Every family (yep, even the Royal family!) has their share of holiday traditions they keep alive for generations—like sending out an annual family Christmas card. And just like ours, the Royal family's Christmas cards are filled with character and cheer.
Take a look at some of the Royal family's Christmas cards throughout the years. You won't want to miss the Queen's Christmas card smile or William and Kate's first card as a family of five!
The Queen Had No Shortage Of Sweet Holiday Memories
Queen Elizabeth II, who was in control of England since 1952, had a lot on her plate. She not only reigned over her own country but Australia, Canada, and New Zealand too—and she did it with complete class. This Christmas card shows a different side of the Queen at the beginning of her journey as the leading lady.
Queen Elizabeth II was a 27-year-old mother when this photo was taken in 1954. Her lineage has grown significantly since this memory was captured. Being a young mother is never easy, but this Queen makes being the leader of a nation look utterly elegant!
Draped In Robes During Christmas 1975
Ok, so maybe the royal family isn’t quite like us as it turns out. While some of the royal family’s Christmas cards are down to earth and even relatable, this isn’t one them. This Christmas card from 1975 shows HRH Prince Philip and the Queen at a royal engagement (because we go to so many of those too!).
Wearing their finest full-length silk robes and sashes, the Queen is truly beaming from ear to ear. Even though this isn’t the most relatable image, it’s pretty fascinating to get a glimpse into how the royals lived back then and today.
The Holidays Are For Cherishing Royal Memories
The meaning of Christmas is to cherish the time spent with family and friends, and the royal Christmas card of 1994 shows that even the royal family appreciates the small moments spent together. Prince Charles captured this super sweet moment with his two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
As said by the beautiful Princess Diana, "family is the most important thing in the world." This definitely rings true with this adorable photo. Other than the beauty of the field of flowers, this sweet moment of a father spending time with his two sons is something that can never be replaced!
Princess Diana Always Celebrated The Holidays In Style
Prince Charles and Princess Diana were quite the elegant pair in 1983. Have you seen a royal couple that has been so effortlessly glamorous for a simple Christmas card? Prince William distinctly resembles his son Prince George—and it goes to show the new little prince is quite the spitting image!
Prince George is always making the media go wild over his cuteness and adorable mannerisms, but it's clear to see that his father was no different. Talk about keeping it in the family—the royal blood is overflowing with adorable genes. When your mother is the beloved Princess Diana, it's almost guaranteed you will be turning heads!
Even Royalty Got Groovy In The Seventies
This vintage Christmas card proves that even royals embraced the style and vibe of the 1970's. Their colorful outfits and vibrant smiles truly illuminate this photo! You can tell that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were extremely proud of their beautiful family.
Princess Anne looks stunning with her flowing 70's hair. To quote one of her most famous sayings, "when I appear in public people expect me to neigh, grind my teeth, paw the ground and swish my tail—none of which is easy." This Princess has definitely always been seen in style—no matter the decade or her hairstyle!
A Royal Pup Needs A Proper Introduction
Even royalty get excited about welcoming a new pet into the family. What could make a kingdom more complete than a new pooch? This royal Christmas card from 1986 introduces the family's new dog named Tigga, sitting like a good boy on Princess Diana's lap.
Other than the royal family's new adorable pup, Prince William and Prince Harry can hardly hold their excitement. Prince Charles had to literally hold Harry to keep him still! It doesn't get much better than this—and little Tigga definitely agrees! This is one memorable Christmas shot that will always be cherished.
Watching The Princes Grow Up
One of the most magical things about the royal family’s annual Christmas cards is the chance to see the youngsters grow up before our very eyes. In this photo from Christmas 1979, you can see that Princes Edward, Charles, and Andrew have grown into quite the handsome crew! Alongside the boys are their parents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillips, as well as their stylish sister Princess Anne in the middle.
This photo gets even cuter the more you inspect it. Not only are there three pups in the picture, but if you look closely, you can see Princess Anne’s then-two-year-old son, Peter Phillips, hiding off to the left!
This Princess Can't Hide Her Holiday Smirk
King George VI reigned over the English people from the year 1936 until he died in 1952. This King was also the last emperor of India, and when he passed he bestowed the kingdom on his oldest daughter, Elizabeth II. This Christmas photo from 1947 is simply charming, but one individual in the picture steals the show.
Princess Margaret—one of the two daughters of King George VI—is the main focal point of this family portrait. Her facial expression is absolutely priceless. Her smirk definitely made this Christmas card a historic classic, and this royal family had some serious character!
The End Of A Decade Calls For A Special Christmas Greeting
The end of the 1980's encouraged the royal family to embrace a relaxed and personal photoshoot for their Christmas card. The 1989 royal card was shot at the family's private home at Highgrove House and Gardens. Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and their two sons William and Harry appear relaxed and at ease, far from what the world expects of a royal family.
The 1989 greeting card was a nice change of pace for the royal family. Being the face of an entire nation can be overwhelming, but this casual shot from the royal family proves that even a princess can let down her hair!
The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge’s 2018 Card: Now A Family Of Five
When William and Kate unveiled their 2018 holiday card photo, people immediately noticed that the portrait was much more casual than in years past. And why shouldn’t they be, now that they’re raising a family of three children?
Little Louis (age seven) made his debut in the picture, which was taken during the fall at their country home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall. Prince George is now five and Princess Charlotte is three years old. Kensington Palace tweeted the adorable photo.
Meghan, Harry, And Archie In California For 2020
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex experienced highs and lows in 2020. Harry and Meghan moved their family to Southern California, closer to Meghan's family and friends. They also revealed that Meghan suffered a miscarriage in July 2020.
Meghan's mother Doria Ragland is expected to spend the Christmas holiday with Meghan, Harry, and her grandson, as she did on Thanksgiving. Their holiday photo was taken on their property in Montecito where they live with their son Archie and their two dogs, Pula and Guy. A source told People that Archie is happy to have plenty of room to run around and loves his playhouse. You can see he's pictured with red hair like his father!
Harry And Meghan Unveiled A New Wedding Photo For Their 2018 Holiday Card
The newly-named Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to share a previously unseen photo from their 2018 wedding on their holiday cards. Shot from behind, the black-and-white photo shows the couple embracing as they watch a display of celebratory fireworks.
Kensington Manor tweeted the image, adding that the pair “are delighted to share a new photograph from their Wedding Reception at Frogmore House on 19th May.” This will be their last Christmas as a childless couple – we can’t wait to see next year’s version!
The Royal Family Enjoys A Little Comedic Genius
Who says ruling the throne is all fun and no play? The royal family knows how to have fun—and even get weird—and it reminds us that they are almost just like us. This Christmas card photo from 1995 is anything but ordinary, but that is what makes it so royally remarkable!
Prince Charles really thought outside of the box—or vase, rather—to create this cunning Christmas card photo. Prince William and Prince Harry seem to be delighted to follow along with this comical scene, and their pup makes this photograph even more perfect! Being part of the royal family seems pretty fun.
The Queen Mother Has Outdone Herself Again
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is no stranger to effortlessly glamorous portraits. Her style and grace did the royal family justice and the Christmas card of 1987 simply takes the cake. This photograph of your majesty is perfect from head to toe, and her personality shines through.
The Queen couldn't be caught without her crown and matching jewels, but the other aspects of this Christmas card make it even more magical. Her elegant fan and loyal pup in the background prove that her style was literally one of a kind. Even royalty treat their pets like part of the family!
Wedding Bells Were The Theme Of This Christmas Card
The royal Christmas card of 1981 depicted quite a joyous occasion. Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot in July of 1981, making the holiday season even more merry and bright. This royal couple even used their official wedding portrait for the annual holiday card, making it even more memorable.
This royal couple is simply legendary, and this picture is definitely one for the books. Their traditional wedding at St. Paul's Cathedral in London was a historic event remembered fondly by many. This royal couple was simply beloved by all, and this Christmas card is certainly a wonderful piece of memorabilia!
Holiday Style Runs In The Royal Blood
Queen Elizabeth II's mother—Elizabeth the Queen mother—was no stranger to style. This Christmas portrait taking of the Queen mother in 1965 is a total knockout. Being the wife of King George VI and mother of Queen Elisabeth II and Princess Margaret can be a tiring job, but this look into her holiday festivities shows that her look is effortless!
The combination of the striking hat and that classic pearl necklace is absolutely stunning. Throw in those timeless gloves and handbag and you cannot deny her elegance. Queen Elizabeth the Queen mother was definitely a woman ahead of her time!
Some Holiday Cards Signal A Change
Christmas cards are sent out to spread holiday cheer and reminisce on the good times, but sometimes they can signal that something just isn't the same. The royal family's Christmas card of 1992 didn't include all four members that we were so used to seeing. The photograph is just of Prince William and Prince Harry, leaving their parents out of the sincere moment.
It turns out that the 1992 Christmas card would be the last sent out by Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and they would end up divorcing in 1996. This holiday greeting card definitely hints towards their inevitable split!
A New Bundle Of Joy Brings Christmas Cheer
The Christmas card of the royal family in 1981 focused on marital bliss. It included the official wedding portrait of Prince Charles and Princess Diana—which is a hard occasion to top for the next holiday season. The Christmas card of 1982 celebrated an equally joyous occasion, with the birth of Prince William.
Prince William was born in June of 1982, just 11 months after Prince Charles and Princess Diana made their marital vows. This Christmas card represented new beginnings for the royal family, and the birth of a prince is not to be taken lightly. This family portrait definitely shows how happy the royal family was with their newest addition!
Life Is Too Short To Be Serious
Prince Charles has a definite sweet spot for anything silly. His idea of a picture-perfect holiday card usually involves a sense of humor, and the royal Christmas card from 1996 is no exception. This silly shot was taken Balmoral, the family's vacation estate in Scotland.
All three guys are pictured resting their chins on shepherd's crooks—in typical Scottish fashion. Prince Charles and his two sons are all smiles, and it's hard not to smirk when you see how much fun they had taking this special shot! Sometimes being royalty is all fun and games, and these guys were living the life!
The Duke And Duchess of Cambridge Broke Down Barriers In 2021
In 2021, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared their annual Christmas card which featured a photo of the family of five on vacation. The heart-warming photo also gave the public a glimpse of a few things they're not accustomed to seeing from members of the royal family.
Both the Duke and Duchess have a hand placed on the other's knee, a public display of affection that's rarely witnessed due to historically conservative standards upheld by the palace. Also, the Prince is wearing shorts! Everyone in the photo looks relaxed and happy.
Prince Charles And Camilla Chose A Sunny Summer Snapshot In 2018
“Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.” That was the holiday message included in Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's 2018 card, unveiled on December 14. The photo shows them sitting in a garden, gazing lovingly at each other.
The couple has had a very busy year with much to celebrate. Charles celebrated reaching his milestone 70th birthday in November. Additionally, the two received a new daughter-in-law in May when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle.
This Holiday Memory Will Last Forever
Princess Diana's beauty could light up any room, but this picture is especially important to her friends and family. This royal Christmas card from 1995 would be the last holiday greeting the Princess would ever appear in before her tragic death in 1997.
Princess Diana is now remembered fondly for her kindness and charisma, and you can tell from this mid-90's photo shoot that her sons loved her immensely. Those smiles definitely speak for themselves, and these two Princes now live with her beautiful memory. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this photograph is a novel!
Sleigh Bells Are Ringing During Every Royal Holiday
Queen Elizabeth II has never been afraid to push the envelope when it comes to the annual royal family Christmas card. This 1966 holiday portrait of the Queen with her husband Prince Philip and her children Anne, Charles, Andrew, and Edward is worth more than a thousand words.
Who ever said her majesty was afraid to direct a horse and buggy? The Queen has always had an interest in horses since she was young, and she was even involved in the horse racing arena. Queen Elizabeth II was named the British flat racing Champion Owner in 1954 and 1957, making this Christmas photo very fitting.
A Second Addition Made This Greeting Card Extra Special
Only two years after Prince Charles and Princess Diana celebrated the birth of their first son William they were blessed with another bundle of joy. The birth of Prince Harry in September of 1984 made for one adorable Christmas card, and the royal family couldn't possibly look more thrilled.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana were definitely looking extra excited in this photo with their addition, and the world is blessed to witness this heartwarming moment—not to mention Princess Diana looks stunning. This mom of two always looked flawless, even more so in motherhood! The matching white shirts added an even more adorable touch.
Smiles All Around
This Christmas card from 1987 is adorable all around. But the thing that sticks out to us most is the boys’ smiles. In December 1987, Prince William would have been five years older while Prince Harry would have been just three. The fact that Prince Charles and Princess Diana could get these young boys to behave for the camera (all while looking effortlessly amazing themselves) is a huge feat for any parent. Considering the royal family would soon be faced with many hardships in the years to come, t's nice to have a sweet photo to look back on.
These Two Princes Are All Grown Up
Being in the public eye for your entire life can be stressful, but the sons of Prince Charles have definitely aged with grace and class. The royal family Christmas card from 2002 shows Prince Charles' serious side, as he strikes a pose with his sons, Prince Harry and Prince William.
The boys enter the new decade as men. Prince Harry is 18 in this Christmas shot, and it's hard to believe this is the same little boy pictured almost two decades prior! These royals have grown up right before our very eyes, and it's amazing to see how dedicated they are to their father's family fun.
The Queen Mother's Love For Dogs Is Evident
Creating the perfect Christmas card is all about capturing the perfect moment. Luckily, the royal family has always been full of charisma and charm. The Queen Mother was always known to take a good photograph, and the Christmas card of 1993 reveals that she could tame any creature, man or pet.
The 1993 royal Christmas card shows the Queen Mother with her signature hat style, and at her side is none other than man's—or rather a queen's—best friend. The facial expression of the Queen Mother's corgi makes this picture even more priceless. This pup knew his place in the royal palace!
Prince Charles And Duchess Camilla Are All Smiles
2015 was a busy year for the royal family. Most notably, 2015 was the year when Prince William and Duchess Catherine celebrated their first Christmas as a family of four after the birth of Princess Charlotte. So it’s only natural that Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla had a lot to smile about during the holiday season that year!
In this photo, the two are warmly embracing each other while posing for a quick snapshot in the countryside. Heartwarming photos like these are always nice as they allow us to see a more "normal" side of the royal family!
The Newest Generation Of Royals Has Arrived
Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have been the talk of the world since their royal wedding in 2011. Their two small children—Prince George and Princess Charlotte—have been the most delightful additions to the royal bloodline. People can't get enough of these little tykes!
The 2015 royal Christmas card is beyond perfect, and it goes to show that the royal family is growing ever so beautifully. Princess Charlotte is only sporting one shoe in the photograph, but it only adds to the charm of this Christmas card classic. These little royals are sure to make the entire U.K. proud!
Moving on without a loved one can be hard especially around the holidays. Thankfully, the Royals choose to stick together. This Christmas card got taken in 1998 the year after Diana passed away.
The card read, "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year." Electing to take a multi-generational picture shows they are in it together. They labeled this picture as a sign of unity.
It's About The Boys
Everyone knows how relationships can turn out. They either last until death does you part or the couple splits. Prince Charles and Diana separated, and that is how this Christmas card came about.
The Prince wanted the cards to feature the boys only. While all three are close and showing warmth, we are sure that the trio missed Diana to some extent. Above everything else, at least the picture came out well.
All Smiles At The Races
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was grinning ear to ear in this Christmas card from 2013. The pair watched horses in the parade ring from the Royal Box at this moment.
That's the beauty of Christmas cards. If you happen to take a nice enough photo, then you are more than welcomed to use it for the card. Christmas is the giving time to give the people a priceless smile!
At It Again One Year Later
A year later and these two were up to their same Christmas card tricks. This time, they were at the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony taking everything in. Prince Charles and the Duchess must love taking in the sights.
The two take remarkable candid pictures as well. For them to go two years straight without having a designated photo shoot for the Christmas card photo says a lot. IT says they're just like us.
Following Her Grandparents
In 1914, King George V and Queen Mary sent out cards to their troops who were fighting in World War I. 28 years later; Princess Elizabeth wanted to do the same thing. She sent out cards to the Grenadier Guards regiment of the British Army.
A message from the card reads, "I shall do all in my power to uphold and foster the great traditions of the regiment which I already learned to love." Cards can go a long way in lifting spirits.
The Newest Royal Joins
In 1964, Prince Edward joined the world. There had to be a new addition to the holiday family photo tradition. In 1965, the Royals got together and took this beautiful picture.
The group got bigger and bigger. At this juncture, the family size grew to six! You had Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. That's a huge royal family so it would be an outraged for them not take pictures.
Take It At The Yacht
If you have a yacht, it's not a bad idea to take a holiday picture in front of it. It adds a sporty vibe to it. In 1969, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh posed with their kids for a lovely photo.
They took this picture aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia while visiting Norway. The Queen ended up using this on her personal card. The youngest that we mentioned in the previous slide grew up a lot!
The Spanish Royals 2016
The Spanish Royals in this photo consist of King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, Leonor, Princess of Asturias (the oldest daughter and heir presumptive), and Infanta Sofia. This picture took place in the Palace of La Zarzuela.
The Spanish Royal family get asked by many organizations within Spain and outside of Spain, to become their patrons. This gives the organization a line of credibility. They tend to raise the profile of the organization as well.
Last Holiday Picture Together
As much as the people wanted to see Prince Charles and Princess Diana stay tied, their marriage had other plans. They took this picture in 1991, but there's one thing about it different from the others.
This ended up becoming the last holiday card the couple would pose for together. As you've seen in previous slides, they didn't last. At least their last one together wasn't a bad one. Diana's red jacket made the picture.
Two Can Play That Game
Did you think the Princess would let her ex-lover one up her? In response to the outdoor holiday picture Prince Charles had with the kids, Diana took a great indoor portrait.
It features Prince Harry gazing up at his mother while Diana looks down at Prince Williams who is the only one looking into the camera. A beautiful and intelligent portrait overall that the two princes no doubt cherish today.
For The Last Time
You never know when it's your time to go. That's one of the scary things about life. This is Princess Diana's last card before she passed away. And it happened to be a timeless photo.
The card featured her sons and her nieces, and Prince Charles' younger brother, Prince Andrew. The kids look happy, but one thing to notice is the absence of any adults. We're not sure if this was the plan all along or not.
Queen Elizabeth Calls On The Whole Family
Queen Elizabeth chose to take another holiday card photo at Balmoral. This time it features practically the whole gang. You have Prince Philip, all their children, the favorite Corgis, and the grandchildren.
Only one grandchild isn't pictured, and that is Peter Phillips. Summer trips to the Balmoral estate meant a time to capture priceless photos. Adding the dogs always makes the card more personal and sweet.
No Kilt For The Boys
Here are the three men pictured again. This time, Prince Charles chose to wear a kilt. That's his choice. He's the Prince, so he can do whatever he wants. The boys did not want to follow this trend.
The classic button-down with slacks look fits the young men better. Prince Williams grew into a nice young 18-year-old at the time of this picture. It got taken in 2000 at the Palace.
Go Get The Horses!
These three found the formula for taking holiday pictures. It's obvious you are not to repeat the same thing from last year but to switch things up so much but still stay elegant while doing it is amazing.
They look like you can take their silhouette and use it for the Ralph Lauren logo. All three of them seem to be as happy as a trio of people on horses can look. The three of them adored polo so this could have been a homage to polo.
An Elegant Card In 2017
These two always have some of our favorite cards. The previous two were candid shots, but in 2017 they chose to give the world a real photograph of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
The picture above is in the Clarence House in London. Hugo Burnand took the photo on the card in the Orchard room during Camilla's 70th birthday party at Highgrove. We're sure that whatever they have planned for the years to come will all be great.
The Last Of The Trio
In 2004, the royal men decided to bring a classic vibe to the holiday card. Opting to go for the white matching tops, they pulled it off well. And the black and white was a nice added touch.
What they didn't know is, that would be the last photo as a trio the men would take. Every year after involves someone else and never just the three. It probably has some extra sentimental value by now.