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Royal Christmas

Royal Christmas cards through the years and into a new reign

Through the years, the Royal Family has often sent out holiday cards featuring new or rare photos of themselves and their families. Royal Central is taking a look at the tradition that dates back to the days of King George V and Queen Mary.


King George V and Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth II’s grandparents, sent this greeting to troops fighting in World War I. The card reads, “With our best wishes for Christmas 1914, may God protect you and bring you home safe.”

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Following a similar path of her grandparents, the then, Princess Elizabeth sent cards to the Grenadier Guards regiment of the British Army fighting in World War II.

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1957 and 1965

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Auctioneer Paul Fairweather shows off a royal Christmas card from 1957 (left) and another one from 1965 alongside their newborn, Prince Edward.

1969 and 1979

Fairweather once again shows off some of the family’s Christmas cards throughout the year including a 1969 image of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s children. Below is a photo of the family 10 years later in 1979.







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Here, one can see the royal Christmas card from the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1991 (upper photo) and then the card from 1997. The photo of the Prince and him and Diana’s children, Princes William and Harry was taken just days before Diana died in an August car crash in Paris.


Amid their separation, the Prince and Princess of Wales issued their own Christmas cards rather than their former joint ones.











The newlywed Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall chose this photo from their April wedding to be used as their card. The photo features Charles’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and Camilla’s children, Laura and Tom Parker Bowles.

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The Prince and Duchess sent a photo of themselves viewing horses at the Royal Ascot that June.

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The Prince and Duchess attend the Invictus Games opening ceremony – Prince Harry’s charity project that uses the power of sport to help wounded, injured, or sick armed services personnel.

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The Prince and Duchess chose a photo from their August trip to Scotland.

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(Photo Credit: Sydney Zatz)
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Charles and Camilla shared a photo of their tour of Croatia where they met local performers dressed in the traditional dress of Trvda.


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This photo is from Camilla’s 70th birthday party in July of that year.



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The Prince and Duchess chose a photo from their visit to Cuba for 2019’s Christmas card.



In 2021, the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose a family photo from a holiday in Jordan to mark their official Christmas card. Then-Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall shared a photo of them adjusting their face masks, acknowledging carrying out royal duties despite a global health crisis.

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Marking their first Christmas as King and Queen, Their Majesties shared a photo taken at the Braemar Games on 3rd September 2022, just days before Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96. The newly named Prince and Princess of Wales would share a photo taken by Matt Porteous earlier in the year in Norfolk.


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Following a historic year and the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla, an official Coronation portrait was chosen for this year’s Christmas card. The Prince and Princess of Wales opted for a black and white family portrait with matching outfits taken by photographer Josh Shinner.
About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.