King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla rang in the holiday season by releasing the first Christmas card of their reign.
The royal couple kept with tradition this week by revealing the candid photo of themselves they chose to grace this year’s holiday card that will be sent out to family, friends, and supporters. This year’s greeting card features a photo of the new monarch smiling in profile as Camilla looks on adoringly. The inscription on the opposite page reads, “Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.” Last year, Charles and Camilla opted for a portrait that reflected the way the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives, choosing a photo of the then-Prince of Wales wearing a face mask at the Royal Ascot that summer as he helped his wife put on one of her own. The pair have chosen a wide array of images for their annual Christmas card over the years, including a casual shot of them enjoying the gardens at Birkhall—Charles’s Scottish home—in 2020, and a photo from their 2019 trip to Havana, Cuba.
This is the first holiday season the royal family will be celebrating without Queen Elizabeth, who died in September. However, they have announced that they will be maintaining their tradition of spending Christmas at Sandringham, the late monarch’s country estate in Norfolk. There, they will likely be joined by other senior royals, including Charles’s siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, as well as his son Prince William, William’s wife Princess Kate, and their three young children. On Christmas, the whole family typically heads to St. Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham where they attend mass and then meet with local well-wishers before heading back to the estate where they enjoy a turkey feast. This year, King Charles will also be recording his first ever Christmas broadcast which usually airs at 3 p.m. local time on Christmas Day.
Before heading up to Norfolk, however, Charles, Camilla, William, and Kate will kick off the holiday season on December 15 by gathering together at Westminster Abbey to sing some seasonal tunes at the Royal Carols: Together At Christmas event. The evening, organized by Princess Kate with the support of the Royal Foundation, is meant to extend the spirit of the holidays to all people, regardless of faith. This year, guests can expect the Abbey Choir to lead them in singing traditional carols, as well as special performances by Craig David, Les Miserables star Samantha Barks, and a duet between opera singer Alfie Boe and former Spice Girl Melanie C. The Christmas Eve broadcast will also be narrated by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and include readings delivered by the Prince of Wales, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Paddington star Hugh Bonneville.
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