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British Royal Family

How this 2021 royal Christmas card ignited debate online, and why we're still eagerly awaiting a very important festive photo

Fans simply can't agree on this one detail...

By Maddison Leach
It's the most wonderful time of the year; royal Christmas card season!
Each year as the holidays approach, members of the royal family release special family portraits to mark the festive season and share their Christmas well-wishes.
The tradition has been alive for over a century and the Queen (who was still Princess Elizabeth when she shared her first royal Christmas card) has been joining in since she was just a girl.
As December 25 approaches once more, other key royals have started to share their festive snaps for this year.
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kicked off the festivities this year with a family portrait they released to social media on Friday.
The photo shows the husband and wife of 10 years posing between their three children, Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three, in front of a rocky backdrop.
Sitting on festive decorations with a plush fur rug beneath them, the family are all smiles in the sweet snap which was captured on a private trip to Jordan earlier in the year.
"Delighted to share a new image of the family, which features on this year's Christmas card," the photo was captioned on the royals' social media channels.
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pose with their children for their annual Christmas portrait. (Twitter / @KensingtonRoyal)
The photo itself is stunning, but it was the children that stole the show, igniting discussion online as royal watchers debated which royal relatives each child most closely resembled.
"Charlotte is such cute princess, she is the mini version of the Queen. George in this pic reminds me a lot of Charles [Spencer], Diana's brother," one wrote.
Another chimed in: "And Prince Louis continues to be the spitting image of Catherine's father."
Others disagreed, insisting that the children most resemble their grandparents: "Is it just me or does Charlotte look exactly like the Queen and little Louis has a lot of Philip in him (in the eyes/stare)?"
But William and Catherine weren't the only royals to share a festive photo this year; Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall posted their own Christmas card soon after.
Theirs featured a candid moment photographed between the couple at Royal Ascot, as the future king helped Camilla adjust her face mask during the event.
The image may seem like an unusual choice, but it is fitting given how much the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the royals, the UK and the world.
"As the countdown to Christmas begins, today we're sharing this year's official Christmas card from The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall," the card was captioned on Twitter.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall posted their own Christmas card nestled in a tree. (Twitter / @ClarenceHouse)
Of course, the holiday season isn't over yet and royal watchers are eagerly awaiting a few more Christmas portraits before December 25 rolls around.
The most anticipated card will come from Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who are currently living in the US following their 2020 royal exit.
Fans are hoping the couple will choose to continue the royal card tradition and share a new photo with their son, Archie, and newborn daughter Lilibet.
They welcomed the healthy baby girl in June but have chosen not to share any photos of her since her birth, leaving royal fans eager to see the first snap of the bub - hopefully over Christmas!

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