There’s Something Missing from the Wales Family Christmas Card—and It’s, Casually, a Body Part

You’ll never be able to unsee it.

Wales family Christmas card 2023
(Image credit: Josh Shinner/The Prince and Princess of Wales)

The Wales family Christmas card is a beautiful portrait—so take one last look at it before we ruin it for you. At first glance, the family of five—the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—are as picture-perfect as ever in their matching white button-downs and denim for the ladies and black trousers for the gentlemen.

But then—zoom in on Louis. Specifically his left hand, the hand that rests on the chair his older sister Charlotte is sitting in. Yeah—our buddy Louis is missing a finger.

Prince Louis in the 2023 Wales family Christmas card

(Image credit: Josh Shinner/The Prince and Princess of Wales)

“Is Prince Louis missing a finger?” one eagle-eyed royal follower wrote on X. “What in the AI is going on.” Another added, per The Sun, “I’m not a fan of this photo, look at Louis and his left hand, what is going on with that?”

Marie Claire reported yesterday on a handful of other hidden messages in the card, most of which were likely intentional—but this potential Photoshop fail obviously was not.

We don’t want the world to take anything from little Louis—his vivacious spirit, his spunk and zest for life—but we definitely don’t want the world to take his middle finger on his left hand. Knowing our guy, he might just put it to good use someday. 

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis

(Image credit: Getty/The Prince and Princess of Wales/Matt Porteous)

That’s apparently not the only thing missing from the Josh Shinner photograph, taken earlier this year at Windsor. (Although the aforementioned is certainly far more disturbing.) The Daily Express reports that fans are also noticing the absence of shoelaces on both Charlotte and Louis, with one fan asking, “Why have Charlotte and Louis had their shoe laces taken from them?” Another joked that it was an “Unfortunate situation that members of the Royal Family cannot afford shoe laces…” while yet another added “My father messaged our group chat to enquire as to why they’ve taken Princess Charlotte’s shoelaces.”

Prince William poses with kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis for Father's Day

(Image credit: Getty)

Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis

(Image credit: Matt Porteous/Prince and Princess of Wales)

Okay, okay, but what about George? Well, it appears nothing was taken away from the future king, but added, rather: there is a trick of light played on George’s hair, if you’ll notice, that makes it appear as if he’s wearing a small crown.

“We’ve had a couple of emails which have made some very good observations,” presenters Anne Diamond and Stephen Dixon read on GB News. “Rebecca says, ‘The picture’s lovely, but at first glance I thought George was wearing a small crown.’ That’s just because of the way the light it. It’s the light on his hair. But once, once you see it, you can’t unsee it.”

Another viewer—a gentleman named Bob—“noticed that Princess Charlotte has Queen Elizabeth’s jaw shape and smile,” they continued. “Charlotte is eight years old. She is sitting there with a beautiful grin on her face, but with the attitude of somebody much older. What’s she going to be like when she grows older, I wonder? Because she’s absolutely fabulous and the camera loves her now.”

Princess Charlotte at Wimbledon

(Image credit: Getty)

Okay, well, back to Monday morning now that we’ve done a further dissection of the Wales family Christmas card. Cheerio!

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.