Kate and William: Jeremy Vine discusses Christmas card
The Cambridges dashed to Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, to spend Christmas together as a family last week, just before London and the South East headed into Tier 4. Kate and William’s three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, have won over the nation by raising spirits during a particularly difficult year. Kate usually takes photographs of her children to mark special occasions such as their birthdays and releases the impressive results on her shared social media accounts with William.
However, in the last 12 months, she has provided more insight into their private lives, presumably due to the lockdown.
Most recently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge caused a flurry of excitement as they made their first debut as a family of five visiting the pantomime.
While the couple have taken seven-year-old George and five-year-old Charlotte to events with them in the past, it was the first time their two-year-old son Louis had been seen in public with the rest of his family.
To fans’ further excitement, the couple released a colour-coordinated and heart-warming image of the five of them for their Christmas card this year — it received 75,400 likes on Twitter and 1.6 million on Instagram.
However, not all of their festive photos have gone down as well.
Kate Middleton and Prince William upon their return from their Royal Train tour around the UK
Kate, William, Louis, George and Charlotte attending the pantomime earlier this month
The year before Louis was born, the couple released another colour-coordinated photograph with their two children — yet it was criticised for “lacking warmth”.
Body language expert Judi James explained: “This is probably the most puzzling Christmas photo, as it lacks warmth, authenticity and spontaneity, with William and Kate dressed in the kind of business formals that you might expect to see in Canary Wharf rather than a royal home.
“Even George and Charlotte have been coordinated into the smart blue theme and with William and Kate standing looking huge behind them there is little if any idea of play or fun.”
The photograph was the family’s first using a studio and a plain white backdrop, and there’s little hint of any festive sentiment in the stripped-back image.
It was also an image clearly not taken near Christmas as Kate was in her second trimester with Louis in December 2017.
READ MORE: Charlotte’s brutal snub to media on Prince Louis’ big day
The most “puzzling” Christmas card from the Cambridges, released in 2017
The two adults stand behind their children smiling, but with little contact between them.
The choice of blue as the main colour also contrasts with the use of warm reds and browns employed in this year’s Christmas card.
Speaking to , Ms James claimed it is “hard to see what they wanted to achieve here” and that the outcome is “rather cold” and “over-thought”.
She added: “They seemed to be putting themselves at a distance here.”
Some suggested the couple had gone for a more formal image because their children — then, two and four — were more likely to pose for a studio portrait.
The previous Christmas cards had shown Kate and William holding their children instead, which created a much more intimate, family picture.
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Kate and William with their three children for their 2018 Christmas card
The Cambridges’ most recent Christmas card, released earlier this month
The couple were also criticised for a strange element of the photograph’s composition for the 2017 Christmas card.
Kate is standing close to William, but her right arm appears to have disappeared.
While it’s likely to be behind either her or her husband’s back, royal fans took to social media to dismantle the image — with many joking that they should launch a “petition to recover Kate Middleton’s lost arm”.
Yet, the Cambridges seemed to react as their Christmas card the following year represented a huge change — Kate and William are in an outdoor, autumnal setting wearing jeans.
A photograph taken by Kate of her family and released on social media last Christmas Day
Kate is clutching newborn Louis, while Charlotte balances between her parents on a fallen tree and George leans playfully on his father.
The informal photograph captured more of a family dynamic and the children’s mischievous sides.
It was a huge hit with the public.
Yet, as veteran journalist John Humphrys claimed in August: “The basic rule of thumb [for the royals] is that one snap of Kate in a pretty dress doing anything with her lovely toddlers trumps all the others, no matter what they are doing.”