December is well underway, and households across the country – especially those of the royal kind – are getting ready for the season’s festive celebrations. And as is tradition, members of the British royal family are in the midst of releasing their annual Christmas cards. Take a look below at the royal family Christmas cards for 2022, from the King and Queen Consort, the Wales family and extended members of the cohort.
What are the royal family Christmas cards?
The tradition of royal portraits at Christmas (as we know it) began over a century ago in 1914, when King George V and Queen Mary sent out cards to British troops serving in World War One.
The introduction of the penny post in 1923 made it so that Christmas cards could be sent all over the UK, making it easier for the roya family to share their well-wishes with members of the public each festive season. One of the most notable early examples of a royal Christmas card comes from 1929, when the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) released a portrait with their three-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth of York (who went on to become Queen Elizabeth II).
The custom, while having a bit of a dreary origin, has gone on to ignite a much cheerier ritual among future royals, with an annual Christmas card released by various branches of the family each year.
The Royal Family Christmas Cards 2022
The Wales Family
The Prince and Princess of Wales are renowned for their more relaxed Christmas cards, having previously chosen photographs of the family on holiday in various parts of the world. This year, they chose a picture taken in Norfolk earlier this year by Matt Porteous, which shows William and Kate alongside their three children – Prince George, age nine, Princess Charlotte, age seven, and Prince Louis, age four – holding hands as they walk down a garden path. It is indicated that the photo was taken on the grounds of the family’s country home, Anmer Hall, which is part of the royal family’s Sandringham estate.
This is perhaps the most casual photo the Wales family has chosen for their annual Christmas portrait, with the parents dressed in jeans and shirts, the boys in shorts and polo shirts and Charlotte in a denim romper.
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King Charles III and the Queen Consort
The first card to be released from the royal family, Charles and Camilla debuted their first Christmas portrait together as King and Queen. Taken by Sam Hussein, the photograph shows the couple smiling together at the Braemar Royal Highland Gathering on 3 September 2022 – just a few days before the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
The event, which the then-Queen did not attend due to ill health, saw Charles, Camilla and the Princess Royal join the crowds of fans eager to watch the Highland Games. It also saw Charles officially open a new structure, the Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee Archway, celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park.
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Featured image: Tessa Rampersad, Unsplash