Well, this was quite the week to release Christmas cards, no? Headline after headline was picking apart reported tension percolating within Kensington Palace, from feuds between the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex to sibling rivalry reaching a boiling point with Princes William and Harry. In the midst of this – perhaps to give the press something else to focus on as the Royal Family packed it in for the holiday – KP released two Christmas cards for each couple.
For our purposes, of course, these are not so much cards as they are images, but given that we don’t get them every year it is a nice end of year treat. In this case, the Cambridges’ card was what I think everyone was hoping for – a relaxed, informal image of the family of five with an updated look at the kids, especially Prince Louis.
This particular image was taken at Anmer Hall, the family’s country home in Norfolk. It hits me as the sequel to the card William and Kate released in 2015 – also taken at Anmer Hall – in which Prince George is still a toddler, Princess Charlotte is still a baby and, God help us all, Kate was experimenting with a fringe (read: bangs). We’ve all come a long way.
Three years later, George is wearing trousers, Charlotte has made it abundantly clear to the international press and her great-grandmother that she runs this show and Kate has cloned herself via Louis. (More so than any of the children, I think Louis is a full-blown Middleton in the looks department).
We’ve seen a good bit of George and Charlotte this year, from the two royal weddings to Trooping the Colour to the various horse shows and polo matches they accompanied their parents to this summer. And we’ve certainly seen some of Louis between his christening and the birthday photos released for the Prince of Wales last month, but this is our best shot of him looking so much like a little person – or at least a budding toddler.
There’s also something about seeing them all dressed down and not posing in a formal sitting room that makes it all seem a bit more intimate and real. As such, I think this year’s Christmas card is my new favorite from the family and it’s pitch perfect as a cherry on what has been a successful year for this crew all things considered (more on that later this week).
Finally, the Sussexes: this is very on-brand for them, no? Much like their engagement photos (I’m still recovering) and some of the more glamorous touches from the wedding, this definitely has a little touch of glitz and glitter that is usually missing from the House of Windsor. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s a gorgeous (and slightly dramatic) photo. I’ll be more interested in seeing what they do next year when they are finally a family of three and settled in their new home at Windsor.
Finally, here is a shot of the tree put up outside KP: