The Wales’s Christmas Card Signals a Bold New Direction for the Royal Family

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For many a millennial, the in-studio family portrait is a rite of passage. Now England’s favorite millennials—Prince William and Kate Middleton—are passing the torch to the next generation, enlisting their royal brood for a black-and-white photo session in which the whole fam wears casual white button-downs and blue jeans, just like the Gap intended.

Unlike the awkward barefoot family photos many of us were subjected to in the ’90s, the Waleses all wore shoes in their holiday portrait, which was shot by Josh Shinner and unveiled to the public on December 9. Prince Louis, age 5, and Princess Charlotte, age 8, wore lace-free sneakers, while Prince George, age 10, and Prince William sported smart dress shoes. Matriarch Kate Middleton wore ballet flats.

<h1 class="title">The British Royal Family Release 2023 Christmas Cards</h1><cite class="credit">Photo by Josh Shinner/Kensington Palace via Getty Images</cite>

The British Royal Family Release 2023 Christmas Cards

Photo by Josh Shinner/Kensington Palace via Getty Images

While it may be a familiar look to us normies, the Wales’s holiday portrait is actually quite unusual for the royal family, whose Christmas card photos tend to feature the famous family frolicking carefree through the foliage of one of their country estates. Some royal analysts have suggested that the more casual in-studio portrait is part of the monarchy’s mission to come across as more relatable. Not many people have access to a palatial backdrop or a picturesque country home, but they do, the thinking goes, have access to a mall portrait studio.

Since the death of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022, we’ve witnessed the Waleses, as well as King Charles III and Queen Camilla, making strides to tone down the lavish displays of wealth and high society snobbery that have soured the public’s opinion of the monarchy in the last hundred years. For the Princess of Wales, this initiative has manifested as a more modern wardrobe of pantsuits, everyday denim, and a dialing down of pomp and circumstance wherever possible.

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Originally Appeared on Glamour