These Royal Family Christmas Cards Over the Years Are Incredible

From the early cards of King George to the new, more modern portraits featuring Princess Charlotte and Prince George, we're just happy to see some royal cheer. Here are a few of our favorite Christmas cards from the royal family throughout the years.

Royal Family
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Christmas is a time to spread joy and cheer, and that extends to the royal family across the pond. For the past 70 years, it's been of royal tradition to release Christmas cards to the public, offering a behind-the-scenes peek into royal life. From the early, formal cards of King George V to the new, more modern snapshots featuring Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and even Prince Louis (!), we're warmed by the royal cheer. Here's a few of our favorite royal Christmas cards throughout the years.

1. 1914

Royal family, Christmas card

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Queen Elizabeth II's grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, sent this holiday card to the troops fighting in World War I.

2. 1939

Royal family, Christmas card

(Image credit: Royal Collection Trust)

A 9-year-old Princess Margaret and a 13-year-old then-Princess Elizabeth pose for the holiday portrait, a practice started by the Queen’s parents, George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

3. 1942

Royal family, Christmas card

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Just like her grandparents, Queen Elizabeth sent Christmas portraits to the Grenadier Guards regiment of the British Army, who were fighting in World War II.

4. 1969 & 1979

Royal family, Christmas card

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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh posed for family portraits with the whole family ten years apart, featuring Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.

5. 1987

Royal family, Christmas card

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Amidst rumors of marital strife, Charles, Diana, and the boys still sat down for their annual Christmas portrait.

6. 1988

Royal family, Christmas card

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The royal love for horses is well-known and well-documented, so it should come as no surprise that this year, they posed for the family portrait in the stables.

7. 1991 & 1997

Royal family, Christmas card

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What a difference six years makes! The top photo is one of the last family portraits Diana ever posed for, and the bottom was taken just days before Diana's death.

8. 2014

Royal family, Christmas card

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A candid moment! The 2014 holiday card from Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla features the couple laughing during the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony.

9. 2015

Royal family, Christmas card

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Taken in Scotland during royal holiday, this portrait of Charles and Camilla is too sweet for words.

10. 2016

Royal family, Christmas card

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This year's card shows Prince Charles and Camilla during their royal tour of Croatia, where they met local performers wearing traditional outfits in Tvrda, the old town of the city of Osijek.

11. 2017

Royal family, Christmas card

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By comparison, this year's portrait is a little subdued and certainly more formal. But it's still adorable, we love a Prince Charles and Camilla moment.

12. 2017

Royal family, Christmas card

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The first royal holiday portrait of Prince William, Kate, Prince George and Princess Charlotte is a precious one. Look at how they all coordinate! This is only the beginning of a future of Cambridge family portraits.

13. 2018

Royal family, Christmas card

(Image credit: Instagram, Kensington Palace)

This outdoorsy Christmas card was the first since Prince Louis' birth. It was also their first formal photograph as a family of five.

14. 2019

Royal family, Christmas card

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This gorgeous sneak peek from the Cambridges' Christmas card came courtesy of Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, who shared it to Twitter. Look at how much they've all grown!

15. 2019

Royal family, Christmas card

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Charles and Camilla chose to release their card ahead of the Cambridges and Sussexes—potentially due to his status as heir to the throne. The photo shows them in one of their gorgeous classic cars, which they drove in their historic trip to Cuba in March 2019. Casual, just like most of their Christmas cards!

Amanda Mitchell
Amanda Mitchell

Amanda Mitchell is a writer and podcaster with bylines at Marie Claire, OprahMag, Allure, Byrdie, Stylecaster, Bon Appetit, and more. Her work exists at the apex of beauty, pop culture, and absurdity. A human Funfetti cake, she watches too much television, and her favorite season is awards season. You can read more of her work at amandaelizabethmitchell.com or follow her on Instagram and Twitter @lochnessmanda.