It was a snap full of beaming smiles with a Slavonian feel to it. And Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla thought it was the best candidate to feature on the front of this year’s official Christmas card.
Taken by Getty photographer Chris Jackson during their royal tour of Croatia and the western Balkans back in March, the photo shows the grinning couple surrounded by a large group of Croatian folklore dancers wearing traditional national costumes.
The group of dancers, who belong to the HKUD Osijek 1862 dancing group, had just performed a dance in front of the pair as part of the Cultural Heritage Festival, before posing for the lighthearted shot.
This year HKUD Osijek, or ‘’the Croatian Cultural and Artistic Association’’, is celebrating 150 years of organised cultural and artistic amateurism.
The card, to be sent to associated organisations and people, carries the simple message ‘’Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year’’.
Announcing the official greeting card, Clarence House released a video telling the story behind the ‘wonderful’ photo. The video shows the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall watching the traditional dance and posing for pictures.
The six-day royal tour aimed to celebrate peace, reconciliation, youth engagement and restoration.
The colourful shot represents a huge change from the more sombre 2015 Christmas card photo, which showed the couple on their annual Scottish holiday. Another contrast is that the future king and his wife usually opt for snaps that show them without anyone else in the frame.
Sending out Christmas cards has been a long-running tradition within the British monarchy. In 1914, King George V and Queen Mary- the Queen’s grandparents- sent what is thought to be the first greeting card to British troops fighting in the First World War in 1914.
Christmas celebrations have already kicked off at Clarence House with the putting up of a Christmas tree.