Wednesday, 16 December 2020

A New Family Photo for the Cambridges' Christmas Card

As hoped for, Kensington Palace released a high-res version of the Cambridges' Christmas card for this year. The couple continued their tradition of selecting outdoorsy casual family portraits taken at their country home Anmer Hall. Against the background of a log shed and sitting on hay bales, the family were all smiles with George beside William, a laughing Louis in the middle and Charlotte on Kate's knee. It's a beautiful family photo. The image was taken by Matt Porteous, a photographer they've commissioned for family photos on several occasions.

The Telegraph reports:

'Prince George is wearing a £12 Regatta fleece, while Princess Charlotte is in a £110 Ralph Lauren jumper and £259 Penelope Chilvers Mini Me Tassel Boots, a mini version of her mother’s much-loved Tassel Boots that she has worn on multiple occasions.

Inside, is a printed message reading: "Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.”

The card, released by Kensington Palace on Wednesday evening, was leaked last week after an NHS worker posted it on Facebook, having received it when the Cambridges attended a pantomime at the London Palladium to thank key workers.

Last year, a photo of the family’s annual card was leaked after Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty shared it with her 11,000 followers on social media. As a result, Kensington Palace chose not to officially release it.'

Normally at this time of year we would be discussing the Queen's annual pre-Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace. With George and Charlotte on school break since last Friday and London elevated to tier three restrictions (tier three is defined as 'very high alert') I wouldn't be surprised if the family have travelled to their Norfolk home. At this point their Christmas plans are unconfirmed, though it's thought they may celebrate with the Middleton family.

In the photo, the Duchess wore a dark red/burgundy sweater and skinny jeans. You'll notice Charlotte is matching her mum in a pair of Penelope Chilvers tassel boots.

It appears Kate wore her Marguerite blouse by Sรฉzane.

In 2014, William and Kate released adorable photos of Prince George (those cheeks!) taken on the steps of Kensington Palace by Prince Harry's former private secretary, Ed Lane Fox.

In 2015, they released a beautiful portrait taken among the autumn leaves at Kensington Palace. The Palace said the photograph was commissioned for their own use, but that the couple decided to make it public because they liked it so much. It was taken by Wiltshire-based photographer Chris Jelf.

In 2016, William and Kate chose a lovely image of the family taken during the Royal Tour of Canada for their Christmas card photo.


2017 saw the most formal photograph we've seen. It was taken at Kensington Palace by Chris Jackson.


It was an autumnal Anmer Hall portrait for 2018. I adore this one. The expressions on the children, the background, I expect it takes pride of place in their home.


And last year the family were coordinated in blue ensembles on a vintage motorbike.


Which Christmas card photo is your favourite? I hope your plans for the festivities are coming along well and you will have the opportunity to spend it with loved ones.

58 comments:

  1. What a beautiful picture. I'm really relieved that Charlotte is allowed to wear pants and George and Louis are allowed to wear jeans. I really thought that it would never happen. William and Harry when they were young were not seen in jeans.

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    1. Gorgeous photo. I also noted that Louis wasn't sporting short pants on the red carpet or in these photos. George was wearing jeans in 2018. The creep of modernization even at RF pace is a welcome thing.

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  2. This year's photo is my favorite. The whole family is pictured together, all smiling and casually dressed. They are indeed a lovely family, and include their children in so much of their work and play. God bless families all over the world. Merry Christmas to all of the readers and to you as well, Charlotte.

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  3. It's a lovely picture as they continue their theme of loving the country best! I am just a little astounded at the price of Charlotte's boots. Number one why do they charge so much for girl's clothes over boy's clothes and number two I can't imagine spending that much money on something Charlotte will grow out of in one year or less. Perhaps she bought them a size too big!

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    1. It's true the boots are expensive; however, I'm sure they won't be thrown away when Charlotte grows out of them. The Cambridges have a lot of friends and they are patrons of many charities; I'm sure that after Charlotte, the boots will serve another kid, perhaps several kids, for a long time.

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    2. I thought the same thing about the boots, but for the most part Kate seems pretty conscious about the clothes she puts on her children and most are relatively affordable. Who knows maybe they were given to her by a friend or will be passed along. I have indulged in a few things for my son that were pricier than I normally would spend, so I’m sure if I had a girl I might do it more often!!

      Hope from USA

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  4. Courtney, Maryland USA16 December 2020 at 23:08

    Love this year’s card! Cant get over the mini tassel boots on Charlotte to match mom!

    Thanks for reminders of their past cards, fun to look back.

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  5. I love the autumnal Anmer Hall portrait of 2018 in particular, followed by this year's picture. Both very relaxed ensemble I think, but each photo is charming in its own right.

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  6. Just LOVE 2014 and 2019 (Eugรฉnie). Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures of the Cambridge.

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  7. It is hard to pick a favorite. It is fun to look back and see how the children have grown and changed over the years. I’m going to miss the Christmas morning pictures. With the time difference, I was able to scroll through them with my coffee while waiting for my family to get up and about. Then I’d show them the pictures and they would roll their eyes!! Boys/men!!

    Hope from USA

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  8. I love them all...they're such a beautiful family, but 2018 looked like so much fun, you can almost hear the laughter. The formal one is great, too...Catherine is just an absolute beauty and so amazingly regal.

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  9. Thanks Charlotte! This year's photo is my absolute favorite! :) So glad KP decided to release a high res edition that we all could enjoy! :) xoxo

    I went online to order some additional items from Fortnum & Mason for the upcoming Holiday weeks, as we are hunkered down here in the states. That's when I saw on their website about London being upgraded to Tier 3. I also saw, that unlike past years, just like over here most of their usual plentiful Christmas goodies & items are sold out! It's such a strange time we are all living through.

    My husband, as a Dr. on the front lines, will be getting his 1st dose of the vaccine shortly! What a time we are living through. I keep telling my school age granddaughters that one day they will be telling their children & grandchildren all about his time we are living through!

    This may sound odd... but once I got over the grieving process (earlier this fall) realizing that we wouldn't have Thanksgiving & Christmas like usual.... what has come over me is a kind of peacefulness. I find joy in chats with my kids & grandkids. My granddaughters & I have Christmas Movie Watching Parties (watching at the same time & chatting over FaceTime or zoom) we have become inventive & somehow when I released my expectations... the peace settled & we all continue to find creative ways to see one another (virtually or in person, outside briefly at a distance) & to celebrate virtually! I'm actually looking forward to a cozy Christmas at home with special time just my husband & I... something that we would never have done under normal circumstances, but something that I'm really looking forward to. Instead of a flurry of a Crazy Holiday Schedule.... we've filled our nights with cozy time by the fire & the tree. Time cooking together & so much time for wonderful conversations & having fun exploring the many shows to binge! It's become it's own type of surprise adventure!

    My wish is that all of us can, amid the changes & challenges to our lives.... that we can find all the blessings tucked in between! I also pray for those of you who have suffered physically during this time & for those of you who have lost a loved one to this awful virus... or because of the disturbance to our medical systems that it has caused! (I have a surgery I need, that would normally have been done on me in Nov. but because of Covid... I have to wait until Feb.)

    Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you all & I'm so grateful for having Charlotte, DKB & all of you in my life!
    Blessings,
    Becca USA

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    1. Blessings to you, Becca! x & to Charlotte & all DKB readers ❤️

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    2. What a beautiful comment, Becca! ❤️Thank you for sharing your experience; I wish we could all find some peace at this difficult time. I love the creative ways in which you keep in touch with your loved ones - your Christmas Movie Watching Parties are definitely a great idea!! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Take care and enjoy the blessings you have found for yourself and your family! ๐ŸŽ„

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    3. Thanks Becca for your uplifting comments. I agree that new peace is found as things are forced to become more simple and personal. I too am visiting with my children and grands on video chat, and I see them now more than ever! Bless you and your family during this time, and may God keep you safe.

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    4. Becca, thank you! There are blessings to be found everywhere! Happy Christmas!

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  10. Thank you for posting the past years' photos so that we can compare and track the children's growth. Such a charming family.

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  11. Absolute darling of a photo!! ๐ŸŒน❤️ Merry Christmas to you all!!

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  12. Does anyone else see Lady Louise in George?
    Absolutely lovely photo!!

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  13. What a beautiful family. They are all precious. Merry Christmas to all.

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  14. nice relaxed xmas card. the kids are such cuties

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  15. Thank you Charlotte for your post and also for the retrospective. The photos are lovely. I think my favourite is this year's. Love the expressions on the children's faces. It is a very different Christmas this year, however I do think we have become accustomed to buzzing here there and everywhere at ease. It has only recently become this easy. When I moved overseas it was twenty years before I saw my family again. Travel was expensive and there was no zoom or FaceTime. And I am sure there are many immigrants all over the world who are in a similar position. Perhaps it is a good time to have a bit of quiet in this mad hectic world of ours and look into the cause of things. Please take care everyone and best wishes to you all.

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  16. I love this year’s photo! The children look so grownup! William & Kate look very settled & content; a lovely family photo ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  17. I definitely prefer the autumnal pictures. They, at least look somewhat in season. The others have absolutely no connection. I am saying for some time now, they should start a more coordinated picture/portrait release strategy. Autumnal (or actually Christmassy you know) ones for Christmas, birthday portraits (solo and group) and additionally a more regal family portrait at Wiliams birthday. I do like that we see more pictures with the Queen and her heirs.
    C.

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    1. I really like your suggested scheme for releasing pictures, C., especially the one about having a formal portrait for William's birthday. Given that he was born in June, it would be a perfect counterpoint to the annual Christmas release, and it could look forward to the time when he's king and the annual formal birthday observance for the sovereign could actually coincide with his actual birthday.

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  18. Merry Christmas, Charlotte! A huge thank you for providing this blog, it has become a site I can visit for respite and enjoyment! Thanks for the hours of positive reading and viewing, I surely need during this horrendously stressful time. The blog gives me and I am sure many others moments when we can step away from all of the difficulties.

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    1. Very true. Written with empathy and knowledge; and I love the sense of history most posts display. Following the Royals is my respite from everyday life. However, since there is
      so much drivel out there, this is the only blog I want to follow.

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  19. Valerie in Arizona17 December 2020 at 14:51

    To me, Louis’ expression in this year’s photo exemplifies the Christmas season—the joy and exuberance. Just like George’s two years ago. They are a beautiful, naturally happy family. As someone else said, William looks relaxed, and so content. As well he should be. This is what family is, closeness, naturalness. Happy Christmas!!

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  20. Tammy from California17 December 2020 at 17:55

    Well, I am with you Charlotte, the one at Anmer Hall is my favorite. This year is a close second with the motorbike one from last year.

    I'm wondering if Kate's red sweater is the one from J.Crew that she also has in green? It looks like it.

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  21. This is such a contented photo, if there is such a word. I am so glad they released a high res version, I could never understand last year’s argument that the photo leaked so they decided not to release it. How can something be “leaked” if you have send it out to hundreds of people? And why then not release it? Of course they don’t have to release a picture, it is completely their choice, but just never made sense to me to have such a lovely picture in the public arena, but only grainy and bad quality versions.

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  22. Charlotte - thank you so much for all of your consistently excellent posts! I love this year's Christmas photo. George is growing into such a handsome young man. Louis is definitely a Middleton! And, the more we see of Charlotte, the more she resembles Queen Elizabeth.
    Lovely family photo...William and Kate look so happy, despite the many challenges of 2020. They are truly preparing for their future leadership roles.
    Happy Holidays to all! It will be different this year, but it will still be a special time. Stay safe and hope we all are able to receive our vaccine soon!

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  23. Beautiful family photograph. I really hope the kids enjoyed the panto. They deserve a break over Christmas, hopefully a Christmas photo will be released. The work done by both in this current crisis, has been exceptional.

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  24. I like the Christmas card tradition! I think when they were first married they were extremely protective of their privacy so they didn't release cards and I'm glad they are at a place where they feel more relaxed about access because for them, our future King and Queen, some access was inevitable.

    I enjoy all the photos but I agree with other people that it would be nice to see something really Christmassy. At the moment, autumnal is as close as they've got! My favourite photo was 2015, maybe partly because photos back then were much rarer so it stood out.

    My least favourite was 2017. I like the idea of them doing more formal portraits but W & K are so tall that they tower over the toddlers and the composition is a bit off. I do like Kate's suit in that one though.
    I love all the Amner Hall ones and I definitely think there is a certain wisdom in going for the outdoor vibe. The lack of status symbols makes them look friendly and quite literally 'down to earth'. I think all Kate's photos are great and I think that as an Art History graduate, she really understands how the pictures will be received. She has great taste and a beautiful family. I'll miss seeing them at Christmas. As we're unlikely to get more photos now, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

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    1. What a great point about Kate's art history background, her understanding of photography, and the tendency to be more country casual and outdoorsy. Also think the photos depict the way Kate lives her life outside of the palace, easy going and down to earth. Love all of the photos, but particularly like 2018 and 2020. It's also a treat to see the children grow up in front of us!

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  25. A lovely photograph of a lovely family - and a delightful reminiscence of Christmases past. Thank you.

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  26. Love 2019, this year and 2018. The formal one is gorgeous but just feels colder in the formal style.

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    1. I think the formal one is beautiful but its the composition of it that makes it feel cold. Everybody is standing and with Kate and William being so tall, the family feels disconnected. Also the absence of anything in the background makes it seem less warm and familiar. Otherwise love the individual looks of the family, especially Charlotte who seemed to be starting to show us little bits of her personality!

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  27. This year is my favorite! Everyone looks happy & I love the sweaters, especially Charlotte’s. She is looking more & more like William & the Windsors. George is becoming a good mix of both families & Louis is a Middleton mini me.

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  28. I think I am in the minority—my favorite is the 2017 portrait. I like my royals regal!
    Beth in Sf

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    1. I get what you are saying Beth in SF. Think they should find a happy medium with a mix of both, especially since William and George are heirs to the throne. Miss some of the posed photos that were more prevalent with William and Harry.

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  29. Beautiful photo. I also would love a more Christmas feel to their holiday photo release. But I also happen to love Christmas decorations and cards.

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  30. Thank you Charlotte ! These photos are so wonderful to see. I do like this year the best. Everyone , have a safe and Merry Christmas. We are doing our family gatherings on Zoom. The upside is that Zoom has got more cousins connected this year from so many far away places.

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  31. 20 Dec., late evening. Stopped by here thinking of all the years before when the Sunday before Christmas often featured the royals walking to a church service. Sigh. Thank you, Charlotte, for persevering through a really tough time. Hang in there everyone!

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  32. beautiful family photo the children look and there are growing so fast

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  33. Thank you Charlotte! What a treat - all the Christmas Cards of the past years! I really disliked the formal one except for the children’s expressions. I love the portrait of Prince George. I believe it will stand the test of time. It is such a good picture. My favourite picture is the family/ tree picture. I feel this is very much how they see themselves and like to spend their
    precious family time. Christmas Blessings to all of you!

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  34. Charlotte, are you saving up a Kate Loves as a Christmas treat? I will miss seeing the RF on Christmas morning. It is something I look forward to every year. Thank you, Charlotte, for keeping this wonderful blog that we enjoy so much going!
    Beth in SF

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  35. I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. It's a very different Christmas for many of us following an unprecedented year. I hope despite the ongoing challenges you all have the chance to enjoy it and celebrate with loved ones.

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    1. Thank you, dear Charlotte! Happy Christmas to you and yours and take care! ๐Ÿ™❤️๐ŸŽ„
      Happy Christmas to all fellow DKB readers!!!

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    2. Best wishes to you Charlotte and thank you for your wonderful blog. It has helped many of us get through our days in this troubled year. I have just read William and Kate's Chistmas post on Instagram, how measured, empathetic and in tune with the nation's mood.

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    3. Merry Christmas Charlotte. Thank you for all the years of following Duchess Kate. Looking forward to a better 2021 for all. Love to everyone from Costa Mesa, California ❤️๐ŸŽ„

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    4. Merry Christmas Charlotte and a heartfelt thank you for all you do to give us a wonderful place to escape and enjoy. It was wonderful to hear the Queen's speech, it's clear that it is her faith from which she draws so much strength. Best wishes to everybody! cc

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  36. Merry Christmas to all of you.

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  37. Annette New Zealand31 December 2020 at 14:14

    Both the Queen and the Prince of Wales appears to be passing some of their customary public events over to William and Kate. Eg the 2019 Royal Variety concert for the New Year. It appears more and more likely that the Cambridges and the Wessexes will have to shoulder many more of these sorts of duties as the older members of the family are maybe feeling their ages.

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  38. Happy, Healthy and prosperous New Year to every one.

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  39. Wonderful photography! Can't get over how much Louis looks like Kate's Dad!

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  40. Haha! I see George and I can't believe how much he looks like Michael Middleton. We must all see different things.
    Happy New Year Everyone!
    Looking forward to your next post, Charlotte!

    Rachel from Blaine, WA, USA

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    1. You are so right Rachel, we all see different things. I see a mixture of Michael Middleton and some Spencer in George, while Charlotte takes after William, and Louis well he's pretty clearly Kate and Michael Middleton. Happy New Year Everybody! Stay safe out there.

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