A very royal Christmas! Britain’s beloved royal family has been spreading holiday cheer over the years through their festive season’s greetings cards.
Prince William and Duchess Kate often used the special occasion to document their growing family after their 2011 nuptials. The pair, who share Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, showed how much their children have grown in their festive 2021 photo, writing via Instagram, “Delighted to share a new image of the family, which features on this year’s Christmas card.”
In the sweet snap, William and Kate matched in green while their children kept it casual with their blue and camouflage outfits.
That same month, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that the royal family was expected to reunite with Queen Elizabeth II for the holidays after having to isolate the previous year due to COVID-19.
“The Cambridges are spending Christmas with the Queen at Sandringham. It’s going to be a big family affair,” the insider detailed to Us in December 2020 noting that, “George, Charlotte and Louis are absolutely delighted to be seeing their great grandmother in person again.”
According to the source, William and Kate’s kids “spent hours picking out their own festive gifts for [the queen], and Charlotte and George made her paintings of The Christmas Story in art class at school.”
Amid the exciting holiday preparations, the insider also added that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be attempting to shift their focus in 2022 following a hectic year.
“[William and Kate] are looking forward to starting fresh in the New Year. We’ll be seeing a transition of responsibility — they’re taking on additional charity work, attending more events and making appearances,” the source said at the time. “There’s even a royal tour in the works, and of course they’re heavily involved in the Platinum Jubilee.”
The royal family’s plans to focus on the future came after major ups and downs with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2021. Harry and Meghan made headlines when they announced that they were stepping back from their duties as working members of the royal family one year prior. In February 2021, they confirmed their decision to not return to their senior roles and instead move to California.
The Sussexes went on to address the reason why they chose a different path for their family during a tell-all interview on CBS in March 2021.
“I was trapped but I didn’t know I was trapped,” Harry, who shares Archie and Lili with his wife, said at the time. “Trapped within the system like the rest of the family. My father [Prince Charles] and my brother are trapped. They don’t get to leave and I have huge compassion for that.”
One month later, tragedy struck the royal family when Prince Philip passed away at the age of 99. At the time, Elizabeth shared a special tribute to her partner of over 74 years.
“While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world,” she wrote in a statement via Instagram shortly after Philip’s death. “My family and I would like to thank you for all the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”
As the monarch entered her mourning period, another source told Us that the queen was “overwhelmed” by the “outpouring of love” that she received.
“Elizabeth has found it cathartic to soak up all the well-wishes and tributes to the man she loved unconditionally for countless decades,” the insider shared with Us. “Seeing how many lives he touched has been nothing short of extraordinary.”
Scroll down to revisit the most merry royal holiday cards: