The Cambridges & Sussexes released their sweet Christmas card photos


cambridge christmas

I wondered when the royals would release new portraits for Christmas. It’s a thing – each royal household generally releases a new image (or a never-before-seen image) for their Christmas/holiday card, and the images are also released on social media. Prince Charles and his sons seemed to coordinate their photo releases, because they all seemed to drop around the same time. If you’re asking me to declare a winner… the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge won. They gave us a completely new photo – take by Matt Porteous – with all three kids at Anmer Hall. The vibe is very autumnal and low-key, and I like the fact that the kids are super-posed. George looks like he just jumped into the frame at the last minute, and Charlotte looks like she’s about to jump out of the frame. As for Prince Lou… this baby has a FACE. I still think he looks more Middleton than Windsor/Wales.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released the image they used for their Christmas card just moments after the Cambridges. They didn’t pose for anything new – this is just a never-before-seen picture from their wedding celebration. The photo was taken at Frogmore House, during the fireworks at the reception. You can see the back of Meghan’s Stella McCartney reception gown. The photo was taken by Chri Allerton.

sussex christmas

And finally, here’s Prince Charles and Camilla’s card. I can tell from the clothes that it’s part of the photoshoot for Charles’ 70th birthday, the same shoot that was organized with the Cambridges and Sussexes. The photographer just posed Charles and Camilla together on that same bench. I love it.

cornwall wales

Photos courtesy of Clarence House and Kensington Palace.

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144 Responses to “The Cambridges & Sussexes released their sweet Christmas card photos”

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  1. Lucy2 says:

    All are very nice! The fireworks one especially.

    • minx says:

      Really, each picture is different and all are very sweet.

    • Josephine says:

      I’m distracted by the odd angle of his leg in the fireworks one! But yes, each lovely and each its own style.

      • JRock says:

        I thought so, too, but looking at it from a shape of their placement, they look like either a (possibly backward) royal R or M. That’s sweet!

      • PrincessK says:

        Harry’s leg often juts out like that. His legs move just like Diana’s, her leg used to jut out too.

      • Wilady says:

        I think his leg is what brings your eyes back around the picture again and it doesn’t just stop at a centered couple. His pose says to me, “yep. I’m complete.” I think it makes it look honest and really sweet.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    They’re all lovely, but I’m a sucker for a gorgeous black and white photo a la the Sussex’s.

  3. Kitty says:

    Man those kids are friggin adorable.

    • AnnaKist says:

      Aren’t thy ever! That little bub…ooooooooh!

      • Jan90067 says:

        Louis is all Kate…those eyebrows! That smirky smile…sweet!
        Char is looking more and more like William, yet she has Di’s “ head down, look up through your eyelashes” pose. Wonder if that is an inherited trait? William used to do it when he was young, too. And George….oh, George! He looks like a little boy who is full of life and mischief! Such beautiful kids!!! Will and *definitely* Kate look SO much happier and relaxed than they ever have. I think they’ve finally “settled in”. Beautiful family.

        H & M look like an “it’s only us, in love, in this world”… perfectly lovely and romantic for a couple on the eve of starting married life together. Gorgeous shot.

        C&C… old marrieds, comfortable, and content, happy together. While I stil. Don’t like their past behaviors, they’re growing on me in their roles.

        When do we get to see TQ’s (and PP’s) card?

      • Rosie says:

        Good review Jan. I’m not a romantic person but I melted a bit when I saw that pic.

    • minx says:

      Very beautiful kids.

    • Erinn says:

      I’m not someone who generally freaks out over babies – I think a lot are cute, but I’m much more amused by the time they hit toddler years. But man – that little smirk on Louis face has me grinning. He looks like he is HERE for the photos and it’s hilarious. I love that George and Charlotte actually look like kids who are having fun here – it makes for a much nicer photo than having kids forced to sit still in an uncomfortable position.

      The fireworks photo is also super pretty – I love that it’s a shot from the back. And Charles and Camilla look lovely as well.

    • Sam Louise says:

      I can’t get over how grown up little Louis is! He’s quite the little man, isn’t he?

  4. LORENA says:

    Love them all but especially the Cambridges! It looks so natural and relaxed, they really do have a beautiful family and look really happy.

    I actually like the Stella McCartney dress more than Meghan’s ceremony dress

    • smcollins says:

      I agree on both. I’m not a fan of overly staged & posed family portraits, and I absolutely loved Meghan’s reception dress. Gorgeous. All the photos are beautiful.

  5. Lulu says:

    Fireworks for the win! So romantic and holidayish and classic all at once!

  6. grabbyhands says:

    I can’t hate on any of these – they all look wonderful and natural.

    Even though George’s Baby Churchill will probably be my favorite baby phase of all time, Louis is giving him a run for his money.

  7. Sassy says:

    The Cambs won this round nothing can beat cute kids.

  8. Belluga says:

    George was finally allowed to wear trousers!

    Love Charles and Camilla’s photo, very sweet.

    • AnnaKist says:

      Trousers an wellies!

    • Rapunzel says:

      And George looks so much taller as a result of having real pants!

    • Original T.C. says:

      George wearing trousers and Prince Louie wearing hose was the first things I picked out! LOL. My pet peeve had always been the little boys being half naked in cold weather wearing only shorts! That custom needs to die out. Sorry UK pals, no offense just seems unhealthy! I’m glad that Kate and Wills have finally seen the light and protected little Louie’s legs from the cold.

      Although I’m bias and usually pick the picture with the kiddos, this time I like all three. It shows the stages of life: the newlyweds, the growing family, and the later comfortable gray years. They all three fit together in a way. Way to all Royals!!!

      • Bohemian Angel says:

        Boys don’t dress like that here in the UK, that’s just Kate’s thing, trying to go back in time. Shorts are usually worn in spring/summer and then trousers for the winter months.

      • Meganbot2000 says:

        It’s not even a Royal thing, just a Royal formal occasion/photoshoot thing. The kids don’t dress like that in every day life, and certainly no non-royal British kid is wearing shorts (except for sports maybe) in December.

      • iconoclast59 says:

        Replying to Bohemian Angel: Reportedly, Kate dresses the kids retro style in photo shoots for 2 reasons: 1) The look is classic and the photos are less likely to look so dated over time; and 2) When they wear normal street clothes, they’re less recognizable and thus more able to be normal kids. I remember reading a story about how George’s nanny took him to a public park and nobody even knew it was him!

      • Bohemian Angel says:

        @ICONOCLAST59 actually kudos to her, it makes sense. If I were in the public eye I would have a public image different to my private one, in order to keep my private life private. So I see what she’s doing.

    • Abby says:

      That was my thought too!

  9. LaraK says:

    Charlotte is always my favorite.
    That kid just got all the personality! She will be amazing as an adult, but in the meantime I love her photos.

  10. manda says:

    The photos are all beautiful, but none of them are christmasy at all. And that’s fine but it’s blah

    • Chaine says:

      Most of the photo cards I get aren’t Christmassy any more. It’s usually family in casual matching outfits hanging out at the beach, or in front of a big tree like the Cambridges did. I do miss back in the day when there was more of an effort to do a holiday theme.

    • jan90067 says:

      The inside of C & C’s photo does say “Happy Christmas….”, so there ya go!

    • Rosie says:

      Agreed. You go to the trouble of curating objects and decorating to create the feeling of a snowy Christmas, and then we’re expected to put the equivalent of peoples summer holiday snaps up.

    • Isabelle says:

      Really? Camilla and Charles look very much in love.

      • Rosie says:

        Really! 😊 I was joking about curating objects but I do like traditional Christmas cards. Sending photo Christmas cards isn’t usual in the UK. They are beautiful pictures but they aren’t very festive. I’d put one or two up but if everyone sent me an unseasonal photo card they wouldn’t be on display. They’d clash with my garlands

  11. Alexandria says:

    All of them look very nice. It’s a PR win. I do wish Charles was holding Camilla’s hand though heh. It’s nice to see older folks be affectionate.

  12. Becks1 says:

    Those Cambridge kids are CUTE. Their personalities really come through here.

    Kate and will both look nice (nice to see Will in jeans and a plaid shirt, no blue sweater for him!) but this is definitely Kate’s “fall pictures outside” uniform. It cracks me up because I definitely have uniforms as well.

  13. Beth says:

    The kids are adorable and the pictures are great, but aren’t Christmas card pictures supposed to have something about Christmas (maybe they could’ve worn Santa hats) that brings on the holiday spirit?

    • Lolly says:

      Yes, but why can’t they be inclusive to everyone that lives in their country? I like the way that all three families didn’t harp on a Christmas theme. I love Christmas, and I wouldn’t be upset if they did, but this is a nice surprise too.

      I love those kids!

    • Josie says:

      Christmas photos cards are not really done in the UK, so the royal family cards don’t have a cultural pattern to follow. These cards are typically sent to supporters as end-of-year recognitions and it’s entirely typical for them to have no seasonal details whatsoever.

    • Peg says:

      Most likely some of the people receiving the photos, do not celebrate Christmas.

    • broodytrudy says:

      In my circles, most people just send out photos of family shoots they have during the year. I think I’ve gotten more fall photos than winter ones. It doesn’t strike me as odd at all.

    • Anastasia says:

      I think it’s more that the end of the year is a time to look at this moment in time, this year, this is who we are now. I like that. And I say that as a HUGE fan of Christmas.

    • Erinn says:

      We get a mix – family portraits and the occasional really Christmas-themed one.

      My favorite so far this year is the one we got from a friend of mine. It’s the babies first christmas, and they have her dressed in red plaid, and there’s some lights and a tree just peaking in the corned. But it says “Merry Everything” which I thought was cute, and inclusive.

    • MaryContrary says:

      Most of the holiday photo cards we receive are not remotely “Christmas themed.” They’re just cute pics of the family or kids together-several are from summer vacation or even graduations where everyone is together.

    • Abby says:

      Most of the cards I get have photos where the family is in coordinating clothes, not necessarily christmas themed clothes. The card itself is christmassy, but not the photo. Same with my family. We pick fall outfits.

  14. Elisa says:

    Louis is so big already! And Charlotte will be a stunner one day.
    Great pics, though none of them look particularly christmassy.

  15. Ellaus says:

    I really like all three pictures! The Sussex one is so festive, as if you were at a New Years party, classic in white and black and H and M as a team against everything.
    The Cambridge kids are really cute, Charlotte has such a personality, and George full of spunk! K and W look relaxed and happy so that is a plus.
    Charles and Camilla, looking great and affectionate.

    If i had to say something negative, it would be that I wished the pictures were a bit more “Christmassy”…. But heck, the three are lovely!

  16. khalissa says:

    Louis is so cute ❤

  17. Cidy says:

    Aw, I love them all!

  18. Royalwatcher says:

    Soooo…shouldn’t those 500 articles from royal reporters and “experts” be dropping right about now about his Camilla has her legs crossed and how she’s breaking all sorts of protocols and how the queen is going to disinvite her from the Christmas hols?! I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath on that since faux outrage seems to be reserved for only one royal duchess.

    On a serious note, I LOVE all three photos and am happy that they’ve released them. I’m also glad little George is finally in “normal” pants.

  19. Jegede says:

    Charlotte gets prettier and prettier.

    She looks more like her dad as she grows.

  20. Guest says:

    William and Kate’s one looks like a Sears ad. Cute kids though. They do have make cute babies so at least they have that going for them.

    Meghan and harry looks boring and not very festive. Guess next year will be different with their baby. Charles and camilla looks homely.

    • Rapunzel says:

      Um….Meg and Harry have fireworks on their card. How is that not festive?

    • Nikki says:

      Everyone is completely entitled to their own opinions, but after reading your dour take, I want to offer you some delicious eggnog spiked with good rum!

    • minx says:

      Not to pull the “when you have kids” thing, but I guess I am lol…relatives and friends want to see your children clearly, how much they have grown, etc. So sometimes pictures with kids might not be the most arty.

  21. Enn says:

    I love them all!

    Most of the picture cards I get aren’t “Christmas” themed. It’s more of a “happy holidays, here’s a great pic of us this year” thing. Plus there’s the whole thing about not everyone celebrating Christmas.

  22. Jessica says:

    Ok let’s not turn Xmas photos into a competition. That’s kind of strange. But both pictures are nice.

  23. Nona says:

    It’s funny, I’m not a big royal watcher, but I was interested in all the Cambridge babies. I imagined George would be full of boyish charm, and he is. I hoped Charlotte would be spunky, and boy is she! She manages to be both impish and regal at the same time. But I couldn’t picture what little Lou would bring to the table … and WOW! He’s just here to steal the show, isn’t he? Can’t barely take my eyes off him!
    Love all the photos. Three different views of love at different stages.

  24. L84Tea says:

    All 3 are beautiful photos and have distinctly different feelings to them, but they all seem to radiate love and happiness. No complaints here. And Louis, man. That face has me grinning from ear to ear. What a cute little stinker!!

  25. T.Fanty says:

    Louis’ eyebrows are everything. That is all.

  26. Chef Grace says:

    Ah that wee Prince Lou.
    Heartbreaker in training. 💔😘
    I think all the pics are great.

  27. My3cents says:

    Louis is very Middleton at this stage , but at this age it might completely change by next year, cute photos all around.

  28. Everley says:

    Harry’s head looks like an man’s from behind.

  29. Upstate Diva says:

    Nona, I like your take about stages. I much prefer this year with the Cambridges than last year’s pale blue no personality one. Everyone looks like themselves, and the kids are cute and fun — George in pants, finally free from cosplay. I love the Sussex foto, feels like a gorgeous gift. All three photos show love, and I am here for it.

  30. kellybean says:

    I swear those Cambridge kids are so freaking adorable and they have the most expressive faces. For a photo that isn’t candid, the kids still look amazingly relaxed and natural. Love how they aren’t matchy-matchy in their outfits. Kate really has given off an impression of being happier and more relaxed since the birth of Louis.

  31. ChillyWilly says:

    Little Louis looks EXACTLY like Kate! No wonder he’s her favorite! Lol

  32. Cerys says:

    All 3 pictures are lovely in their own ways. The Cambridge children are adorable.

  33. DC Cliche says:

    These are lovely, but is Louis wearing …. velvet shorts under tights? Is this the latest in baby fashion and my godkids are just behind?

  34. Snap Happy says:

    It looks like Kate is holding a mini version of her dad. Louis is very cute.

    • L84Tea says:

      See, to me George is a mini version of Michael Middleton. When I see Louis, I see the mini male version of Kate.

  35. Nikki says:

    So nice to have a HAPPY article about the royals!! Lovely photos, all! :)

  36. TheOriginalMia says:

    Lovely photos all of them.

  37. Amelie says:

    I’m not sure who sends holiday themed pictures with their Christmas cards? My family never does that and we’ve been doing Christmas photos since the 90s.

    These are all great pictures. The Cambridge photo reminds me of the typical fall family themed holiday card–if I didn’t know they were British, I would think this was a white American family lol. So nice to see George finally allowed to wear pants. I forget what age it is British boys are allowed to “graduate” from shorts to pants but I always found that rule so weird. I notice Louis is wearing tights underneath his shorts! Why not just put pants on him? (Also I finally see the Michael Middleton resemblance everyone keeps mentioning) I wouldn’t be surprised if he borrowed a pair of Charlotte’s tights.

    The Sussexes is such a great private moment during their wedding, I think there’s is my favorite simply because of the black and white. And Charles looks so tickled in his picture, like he’s telling Camilla “So I made it to 70! Cool!”

  38. Aimee says:

    Louis and that little face he made. I just can’t! Kate and her children are beyond gorgeous!

  39. Tiffany says:

    Is it weird that I keep forgetting The Cambridges are parents to 3. Why is it I keep forgetting about Louis?

    And Louis is a dead ringer for Grandpa Michael.

  40. KBeth says:

    Those kids are so darn cute!

  41. Lexa says:

    Louis is such an adorable little peanut! I love the Cambridge card because it seems to show each kid’s personality. The Sussex card is so beautiful and features their signature behind the back hand hold, but I wish we could see their faces.

  42. Anne Ruisi says:

    I think baby Louis looks like Kate’s father.

    • jan90067 says:

      I think George, overall, looks more “Michael”. Louis seems to have Mike’s smile, and Kate’s eyes. He’s *definitely* a Middleton. Char is all William (and Di’s “looking up/chin down” look; Wills had it as well, esp. when young). JMO 😊

  43. Lisa says:

    Love all the cards. Different and perfect for each family.

  44. Fluffy Princess says:

    I love all the photos! Each one seems to really represent each family and where they are in their lives right now.

    My only wish, and maybe it’s an American thing, but I do wish the cards were more “Christmas-sy” looking. Late fall photos or something that doesn’t scream summer/early fall.
    But that is a nitpicky thing.

    Look at little Louis! He is adorable. George and Charlotte have such personality and it shines through!

    Romantic shot from Harry and Meghan — SUCK IT HATERS, they are in “lurve” and this card is a great choice.

    Love Charles and Camilla’s card too, very sweet.

    All around claps!!

  45. Berry says:

    I can’t believe all three Cambridge kids are looking at the camera!

    • minx says:

      I know, do you know how difficult that is to get three very young children to look at the camera at the same time?!

  46. Louise says:

    Princess Charlotte is wearing a sweater that is a hand me down sweater from Orince George!! How cur3 is that

  47. Leyton says:

    All the cards are wonderful in their own way.

    I’m impartial to the Sussex card because I love the black and white, add in the fireworks, and hand holding and you just feel this was a very intimate and surreal moment for two people who just got married. The ending of a day filled with fairytale pomp!

    I’m American but I do wish they would all would have more Christmas-y cards but the Sussex comes close because it feels like a New Years/Holiday card.

  48. Paisley says:

    Beautiful, tasteful pictures.

  49. Jeanie says:

    Beautiful photo, much better xmas photo from the Cambridge’s this year. Chatlotte reminds me of Diana especially that pose.

  50. Charfromdarock says:

    All the cards are lovely.

    The Wales looking happy and content with each other and life.

    The Sussexs looking towards an exciting start in life.

    The Cambridges in their prime family years with Normal Bill in his normal plaid dad shirt. 😉

  51. Lady D says:

    I really like all three pictures, but Cambridge ftw.

  52. Mego says:

    Wonderful family picture – their best one yet.

  53. Big Eyes says:

    The three of them are nice photos; family love, the recent married love, the oldie love. :)

  54. starryfish29 says:

    The Cambridges photo is a vast improvement over the Sears portrait studio one they put out last year; William’s shirt is not a good look though. I love the behind the scenes wedding photo; I love black & white photos, and the way they are holding each other is very sweet. Almost all newly married couples use wedding photos for their Christmas cards; a snapshot of the biggest moment of their year, so it’s no surprise that they followed suit.

  55. Carmen AIC says:

    All the photos are lovely but I’m so distracted by the top of Harry’s head.

  56. MaryContrary says:

    Aw-the kid wrangling to try and get a photo where everyone is smiling and looking in the same direction. I can imagine the discussion of “If only George had his leg down” and then “Let’s use it anyway-it’s cute and at least he’s smiling.”

  57. Olive says:

    the Sussex shot is lovely but really shows off Harry’s bald spot, eeek

  58. Beach Dreams says:

    All nice photos but the overexposure on the Cambridge one is distracting.

  59. JustSayin' says:

    All the kids look like Middletons.

    Louis has pippas slightly slanted hooded eyes. Charlotte is all Carole and George is all Michael.

  60. Ella says:

    The family picture is so cute. The kids are adorable. However, none of these cards can top these cute photos from the Swedish crown princess https://www.instagram.com/p/BrUkNKYlpsy/. They are my favorite royal family.

    • starryfish29 says:

      The Swedes are my favorite royals; Victoria & Daniel are my favorite royal love story next to Harry & Meghan, their family is beautiful.

    • Fluffy Princess says:

      Wow! This kids have gotten so big! Aren’t they darling? I love this photo!

  61. paddingtonjr says:

    Great pictures! I love that the Cambridges went with a less-posed picture and just let the kids show some of their personalities. Louis is a cutie chunk, Charlotte has that shy smile down and George looks like a ball of energy. W&K look happy and relaxed.

    I like H&M’s picture: it’s a simple, sophisticated shot of just them. It looks like they were caught in an intimate moment and they just radiant contentment and peace.

  62. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    This is the best Cambridge family photo I’ve ever seen. Will and Kate look happy and the kids are allowed to be kids. Well done.

    Perfect snap to sum up Harry and Meghan’s year. The leg positioning is a little odd but it’s a minor quibble.

    Charles and Camilla look lovely, as always.

  63. Lithe says:

    The Cambridges’ photo is the winner by a mile, IMO, and not just because the kids are impossibly heart-meltingly adorable. Everyone looks happy, relaxed, and natural (well…sort of, in William’s case). And here’s a setting where Kate’s beloved jeggings blend in nicely. :)

    I don’t mind the Sussexes’ photo, but I personally don’t love it for the occasion. For a Christmas family photo, I want to see colour, warmth and a bit of humour, and I’m not getting that from this particular picture. But, if the choice of black and white is a subtle dig at their racist detractors, I’m here for it. Maybe. Not gonna lie—I’m REALLY looking forward to their family photo next year. In my mind, Kate’s already thinking about how to up her game to win the contest again and I’m here for that too!

    Charles and Camilla’s makes me laugh because it looks like he is discreetly asking, “OK, does it look like the photographer is done now?” and she is like, “Stop asking me that” while trying not to move her lips. Never thought those two would grow on me, but they have.

  64. Misty says:

    The photos are lovely and the kids are sweet and adorable however I am annoyed by how much they airbrushed the Cambridges. It’s so unnecessary and takes away from the loveliness. I especially hate when children and babies are airbrushed.

  65. Beautiful Photos! All of them.

  66. A says:

    The hand holding in the Sussex’s pic. Swoon. Wtf. I am so not a romantic, and yet. -sigh-

    I agree with the other commentator. Three different stages of love, captured in three different fantastic ways. I love the little look Charles and Camilla are giving each other. The kids in the Cambridge’s photo are also amazing, each one of them with their own personalities.

    All things considered, I hope they have a good Christmas. I know its very Hallmark of me to say that, but sometimes, holidays do have a way of melting away tension instead of making it worse, and I feel like they could all use some of that right now.

  67. sage says:

    I don’t like the photos.

    Will and Kate have false smiles and Will looks like he is grimacing. All teeth. Their smiles do not look natural at all. Irrelevant Louis is cute and has a natural smile.

    Harrys bald head and leg position are distracting. You can’t see much of Meghan so… The fireworks were the main attraction so the photo should have been in color.

    Charles and Camilla have no connection to the photographer. A very forgettable photo.

  68. PrincessK says:

    Well, I think that the Cambridges picture looks like an ad for family insurance. Going forward this popularity war will not diminish and so they will need those three kids to milk it all they can.

    The Cambridges picture is a very way of highlighting the most important day of the year for the couple, and is an elegant way of dealing with the fact that she is pregnant, even though she is not pregnant in the picture, we know she is now. The fact that they are gazing into the distance has a focus on the future and we know that for the future they are making a beautiful new baby, which is on the way.

    Unfortunately Daily Mail blockheads have failed to understand the beautiful imagery in this lovely picture.

  69. Lycke M. says:

    The greeting of H and M is basically the same concept as the invitations for her first marriage, so a very odd choice for me and I also don’t like it for a Christmas greeting. The other photos are great, the kids are adorable and everyone looks happy.

    • Christy says:

      Hahahaha yes I saw that somewhere. I wonder if Harry has and who approved this one. It’s very Meghan alright from first husband to the next one.

  70. Sparkly says:

    I’m glad you covered it. I follow KP on facebook, but I only saw the Cambridges’ photo. I didn’t see the other two. I like them, but W&K’s are the best. The kids just look too cute and each a little individual. That’s the best pic I’ve seen of Louis.