A Look Back At Royal Family Christmas Cards Over The Years

Offering an intimate look at life behind the palace doors

The release of the royal Christmas card has become a much-beloved holiday tradition, and long before Prince William, Kate Middleton and George, Charlotte and Louis were part of the royal fold, the British monarchy began sending out festive holiday cards to celebrate the cheerful season. 

Below, we’re looking back at some of the most memorable royal Christmas cards over the years—featuring everyone from the royal corgis to royal newborns. 

2020: Prince Louis’ grin steals the show

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, alongside their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, featured in their 2020 holiday card, and it’s safe to say the three youngsters stole the show. Two-year-old Louis can be seen adorably laughing while Charlotte and George show off their charming grins. 


2019: Charles & Camilla in Cuba 

The Prince of Wales and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s, 2019 card featured the pair in one of their classic cars, which they drove in during their historic trip to Cuba. 


2019: Archie Harrison’s first Christmas card 

An official account known as the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust posted the animated card on Twitter, showing off an adorable Archie moving toward the camera. “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” the card read. “From our family to yours.” 


2019: The Cambridges at Norfolk

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released their official 2019 portrait on Christmas Day. The black-and-white image showed Prince William kissing their youngest child, Prince Louis, while Princess Charlotte stands behind, and Prince George sits in a chair alongside.

Kate does not feature in the picture, but she was the one behind the lens, which was captured at their Norfolk home. 


2018: Harry & Meghan’s first year as newlyweds 

For their 2018 Christmas card, Harry and Meghan shared a never-before-seen photo from their royal wedding. The couple is backlit, looking up a the sky while fireworks explode above their heads. 

While it’s a beautiful shot, the card received criticism from royal fans who claimed the photo was an example of the pair “turning their backs” on their royal duties. 


2018: Prince Louis’ first Christmas card

This backyard Christmas card was the first since Prince Louis’ birth, which was also the Cambridges first formal photograph as a family of five.

prince louis

2017: Matching in royal blue 

In 2017, Kate and Wills released their first-holiday portrait as a family of four, all coordinating in a regal blue.


2015: Charles & Camilla on holiday 

A sweet photograph of the Prince of Wales and Camilla captured during a holiday in Scotland graced the couple’s festive Christmas card in 2015. 


1991 & 1997: Princess Diana 

Taken six years apart, the top photo is one of the last family portraits Diana ever posed for, and the bottom was taken just days before Diana’s death.

christmas card

1988: Prince William & Harry in matching outfits

Nothing says a festive family portrait quite like matching outfits, which is exactly what Prince William and Prince Harry wore alongside their parents for their 1988 Christmas card. 

harry and wills


Amidst rumors of marital strife, Charles, Diana, Harry and William still sat down for their annual Christmas portrait.


1981: Charles & Diana as newlyweds

Newlyweds Prince Charles and Princess Diana marked their first holiday together with a card that featured a photo from their July 29 nuptials.

charles and dian

1969: On board the Royal Yacht Britannia

Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales, Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and the Duke of Edinburgh on board the Royal Yacht Britannia during a visit to Norway. It was the photograph used on the Queen’s personal Christmas card in 1969.

the royals

1965: Prince Edward is welcomed into the royal tradition

The royal family welcomed Prince Edward into their royal tradition this year, releasing a card that featured the family smiling around his carriage.

1957: Prince Philip, Queen Elizebeth, Prince Charles & Princess Anne

Offering an intimate look into their home life, the family of four took a coloured photograph with their beloved corgis. 


1942: A young Princess Elizabeth

A then-Princess Elizabeth celebrated the festive season with a holiday card to the Grenadier Guards regiment of the British Army.

princess elizabeth

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