The fruit is often soaked in alcohol such as brandy or rum beforehand, then the whole lot is mixed up with some breadcrumbs and a little suet before being packed into a bowl and steamed for several hours until cooked through. The pudding is often made several weeks before Christmas and stored until Christmas Day when it is re-heated and served after dinner, often with brandy sauce, brandy butter, cream or custard. It’s delicious! Ready made puddings can be bought in the shops but it’s not half as good as making your own. Annie, UK

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    2. Thanks Anne, sounds delicious and so festive for the holidays.

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    3. So interesting Anne, thank you

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    4. How does the shirt even still fit him? He is growing as fast as a weed.

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    5. I think it’s safe to assume it’s a larger size..

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    6. Royal πŸ‘‘ Watcher22 December 2019 at 14:08

      USA Granny, I think they got one in every size! I agree, it’s time to move on, time for George to wear something less baby-ish!
      Great cooking skills though, I bet GanGan is very proud of him!

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    7. USA Granny, suspect he gets a new one every year. This is most likely the last year to wear that style.

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    8. USA Granny, your comment made me laugh because it looks like this shirt we don't like is available in multiple sizes! Thank heavens we have multiple photos, like the Christmas card, showing George and the whole family in really comfortable clothes!

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    9. Tammy from California22 December 2019 at 16:30

      Bridget, YES. He is starting to get too old for that shirt too. It's a shirt that is meant for a toddler and he is now a boy. I completely understand the notion of keeping your little one as young as possible, but it's time now to ditch that shirt and start dressing him in the next stage.

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    10. I like the shirt...

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    11. I like the shirt also and I see no reason to move kids along in clothing...if your kid is ok in something and he and his folks like it who cares what anyone else thinks...it works both ways for wearing stuff folks think is too young or old fashioned and wearing stuff folks think is too old or sophisticated for a child.

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    12. I might be completely wrong, but I always get the idea that K&W dress the kids in similar outfits/uniforms to try and avoid the kids becoming “fashion influencers”.
      George always wear a version of this shirt in formal photos. People still comment on it and I am sure sales increase but I doubt thousands of people are looking at these photos thinking I want to dress my son like Prince George for Christmas. It is his version of a navy blue suit.

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  2. Thanks, Charlotte for keeping us informed during such a busy holiday season.

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  3. Thanks Charlotte for the photos. It is so exciting to see the Queen and her heirs together. I believe big things are to come for the Cambridge family as they continue their role as senior royals. George is cute as pie!

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  4. What a fun group of photos (hope Chris Jackson took a nice portrait of them all together as well). The Queen looks so lovely & has her trusty bag over her arm as usual. Happy Christmas πŸŽ„ everyone πŸŽ…πŸ»

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  5. Looking forward to the video, the pictures look a little but weird and unnatural especially with TQ with her bag and three adults looking at George cooking, I’m sure the video shows a more relaxed situation.
    I hope everybody that was making stupid theories and talking about divorce when the C arrived separately to the lunch now correct themselves, I know mom dreaming.
    George looks really handsome in the first picture, by the way!

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    1. Annette New Zealand27 December 2019 at 20:38

      I agree. It would have been a good idea to have all four in more casual clothes with the Queen leaving her handbag aside and perhaps all wearing aprons and really mixing the Christmas puddings instead of just pretending to do so. As it is, poor George poking the spoon into the mixture while the others just look on, is a bit ludicrous. I recall seeing the Swedish Crown Princess and her daughter making a much more believable video .

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  6. Lovely promotional photographs for the Poppy Legions' big new initiative. Really liked how this generational photograph supports the generational thrust of the initiative. And yes it is very much a posed photo to support the Queen's charity and not as some comments I have read that it is a royal family promo of themselves.

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  7. It’s very difficult to get small children to pose for formal photos, so we shouldn’t expect a lot from a six year-old Prince. I don’t understand why someone didn’t ask or speak to the Queen about putting her bag down for the photo. That said, this was a good way to highlight the Legion and their hard work. Anne Heritage, thank you for explaining Christmas Pudding.

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    1. My sister and I had a good laugh over the Queen mixing up Christmas Pudding with her pocketbook over her arm. How does one ask the Queen to put down her ever-present bag? Who would do the asking? "Um...begging your pardon, Your Majesty..about the bag..."

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    2. The Bag, is the Queen's side piece;it's there for signals and protection. I wonder if she ever shared the contents of her bag off hand randomly! My bag is a little scary.

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  8. This is lovely, it's been a somewhat difficult day and this makes me smile.

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  9. So there to all the speculation about the separate cars. George looks quite solemn. I imagine for all his calling HM GanGan, she is probably slightly intimidating. I know I was quite intimidated by my Edwardian grandmother. With all the information coming about the Cambridge’s, I feel that next year may see some huge changes. Especially if Prince Philip passes away.

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  10. I adore the last photo of HM, Charles, William and George standing so proudly. I do not believe I have ever seen a bad photo of HM. She continues to age gracefully. With that said the "pudding" photos are just an op for publicity sake. I would like to think that contrived photos are beyond the dignity of the RF. In my opinion some poor PR advice used to distract the public from insensitive royal issues.

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    1. I am not a huge fan of these photos, but I would wager that they have been planning this long before Andrew did his interview.

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  11. I love most of this! I love how Charles, the Queen, and William look -- like they are enjoying it so much! I love the pudding and the initiative. I love how George looked like Louis looks!

    I do not like that shirt. That's all I will say about that.

    And I guess this is being American -- I love the RF and the history and the pageantry and their good works and the historical treasures, whether jewelry, paintings, land, etc. I do not like the heir system. I know this is stupid, but I don't like designating a child to such importance and leaving the siblings out. It's so uncomfortable to me! I have no workable alternative. : [

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    1. As another American, I can’t help but agree with you. It must be hard to be born into the role and that completely sets you apart from your siblings. That can’t be easy. But then again, I guess that’s kind of what we’re seeing with William and Harry now in some way. It’s nobodys fault necessarily, it’s by nature a hard situation to be born into.

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    2. Most older children are treated differently than their siblings. He is just on a bigger scale. I am sure William and Kate will do their best to ease him into his role and keep him grounded and secure.

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    3. I agree it's nobody's fault, and I'm sure that K&W are not allowing bad behavior and doing all they can to avoid favoritism. It will probably be fine -- William and Harry grew up to have good values and good friends and obviously married well. :) It's hard for me to enjoy seeing George singled out, I guess, but I know he will be fine. He has a great relationship with his siblings and tons of family support and friends. And having his father, grandfather, and great-grandmother so jolly surely put him at ease.

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    4. Allison, I can see your point but the whole concept of the heir system is deeply rooted in history of European nobility - not just royalty. In the families of noblemen who usually received their rank from the sovereign (either as a thank you for their military or other support, or as a gesture appreciating a brave deed etc.) the title is passed from father to the eldest son, then his eldest son etc. It is like this even now. I have been watching an enormously interesting series by our TV called "The Blue Blood" which is mapping the history of Czech nobility (we have had republic for 101 years now) and one can see how this principle - which to us may seem odd and unfair) is something quite normal for them. The oldest son inherits everything (usually a manor or a big house, sometimes with fields, forests etc.) but has to provide for his siblings, and he also takes on the responsibility for the inherited property; he is supposed to be a good custodian and to take care of the house/property so well that one day in the future he will be able to pass it on, just like he had inherited it. It sounds strange but it usually works. I agree that it's not easy at all to be in the position of the firstborn.

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    5. I don’t think this can at all equate to a standard “older child” treatment. At the end of the day, he will be king and they will drop as a number on the list of heirs as soon as George has children. That is a substantial life difference.

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    6. Zora, you are of course right. If inheritance did not work that way, working properties would long ago have been divided and divided to the extent that there were just hundreds of little plots. I just wish for a democratic monarchy, which of course is two opposing terms. And I know the modern-day monarchy is a business, one that vastly benefits the home country and is delightful in many ways. If I were British, I would be so appreciative to Charles for so many of the things he has done.

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  12. Very sweet. I suspect the adults and George actually found this a fun thing to do. It is also what most parents do with their children to help them understand the needs of others...helping at a soup kitchen, or a Christmas day food bank. or delivering food to people in the community or home made cookies to homeless shelters. It seems odd because they are doing it in a palace and being formally photographed, but the idea is the same. I actually suspect that the Cambridges take their kids to do other service activities during the year that are not photographed. Someone mentioned Georges shirt:) agree it might be time to change it up, if even going with a white shirt with red trim for the Christmas season. I bet the Queen loved the bit of private time with the group before they started recording and after.

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    1. Someone mentioned that it was all props. I think most of it was. But I suspect that George and family took the prepared ingredients and poured them into the bowls then George did a bit of mixing. The idea was to showcase the cause and hopefully they baked it up in the kitchen and showed George one of the finished puddings later on.

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    2. A Christmas pudding has to cook for a long time, and stays in the mould until Christmas day when it is reheated.
      I think they were at the stirring stage and each of the royals stirred his, perhaps added the poppy seeds ( it seems poppy seeds are an addition to the traditional recipe to mark remembrance.) They didn't do any real cooking but still they participated. I think it was a lovely idea.

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    3. Natacha, thank you. I know know nothing about Christmas pudding, but hopefully by Christmas Day George might see a sample of his pudding.

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  13. Special photos. But I cannot help to feel a bit sad for George. As Charlotte says, George must realise by now that he is different. Priviliged, yes, but not always easy....

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  14. adorable ! i am praying for prince philip right now her majesty is so strong !

    hope everyone on the blog has a merry christmas

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    1. Tammy from California22 December 2019 at 16:25

      Thank you Melissa! I hope you do too!

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  15. its nice and precious i love the queen prince charless and prince william and prince george its so special

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  16. It's very nice they are supporting the legion and releasing pictures, but these pictures are super awkward and the puddings are very obviously props. There's no way the royals had anything to do with making them! The queen doesn't even want to get near it, and who cooks with a handbag, and not in a kitchen! Also George is in that same style shirt for the previous portrait!

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    1. I agree, one should take these photos for what they are, no more and no less. It is a promotional photoshoot to highlight an important new initiative, while at the same time providing historical photos of 4 generations in line to the throne. And yes the cooking was purely there to set the scene. And maybe to give George something to do so that he feels more comfortable.

      If the photos was meant to give us a glimps of the royals when off duty they failed miserably. It is very clear that while HM and Charles are have fun watching George neither have ever cooked with him before. No surprise there.

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    2. The photos were taken to be used later as Charlotte stated. Of course the queen would not cook holding her handbag, neither would the men wear suits while preparing food. And little George is precious in his white shirt. I'm glad they shared the photos with the rest of us.

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    3. From these pictures you see they never cooked?? What does it mean? P.s. we have just seen William cooking in a cooking show.

      Camilla

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  17. What a fantastic idea and photos. It 's wonderful to see four generations together before Christmas. That meeting can be a kind of slow introduction for Prince George to royal duties without pressure.

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  18. NICE photos! Merry Christmas to all!
    XOXOXOXO

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  19. I agree with Kay. The royals did not make anything. Even obviously staged, am I the only one who thinks being around cooking\baking while wearing expensive, surely custom clothing is a little silly? Maybe at least an apron somewhere to be seen?

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    1. It is not mean to be a realistic day in the life sort of photo. It is a posed picture of the direct line of succession through four generations, and it is for a great cause!

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  20. While I always enjoy seeing new pictures of the Cambridge children, I have to admit that I don't care for these. They feel very staged and I think it is rather strange that the Queen cannot give her purse to an aid for at least a few minutes to take pictures. I think the cause behind these images is wonderful, but I wish the images were natural and accommodated the engagement better. Cooking/baking in dress clothes and in a palace room is very awkward, considering the cause.
    Hopefully a new relaxed Cambridge family picture will be released.

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    1. I am not sure why you are viewing this as a cambridge family photo. It seems to be nothing of the sort. It clearly seems to be a palace initiative, the first one that prince George is joining in. I don’t think they meant for them to be anything different than what they are. Let’s just take it for what it is and see what comes next.

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    2. Of course these photos are staged - they are a kick-off to a campaign and are not mean t9 be an intimate peak.

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  21. Tammy from California22 December 2019 at 16:47

    I like this photo op, even if others have stated that it's too staged. It's about starting the 99 puddings and is a great "kick-off" picture. The Queen continuously amazes me with how she ages. She looks fabulous, as always! Makes you wonder if staying busy with her head in the game is the way to go in life. To still be riding horses...unheard of. I am very impressed with the Cambridge kids. They all seem very well loved and although shy, they still demonstrate a healthy age-appropriate inner confidence.

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    1. I commented earlier about finding the photos just fine for what they are, a "kick-off' of a new campaign. They are fun, get the message out and also allowed George something to actually do...stir the lovely mixture.

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    2. I agree with everything you say, Tammy! The Queen was not trying to pretend she is Mary Berry :). I can see nothing wrong in the pictures being staged. (IMO it would seem ridiculous if William and Charles were wearing aprons). I love the pictures and hope they will bring a smile to many, especially those whom the initiative supports. It is true that for some people, Christmas can be a very lonely time.

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    3. I loved everything you said Tammy & I think what we have to remember is that these are the 4 being Professional! This is their job! :)

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    4. Well said Tammy and I completely agree ladies! I love the photos and that this is the start of a new tradition that includes four generations of the royal family! The second picture is my favorite! The Queen is amazing, purse and all!! Christmas can be a very difficult time for many and if this initiative in any way can bring some happiness and brightness to someone, then good because that's what its really all about. cc

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  22. I can't help but compare these to the Mary Berry Christmas special where W&K did an engaging 1 hour tv special that was also obviously planned but didnt look so staged. In this case it felt super staged and I hate to say it bit George felt like a prop. Doesnt look like HM and Charlea actually know how to cook at all.

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    1. Of course the Queen & Prince Charles do no know how to cook, and of course these are professionally staged photos with a purpose. I encourage you to go back and read the article so that you will understand their propose & significance.

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  23. Everything about this is exciting & lovely! Can't wait to hear the news! :) Happy Christmas & Holidays To All Of You Lovelies That Make Up This DKB Family, Especially Charlotte!! :) xx

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    1. Ditto that Becca USA!! Happy Holidays to all! cc

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    2. Thank you CeCe! And to you! πŸ˜ƒπŸŽ

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    3. Thank you Zora!! Have a wonderful holiday!! cc

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  24. Charlotte, you should have titled this post as "the case of the mysterious black bag and the boy in the little white shirt". Seems to be the focus of conversation...I am amused. Merry Christmas to all!

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  25. George shirt is just that. It's a uniform more. A formal shirt without a suit and tie.

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  26. Heavens do we not read what Charlotte posts. In black and white above is the British Legion's statement regarding their new initiative and how the generational Royal photograph is to show how the new initiative will support across the generations the Legion supports. The photograph was taken before the Queen's family lunch in the clothes worn for the lunch and was a work engagement not a family portrait as such but a promotional photograph for the Legion. It would have been convenient to take the photograph then with everyone already going to be there. The British don't tend to put small boys in suit and tie as some other countries do hence the formal shirt. Diversity is all about respecting other peoples practice even if it is divergent from our own ways.

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  27. Thank you, Libby!

    I also like how they are periodically releasing updated 4 generation photos, a nice plus on top of highlighting the Together for Christmas initiative.

    Border Terrier lover :-)

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  28. Town & Country website has an article on the ornaments on the tree you see in these photos and I absolutely love that there are several Corgi ornaments mixed in there.

    Border Terrier lover :-)

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    1. I really like the tree, too!

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  29. Thank you, Charlotte, for this post - it’s lovely to see the 4 generations together like this, promoting another Legion initiative. The tradition of making Christmas puddings, using a family recipe similar to the one above, crossed the ocean here to Canada quite a few generations ago. As children, my cousins and I used to be allowed to help stir the puddings, and I still remember the delicious smell penetrating the whole house when they were cooking. Hope everyone has a happy Christmas and New Year!

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  30. Hello Charlotte, are we having a review of the year for Kate too?

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    1. Hello,

      Yes of course. I usually publish it around New Years and will probably do the same this year.

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    2. Thank you, looking forward to it! Merry Xmas

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  31. I'm thrilled to hear Prince Philip is out of hospital!!

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    1. It is good news, isn't it??

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  32. Nicole from france24 December 2019 at 17:04

    Charlotte I do not’know If you accept links to Facebook, if so here is one where we see dear George working hard on his mixing , really lovely , quite nice to see him acting and beeing busy !https://www.facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy/videos/502775440353470/

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  33. I don't comment mostly now, but I will step in to say there's a fine old tradition of everyone in the family having a stir of the pudding, then making a wish and adding the sixpence. I confess we've never done it - although we make wishes in other ways. But someone over on Newmyroyals did say they still follow that and the royal family is all about the preservation of traditions in a changing world. The wooden spoon is part of that too.

    That seems to be the spirit of what is happening here, not an intended cooking demonstration. It's for a wonderful cause, (as is Camilla's support of Silver Line) since loneliness especially amongst the elderly is a huge problem at Christmas.

    Since it was before the Christmas lunch, everyone is dressed for the occasion. I thought George looked adorable and the three older members wonderfully proud.

    A Happy Christmas to Charlotte and all. It's not been the best of royal years although the Pakistan tour was a highlight for me - perhaps William and Kate's best tour ever.

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  34. Dear Julia I am happy to read your informative comment again. I really missed it. I hope you will join this community again. A huge thanks to Charlotte for her great work. Merry Christmas πŸŽ„πŸ˜€Anna

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  35. I always enjoy and learn from Julia. Happy holidays!

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  36. Julia, I am so glad to know that you are still around although I miss you sooo much! Your comments were alway so helpful to understanding what the RF represents. I posted something about the Christmas pudding tradition a few days ago but I think I must have erased it before I sent it. This week in my small tow in Arizona I went hunting for Christmas cake. Real Christmas cake. Impossible to find sadly. I looked online and oh my goodness, they cost the earth! I am one of the small minority that love small slices of Christmas cake with a good strong cheese and, in my pre-abstinence days, a nice glass of sherry. And, yes, I love pudding too and a couple of times was lucky enough to find the money (although in Canada we used a dime.)

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    1. Nice to hear from you Valerie and Allison, I miss the group here too.

      Horrible confession - I don't care for Christmas cake, even though I have Jane Asher's book and love to admire beautifully decorated ones. I prefer a chocolate sponge which is what we will be having this year for a slightly belated gathering. But I agree a proper Christmas cake goes very well with a good strong cheese and sherry - and think I will indulge in the latter at the mention of it.

      A Happy Christmas to all. The spaniels send doggy kisses - they are enjoying the contents of their stockings. This year the best dog card card from the king of Sweden and his Brandie - a beautiful creature. I would be very glad to see a snap of Lupo too one of these days - it's been too long.

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    2. Happy Christmas !
      It is lovely to hear from Julia... and Pippin! Like many here, I miss your posts.

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  37. I just saw the B/W photo of the children and William and I find it hard to describe. It is just beautiful, both physically and emotionally. What a lovely family.

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