Buckingham Palace Releases First Joint Portrait of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort Alongside the New Prince and Princess of Wales

There’s a hidden detail you may have missed upon first glance.

Camilla, Queen Consort, King Charles III, Prince William, Princess Kate
(Image credit: Getty)

We once thought the so-called “Fab Four” would be Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle. But a new “Fab Four” is emerging, and it represents the future of the British Royal Family for the next generation—King Charles III and wife Camilla, Queen Consort, along with the new Prince and Princess of Wales. The foursome were captured in a stunning photo by longtime royal photographer Chris Jackson on September 18, the night before the Queen’s funeral.

This new royal portrait was released by Royal Communications last night, and features Camilla, Charles, William, and Kate all dressed in black mourning clothes. This particular night, the two couples hosted world leaders and royals from across the globe at a reception at Buckingham Palace. This is the first formal portrait of the new king and his heir apparent, following a portrait of the new sovereign showing him hard at work at Buckingham Palace, sifting through the contents of the famous red box of documents needing his attention on September 11, according to People. (The image wasn’t released until September 23.) In that photo, a black and white photograph of his late parents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, can be seen behind him; it was given to the couple by Her late Majesty’s father, King George VI, for Christmas in 1951—just weeks before his untimely passing on February 6, 1952.

Alongside this new image of Charles, Camilla, William, and Kate read the message “A new image of Their Majesties The King and Queen Consort along with Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales, taken by Getty Images, has been issued…The image was taken at Buckingham Palace on Sunday, 18 September ahead of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort’s reception for Heads of State and Official Overseas Guests at Buckingham Palace.”

And, according to The Mirror, eagle-eyed observers noticed that there are actually three Princes of Wales in the photo—Charles, William, and, in the portrait behind the four royals, there is a portrait of King George IV, who was made Prince of Wales within days of his birth in 1762.

“Royal experts say we should may soon become accustomed to the sight of William and Charles together at official engagements,” The Mirror reports. “It has been suggested Wills will share some duties with Charles in order to lighten the load for our 73-year-old king.” 

The future of the Crown, captured in one photo. The new "Fab Four," indeed.

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.