Monday, 18 December 2017

The Cambridges' Christmas Card & Princess Charlotte to Begin Nursery in January!

As hoped for, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a new photograph of their family to mark the festive season. The image of William, Kate, George and Charlotte features on their Christmas card this year.


The photo was taken by Chris Jackson at Kensington Palace earlier this year. I expect at the same time as Prince George's birthday portrait, as he's wearing the same outfit. Jackson wrote on Instagram "Delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to use this family portrait I shot as their Christmas Card this year, Merry Christmas."


All four sported coordinated blue ensembles for the photo. You might recall, Charlotte wore the same pretty blue dress, shoes and bow for the Royal tour of Germany, when the family landed in Berlin.


The Duchess wore her bespoke blue Catherine Walker skirt suit. Kate debuted the ensemble for her first solo overseas visit to the Netherlands last year.


Sara suggests the Christmas card image was likely taken on the same day as this official photo of Kate which accompanied a letter for the Place2Be programme in November.


A closer look at Kate.


It appears Kate also wore her Gianvito Rossi praline pumps.


Last year, William and Kate chose a lovely image of the family taken during the Royal tour of Canada for their Christmas card photo.

In 2015, they released a beautiful portrait taken among the autumn leaves at Kensington Palace. The Palace said the photograph was commissioned for their own use, but that the couple decided to make it public because they liked it so much. It was taken by Wiltshire-based photographer Chris Jelf.


And in 2014, they released adorable photos of Prince George taken on the steps of Kensington Palace by Prince Harry's private secretary Ed Lane Fox.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

The release of the Christmas card photo coincides with news Princess Charlotte will attend the Willcocks Nursery School in London from January 2018.


It was thought William and Kate might choose the nursery at Thomas's Battersea, where Prince George attends. The Willcocks Nursery School said: "We are delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen the Willcocks Nursery School for Princess Charlotte. We look forward to welcoming Charlotte to our nursery in January."


The school was founded in 1964 by Miss Diana Willcocks and has been at its current location in the church hall of Holy Trinity Church, Prince Consort Road, London since 1984. The school is owned and run by the Headmistress, Lavinia Taylor, and her fellow teachers, Louise Ward, Sarah Walker, Rosa Rego Dias and Jennifer Robbins. The Willcocks Nursery is a traditional nursery school which strives to maintain its ethos for high standards, excellence and good manners.



'The school, which is close to the family's Kensington Palace home, charges up to £9,150 a year for children who attend morning sessions. Described by parents as "kind and gentle", the school has an all-female staff and its stated ethos is "for high standards, excellence and good manners". Princess Charlotte will be at first be invited with the Duke and Duchess for a short "stay and play" session, the nursery's website suggests. The Royal couple will then be asked to leave to see if their daughter, who will be encouraged to bring a photograph or toy from home, "is happy to be left".
It has a timetable full of singing and dancing, which will suit Princess Charlotte who, according to the Duchess of Cambridge, "already loves to dance". Children can expect to have time dedicated to exploring the great outdoors, looking at local swans and cygnets and being taught a variety of skills including poetry, band and cooking. There is a large focus on art and music. The nursery is also perfectly located for inquisitive young minds. Tatler says: "They're just by the Royal Albert Hall, so expect jaunts to the museums and the park, as well as captivating talks on things like Shackleton, archaeology or the environment to keep things lively and fun."
One former pupil, Alexander, said: “I just love all my teachers because I just do. They are beautiful, they are kind and they all just love me." A mother, Nicoleta, sang the praises of the nursery, writing: “Alexander the Great once said about his teacher Aristotle: ‘I owe my life to my parents, but I owe my good life to my teacher’. This statement certainly applies to all the teachers at the Willcocks Nursery School. A big thank you to all of you for everything you offered to Alexandra and for creating happy precious memories that will be part of who she is for the rest of her life.”

Victoria Murphy reports Charlotte will attend full-time.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

It looks like a lovely choice, ideally located near Kensington Palace. I have no doubt Charlotte will be very happy there.

We'll see you over the next couple of days for the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon :)

196 comments:

  1. Just thought about it this morning if they will publish a Christmas foto and here it is ๐Ÿ’•

    It's a nice family foto but I have to admit I would have loved to see a more Christmas like foto...for example George and Charlotte under a sparkling Christmas tree at Kensington palace ๐ŸŽ„

    Nice to hear that Charlotte will start nursery...maybe we will get a foto of her first day like they did with George? So I presume G&C won't accompany their parents during the sweden/norway tour as George attends school and Charlotte nursery...what do you think?

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    1. Happy to have a photo. Also, like you, wish it had been more of a Christmasy one. This is so not Christmasy. Would have liked a current, Christmasy photo. They have no shortage of suitable photographers at hand to accomplish that. I don't mean to sound like the grinch, but really a current, Christmasy photo would be so much better. This one seems like a business photo.

      The nursery sounds made to order from what we have learned about Charlotte. With both children at school/nursery, Kate will have more one on one time with the new baby perhaps. If the children don't have the "old school" three month summer breaks, that is. :)

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    2. It would be so awesome if they could clean the mold off the outside walls of the nursery school and paint ๐ŸŽจ the threshold and door either a lighter charcoal gray or, ideally, a brighter color☀️. It just looks so black and dingy. Not like a pretty nursery school entry. No offense to anyone.

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    3. I'm smiling at your observations, Surfer Girl. At the fee to attend that school, it isn't like they can't afford to be in a brighter, better maintained place. They are currently in an old church hall. Britain is steeped in history and historical buildings often look…well historical. Also the Brits thrive on shabby chic…a decorating style, where things are of good quality but rather tired and worn. Let's hope the actual nursery room is colourful and cheerful.

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    4. I sure hope so, lol. Remember the bright mural on the wall of George's nursery school in Norfolk? :)

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    5. Surfer, I agree. It's not Christmassy in the least. Too formal in my view. I love the one from 2015 w/ the fall leaves. =)

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    6. Laura agree. It looks like a wonderful old building with all that accompanies old age. In person with the gardens etc around suspect it looks just fine. My kids went to nursery school in an older historical anglican church, looked very similar to the photo above and more to the point they really did not pay much attention to the building:) It was the other kids and teachers who have made or "not made" the school experience, never the building.

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    7. Maggie - Minneapolis19 December 2017 at 03:35

      The school markets itself as being a very "traditional nursery", so I imagine that's partially why the outside is the way it is. Its kinda like how "old money" families scoff at the "tackiness" of more "new money" families who flash their wealth around more... They might feel its too tacky to spruce it up and make it look less like it is just as old British as the families ofany of its students. Also in a big city, esp one with air pollution, this is inevitable to a certain extent.

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    8. Caroline in Montana19 December 2017 at 17:34

      so many people have pictures on their christmas cards of summertime activities and other family occasions and even, yep - fall leaves, the picture is formal but i am really glad just to see one. the nursery sounds wonderful, wish i had gone somewhere like that!!

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  2. A very nice card. I'm pleased they released it.

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    1. Pip is feeling happy again - he was under the bed whilst Julia expressed her reaction on the the other blog that anyone who did a course in law (as she once did) was just a girl! (Sorry surfer girl!)

      Pippin sends Happy Christmas wishes - family is here and he is much enjoying the excitement.

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    2. ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸพMerry Christmas Pippin๐Ÿพ๐ŸŽ„
      And Family

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  3. What a lovely surprise!! Well, not exactly surprise, we were all expecting them to release a Christmas photo, but it's still nice to have a surprise post.
    This photo is quite different from the ones they'd released in the past - pretty formal. I like it because it means they are "growing" within their role, and getting more "serious" (if that makes any sense). But I also don't like it, because I think a Christmas photo should be more, well, Christmassy.
    The kids, of course, are adorable, and Charlotte is only getting cuter. I believe this was also the day they tooj the latest official photo of Kate - the one that accompanied the letter from Kate that was part of last month's Place2Be forum. She is certainly wearing the same suit, and the hairstyle looks quite similar.
    Looking forward to the Queen luncheon tomorrow (or on Wednesday)

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  4. Hmm i love the christmas card. Love them the next year they will be four hmm gladly princess charlotte will love the school princess charlotte resemble the young queen elizabeth maybe thw duchess will company princess charlotte these january the cambeidge family really growing

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  5. I love this photo of them! What a beautiful card! I love Kate in this outfit...gorgeous!!

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  6. Nice photo, but I prefer to see a less formal Christmas picture

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    1. No no it's the royal family. They must be formal. They're not supposed to be ordinary. That's the point.

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    2. Tell that to the so normal William.๐Ÿ˜€

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    3. If you want to see formal royal family pictures,check out those from George V's time. I can't imagine Mary's boys being photographed with one stocking falling down and holding onto George V's finger. I doubt even Charlotte's impish little smile would be allowed. And George and Mary with broad smiles such as William and Kate? Not likely.
      Formal? Not so much. Not Christmassy? A favorite Christmas card photo of Charles and Camilla has them in their garden with big grins, arms around each other in what looks like mid-summer. Not a Christmas tree to be seen.
      I think this photo was meant to serve more than one use--obviously, since we have already seen both Kate's and George's photos taken from photographs apparently on that day. The parent's photo can be cropped to show just the couple or each individually. HM should be thrilled at the multipurpsefulness. Saves another shoot---saves time, saves money.

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    4. Maggie - Minneapolis19 December 2017 at 03:55

      I think most ppl, regardless of their "station" in life, can say that even their most formal pictures look less formal than any pictures of their grandparents'grandparents. Lol. Also probably safe to say that most of us don't make judgments of current royals (or anything in life today) based on what the norm was four or five generations ago, when for ex, the British Empire still existed.
      And as for saving money, does anyone seriously think the Cambridges have not had any more nice pictures taken of them, or at least the kids, in the last six months? Like... Seriously? Kate, the self professed avid photographer and completely-focused-on-her-kids mother, hasn't bothered to take any more nice pics of her kids for six months, esp when they (esp Charlotte) are young enough to be changing a lot all the time right now? And she wouldn't have had more pictures of the whole family taken even though it's now the last few months as a family of four? Even though she still is not doing many royal duties and has tons of time at home?
      Unlikeliness aside, if that was somehow true, then Kate and William would be hugely insulting the historic role of the monarchy by failing at documenting the lives of a likely future king and a possibly future Queen (lots of examples of the "spare" ending up in charge).

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    5. Yes. Maggie. They had better, warmer, more Christmasy photos available I am sure. And lots of them.

      They need a proper PR team. The one they have is consistently lacking in so many areas. It is like they don't have a clue about good PR.
      And, that, is NOT good for the Monarchy.

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    6. Caroline in Montana19 December 2017 at 17:42

      I'm scratching my head between the correlation between this ONE Christmas card to how Kate is failing at documenting the lives of a likely future king and a possible future queen??? pretty big leap there. I'm sure she has taken many photos and probably even some more professional ones, but...seriously, its their right to release whatever photo they choose, just like all the people everywhere in the World!! I'm not sure that this Christmas card is really so horrible for the Monarchy in general, and i don't think it signals that harry the spare will end up as king because they chose the photo they preferred for this year. The sky is NOT always falling.

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    7. It isn't about just one card actually, lol.

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  7. A lovely photo. I agree with Allegraflora, that one with a more Christmassy feel would be fun but they've done the more casual, laid back feel a couple of times. It's nice to mix in a more formal photo every now and again. Plus, it's neutral enough that thy can use the photo for a variety of different situations.

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    1. This was my thought as well. At first I wanted a more cosy one but then I thought that it will be nice to have at least one formal one with the kids when they are small!

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    2. My impressions as well, Katie and Rebecca. Beautiful photograph - great job. It's not always easy to get kids smile and look natural when a stranger takes a photo. All four of them look lovely. Thank you, Charlotte, also for including the photos from previous years. One gets a nice idea of how the kids have grown! ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ง‍๐Ÿ‘ฆ

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  8. What a lovely photo! It looks like the photo was taken before their tour of Germany and Poland, judging by the length of Kate's hair. She chopped it around Wimbledon time if I'm not mistaken.

    Also, it's really good to hear about Princess Charlotte for a change. Sometimes I feel like all anecdotes William and Kate share centre around George and we hardly hear about Charlotte or her personality. I can already see her growing into a beautiful young lady in no time!

    Love Avee in SA

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  9. Nice to see a new picture this year! A bit more formal than they usually do, but it's nice to have one of those for the future as well. I love Charlottes little face and Georges socks! And that suit on Kate is stunning!

    Can't belive that she's already big enough to go to nursery! And soon they will be 3! Wonderful to see them grow! Surprised she won't be going to nursery at the same school as George but might be easier to have her closer to home since she will have shorter days and a different schedule!

    Looking forward to the royal christmas time!

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    1. Rebecca, George and Charlotte can't go to the same school. George is in "real" school, whereas Charlotte will be in pre-school, or nursery school.

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    2. Yes, I know Laura. But I'm pretty sure I read that they have an accompanying nursery school.

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    3. Laura, I thought there was talk that W/K picked George's school because there was a preschool connected with it.

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  10. I like how you can see George’s energy. William has his hands on his shoulders to hold him back. Charlotte looks like a girl who adores her mom.

    Clearly the kids spend a lot of time with their parents and have a great relationship. It’s wonderful to see.

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  11. Seรฑorita Dee18 December 2017 at 14:20

    Lovely picture of the four of them. I like that it's a bit more formal as their other released pictures always have a more casual vibe. I absolutely LOVE this suit on Kate, and I love the way she dresses Charlotte in particular.

    Can't wait to see the walk to church next week!

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  12. It completely makes sense to have Charlotte, while at such a young age, attend a school close to home. Children that young need parents to be able to come quickly should something come up and they need mom or dad.

    Nice photo, although I was hoping to see a more recent one of Charlotte, they change so much at that age and six months makes such a big difference.

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    1. I hope we get a new picture of her when starting nursery though so we'll get one soon enough! :)

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  13. That is a lovely photo of our favourite family! Not very Christmasy, but they all look very crisp and elegant, and I do like it. Very exciting for Charlotte to go to Nursery School, I bet she is ready for it and will love all the activities. It will give Kate a bit of space at home for the third baby, so good planning there. Who knows, Kate might walk there with the baby in the pram, it is a 10 min walk according to Google Maps. I had to check it!

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  14. This is one of the times it hits me how strange it is to have to share your children with the world. It would hurt me deeply if I had to do it knowing how they are scrutinized by so many. Almost seems cruel.


    I'm thankful to know about this blog where comments are always kind about G&C and the coverage is always respectful. :)

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  15. Gert's Royals just tweeted that the term for Charlotte's nursery school starts on January 4th. I am guessing that answers any question of whether or not to bring just Charlotte on the trip to Norway and Sweden. I didn't think so since the trip is so short but could also see a trip with just Charlotte.

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  16. On this photograph - the royals give out photos on tours to embassies and the like - given the apparent timing of this photo, I'm wondering if it didn't serve a double purpose. That would explain the formality.

    I too would like a Christmas type photo but it's not done, it seems. Charles and Camilla always choose one taken throughout the year and it looks as though William and Kate are following in that tradition. Maybe a Christmas themed photo is seen as too 'middle class' although royals in other nations do use them.

    There is a long tradition of royal children being photographed because royalty means inherited positions - so I don't find it intrusive.

    Probably unintentionally, it confirms what many think about the royal children - that George is shy and Charlotte more forward - but of course it is literally a snapshot in time.

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    1. I'm just thinking about the christmas cards my family has gotten in recent years and there is a pretty even split between holiday themed and picture from a holiday (often summery). I think it's just normal to take a picture from the year that you like if you're going to send a card out, just as it's similarly normal to take a christmassy one.

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    2. I may be wrong about this but in the U.S. it seems to me that Christmas cards with family photos are generally Christmasy photos. It may be a cultural thing that they do non-Christmasy photos there.

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    3. We rarely send out a Christmasy photo; ours can be from anytime during the year. Our criteria isn't usually when the photo was taken--it's more dependent on who all was present and did we get good expressions on everybody! I can think of only one year when our pictures were taken in the month of December, and even then there was nothing overtly Christmasy about the picture.

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    4. I have commented earlier about the photo.Not because it is not Christmas themed but I do not think it is a very good photo. Someone else mentioned and I agree it is because there is not enough texture or variations in lighting or angles. Maybe the actual photo is a bit more of shadow and light and has a bit more "dynamics" to it. I am not a photographer clearly but that is the best way to explain what I think the problems are with it.

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    5. I agree I do love it but i agree that it is a little flat (& where has the Duchess’ right arm gone?)

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    6. Caroline in Montana19 December 2017 at 17:54

      All the cards I have received so far are not christmasy, they are taken in advance are often in summer or taken during summer weddings. my one friend has even sent her sons in their hockey uniforms, if you can get a good photo of everyone i think that counts more. im in the usa, and rarely get christmasy christmas cards.

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  17. A gorgeous picture of a gorgeous family. It is just perfect. Not one complaint from my corner. Thank you Charlotte fr the lovely post.

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  18. The nursery is in a perfect spot. Sounds like a great program. I am not a fan of the photo. They all look fine but I just do not like the overall look of the photo.

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  19. Beautiful picture! Beautiful family!

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  20. Very very happy they released a photo! They are a beautiful family and a good photo of all. Love this dress on Kate and really like how she dresses her children. The looks on the faces of the children are delightful!! Happy to hear Charlotte will be attending nursery school. It's probably good she is at another school, rather than at the same one as George. Aside from the difference in schedules, important that each have individual experiences at school with other children, and not in the shadow of each other. Thank you Charlotte for this very nice Monday morning surprise post!! cc

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  21. Those photos of Charlotte holding her bouquet ๐ŸŒธ
    George of the steps in his wooden soldier sweater ๐Ÿ’‚‍♀️have to be two of the cutest royal photos ever.

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  22. Yes its a more "professional" foto. I don't mind that. But you can clearly see its a summer foto (short trousers and dress, light colours). At least they could have done one at this time of the year, tree or chimney in the background and dressed appropriately. That's what I would have done if I was them ;-)

    Did you see the video published by the Danish royal family decorating the Christmas tree? Something like that from the Cambridges would be so great!

    Hope we will get a glimpse of them when they attend church ๐ŸŽ„

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    1. them decorating the Christmas tree would be dreamy, Allegraflora. (sigh) :)

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    2. Yes, it will remain a dream...sigh.

      Remember too a video from crown princess Victoria baking cookies with Estelle and another interview last year where you could see her interact with Estelle. But the Swedish royals seem to be more easy.

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    3. Caroline in Montana19 December 2017 at 17:56

      I had thought they were dressed appropriately, they are the BRF!

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  23. Beautiful photo! I’ll agree with other commenters that’s it’s a bit formal-looking, however, if it were me I’d want to mix it up every now and then and include a more ‘posed’ holiday photo along with the casual/candid ones. Also looking forward to seeing the RF on Christmas Day!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I agree it is a lazy way to give out a photo from summer for Christmas and also must add I wish for less touched pictures. Kate's face looks different, I have never understood why the need to change so much especially as we all know they are not clebrities but royalty.


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    3. sterile is a good word for it.

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    4. This picture is lovely but very bland. I wish there was a little touch of Christmas to it,, but they all still look very lovely!!!XOXO

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    5. Caroline in Montana19 December 2017 at 17:58

      Anett, you cracked me up. - so more than half the world is lazy by your standards?!! so many people send pictures of summer activities, wedding group family photos etc. I guess we all have different versions of how/why we label people Lazy.

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    6. Since you are asking, I am sending Christmas cards for Christmas, but that is me being silly of course.

      Lazy = unwilling to work or use energy. That is exactly what happened here, they lacked the effort to do a bit more for a fan like you Caroline(?!) or browse through the multi tasker Kate's family album to publish a photo that their fans have not seen yet. Too much to ask, I don't think so, it is Christmas time!

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  24. Nicole from France18 December 2017 at 16:35

    Not a big fan of this photo, so formal, so conformist .... and that white back of the picture ..... should the Cambridges have to give photos to embassies and so on during their visits, I suppose they could afford both Christmas card photo and formal photo .... I do love Princess Charlotte, she seems to be a nice little monkey , she has a lovely face who always seems Smiling ! And Catherine is definitely lovely in this skirt suit, one of the best she has, to my taste !

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  25. I expected that they would release a photo this year. Last year they knew that the kids will be photographed at church on Christmas day. This year we won’t see the kids on Christmas Day so releasing a photo makes sense.
    As to a more Christmassy photo. They released a photo as we wished. So I am happy.

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  26. Do the Royals call their cards Christmas cards? I wondered that as Britain and the Commonwealth are religiously diverse—and often secular nowadays—this card really fits the bill, covers the bases, etc. Although we are devout Mormons, our cards are usually “Peace on Earth” themed for our friends are all over the map religiously.

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    1. Yes, the British Royals call them Christmas cards.

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    2. The royals aren't secular, they definitely send Christmas cards.

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    3. Definitely Christmas cards to celebrate the upcoming birth of Christ ;-)

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    4. William will be the Head of the Anglican Church when he is king, so it's certainly important to him to send "Christmas cards".

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    5. Nico. Exactly. "Christmas cards". Not passport photos.

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    6. Caroline in Montana19 December 2017 at 18:02

      oh surfer girl, have you seem most peoples passport photos? they are awful, simply awful, almost impossible to get a decent one. its the Christmas season which means more than picking apart others Christmas cards.

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    7. Caroline. :) we all have our opinions. I am certainly not the first one on this blog to have a criticism. and their communications to the public are important. Maybe I should have said business photo, or a cross between the two, lol.

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  27. For all we know, they did send a more casual/intimate family photo to their close friends. I don't blame them for releasing a more formal photo publicly - they have so little privacy as it is.

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  28. I love the new photo of the Cambridges. I think your see the kids' little personalities, with George a bit shy and Charlotte having a little knowing wink in her eye. It is adorable. As for comments about a more Christmassy photo, it's simply isn't done, especially in the Royal family. If you recall Christmas photos of Charles, Diana and the boys, there are many very formal ones and most of them were taken in the summer or sometime in the past year. Same with Charles and Camilla.

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  29. Amen Queen of the Sun. The Spanish Royals just released their season portrait. Very similar to W & K but with a Photoshop of I think one of the palaces in a grey and white monochrome.

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    1. The Royal Palace in Madrid is like that...grey and white...not Photoshop....

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    2. That isn’t photoshop, it’s an actual royal palace in Madrid behind them. The photo was taken on a balcony.
      http://cdn-img.instyle.com/sites/default/files/images/2017/12/121217-spanish-royals-christmas-card.jpg

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    3. It's one of the largest palace in the world... and the biggest in West Europe...

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    4. Thanks for the URL for the full Spanish photo Gemma. I had seen a cropped version where it looked like they were superimposed. Goes to show you.

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    5. Although it is a very beautiful photo, I think it may be superimposed. Look at the king's right hand and whatever is behind it. The lighting is different for the background and the human figures. Not entirely natural, though lovely.

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    6. That photo was taken on the 12th of October, Hispanic day in Spain, they were at the palace....as Gemma said, not Photoshop at all....

      a Spaniard

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  30. Maggie - Minneapolis18 December 2017 at 17:55

    A more Christmas-y picture would have been nice, but I understand that it isn't a typical thing for the BRF to do a lot of the time. That being said, this picture is just....not just not Christmassy, but also just sooo...sterile (best word I can come up with right now). Even if not releasing a Christmas-y picture, why not release one a little more comfortable and less...robotic? At least in the setting of their home instead of with no background or anything. And most importantly, so disappointing that we haven't seen Charlotte in months and now get a picture taken from before the last time we did see her. Even Diana might have used older pictures in the past, but she and Charles also made their boys much more available for things like photocalls and such, so people still got to see how the children in that case had grown up, etc.

    Oh well, I guess. The public is already losing interest, and pictures like these are usually a great way to draw them back in by touching some hearts with cuteness and how much like a normal family they might look. They squandered that opportunity here, and it's just silly because of how *easy* it is to have taken full advantage instead. I think I'm esp frustrated bc obviously in a family with a mother who is very interested in photography and both parents very interested in family, it is HIGHLY unlikely that they haven't done at least one, if not several, family and individual photoshoot(s) in the 6 months since this one happened with Chris Jackson. So choosing not to release any pictures from those, while also eschewing all the things that Diana and Charles did to share their lives with the public like the photocalls, is just silly and unnecessary.

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  31. Maggie - Minneapolis18 December 2017 at 17:56

    t just feels like we already have barely gotten to know Charlotte as it is - they talk about George much more and also have brought him out in public in the UK a bit more for things like polo and that air show, so we got to see his personality and how he interacts with his parents. Whereas with Charlotte, aside from the one children's party engagement in Canada, we haven't seen her personality at all really. George has even had more tour engagements than her, along with the UK appearances. And we've gotten more "fun" pictures with George - the adorable Christmas pictures on the KP steps, birthday pictures with butterflies and his parents, and those birthday pictures on the swings, with Lupo, etc., were also great. Charlotte's birthday only got a single picture this year, and while it was precious, it would be nice to get some pictures of her that aren't just the most unoriginal portrait style possible, similar to some of George's previous ones. And with a new child coming and Charlotte then becoming a middle child, it's only going to become even more like we barely ever had a chance to get to know her as a little child, in her most precocious years.

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  32. Maggie - Minneapolis18 December 2017 at 17:57

    P.S. What in the world is going on with Kate's face?? This is the third time they've released formal pictures with her being incredibly photoshopped (the two sets of christening pictures coming to mind as the other instances).

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    1. Maggie, an interesting observation. I thought the same of Kate's face in the photos you mentioned. I'm not a photographer, but I immediately was drawn to Kate's face. It appears unnatural to me. I'm not sure I can express my opinion clearly, but Kate's face almost looks like an oil painting image in this picture. It is like a glaze was painted over her face and it is blurry. The missing arm is strange. The children are beautiful.

      I respect the Cambridge's desire for privacy as the published pictures offered from Kensington Palace are few and far between. But as members of the Royal family, isn't it a matter of curtesy and respect to the British people to allow photo narratives of their lives without invading their privacy. I have heard it been said that William wants an ordinary existence. I understand that desire, but this objective is not keeping with the position he is privileged to hold. Similarly, I am puzzled why the children are seen and photographed more frequently in other countries; but their public appearances are relatively limited in the U.K. Anyone have a theory on this question?

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    2. Good morning, everyone ( at least on U.S. time ). I am certainly late to the party on commentating on this photo... LOL , no"conspiracy " theories from me here, but Kate's face stood out to me immediately..Love her, but she has not looked like that in a long time - that piece of the photo has definitely been altered... Needlessly , because Kate is a lovely woman. Happy Holidays, ladies - looking forward to the coming months of Royal Watching. Contemplating getting a subscription to "Hello" magazine - but will cost $175 to come to me here in the States. Can anyone comment as to if that magazine is worth that?

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  33. I love this photo. I for one don't think a Christmas card photo has to have anything to do with Christmas actually in the photo. The card takes care of that part of it; the photo is primarily to display the family, right?

    The news about Charlotte's preschool is interesting. It looks like a lovely place.

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    1. Photoshopped? Then why didn't he fit Kate's suit properly and straighten George's shirt and socks, maybe even William's tie? The only person who looks ready for a photo is Charlotte. The Spanish family were exquisitely groomed, dressed in beautiful colors, and posed in front of a regal setting.

      But I love the smiles in this photo of the Cambridge family, and the connections - George holding William's finger, Kate with her arm behind William's back. George looks ready to dash away, but Charlotte poses perfectly. So cute.

      Given Kate's pregnancy, this may be the best family picture of the year.

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    2. (Patricia I. In answer to your question. See my comment below about "cute imperfections".)

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  34. I adore the photo! It looks formal at first glance... and then you see George's socks are uneven, his left shoe is falling off, Charlotte has a cheeky grin and the parents are just trying to keep them still. It shows beautiful family dynamics and shows how comfortable the kids are around their parents.

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    1. Completely agree Suzie!!! For all of the perfectness of the photo, it's the slight imperfections of the moment that come through...if you are willing to see it. cc

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    2. I don't know, it looks to me like they photoshopped Kate in, as she isn't touching Charlotte at all, and her placement next to William looks a little odd. Strange photo.

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    3. I agree. Kate has been photoshopped in which is putting me off this otherwise lovely card. Was she not in the original photo? Did she dislike how she looked, so her image was swapped out? Either way, the photoshopping perpetuates a phoniness that is very off putting and shouldn't have a place in their holiday family photograph. Disappointing.

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    4. Just some food for thought. Those "cute imperfections", the sock, the little kick, the stance and 'look'" were strangely similar to the other "cute imperfections" in other photos. George's toy and Charlotte's shoe being placed where they were in the autumn photo seemed staged as others also said. George looking at Lupo in the window photo seemed off angle and photoshopped as others also said. Odd similarities when taken with the thought of photoshopping. (shades of the Sgt. Pepper's album cover, lol.)
      To be honest, as much as I like William and Kate, this photo was like a slap in the face. No offense to anyone.

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    5. Yeah, surfer girl, this is not the first time they've used photoshop for their family images. I understand how hard it is to get four people and a dog, and especially very young children to look good simultaneously for a photo. So, in that respect, I get it but photoshopping is easy to spot and does take a certain authenticity away from the photo. I would much rather see an imperfect real time photo than a highly altered one anyday.

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    6. No offense taken surfer girl!! I, for one, love to read your comments and completely respect your point of view, I just don't happen to share your sentiments this time:(. cc

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    7. :), cc. It's all good. no problem. ๐ŸŽ„Merry Christmas to you and yours, cc

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    8. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, surfer girl :)!!! cc

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  35. I wish their photo wasn't so gender-conforming -- Kate holding Charlotte and Will with George, everyone dressed in a stereotypical male/female outfit.

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    1. It is what it is and that ain't bad.

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    2. I'm just trying to imagine (no offence intended, Ivy) how people would react if the Cambridges were trying to be less stereotypical - perhaps William in a kilt, Charlotte and Kate in jeans and George in a dressing gown? ๐Ÿ˜ƒ (although he had been photographed in a dressing gown before and it was quite a success...).
      As for the positions (W+G, K+Ch), perhaps they tried more options and this one came out the best, who knows.

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    3. I'm not saying it has to be like that. But this looks like a 1950's family portrait that Don Draper's family would have sent out. The extreme primness of the photo is what's a turn-off to me. Christmas photos are supposed to be slightly warmer, more casual, and not look like drivers' license photos.

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    4. If you look at any one of their trips with their kids, even at Christmas, etc., William is holding George and Kate is holding Charlotte. I noticed that a long time ago, and always assumed it's because William and George are the future kings. I would be interesting to see how it would play out had Charlotte been born first. George clearly always migrates to his dad.

      The photo is boring and sterile, which is pretty much what I think of the Cambridges. I never thought I'd be excited for Meghan Markle, but I am! At least she'll be more open.

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    5. In my family photos my husband is usually holding my daughter because she’s older and bigger. They may have a similar dynamic and there’s nothing abnormal about that!

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    6. Mrs. T, that has been my impression as well.

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  36. Maggie - Minneapolis18 December 2017 at 18:35

    Oops so many posts from me today, sorry! But just wanted to say - I find it odd for a nursery to have, and advertise, an all-female staff. Well not odd I guess, to have one, bc women are by far the dominant gender in that career area. But that's exactly why it's not a good thing. It helps promote gender stereotypes, and it's important for children to begin witnessing equality from a young age. Perhaps even more important than usual for someone like Charlotte, who is the member of a family that operates on a lot of sexist ideals to begin with, and has parents who epitomize very traditional gender roles as well. She should be exposed to the idea that women do not have to be the primary caretakers, and that it's not a "feminine" role. And the BRF shouldn't endorse a nursery that follows those gender stereotypes, which also promote a lot of stigma against any men who want to be nursery school teachers.

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    1. I also thought it was a bit odd. And that their motto is 'high standard of excellence...and good manners.'

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    2. Perhaps Prince Philip would have a different opinion on the example Charlotte has been exposed to... ;-)

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    3. Perhaps it is a way of counteracting the very reasonable fear many parents have of their small children falling victim to institutionalsed paedophilia. Most of the perpetrators male and every day more instances all over the world come to light.

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    4. Hello Maggie, according to the BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7838273.stm) only 2% of the workforce in nursery school are men (in the UK, that is). So, by choosing this school, the Cambridges are hardly endorsing a stereotype - or if they are, it is not their fault. The article goes on: "An expert from the union Voice - which represents nursery nurses and other childcare and education staff across the UK - said children needed male as well as female role models.
      There are far more children nowadays who come from one parent families and, generally speaking, those one parent families have a female parent rather than a male parent, so children aren't getting a male role model at home.
      And at nursery and in school - because of the predominantly female workforce - they aren't getting a male role model there either.
      However, unless more is done to improve the pay, working conditions, training, career development and status of nursery staff, I fear that men - and, increasingly, women - will not be attracted to childcare as a profession.
      The problem is self-perpetuating - as children go through nurseries with predominantly female staff, they've grown up perceiving it as a female profession, so when young men come to choose their own career, they don't tend to think of childcare because they see it as 'female.'"
      I know that DKB is not a platform for discussing childcare in detail but I thought it would be fair to say that the Cambridges, who are a family with both parents and enough male members in broader family all around (great-grand father included) probably chose the school because it is a quality one, has good references, good location, nice timetable and focuses on music&art, and they are hoping that their daughter will have a good time there; not because they are trying to endorse a gender stereotype.

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  37. I don't believe the Cambridges have ever done a Christmas theme in their photos, entire bunch in red jumpers surrounded by holly sort of thing. I like this one very much, it marks quite a departure from the more casual photos, and I think is a quiet signal that their Senior Royal role is more significant as the Queen slowly withdraws from a full time workload. They all look wonderful. Look at Miss Charlotte, so grown up.

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  38. Nice photo. I love the shades of blue & the CW suit that Kate selected is stunning! It looks much better here than when it was wrinkled up in the Netherlands. I miss her long hair, too. Her face looks...different. I've noticed William looks the same in almost every family portrait, but Kate looks different in every single one (apart from the one taken in Canada last year). What a beautiful looking family. Can't wait for the new addition next year!

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  39. I agree about the photo feeling too formal. Charles & Camila released a formal photo that still felt more relaxed than the Cambridge’s so there is a way to be formal yet relaxed.

    I would’ve liked something more Christmasy - similar to when George wore his wooden soldier sweater or even just Christmas colors. We’ve seen Kate in red and green before so something more in the holiday spirit would be nice.

    I hope we get a photo of Charlotte on her way to nursery like we did of George, I would also be ok with a photo of the four of them on the steps before school like we got of George & William early this year.

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    1. Kate knows how to do "Kate things". Hope she includes their Christmas photo in that next time.
      Why would they ever have to photoshop Kate? I don't understand their photoshopping at all.

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  40. These things are very subjective, but even those who think it's a nice photo, feel it's not right for the occasion. And I would agree.

    The royal cards are often not "Christmassy" but they are usually something new that hasn't been seen before, maybe from a private family event, and almost always something with a warm family theme.

    I am convinced this was taken when they were all getting head shots for passport pics, which William and Kate have also used for other official purposes. That's exactly what it looks like, especially the background which is required to be plain like this, very matter of fact, very business like.

    What bothers me most is that the age of the photo, combined with the sterile appearance, make me feel it was a complete afterthought to them, "just use this one" type thing. No planning or care taken, not exactly the best thing to convey to the public. Even the photos on display in the Queen's Christmas message are chosen very specifically.

    Is it the end of the world? No. Neither was the stealth departure from the staff Christmas party. But minor things done repeatedly can have major consequences. These are such easy opportunities for goodwill for William and Kate, such easy fixes, and not only do they not take advantage of it, they do something that seems to send a rather different message entirely.

    So I find it puzzling, it does nothing to score some easy points. A current, warmer family shot, showing the *growing* next generation would have been more effective in my opinion. I feel most Brits will look at this and say ho-hum, moving on...

    In the meantime I will say ho ho ho :) and wish all celebrating a very Merry Christmas! And may Charlotte, who provides us with this space, find everything she wants in her stocking! X

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    1. I agree with you 100%. This is a nice picture of the four of them, but it's very sterile and impersonal. Charle's team is much more PR savvy - releasing a picture from her 70th birthday party, which we have never seen pictures of; Princess Victoria also knows the value of good PR - a video and a lovely photo of them playing in the snow. I can't help thinking how nice it would have been to show them sitting on a sofa in their home or maybe from a holiday someplace - something that shows us a little of who they are behind closed doors - probably would have gone over much better.

      I know it's only a picture, but their hyper need for extreme privacy is probably at the heart of this. W&K are still popular, but can't help wondering if interest in them is falling due to them not letting anybody really know them. It's a missed opportunity in my opinion.

      Happy Holiday!!!

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    2. I have very similar thoughts... Almost seems they don't want to provide us with a current foto :-(

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    3. This photo baffles me. 1) So formal as to be completely impersonal. 2) Kate is clearly photoshopped - why???? It looks like the family posed with a wax museum statue of her. And where is her right arm?

      They are all beautiful people and you can see a bit of George and Charlotte's cheeky personalities. I do love Kate's suit and Charlotte's dress. Otherwise it is a complete miss for me.

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    4. To me this picture says - we are doing this because we have to. Not because we want to. These people live in beautiful homes and surroundings. Choosing a white background signals to me that they don't want to allow even a peak into their homes or lives and want to present mannequin versions of themselves. You can project whatever you want onto this image, but it won't be the real thing. Maybe they have good reasons for being this defensive but honestly it appears elitist to me.

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    5. Melissa, I don't know if interest in them is decreasing or not. But I am very sure they want it to decrease. I am convinced they would be happy to have just the kind of attention Anne or the Queen gets. IMO, they have no wish to be on the front page of women's magazines. And the way to go for that is to keep it boring. To bad for us, but there it is!

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    6. Julia from Leominster19 December 2017 at 15:05

      You sometimes get what you wish for and then find in the last thing in the world you wanted - and there is no going back even though you desperately need to.

      Interest in the whole royal family is fading and their role is being increasingly questioned - their privileges, expenses, and even purpose, are being attacked, and the natural inequality being royal represents is being increasingly challenged. They aren't being covered as much - and young people especially are not just losing interesting but flirting with republicanism. Even the coming wedding is receiving only muted interest and the least amount from the young.

      The whole republican movement is going to increase enormously when the queen dies - with not being seen a sign not of working behind the scenes, but not working at all.
      So perhaps too bad for royalists but terribly bad for the royals who may find themselves fighting for employment and privileges and trying to rebuild where it would have been easier not to lose ground int the first place. Boring isn't bad, it's actually dangerous. A sufficient decrease in interest could be fatal.

      I'm not suggesting that royals become celebrities - far from it - that is dangerous too, muddying the waters for celebrities are expendable - interest in them rises and fades as they age - and few survive that - they disappear into oblivion. But the important thing is staying with the queen's mantra - we have to be seen to be believed and extending that to 'we have to be seen working to be believed'

      Or to paraphrase Eliot - for the royals, it will be: this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.

      At this hour, the public still believes in the institution of royalty. William and Kate have squandered much of the good will that came at their wedding - and along with Harry, may be seen as young by some of us oldies but are already dated by a generation almost two decades younger than they are.

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    7. It's a very hard balance just in theory to balance "public but private", "glam but mysterious". Add to that human emotions and imperfect humans (as we all are) and it's a way harder science than people might expect.

      I'm not bothered by this picture. I actually like that there will exist a more formal one of the family. Was it maybe the best one for christmas? Perhaps not. But I also don't think christmas cards have to be too cosy. And the Cambridges do cosy often enough. I'm also not bothered that it's not a "new" picture. It's not too old and this spring we'll get nursery picture, wedding, first picture with new sibling and christening pictures so we'll see them plenty soon enough!

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    8. Julia, I've had a small wonder for years if perhaps William would actually like the British monarchy to end or at least to drastically decrease in every way. Especially if it ends in a whimper, gradually - not a massive scandal with a sudden end.

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    9. What? Off to the tower with you, florida girl. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

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    10. florida girl and surfer girl,
      Not just William:) They are truly in a very odd situation, they actually have no control or impact on political decisions, they are what... Queen Elizabeth was/is the in between piece. She was part of the generation that mattered but has lived long enough to see that she no longer does not not matter. So if you were born believing you actually impacted your countries course in the world and your chidden and grandkids got some of that but now ...you finally understand you have no real importance.... what does one do, everyone has to readjust, learn to just be what... I actually find it a bit sad.

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    11. ali, I get cha, lol. Relevancy and not being so politically correct that you become impotent are certainly topics that I'm sure they pondered for years. But at the same time being such a rich historical thread, generating revenue in doing that, sponsoring and supporting charitable causes might give them a moment or two of solace and a modicum of self esteem. :)
      Basically, I have just always wanted to use the phrase, "Off to the tower with you" and took the tiniest opportunity to do so. (thankfully florida girl seems to be being a good sport about it, lol.)

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  41. Definitely missed opportunities, Claudia. Such silly oversights. They need a good PR team. PR is essential for them and it should be excellent. And it isn't.

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  42. Amazing the varied and passionate opinions a simple family photo can generate. I love the picture. I like the formality and I love the human-ness that juxtaposes it. Spirited kiddos, a couple attuned to each other and happiness in general. I’m looking at the photos on my phone so can’t really speak to the alleged photoshopping of the Duchess. But I love the suit she’s wearing and the fact that I think she must have an arm on William’s back as they stand close for the shot. A lovely family and I wish them all a Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2018!

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  43. Agree! Love the photo! The family looks lovely & happy. I'm amazed that a beautiful photo can draw so much criticism. Most of us use whatever nice photo we have from the previously year. Everyone needs to stop majoring in the minors & focus on more important things this Christmas. How about sharing how you are serving others this Christmas as they do.

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    1. Maggie - Minneapolis19 December 2017 at 03:27

      Lol the hypocrisy here... It can't just be "majoring in the minors" when the opinion is negative - saying you "love" the photo and also even being someone who follows a woman whose only claim to anything special is based on who she married is still caring about something "minor", even if you say something positive. So why don't you share how you are serving others?
      Also, shocking as this must seem, as it turns out, most people can post opinions about something online or spend time with personal interests and hobbies while also finding a way to, you know, do something else for the like 23.5 other hours of the day. Anyways the day ppl stop caring about "the minors" is the day the royal family loses all its taxpayer funding and privileged lifestyles. And the fact that none of us (I assume :P) take a bunch of taxpayer money for our security or home or anything else, I. E. taxpayer money that otherwise could go towards more needy ppl, that alone means we all serve others more than the royals. And hilariously, any of us who are British and pay taxes are ppl who actually serve the royal family.
      But in all seriousness, the implication that we are all shallow ppl in comparison to the BRF (esp compared to Kate and her very privileged, relaxed lifestyle from a very young age) is incredibly rude, patronizing, and also silly since it ignores a key fact - that the royals have no jobs...just service. Some of us actually have to work if we want to be able to afford super luxurious things like food, having a roof over our heads, etc. Although I know tons of ppl who both work full time and yet still do more hours of volunteering per year than Kate does at engagements. Most of us didnt/haven't gotten to spend our entire twenties mostly partying, shopping, and jetsetting to luxurious vacation destinations constantly while our parents pay for everything either.

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    2. I love your suggestion, Katrina!

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    3. And I agree with Maggie.

      It is amazing how people with different names come and comment the same thing for a x times just because they don't like others' comments.

      Frankly, Maggie, don't waste your time on them, not worth it.

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    4. Anett, I get the instinct to comment things like this (I do fall for it myself at times). But in general, the ignore and scroll by way is usually the one that leads to the least disturbance. Charlotte will be aware of similar IPs posting or a general trend of comments and will handle that accordingly. In general (and again, I fail at this myself) policeing from all sides other than moderators usually disturb more than it helps. Just a thought (and something I have to remind myself many times!)

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    5. I have no problem with positive comments, and I would never lecture anyone why she keeps posting those, so I fail to see why people come and lecture others and tell them what to think. But that is me.

      I agree, scroll down is an option for us all. Policy and moderation is necessary and Charlotte does a great job there while leaving people to express themselves freely. This is a catch 22. I must go back scrolling down :-))

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    6. Great comments Katrina and Karen. Agree that I was surprised at the amount of emotion this lovely picture of a lovely family has engendered. Hope everyone has a great Christmas!

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    7. It's odd to me that posters who complain about elitism of the royal family or who consistently post negative comments are drawn to a fan site like this.
      The royal family is responsible for 1.8 billion pounds contribution to the UK economy.

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    8. I actually would like to know how they are serving others this Christmas, Katrina, seeing as you brought up social responsibility. Have you read something I haven't?

      Anett, I like your response. Amazing how people are told to scroll down all the time, isn't it? Like your opinion means less than someone else's. Opinions are what we see looking through our life's prism and they all reflect differently and approach from different angles.

      HO HO HO!!

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    9. I'm as tired of reading ridiculous posts as you are 0230. But please let me know where this blog says this is a fan site anywhere. If it is, and only fawning fans are welcome I'm happy to let myself out.

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    10. Bluhare

      HAHA HAHA OR HO HO HO :))

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  44. Thanks, Charlotte. Lovely photo of the young Royals. Looking forward to Charlotte’s day off to nursery school.

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  45. A note about Charlotte's attending school "full time" while George went "part time:"
    George went two -three half days a week, which I believe is still his schedule. Charlotte will go half days as well, mornings. She will apparently go five half days a week..."full time."

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    1. Jamie, do "we" know for sure what her school schedule is? I looked at the school website and they have 3 options. Just curious if the school or the BRF press had specified what her schedule would be.Thanks for any information.

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  46. Thanks, Charlotte. Lovely picture of the Cambridge family. Looking forward to Charlotte’s first day at nursery school.

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  47. Great post! Thanks for the description of the nursery! :D

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  48. I see a happy, young family and was delighted to find this post. :-)

    Royal Christmas cards are not known to be very Christmasy. Quite often, it *is* a photo taken earlier in the year.

    In the past, the Cambridge's have been criticized for being too informal or not looking at the camera in the official photos they released. Well, another year...another approach. Call me sentimental, but I have a difficult time having a difficult time with a photo of a happy young family where the love and family bond is so clear to see.

    http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/g3072/royal-christmas-cards/

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    1. I share your sentiments, royalfan. Thank you for the link, it was great going through the cards!
      Whereas the last year's picture was a candid one, this year it is formal. No picture will ever be liked by everyone and there can always be something to complain about. I remember complaints about the wintery pictures of them in Switzerland as not being "natural enough"... A lot of people loved those pictures nonetheless. Tastes differ, for sure.
      I have just realised that this may be the last "official" portrait of their family with 4 members. Looking forward to the next year's card... the symmetry and dynamics will be very different!

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    2. Thank you royalfan for the link! What a nice look through the years of the cards. Particularly like the one of HRH Princess Elizabeth in 1942; and the one of the Queen and her family in 1957, in blue!!! None of the cards are done in a Christmas "theme". Seeing the Cambridge's Christmas cards in the past few years just seals it for me that they have done a nice mix of photos, informal and formal and seem to be following a royal tradition. When you pick photos from the year for a Christmas card, you tend to choose ones that have meaning, or you like how everybody is smiling, or as Zora states, it's the last time it will be an official portrait of the four of them....whatever their reason for choosing it, it is a lovely, happy family photo that I am glad they shared with us. cc

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    3. Thanks Royalfan for the link. I really enjoyed looking through the photos, and loved Elizabeth, Philip and the children all in blue. There wasn't a Christmas theme photo in the bunch. As I posted above, no complaints from me. They are a beautiful family. Wishing Charlotte and everyone here, love-filled winter solstice, and enjoyment in whatever holiday you celebrate.

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    4. You're welcome Zora and CeCe! Sometimes, when you look at the big picture, the smaller one makes more sense. ;-) And if you consider PP's retirement and the obvious consequences within the Firm, this photo seems quite appropriate at this time.

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  49. what a beautiful photo I love it! merry christmas to the cambridges! Kate looks beautiful it is a bit sad people have to criticize everything... like kate being photoshopped literally every photo now is photoshopped.

    happy christmas to everyone on this blog and especially Charlotte!

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  50. It just occurred to me how wonderful Kate's letter is. Having binge watched The Crown for the past few days, I feel really upset about Charles' childhood. The fact that Charles did not mimic his father's behaviour, but rather sent his two boys to Eton instead than a bootcamp for a school speaks volumes of his character as a quality parent. Charles must be so proud of William and Harry for their work within mental health, and also of Kate who is a role model in childhood advocacy. The Royal Family has come a long way.

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  51. I do like the photograph and am glad to have it - it shows off the attractiveness of the family - but it isn't memorable. I Confess I mourn the days when there were royal photographers of great quality - Beaton, Parkinson, Snowdon, Lichfield, who took photos that might be in an exhibit someday. I'm a little surprised that Kate with her interest in photography hasn't pursued this more - perhaps there is no one.

    The celebrity photographers the royal family has used of late haven't produced anything truly remarkable although some of their work has been more interesting than this - some worse. Some of the European photographs of royal have more character - even the similar Spanish Christmas photo - but I still don't see much that defines an era - or maybe it says something about our era.

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  52. As someone else mentioned this foto was probably made for another purpose. Maybe before the poland/germany tour,maybe to send it to embassies etc. To me it looks like a "business" foto, they could use it on their homepage. There it would be perfect! Before this foto was published I thought they would pick a foto from the Poland /germany tour (like they did last year...at least it was a more personal foto).

    I don't say they have to wear jumpers with Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, but something more adapted to this season...last year on church George and Charlotte had those cute coats and a candy in their hands (something like that)...maybe a foto taken in Kensington gardens...a foto with the kids on the sofa...there are so many possibilities...really did no one (PR team? W&K?) think about it? Don't they have a look at what other European royal houses do?

    From my comments you can see that this time I'm disappointed although I'm a big Kate fan.

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    1. Your suggestions for their photos are very good ones, Allegraflora. Those are the kind of photos I was expecting and believe would warm the hearts of many towards the Monarchy. Instead we got an unconsidered choice of photo as you've said and that apparent selection process speaks volumes, especially when coupled with leaving the restaurant like they did, etc.

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  53. Interesting to see all the diverse opinions. From my perspective I think it is a good photograph and one that will be a go to photograph decades from now. It is an incredibly symbolic picture and very much a statement of future intent. William and Kate in formal working clothes encased and surrounded by the rigid marble that is the structure of their lives. The strength of their relationship and their happiness in the future is palpable.
    They are the major focus . Liked that the children are just children with expressions of the moment and not sporting induced smiles.Loved all the little details - William's not quite straight tie. Wouldn't that have bothered Hercules Poirot.Kate's top slightly creased on one side where one imagines she was carrying Charlotte minutes earlier. Little George's one sock up and one sock down and his swinging leg. Loved his finger in his Dad's hand and the size comparison that reminds us that he is still a small boy. And little Charlotte with that look so reminscent of her grandma when she is talking to her horses, sizing up the world around her. I also liked that there is a height comparison. Blue to signify depth stability and calmness. So for me not a sterile picture at all.

    On a totally different note it would be so interesting if commentators would expand their critiques to explain why. Lots of people said the picture was sterile but very few said what it was that made them feel that way. I very much enjoyed the comments when people expanded their remarks. I also fully understand people had expectations of a different senario and were bitterly disappointed. However there are billions of poeple on the planet and unlikely we will al be pleased at once.

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    1. So nicely spoken, alimai. I approve of your wish, commentators could expand their critiques, it would really be interesting to understand the why and so a good dialog could develop.

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    2. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, alimai! I really enjoyed reading your impressions/analysis (don't know which way you'd rather call it). And your Poirot remark made me smile :)

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    3. Ok here's what I don't like, to be specific:
      1) The outfit Kate is wearing. This is her go-to "business" outfit. She wore it on her trip to the Netherlands. The "praline" Rossi pumps are also her go-to "business" shoes. She looks like she's on her way to an interview.
      2) The photoshopping. It's ... odd. The contours of Kate's face, hair, clothes, etc are completely different from Will, George and Charlotte. It looks like they're standing in one picture and they cropped Kate in, disappearing arm and all. Even their eye focus is different -- Will, George and Charlotte are looking straight at the camera and Kate is looking askew. It's just weird.
      3) The exaggerated gender stereotypes. A look at some of the Queen's Christmas cards show that although those pictures are vintage and thus have a more formal air she did choose some very charming, candid photos of her family.
      4) AND this is my biggest gripe: the lack of warmth in the picture. The body language from the four is very stiff. There are probably tons and tons of photos of the family with warmer body language. I think by now we know that Kate is very much a traditional wife/mom type and relishes that role. Personally I think that's great -- many women don't take to that kind of domestic life as well as Kate and certainly royals in the past have had a hard time being as "hands-on" in child-rearing as Kate has been. So show a picture where she looks like Supermom, and not a Stepford wife.

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    4. (This is not the first weirdly photoshopped photo either, Ivy. That is even weirder.)

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    5. It is an odd photo, but i go to the simple answer first, i.e. do not see zebras when it is just horses. So for my 2 cents, I think they were all there for the photo, no one was cropped in, but they did photoshop hair and color etc, and it was a very very poor choice of background with all the blue clothes. I actually lay all this on the photographer, and as much as they may love him, after seeing several years of photos, sorry, but they need someone new. He is just not very good.

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  54. It's a lovely photo of the family, and of the children who are growing so fast. George will be tall like his parents! I wish the photo had been taken this month instead, so we could see how much they've grown since that photo shoot! Can't wait to see Catherine's ensemble on Christmas, and am also looking forward to seeing Meghan and Harry with the family, it's going to be a festive year! Happy holidays and New Year to the royal family, and to all of you from Portland, Oregon! :)

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    1. I hope no one close to you was affected, anon 14:09, by the terrible train accident. It is hard to believe that railroad speeds are not automatically controlled.

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    2. Patricia, thank you so much! Me and mine were not affected, thank god, but we do ride that train once in a while, so future rides will be more fearful unfortunately. So sad for all of the victims. Take care, and thanks again for your concern! xoxo Happy holidays!

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  55. Julia from Leominster19 December 2017 at 14:45

    My favourite photos of the children continue to be candid ones glimpsed over the years - George so happy behind the window at Buckingham Palace with Maria at the Trooping and rolling on the grass during polo. Charlotte hugging the balloons in Canada. And there are a couple of Kate with children - playing the drums at Christmas and one hugging a child from several years back that capture a joy not seen in formal photos.

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    1. That is true. I hope in the future we'll get some "flashback pictures" similar to those. I can understand not wanting to share those glimpses in the present when they feel private but I would love seeing those pictures in the future. I mean, I'm sure we'll see new pictures of the Cambridge children for decades. I mean, we still see new pictures of the Queen as a kid! So now that we're right in the middle of it it might seem less than the hindsight perspective we have of the adult royals.

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  56. Beautiful picture of a very happy family! Just love Princess Charlotte.

    Border Terrier lover :-)

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  57. I think that this is a lovely picture and they clearly wanted a picture of the 4 of them. I suspect that Kate's pregnancy and HG made her unable or unwilling to pose somewhat later in the year. Maybe she's like a lot of us and didn't want to memorialize her pregnancy for this picture.

    And for the record, my holiday cards are generally pictures from special events throughout the year, and never holiday-ish!

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  58. I've come here to comment on how I adore the Cambridges' photo only to be once again saddened by the negativity that is brought about by over-analysis. Let us take a step back, shall we? It is a sweet photo from a happy family. William and Kate have been very generous with the kids this past year. We had royal tours on top of expected family occasions. We have loads of informal and candid photos from those. This one makes a good balance.

    It is also quite bittersweet that I look at Charlotte and think she's such a little grown up now. She seems quite a confident little girl and I have no doubt she will thrive at nursery school.

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    1. Amen. Thank you Suzie for your well expressed words! xo

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  59. ๐ŸŽ„love the festive header. :)

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  60. Really odd photo. It's sterile and feels off. I agree with those that said it has a photoshopped feel (although what, exactly, would be needing photoshopping is beyond me). Still, nice to see the family.

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  61. I I don’t comment much anymore but I have to say OMG to all the comments. No matter what this family do they are going to get criticized do they may as well do it their way. Maybe Charlotte was leaning back into Catherine’s legs and is too low down and that’s why Catherine isn’t holding her ... maybe she’s pinching William on the butt and that’s why her arm isn’t visible... would explain his grin:-)

    Erin in nyc

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    1. LOL I just had this image of the Duchess grabbing his butt! :) Thanks for making me laugh!

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    2. It's rather tiresome when genuine critiques are passed off as criticizing for the sake of criticizing. Some people really like the photograph and that's great, but other commenters (including myself) feel it is cold and impersonal. I think they all look nice, but nothing about it says "Happy Christmas".

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  62. Charlotte, I look forward to your Christmas header each year. It is lovely and festive, never failing to get me inro the holiday mood.

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    1. Thank you, it's a bit late this year :)

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    2. Love it! :) Merry Xmas to you & your family, Charlotte! & to all DKB & MAM readers x

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    3. I never noticed:)

      Thank you, Kiwi Gal. Merry Chritmas to you and yours as well!

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    4. Christmas! Its a lousy typing day!

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    5. ๐ŸŽ„The Merriest Of Christmas' to you and yours also. :)

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    6. And to all here on DKB. ๐ŸŽ„ :)

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    7. Merry Christmas to you surfer girl!

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    8. To you and yours also, Erika. ๐ŸŽ„

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  63. Tammy from California20 December 2017 at 02:08

    That baby girl is "Gan-Gan" and Granny Carole 100%! Sometimes I see more of one than the other, but NO doubt who her grandma and great-grandma are!

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  64. Watch for Load More when it appears at 200 comments!

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  65. I love the blog decoration, and though my memory can play tricks on me, but it is the first time the letters' colour is changing right? Perfect! Well done!

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