See The Royal Family’s Christmas Cards Throughout History

PA / Matt Porteous

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When you’re the British royal family, your Christmas card mailing list isn’t just family friends and neighbors—it’s an entire country. And now, thanks to social media, the whole world. So, some haphazard photo from a family vacation or college graduation? Not going to cut it.

Fortunately, with a more than century-old tradition of sending out holiday cards, they’ve got plenty of practice. Take 1914, when Princess Mary sent out a demure picture of herself alongside the message “with best wishes for a Happy Christmas and Victorious New Year,” as a part of a gift tin for soldiers, or 1942, when the then-Princess Elizabeth sent out a card of herself in her wartime uniform. Fast forward 50 or so years, and there’s a black and white photograph of an eye-liner heavy Princess Diana and her sons, William and Harry.

Come 2022, the next generation of royals are putting their own spin on the time-honored tradition. This year, the Cambridges released a color-coordinated photograph that showed the entire family walking through the grounds of their Norfolk estate, Anmer Hall. In 2021, they distributed a picture of themselves enjoying a visit to Jordan—a British commonwealth country where Kate Middleton lived for two years as a child.

Last holiday season,  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also shared a photograph of Archie and Lilibet in Montecito. The couple also made sure to highlight several important charities, including Team Rubicon.

Below, click through the history of British royal Christmas cards.

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