Blast from the past! William and Kate’s Christmas family photo bears striking resemblance to 1992 card from Diana of her two royal boys

  • The family’s 2023 photo appears to take after a 1992 snap of William and Harry
  • READ MORE: How photo contrasts with Charles and Camilla’s coronation image

The Prince and Princess of Wales’ Christmas card for 2023 is many things: understated, casual, and packed with cool, contemporary style.

But William and Kate’s card is also curiously reminiscent of cards in years gone by – particularly those curated by William’s mother, Diana.

The 1992 Christmas card issued by the then-Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales shows a very relaxed William and Harry posing in front of a lightly textured backdrop in white shirts and matching trousers.

It bears a striking resemblance to the card issued by William and Kate this year – from the understated dress of its subjects down to the positioning of the chair at an angle against the background.

William sits in the chair giving a delicate smile, a hand resting casually on the arm of the seat, while Harry stands on the opposite side behind his older brother, a hand resting on the opposite arm and the backrest.

The Christmas card photo issued by the Prince and Princess of Wales this year is a cool, contemporary and understated picture packed with style

But the set up of the photo – from the dress of its subjects to the low-key background and the positioning of the chair – bears a remarkable resemblance to the photo of Harry (left) and William (right) used in Diana’s 1992 Christmas card

Charles and Diana posed for a similar photograph for their 1984 Christmas card – complete with a cheeky Prince William and a tiny Prince Harry, who was born in September that year

The Prince and Princess of Wales’ card last year (above) was a very relaxed affair – though the 2023 card remains far less formal than that distributed by the Prince’s father, King Charles

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they were known then, pose for an extremely relaxed Christmas card photograph in 2018

Previews of the cards that will be given to friends, family and staff of the Prince and Princess of Wales were issued on Saturday night – and spoke to the family’s love of understated, informal photographs to accompany their festive greetings.

The black and white image chosen by William and Kate shows the pair smiling alongside sons Prince George, 10, Prince Louis, five and Princess Charlotte, eight, who, like her father 31 years ago, is sat in a chair at the front of the group.

READ MORE: SARAH VINE: The Waleses’ Christmas photo is more California-cool than Norfolk pheasant-shoot 

The three men and boys are dressed in matching plain shirts – George opting for a Ralph Lauren Polo number – and dark trousers and shorts, while Kate and Charlotte have opted for denim jeans. 

And while the proud parents and oldest son George have opted for dark, formal-looking shoes, Louis and Charlotte have been kitted out with matching trainers.

William, Kate and their children photographed at Windsor earlier this year by acclaimed photographer Josh Shinner, who has shot portraits of famous faces including Florence Pugh, Jodie Comer and Sam Smith.

Kensington Palace said of the photo’s release: ‘The Prince and Princess of Wales are very pleased to share a new photograph of their family.’

This year’s card, while informal, shows more restraint than some of their previously issued season’s greetings.

William and Kate’s first card as Prince and Princess of Wales was a relaxed affair – showed the couple with George, Charlotte and Louis, all in trainers, on a stroll in Sandringham Estate, Norfolk.

It was shot by one of their favourite, and most trusted, photographers, Matt Porteous – and showed a relaxed Kate in jeans, a broderie anglaise shirt and Superga pumps.

William and George wore shirts and polo shirts from Ralph Lauren, and while the Prince of Wales opted for Jeans both George and Louis were dressed in chino shorts. Charlotte wore a denim playsuit embossed with decorations of strawberries.

The King and Queen’s Christmas card is an altogether more formal affair, showing Charles and Camilla inside Buckingham Palace shortly after the coronation in May

 

The photograph was one of several taken of the King and Queen in full royal regalia on the day of the coronation (pictured: another of the series of pictures)

Previous cards issued during their tenure as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were similarly relaxed and often colourful affairs, such as their 2018 card, in which they sat on a tree trunk in Anmer Hall in Norfolk. 

It also continues a tradition of relaxed festive greetings by the Prince of Wales – cards issued by Charles and Diana were similarly informal affairs. 

With its subtle backdrop, this year’s card also bears a remarkable similarity to that issued by Charles and Diana 1984 – complete with a cheeky Prince William and a tiny Prince Harry, who was born in September that year.

The King and Queen, meanwhile, opted for a Coronation photograph taken at Buckingham Palace to grace their festive card.

The formal image, showing Charles and Camilla in the palace throne room following the ceremony in May, was taken by photographer Hugo Burnand, who captured the couple standing side by side.

Charles wears the Imperial State Crown, while Camilla wears Queen Mary’s Crown; the King is also pictured wearing a coronation tunic and the robe of estate.

Made of purple silk velvet embroidered in gold, the robe was worn by King George VI in 1937. 

The Queen is wearing her robe of estate made by Ede and Ravenscroft and designed and hand embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework. She also wears her coronation dress designed by Bruce Oldfield.

It is the couple’s second Christmas card since Charles became King last year, following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8 2002. 

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