Kate Middleton and Prince William release family photo

Please go check out my article about Camilla’s lunch with the Helen & Douglas House kids – it’s become one of my favorite events to cover and I’ve already bumped the article once and I don’t want it to get lost in the “new Cambridge family photo” hullabaloo. Thanks.

Anyway, much to my annoyance (why can’t Camilla have a day?), Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, have released a new photo of them as a family of four with their kids, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Cambridge family photo 2015 xl
[@KensingtonRoyal/Chris Jeff]

The Kensington Palace social media accounts posted the photo this morning with the caption:

    “A new family photo – Merry Christmas from The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
    “The Duke and Duchess are hugely appreciative of all the warm messages they have received about their family this year and are very much looking forward to their first Christmas as a family of four.”

KP also announced this morning that Prince George will be starting nursery school in January:

    “Prince George will begin to attend the Westacre Montessori School Nursery in Norfolk before the end of January.
    “The Westacre Montessori School Nursery have said:
    “‘We are looking forward to welcoming George to our nursery where he will get the same special experience as all of our children.'”

[press release]

Nursery school in Norfolk, because they are spending all their time in Norfolk… I guess that “£4.5 million in public money”-renovated KP apartment was totally worth it, right?

Speaking of Norfolk, this Christmas photo was taken in late October in the garden of their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall. If Charlotte’s outfit looks familiar to you, it’s because she wore the same outfit in her Kate-taken photos from November. So either these photos were taken on the same day or Charlotte repeated her outfit. The Kate-taken ones were said to have been taken in early November.

EDIT: My bad, this photo was taken in late October in the garden of Kensington Palace. So it could not have been taken the same day as the previously released Charlotte photos, since those were taken at Anmer Hall.

Charlotte outfit comparison
[The Duchess of Cambridge / @KensingtonRoyal/Chris Jeff]

I don’t have much to say about the photo other than it’s probably one of the best professional photographer-taken photos they’ve released – it has color and movement and actual life to it. They look like your average family of four taking a photo.

I know I shouldn’t be annoyed because they are releasing photos of their kids which is something we’ve been asking for, but… I can’t help it. So I don’t have much to say right now, other than enjoy this photo because it’s probably the last we’ll see for a while.

Oh! I thought of something to say, this “Christmas photo” isn’t very Christmas-y. It was taken outdoors in the fall, so it looks like a fall photo. If they were going to do a “Christmas photo”, they should have taken one indoors by their Christmas decorations, like the Swedes.

Speaking of the Swedes, they released new photos of the Crown Princess family which I will cover tomorrow – unless the Cambridges decide to take yet another day.

185 Comments on Kate Middleton and Prince William release family photo

  1. Patricia
    December 18, 2015 at 7:27 am (2 years ago)

    I am so glad they released a photo, I am thinking the photos were both taken the same day due to this showing the “old” Kate hair, I think. I have to say I liked the old length better. And although it is nice to see them all smiling, I feel bad for George with them dressing him in that dated fashion and poor Charlotte looks a lot like Scarole here. I hope George gets to pick his own clothes soon and Charlotte grows out of the Scarole genes taking over. I will probably get tarred and feathered for saying this, but Kate is a lot prettier than Scarole and I hope those prettier genes take over.

    • katemiddletonreview
      December 18, 2015 at 7:48 am (2 years ago)

      I’m not sure why Kate’s hair length is important to whether or not the two photo sets were taken on the same day but Kate didn’t cut her hair until December.

      I agree with you that Kate is much prettier than Carole.

      • Runner
        December 18, 2015 at 10:19 am (2 years ago)

        I actually think Carole is an attractive lady so it wouldn’t be horrible if Charlotte looked some like her. I will add that Kate is prettier because she is a good combo of both her parents. The Middleton genes are strong and I hope they don’t become Windsor later on…

        • mary elizabeth
          December 18, 2015 at 3:20 pm (2 years ago)

          It really surprises me that the Middleton genes are so strong. When I look at the Middleton women — Carole and Pippa, anyway, I would never think, “Oh, their genes will be so evident in their offspring.”

          Mike Middleton seems like a happy-go-lucky type. Always made me think of one of the actors who would be cast as a chimney sweep in Mary Poppins or My Fair Lady. Still, I would not think his genes would be so strong, either.

          Kate, I agree, is far better looking than either Carole or Pippa, because she inherited the happier look of her dad.

          I guess one is so used to seeing the Windsor genes being so dominant, that it’s hard to think W&K’s kids would not look more like him.

          BTW, perhaps it is the lighting, but Charlotte’s eyes look brown again in the “photoshopped” pic of Kate holding her. And, yikes, she does look like Pippa. In the photo that Kate took of the baby, I didn’t see Pippa or Carole either.

          • Lisa
            December 19, 2015 at 12:58 am (2 years ago)

            Yes, the Middleton genes seem to be dominating at the moment, but the Windsor genes have a really sneaky way of smothering the others later in life. Point in case…William.

    • Accentbeach
      December 19, 2015 at 5:37 am (2 years ago)

      I have a feeling that George will be like Sophie’s daughter Lady Louise. She is dressed very old fashioned and very childish.

  2. JL
    December 18, 2015 at 7:36 am (2 years ago)

    My 1st instinct was what a cute shot. Then I looked harder & I wondered if Charlotte had been dropped in/photoshopped from another image/Kates shoot later on. She looks oddly balanced on Kates knee & how is Kate holding her? Under her dress? If so why isn’t the dress ruched up? And why would Kate do that (and not show The Ring). I see Charlottes shoe on the floor so may be I’m wrong. Most likely 😉

    I’m also sad that Kate is engaged with the kids & William is just by the side. The DM has an article today about Charles’ cards over the years & how he was always distant in them until after the separation…and then they release this. It struck a note with me, though maybe just bad timing.

    Still – jolly nice to see them & the fact they announced his nursery surprised me too. I thought they’d keep that quiet. It has an Ofsted score of Good not Excellent but is on a Private Road, so better for controlling paps. I think that may have swayed them – plus Montessori schools are popular with toffs.

    George is fabulous – what a character!

    • JL
      December 18, 2015 at 7:48 am (2 years ago)

      Oh! Have they done as before & shot W & G and K&C as separate pairs & put them together? Put a gap between W gazing at George to fit Kate & Charlotte in?

      I dunno. The composition looks odd – Charlotte would be looking at George monkeying around, so perhaps to get a good shot they did the kids separately?

      • Runner
        December 18, 2015 at 9:40 am (2 years ago)

        I totally hear you JL. The DM article was very interesting with respect to the Christmas cards Charles and Diana released and how in the beginning, their body language was very close. Once they separated, you could tell because Charles didn’t look at the camera–well at least I thought it was a good observation by the DM. That particular shot is very similar to this one. Strange.

        And why do they need to photoshop? Most families who get professional photos for Christmas don’t. Even if it looks chaotic and not perfect, it’s real…

        • Herazeus
          December 18, 2015 at 2:02 pm (2 years ago)

          The first thing that struck me was that William had been photoshopped into the picture. There is too neat a line down the middle of the picture where it’s William on one side and Kate + kids on the other side.

          Then a friend who is a photographer said that actually it looks like a composite of 3 pictures. This is what he said:

          – George’s position next to Kate doesn’t make sense, if he truly was standing next to her like that, he would be on top of her. Her knee that Charlotte is perched on is actually closer to George if you follow the line of her feet whereas the other knee, closest to William is actually kneeling on the grass.

          – George’s arm is being pulled from slightly above. His shoulder is raised, yet Kate’s shoulder isn’t raised. She’s perfectly balanced yet she’s supposed to be grabbing his arm from behind.

          – lack of a crease on William’s sweater on the side closest to Kate. It’ a perfectly straight line. Too perfect a line compared to his other side closest to us.

          – William’s knee closest to Kate doesn’t make sense if Charlotte was perched on the same knee. There wouldn’t be room for him to squat that wide without knee-ing Charlotte or Kate. Kate and or William’s body language would compensate for his wide stance.

          – And again, look at her foot for that knee, she’s kneeling on that leg, not perching Charlotte on it.

          – Kate’s hair is too big and flowing in such a way that it would be covering William’s face if his face was that close to her and still allow for the flow.

          – Charlotte is literally hovering above Kate’s knee a not contorted in a way where she has two awkwardly placed knees behind her.

          My friend concluded that at best this is three images photoshopped together where George and William are playing together, with a 3rd (erased) person grabbing George. And Kate and Charlotte photoshopped between them.

          Further, Charlotte is photographed entirely separately and photoshopped between Kate and William.

          A composite of 3 photographs.

          • MavenTheFirst
            December 18, 2015 at 2:23 pm (2 years ago)

            Holy cow! Why would they want to do something so complicated? I wonder what the motivation would be. Just. Wow.

            What stood out to me immediately was how separate Wills looks from the rest. And how the pic is really centred on Kate, again.

          • rhiannon
            December 18, 2015 at 3:04 pm (2 years ago)

            Omg. You are spot on.

          • mary elizabeth
            December 18, 2015 at 3:15 pm (2 years ago)

            Herazeus, this is amazing. Just looked at the photo again and you and your friend are so spot on! Wow!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for such solid insight!!!!

          • Herazeus
            December 18, 2015 at 3:17 pm (2 years ago)

            Sorry, got my knees (meaning Kate knees) mixed up as I was commenting and couldn’t edit comment in time.

            The point about about knees stands in terms of positioning of Charlotte hovering rather than perched on her knee.

          • Carla
            December 19, 2015 at 6:55 am (2 years ago)

            Herazeus, I am sure now that the family picture is fotoshopped.
            What a shame.

          • Jen
            December 19, 2015 at 4:53 pm (2 years ago)

            This couple is exasperating! Why are such seemingly simple things, like a family photo, subject to so much staging and manipulation? What is wrong with them that they need to create illusions of perfection? Which, by the way, no-one believes. The word ‘sly’ seems to extend to them all.

          • R
            December 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm (2 years ago)

            Great analysis. I would also add that Charlotte looks too big in comparison to the others; a 6 month old baby would be smaller in comparison. There is also a unexplained black smudge behind her head that’s too dense to be a shadow?! Such an amateur job; with all their money they are really taking the p*** thinking they can release this as their christmas offering.

        • Runner
          December 18, 2015 at 4:54 pm (2 years ago)

          Herazeus, just wow! I don’t understand why they are not able to just have a “normal” (lol) family photo because I can see what you are talking about. I don’t understand why they would go to such lengths. Do they think that they will be perceived better with three photoshopped images–despite the fact that people can see that this photo is a composite of three different images? I mean I know that many won’t notice–but once you describe it, it is fairly obvious. I already thought at the very least William looked like he was photoshopped into the photo. Hmm. Why? Thanks for sharing by the way. You are such a wealth of knowledge; much appreciated 🙂

        • Laura
          December 19, 2015 at 9:12 am (2 years ago)

          I agree. Most of my relative’s photos show them round the table , round the Christmas tree etc looking like they have just paused for the photo. Kate and William seem to be trying to hard. The clothes included.

          • R
            December 20, 2015 at 4:50 pm (2 years ago)

            I knew it!

    • katemiddletonreview
      December 18, 2015 at 7:51 am (2 years ago)

      I’m surprised they have Montessori schools in the UK. I thought that was an American thing. I went to a Montessori school when I was a kid.

      • JL
        December 18, 2015 at 7:58 am (2 years ago)

        We have loads here (well in the South of England, I’m not sure about all of the UK). It’s Italian in origin, if I remember from when I viewed a couple when my boys were small.

      • Laura
        December 18, 2015 at 8:11 am (2 years ago)

        Yes there are Montessori Schools here in the UK. My eldest niece went to one and she didn’t like it as a two / three year old my niece was happy at her old nursery. Too young to sit at a desk and not really enough imagination for a child. Sorry that is just my opinion. Thank you for the lovely photo. It is good to see a family photo of the four of them. However William does look detached as if he is walking by and stopped. Kate looks engaged with the children though I wish George would wear another colour than blue. George does look happy though. Charlotte is very small for a six month old or is she? Charlotte’s hands are in tiny fists. They are not mirroring each other which is strange.

        • katemiddletonreview
          December 18, 2015 at 9:01 am (2 years ago)

          To each their own. I loved my Montessori school.

          • Laura
            December 18, 2015 at 10:27 am (2 years ago)

            I am curious as to what learning goes on in a montessori school? You learn the same things I guess?

          • katemiddletonreview
            December 18, 2015 at 10:48 am (2 years ago)

            The biggest difference I noticed between Montessori and public school was that in public school the focus was on math and English, with history as a minor side thing and the arts as electives. In Montessori, they taught math and English, of course, but they put more focus on history and the arts than public school did. Also, it is a more relaxed setting than the strictness of public school. Also, we got to go outside and learn more, and during lunch we could play outside.

          • Laura
            December 18, 2015 at 12:35 pm (2 years ago)

            Thank you KMR. I think learning History is important as those that study it someone said to me don’t make the same mistake twice. Yes there are some difficult children but it is important I believe that children learn the same things even if they learn at different rates. I think it depends on the definition of difficult. Things are not black and white in life although to a child they are.

          • Emma19
            December 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm (2 years ago)

            Actually the true goal of a Montessori school would be to let the child organize his/her day independently so when they leave their school they’re much more independent and aware of the world then before. In my school (other than the normal subjects) they also taught us how to properly set a table, how to prepare tea, how to iron a shirt, how to sew and so much more. It truly is an excellent choice for a child.
            Sorry I didn’t know how to reply to your comment below so I just wrote here.

      • penelope
        December 18, 2015 at 12:05 pm (2 years ago)

        Actually the Montessori method was invented by Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor who opened the first Casa dei Bambini in Rome in 1907. The method was initially used with “difficult” children and later evolved into an organized program. I have tried with my kids both the Italian and the American version of the method and I must say that the American really does not follow the teaching of Maria. Some of the teachers did not even knew her works!!

        • Emma19
          December 18, 2015 at 12:28 pm (2 years ago)

          I so agree with you! I attended a Montessory school when I was a child and loved it… such an incredible experience. And when I went to the USA and came across one I was so excited until the moment I realized it was completely different. From my point of view they do no justice to the method! On the other hand I found that in the UK they are much closer to the original one. But hey, it’s just my opinion 🙂

      • Frith
        December 18, 2015 at 8:29 pm (2 years ago)

        It’s definitely something that happens across the world! I’m in Australia and work at a Montessori early learning (childcare)/primary school.

        A lot of people have preconceptions and misconceptions of what it is (hippy-ish, no structure, etc), but it’s amazing 🙂

    • rhiannon
      December 18, 2015 at 10:15 am (2 years ago)

      JL – that was my first instinct: Char was photoshopped in.

  3. LizB
    December 18, 2015 at 7:39 am (2 years ago)

    I find it strange to release a “Christmas” picture that is very obviously fall… oh well. They all look nice! William is kinda thin, no?

    p.s. Please cover the Swedish crown princess family Christmas video 🙂

    • katemiddletonreview
      December 18, 2015 at 7:49 am (2 years ago)

      I know, right!! This photo screams “Fall”, not “Christmas”.

      Re The Swedes, Oh I will in tomorrow’s post.

    • Carla
      December 18, 2015 at 8:41 am (2 years ago)

      It is really strange that they release a ‘Christmas’ picture taken in October after a picture taken in November. Maybe they wanted to distract the public from Camilla’s much appreciated Christmas lunch for the Helen & Douglas House kids.

      • LRB
        December 18, 2015 at 10:25 am (2 years ago)

        Isn’t it also odd that Charlotte is wearing the same dress? I don’t understand this family – they want their privacy but yet always try and steal others thunder. This picture could have been released for the Sunday papers.

      • Runner
        December 18, 2015 at 10:26 am (2 years ago)

        That’s very sad if true.

    • Herazeus
      December 18, 2015 at 2:10 pm (2 years ago)

      The BRF don’t really do seasonal greetings pictures for their christmas cards. If you look at all the cards (or samples) of entire family, it becomes clear that they simply pic a photo they like and use that.

      Everything from summer holiday pics to engagement pics.

      Charles and Camilla’s pic from last year was a shot of him and Cam + Harry at the invictus games.

      HM’s cards tend to be pics of her and Philip at Balmoral.

      Andrew and Fergie tend to post only their kids’ pics through the years.

  4. Margo
    December 18, 2015 at 8:14 am (2 years ago)

    The first the I noticed is that William appears to be outside the circle. There’s Kate grouped with the children and William off to the side. He could be easily be cropped out and the photo would not be awkward in any way

    • Cathy
      December 18, 2015 at 8:57 am (2 years ago)

      I look at the photo and it doesn’t make me think of Christmas or even autumn. It does make me think “Photoshop “!

      • Runner
        December 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm (2 years ago)

        +1

    • Lindsey from DC
      December 18, 2015 at 9:25 am (2 years ago)

      I also find it odd that they couldn’t even pick one where Will is looking at the camera!

      • katemiddletonreview
        December 18, 2015 at 9:29 am (2 years ago)

        William is the garnish on the plate that you push off to the side and don’t eat.

        • rhiannon
          December 18, 2015 at 10:17 am (2 years ago)

          William is parsley. Plain and simple. And quite bitter.

          • bookworm
            December 18, 2015 at 6:29 pm (2 years ago)

            More like cilantro. Some love it and others completely despise it.

        • Lisa
          December 18, 2015 at 10:48 am (2 years ago)

          OMG, my initial thought was of William as parsley and then Rhiannon just described it perfectly. I’d also like to add that he’s aging as quickly as parsley wilts as well.

        • Jane
          December 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm (2 years ago)

          Ha!! The little radish thing!!

    • Herazeus
      December 18, 2015 at 2:12 pm (2 years ago)

      Today’s London evening standard’s print edition has an article inside about the card, and they’ve done just that. Cropped William out.

      The full card is printed on the front page, but he’s cropped out of the inside article.

    • pinky
      December 18, 2015 at 4:08 pm (2 years ago)

      I agree. William looks like he is not a part of the family. This is a very odd photo to me.

    • Feeshalori
      December 18, 2015 at 6:57 pm (2 years ago)

      I agree, especially with his hands dangling like that and looking distantly to the side. William should have been holding one of the children or had his arm around Kate or at least his hand on her shoulder to have been more integrated into the photo. It does look suspiciously like a photoshop to me, even without getting into Herazeus’ more complete analysis up thread.

  5. Sarah
    December 18, 2015 at 8:57 am (2 years ago)

    I don’t mind the photo not being “Christmasy” — Prince Charles/Camilla’s card wasn’t either.

    • katemiddletonreview
      December 18, 2015 at 9:00 am (2 years ago)

      That’s one thing I don’t like about the British way of doing things. They never have Christmas-y Christmas cards. Most don’t even take a new photo, they just use one taken during the rest of the year. I like the European way of taking new photos that are appropriately themed and releasing those.

      • Sunny
        December 18, 2015 at 11:56 am (2 years ago)

        I could totally understand the no Christmas-theme pics if Kate wasn’t picking red Christmas wear to all her events. It’s like, make up your minds already. Is it hard to get a picture of everyone in front of the tree we’ve all been hearing about? But applause for them releasing one. Jason must be cutting the friend cord.

  6. Lisa
    December 18, 2015 at 9:02 am (2 years ago)

    Love seeing photos of the kids and would have been very happy with just photos of them. I am wondering where Kate’s hands are, we can’t see anything of them and she is holding Charlotte so I would expect a finger or two.

    George and Charlotte look adorable. I too hope she outgrows the Scarole look. William looks like he was added in at the last minute and he’s ready to pounce on George if he so much as sets a toe towards the photographer.

    Much better than that blacked out window shot we got of them and George.

    • katemiddletonreview
      December 18, 2015 at 9:06 am (2 years ago)

      Re Kate’s hand position:

      It seems to me like Kate’s hands are under Charlotte’s bum, holding her up. Charlotte is not actually on Kate’s knee, she seems to be held up off the knee.

      • LizB
        December 18, 2015 at 9:13 am (2 years ago)

        Actually, I think Kate’s hand in holding Charlotte underneath her dress…

        • Feeshalori
          December 18, 2015 at 6:58 pm (2 years ago)

          I think so too, judging by the angle of her arm.

    • LRB
      December 18, 2015 at 10:27 am (2 years ago)

      I agree Lisa the Spanish card with the two princesses is fab.

  7. WSA
    December 18, 2015 at 9:08 am (2 years ago)

    People snark on Kate’s clothing but the ONLY thing William seems to wear “off duty” are blue v neck sweaters. Change it up a bit!

    • LizB
      December 18, 2015 at 9:15 am (2 years ago)

      Hahaha, it’s true. William and Kate really mirror each other in the boring clothes department…

    • Mia
      December 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm (2 years ago)

      Haha, actually I’ve been thinking how poor George will be stuck with blue for the rest of his life.

  8. yuhkiminamitani
    December 18, 2015 at 9:20 am (2 years ago)

    Am I the only one who thinks Charlotte looks photoshopped? I don’t know why just her image seems fake to me. Sometimes I also wonder why Will and Kate, or more likely just Kate, likes to put their kids in almost the same clothes for their photos. Like, what’s wrong with showing them in different clothes? No one believes that these are the only clothes this kids have. Overall this is a cute photo. But man, the Brits need to have their scheds coordinated so that everyone can have their spot in the media and we don’t have to go through with all these that person is overshadowing this person all the time.

  9. Jane
    December 18, 2015 at 9:23 am (2 years ago)

    Strange composition indeed! I don’t see how this is a “professional” shot. Kate’s arms are missing, and Wills is staring off at something — near George but not George. Children are precious!!

    • Lindsey from DC
      December 18, 2015 at 9:27 am (2 years ago)

      I agree, Jane. I suppose we *should* all be happy that they actually released a photo. However, this one is just bad. Will isn’t even looking at the camera and it’s not even a Christmas photo. Certainly doesn’t compare to the warm and sweet photo that Charles and Cam released for their holiday card.

  10. Tess
    December 18, 2015 at 9:43 am (2 years ago)

    Oh William, always managing to look so disengaged… I really want to be happy for them, but he sours me. At least Kate looks great, she looks Like she has a connection with her children.

  11. Runner
    December 18, 2015 at 10:02 am (2 years ago)

    I agree with you, KMR. Why can’t Cam have just a day? It’s nice that they did a Christmas card. The card’s vibe feels off–but it just might be me. William seems very distant from the rest of the family, while Kate is engaged and happy with the kids. It seems to me that the photo was taken the same day shots of Charlotte were released. I think it’s weird that she isn’t in a more festive dress, and I know she has more clothing than that one dress. And William in his blue jumper again? Couldn’t he have chosen a red one? Lol. Anything but blue or beige? Why is it that they have a uniform for the public? I guess so that they aren’t recognized when they are in different clothing…

    • Runner
      December 18, 2015 at 10:13 am (2 years ago)

      Also, Charlotte reminds me a bit of Suri Cruise as a baby. But then again, Kate looks little bit like Katie Holmes, but it could just be me.

    • Herazeus
      December 18, 2015 at 2:19 pm (2 years ago)

      These were taken at KP and Charlotte first officially released pic were taken at Anmer.

      I actually believe them because the cardigan is much too small on her in the Anmer pics. And her cheeks aren’t as big or sinking into the collar of the dress in the Anmer pics.

      I wish they’d dressed her differently in the two sets of photos.

      • Runner
        December 19, 2015 at 12:00 am (2 years ago)

        I wish they had dressed her differently as well to show in a way that she has grown. I do see it now that they are a different set of pictures due to her outgrowing her cardigan..

  12. rhiannon
    December 18, 2015 at 10:20 am (2 years ago)

    I will say this: Georgie looks so cute. I bet he is a handful and I love it. This is a nice family pic. But, Char looks photoshopped in. Kate looks nice and Will looks like Will. He has aged and it’s not a good look on him. I wish that I could feel engaged to this family, but I don’t. We won’t see them again for a while.

    I am glad that Georgie will go to preschool, but not surprised that he will be in Norfolk. That money was so wasted on KP. Wasted space and a lost space for a charity who was truly using it day in and day out.

    Nice post, KMR.

  13. Ray
    December 18, 2015 at 10:34 am (2 years ago)

    Kate’s hand is under Char’s dress, holding her around the tummy. I don’t think this is photoshopped. I’m a little disappointed that this is their Christmas picture. Why did they wait to release this? We could have had this, AND something festive for the Christmas season.
    Lovely, happy, healthy looking children, and Kate’s smile looks very genuine and full of fun here. No comment on William, I’m kind of over him right now, like “Will-iam…you ha’ some ‘splainin to do!”

  14. Bets
    December 18, 2015 at 10:55 am (2 years ago)

    Oh my goodness, this picture cracked me up! I can’t believe that they went with this one, for both Christmas card and public use. This one absolutely falls under the category of awkward family photographs. I actually thought it was a spoof picture, with professional lookalikes, until I got my glasses on and saw their faces. Okay, first, I think it’s fabulous that they released a holiday photo. It would have been nicer to let Camilla have the spotlight for five minutes, but it’s a step in the right direction to release a family photo. Unfortunately for them,, the public mood has really turned against them, people don’t have much of an attachment to their kids (I think people are curious, but not emotionally invested) and are in a place where they are likely to see this as another smug, “look how lucky we are” photo. I’m going by comments on DM and other sites. Now, on to the photo. George and Charlotte are cute and it’s great to see George smiling in the presence of his parents. Charlotte looks like a blurrier version of the recently released photos, and is a very cute, quirky, elfin kind of baby. She has a very sweet energy and I’m hoping both these kids become kind and down to earth, despite their parents and unearned privilege. It is absolutely not the Cambridge children’s fault that they were born into this odd family. When adorable children aren’t enough to save a picture, you know it’s time to try again. The absolutely hilarious part of the photo is the posing. George looks normal, then you’ve got Kate, with a manic soccer mom smile and hair that looks like it’s levitating a tad, Charlotte is somehow propped on Kate’s lap and is tilted at a slight angle. It makes her look like she is being held up with one of those wire frames doll collectors use to prop up and display their dolls. I know Kate’s hands are behind there somewhere, but I don’t see them and it just looks weird. Why couldn’t she just hold Charlotte normally? Selfies with my nieces and nephews have always been an obsession, so I know what it’s like to pose with squirming, excited babies and toddlers. It’s perfectly okay to show in the photo that, yes, you do have to put your arms around a baby to hold them, they don’t stay propped up like magic. Does she have her hands under the dress? I’m confused as to why she didn’t just cuddle Charlotte normally (and pop her little shoe back on, or remove them altogether)? And then William is squatting off to the side, distanced from his family, and staring at them with an odd, intense facial expression. Yikes. All they need is Lupo’s floating head, gazing randomly anywhere, to complete the bad 80’s grade school photo effect. It’s all so awkward! I am really surprised they chose this one as an official photo. It’s the kind of picture that you put on your own fridge and it looks really sloppy. The background is gorgeous (I’m a sucker for autumn leaves) but it’s definitely an Autumn setting, not Winter. It’s cute that Charlotte’s shoe fell off, but is that the picture you choose as an official photo? I don’t know, if it was me, I would have gone with a less awkward and sloppy snap. I wonder why they didn’t have a nice, professional one done, where the bodies are properly balanced in the frame and everyone has all their togs on. Maybe a group shot in front of a Christmas tree or in front of anything that shows the season? The kids are really cute in this one, but I just don’t understand why it was chosen as an official photo. Using it as a Christmas card, totally their choice and prerogative, but couldn’t they have made a bit of an effort for one of the rare pictures they toss to the peasants? I don’t know if it’s poor judgment or laziness, but I for one, am not impressed. I know a lot of people will think I’m being overly critical, but I still think that if the monarchy doesn’t maintain standard, what exactly makes them different than any Joe Shmoe on the street. People traditionally look to the royals for high standards and a basic formality. To see Royal photographs that do manage to capture dignity and decorum alongside genuine ease and warmth, look at any holiday photographs of the Swedish Royal tots. Poor choice for the Cambridge’s, but comedy gold for me. I love awkward family photos. I have plenty from my own family, but we don’t use those as our Christmas cards or publish them publicly.

    • Sage
      December 18, 2015 at 11:30 am (2 years ago)

      +1

    • Lisa
      December 18, 2015 at 11:37 am (2 years ago)

      It could be that they think the informality of Charlotte’s shoe falling off and George playing makes them look like any other “normal” family.

      I have nothing against George and Charlotte, they are adorable.

      • Feeshalori
        December 18, 2015 at 7:17 pm (2 years ago)

        If you take a closer look at the shoe, the position of the shoelace is odd. It was observed on another site that the shoelace is in a straight line rather than coiled which would have happened if the shoe naturally fell off. The shoe looks as strategically placed as the toy train. Of course, it could have fallen off the baby’s foot and the photographer liked how it looked and repositioned the lace for what he thought was a better effect. But that too looks very deliberate.

        • MavenTheFirst
          December 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm (2 years ago)

          I immediately thought they were photoshopped props and poorly and crassly done at that. I don’t think this photo (or more than 1 photo) was taken by a professional nor do I think the photoshopper was anything but an amateur at best. Kinda tacky if you think about it.

    • melete
      December 18, 2015 at 12:59 pm (2 years ago)

      I was going to post a comment about the photo, but this one pretty much sums up all my thoughts. As a side note, I’d love to see a photoshopped version with Lupo’s head floating around in it. That’s a meme just waiting to happen.

      • LRB
        December 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm (2 years ago)

        Melete don’t know your nationality but can say us Brits love our dogs and my dog would be included in any family Christmas card photo if I did one!! Love George he’s a real character, too early to say with Charlotte but hope she’s allowed to be a kid. This photo just isn’t the right photo for Christmas for me- but I would also say though I love the photo of Charles and Camilla ( though I detest the woman ) it is not the one for a Christmas card.

    • Jane
      December 18, 2015 at 1:32 pm (2 years ago)

      Lupo’s head! I just spit my Diet Coke out!! Hysterical!

    • Cathy
      December 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm (2 years ago)

      “rare pictures they toss to the peasants”
      lol
      I was thinking exactly the same thing!

  15. Lauri from Ca
    December 18, 2015 at 11:07 am (2 years ago)

    I feel you annoyance KMR! It is similar to the time when Camilla spoke out about ending sexual violence, the same day the Swedes announced Sofia’s pregnancy. I was so disappointed that Camilla’s speech was sort of pushed aside for this. Not to say that the pregnancy announcement wasn’t wonderful but gosh here was a royal tackling a tough subject and trying to bring it to the forefront of people’s attention. I’m certainly not saying you pushed Camilla’s speech aside KMR, it just highlighted to me where people’s attention seems to be drawn.

    On to the Cambridge’s family photo. I have to say it’s the best photo imo to date. The lighting and colors are fantastic, the subjects happy and at ease, so all in all a great photo. I can see how it would have been difficult for them to have a real Christmas-y photo done with the lack of snow in October and really who wants to put up their decorations that early? I imagine they have loads of cards to send so they probably start the process much earlier than most of us do.

  16. Lucy
    December 18, 2015 at 11:21 am (2 years ago)

    The picture of Charlotte reminds
    me a lot of Pippa for some reason…

    • LJA
      December 18, 2015 at 12:09 pm (2 years ago)

      I agree, the shape of CHarlotte’s mouth and eyes is a lot like Pippa’s.

  17. IDA
    December 18, 2015 at 11:28 am (2 years ago)

    William could at least put his arm around Kate or hold Charlotte’s hand to look included in this family shot. This photo looks sweet at first glance but when you look at it again it seems awkward or should I say fake?

    • pp
      December 19, 2015 at 6:51 pm (2 years ago)

      William is a bad banana with a greasy black peel. Slick Willie.

      • MavenTheFirst
        December 20, 2015 at 12:09 pm (2 years ago)

        Ooooh, love it! With a heart 3 sizes too small.

        • Ray
          December 21, 2015 at 12:54 am (2 years ago)

          Haha, he’s a mean one!

  18. G.
    December 18, 2015 at 11:47 am (2 years ago)

    I love the Sweden royal family and the photos/videos they put out at Christmas and things we see throughout the year, but at least W&K gave a a single, lonely, pathetic, not Christmas photo this year. Ho, Ho, Ho!

    You have to give it to W&K, the two kids are darling! PG with his curls, is a melt your heart little guy and PC looks like a happy little baby. Hopefully, these two will put out a holiday photo in line with some of the other royal families at the holiday season in the coming years. As an American, I don’t really understand it, but isn’t Will’s future role as King related to the church of England. If so, I would think they would put out a photo that has a relationship to the holiday season.

  19. LadyBlueRibbon
    December 18, 2015 at 11:51 am (2 years ago)

    William has a hard stare on George – he does not look happy at all. Just showing his teeth, not exactly smiling. Kate looks like someone’s whose medication has kicked in – doesn’t look like the smiles we get at her official engagements. It’s interesting that other royal families take a photo of multiple generations together – would be nice to see Queen, Philip, Charles, Camilla, Harry and the Cambridges around a tree or something. I suppose the other children would be miffed. We’ll probably see a different approach when Chas is in charge. Does the Queen do a card?

    • LRB
      December 18, 2015 at 1:57 pm (2 years ago)

      Harry seems to have distanced himself from this lot. Rhiannon you need to heal the rift.

      • rhiannon
        December 18, 2015 at 2:45 pm (2 years ago)

        I’ll try. But I don’t think that Kim Jong Will and I will get along.

        • MavenTheFirst
          December 19, 2015 at 4:03 pm (2 years ago)

          Hahaha!

  20. Sage
    December 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm (2 years ago)

    Funny that Whiny’s descriptions of his kids have remained with me and them I’m shocked when I see pics. The non-stop PR spin is George = Boy/Blue/Rambunctious. And Charlotte = Girl/Pink/Delicate Flower.

    He only refers to George as a monkey, as bouncy, a rascal. I guess I can see that in George…he could be a “spirited toddler,” as they say. But he could also be the kid sitting in the corner sucking his thumb, clinging to Maria’s skirt. But I could see it.

    I know this may sound mean, but when I see Charlotte, she REALLY doesn’t jive with the image of ladylike elegance he pronounces. I smile because I think of how my grandmother always used terms of endearment like “funny face” for me and my siblings/cousins. Charlotte may be adorable to others, but to me she’s definitely not a pretty baby – she’s got that funny face some babies have. And when Whiny said “such a little lady” etc etc all I could imagine was a baby Brooke Shields, not Pippa Face. That’s fine if Charlotte doesn’t have the face of an angel (looks aren’t everything) but I almost feel badly for her, because she’s got a funny little cabbage patch face and he seems to want to convey that she’s an angelic princess. It’s exactly the same as when people talk about Pippa being so elegant and lovely and then I see her clodding around with those pigeon-toed strides and I just can’t see it. To me she’s handsome at best, not feminine or pretty. She has bulky thighs, no grace, no class, limp hair etc. Whiny shouldn’t DESCRIBE his children anymore. He should share pics and videos and schedule regular photo calls so people will have their own impression of the children instead of being TOLD what and how they are.

    • Lauri from Ca
      December 18, 2015 at 5:16 pm (2 years ago)

      I understand what you mean about Charlotte, Sage. Her face is more mature looking not really a “baby” face. I know she looks like someone, I can’t think of the name right now, but that person is a very mature woman. I also agree with you about Pippa, she is handsome but not exactly feminine, however if I woke up tomorrow morning with her abs and tush I wouldn’t complain :):)

    • Jl
      December 18, 2015 at 5:25 pm (2 years ago)

      Whew! I thought I was the only one who thought the baby was “breathtaking” in the Seinfeld kinda way

      • Jen
        December 18, 2015 at 8:42 pm (2 years ago)

        Yep…

      • Amy
        December 21, 2015 at 7:21 pm (2 years ago)

        Me too!

    • MavenTheFirst
      December 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm (2 years ago)

      I think the stereotyping of George as a lively basher does disservice to his personality. Little boys are known to engage in more vigorous play than girls at that age. But still…. the stereotypes are being carved in stone, even though George may just be a lively child. Meanwhile Willy has already determined that Charlotte is a pretty and passive princess. And the world at large is happy to accommodate those stereotypical notions, IMO.

      • Jen
        December 19, 2015 at 5:06 pm (2 years ago)

        Well, it’s easy to do so, isn’t it, manufacturing stereotypes. Not much nuance about your own children there William! Lazy journalists needing to meet their word quota for the day lap up any rubbish coming out of the parents’ mouths and scatter it to the masses. And on it goes: bilge upon bilge until we believe they are a perfect family, with a boisterous boy and a comatose girl. My observation is that those who project the veneer of a perfect family to the world are anything but.

        • MavenTheFirst
          December 19, 2015 at 6:05 pm (2 years ago)

          Well said, Jen!

  21. LJA
    December 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm (2 years ago)

    While not a holiday type picture, I think it is pleasant. Kate looks relaxed, the kids look cute, but William does really look dorky-geeky. The Windsor genes are really kicking in, also time for him to get rid of that blue sweater and those khaki pants. K and W are very conventional and will never push the envelope in the fashion department, they dress according to their class….high quality clothing but just boring. I knew Kate would be a rather unimaginative dresser when I saw her wedding gown. IMO, that gown was a total snooze, it was very forgettable.

    • G.
      December 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm (2 years ago)

      I wasn’t thrilled by Kate’s wedding gown. It was nice, but I didn’t care for the thin deep neckline or the pointy bust. It was nice she had the lace made to reflect symbolic and items personal to her.

      Some of the styles Kate wore before and her first year of marriage were rather nice. I liked the soon ‘sold out’ beige dress she wore to meet the Obama’s and some of the pretty gowns she wore soon after the wedding. It seems strange her style has become so boring and predictable.

      • Lauri from Ca
        December 18, 2015 at 5:20 pm (2 years ago)

        I wonder if we thought her style during the first couple years of her marriage was great is because it was all new to us? Now 4+ years later, she wears basically the same style of clothes as she did before and frankly it’s kind of boring, been there, seen that. I’m not saying she needs to take giant steps out of her fashion comfort zone a bit a accessorizing never hurt anyone and would certainly freshen things up a bit.

  22. R
    December 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm (2 years ago)

    Thoughts on the photo in chronological order:

    1) Erm, awkward…
    2) Wow Charlotte looks big in comparison to her age and the rest of them
    3) Why is William off to one side, not looking at the camera, not with his arm around Kate?
    4) This marriage is in trouble.
    5) The photo is 2 months old, why not a recent one? Is it because William is tired of playing happy families?
    6) The light and shadows on the subjects don’t match up…dare I think it?
    7) YES this has been photo-shopped!
    8) How stupid do they think we are seriously?!
    9) Is it an attempt to distract our attention 2 days on from the scandal over Charles & William’s access to cabinet documents that are supposed to be for MPs only?!
    10) The truth will come out sooner or later!

    • Jane
      December 18, 2015 at 1:34 pm (2 years ago)

      R, I think marriage in trouble too.

      • Herazeus
        December 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm (2 years ago)

        Me too.

        • mary elizabeth
          December 18, 2015 at 2:44 pm (2 years ago)

          Most definitely, I agree. Marriage is not good currently.
          William better be careful. As angry and disappointed as so many have been with Kate, he’s coming across in a worse way. He better change his sour image. He just is doing so much to turn people against him. Doubt I will ever jump onboard the Kate bandwagon, though. She still irritates me so much.

          • bookworm
            December 19, 2015 at 8:27 am (2 years ago)

            Even if it’s just that Will absolutely hates having his picture take, the grimace and scowl is how we always see him. That has become his image.

        • Runner
          December 18, 2015 at 6:07 pm (2 years ago)

          I do as well.

          • Feeshalori
            December 18, 2015 at 7:28 pm (2 years ago)

            If William had to be photoshopped into the picture, then the marriage is definitely in trouble if he couldn’t be bothered to be around Kate or his children for a photo session.

      • J
        December 18, 2015 at 9:36 pm (2 years ago)

        Probably hit a bump like all marriages do.

        • Runner
          December 19, 2015 at 12:04 am (2 years ago)

          So true.

        • MavenTheFirst
          December 19, 2015 at 4:09 pm (2 years ago)

          Still waiting for evidence of their affection for each other. Seems to me that marriage has been nothing but bumps.

          • Jen
            December 19, 2015 at 5:11 pm (2 years ago)

            Wasn’t it based on deception?

          • R
            December 20, 2015 at 5:29 pm (2 years ago)

            He settled for her Jen after Jecca and Isabella didn’t want to play. He has been with Kate on and off since they were both 20; now they are 33 so 13 years which is longer than a lot of marriages. I reckon he checked out emotionally right after Charlotte – the daughter he’s always wanted – was born.

  23. Dolittle
    December 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm (2 years ago)

    I find this photo insincere and was not taken during the holidays.

    I dont beleive they have the same dress for charlotte photo (kate supposedly pap?) and nanny Maria dress her with the same for her first Christmas card. Lambrige PR is so fake it boggles, as member of the BRF.

    Whiny will seem not a care, only sat in to be in the photo – and both kids have the aged look of the middelton.

  24. Cassie
    December 18, 2015 at 1:37 pm (2 years ago)

    Boo on them for stealing Camila’s press!

  25. Jane
    December 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm (2 years ago)

    Love all these comments. Just want to say that I just don’t get the 1000 words this pic sends. We are worth a billion pounds or so, and one day Wills will be head of the Church of England, but let’s be regular blokes and put out a poorly done, seasonal Pagan card. Who would use this snap on their own family’s card? Wills odd squat is worse than if his eyes were closed. Kate’s wig looks crooked too.

  26. jenny
    December 18, 2015 at 2:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Agree with you, KMR, what a way for W&K to steal Camilla’s thunder. They seem hell bent on changing their image, — going to events, posting family photos, but, let’s see how long that lasts.

    I agree that Charlotte may have been photo shopped into the photo. Her placement with Kate seems a bit off. George is a cutie and what a personality. You can tell that William is crazy about him, but I so wish his daughter were included in the gaze. William’s eyes seem riveted on George. If that was the case, then as others suggested, why didn’t W. at least hold out one of his hands to the baby?

    Also, Kate appears to be holding her daughter like a prop, if you ask me. I didn’t really see the close connection that you witness when other moms hold their little ones. Example, Charlene.

    I honestly didn’t see the Carole/Pippa connection to Charlotte in the photo Kate took of her, but I do in this photo. Babies seem to change all the time, though, so by the time we are seeing another photo of Charlotte — perhaps, in the spring closer to her b’day, she’ll look like someone else.

    To me, this was not a Christmas-style photo. Just didn’t capture the spirit of the season. An odd choice for their holiday greeting. Still, nice to see the four together!

    Looking forward to the Camilla post.

    P.S. Our little angel is 2 months old today. Time flies. It seems like only yesterday that she entered the world. I guess, before I know it, she’ll be walking and talking. I’m still in constant awe of her. Have a good day/eve/night, all.

    • Cathy
      December 18, 2015 at 4:31 pm (2 years ago)

      Happy 2 months Maddie! Congratulations Jenny and thanks for the news of your little one.

    • G.
      December 19, 2015 at 7:35 pm (2 years ago)

      Jenny, Many congratulations on your sweet little one. It must be a wonderful time to have a lovely little girl. It is good to hear you are all well.

      • Jenny
        December 21, 2015 at 10:40 am (2 years ago)

        Cathy and G, thanks for such lovely words. I hope you and everyone here at KateMiddletonReview.com have a blessed holiday season Here’s to a peaceful New Year.

  27. Mia
    December 18, 2015 at 2:32 pm (2 years ago)

    Hmm… I look at the picture and I dare to say I lost interest completely with Charlotte. They waited too long to release her picture, and now as if responding to the criticisms, they release her pics consecutively. However, I find it rather distasteful that they waited to release a picture from the same time period as the previous one, which is not up-to-date.

    The messages that I am getting:

    1) “You all should be grateful that we gave you this picture at all”,

    2) “We were asked to provide you with a picture for the Christmas greeting, but since we are lazy, please enjoy whatever is provided”, and

    3) “The Kensington Palace would like to say Merry Christmas to you all, but since the Cambridges are not available for the greetings, we had to pull something out from our archives”.

    Love Princess Estelle’s 2014 christmas greeting! Really looking forward to seeing her again. KMR, please cover this when it comes out.

    • JL
      December 18, 2015 at 2:39 pm (2 years ago)

      I agree & think using an out of date image is a passive aggressive swing at us. They say it was privately commissioned & not intended for release – I.e. They couldn’t be bothered to arrange a pic for the public at Christmas.

    • Jen
      December 18, 2015 at 5:03 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, you are right: to release two photos from the same time period is odd when people would prefer progressive updates of the children. This one is outdated. The Cambridge’s could easily have had a current image taken since it is just a digital release to the plebs. It is an oddly composed photo.

  28. mary elizabeth
    December 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm (2 years ago)

    While it is nice to see a family photo, something didn’t quite jive for me
    First let me say, PG is just adorable. He has such a fun personality and must be delightful, and yes, exhausting, to be with consistently. Exhausting in a good way — tons of fun energy, he has!

    I so wish William had put his arm around Kate. I wish, George was holding that little train tightly in his chubby little hands. It looked like a stupid prop in the picture. Give it to the boy and allow him to have some more fun! Kate’s smile was the most happy one on her face in months. Yet, somehow, she didn’t seem to be relating to her kids. Just beaming into the camera. Not what one expects from a newish mom. I hope that is not mean.

    William, does seem to be enjoying his son, but where’s his equal enjoyment of his little girl? He wasn’t putting his arm around his wife, so why not reach out and take Charlotte’s hand while beaming at his little boy?

    The photo at first glance is a good one, but after really studying it, I am afraid it was just not a truly holiday touchy-feely one to me. Just the Cambridges once again going through the motions. Smiling, while doing that, but a bit too set up.

    • mary elizabeth
      December 18, 2015 at 2:51 pm (2 years ago)

      I also think the baby shoe was placed by the photographer. If it truly fell off Princess Charlotte’s foot, I think it would not look so staged. Ok, enough criticism from me.
      Still glad that a photo has been released.

      • R
        December 18, 2015 at 7:03 pm (2 years ago)

        Totally agree Mary E; how stupid are these people? Do they not think we have brains and eyes; that we can’t study the photo and ask questions. Are they so used to being told what to do by their staff that they are not thinking anymore? Maybe the photographer took lots of shots and made this a composite one without telling them. Are they too dumb to notice? Surely they would have looked at this before release and gone ‘no this looks too fake’ we can’t release it!

        • mary elizabeth
          December 19, 2015 at 12:03 pm (2 years ago)

          Agree. R. I am really perplexed now. After reading the in depth rationale behind the points that show this photo was photo shopped. Why do that?
          How incredibly stupid do they think people are? Maybe, the photographer just couldn’t get a decent group shot and took so many pix that he/she just chopped them up and pasted the best of each family member into one final photo. Or, maybe, William just could not be bothered to show up for the picture, so he had to be “worked in.” That does not seem like the best answer to me. I mean, the marriage may have hit a bump, but for a holiday family photo — for the sake of the children — I think he was present.

          After looking at the photos and video of the charmed Swedes, I am wondering why W&K are so “out there” in the media. I say give us more of a happy Royal Family. We promise not to infringe too much on the Swedish Royals and their privacy, we just want some happy family pix year round.

          • R
            December 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm (2 years ago)

            William is always playing games with the press ’cause he hates them so much; appearing to be in a photo when he wasn’t actually there is obviously the latest one.

  29. Overit
    December 18, 2015 at 2:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Am I the only one who likes this photo? Is it the best photo ever? No. But I think it is a cute photo of the family and shows a little more personality then ones in the past. I thought it was a cute photo. I am glad they released one, but I wish they would do it more often. And I agree with others, who say it is odd that Charlotte is dressed the same (although, Will always dresses the same, so what do we expect ;0).

    • Yorkie
      December 18, 2015 at 4:34 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m with you Overit. I actually like the photo. Kate looks genuinely relaxed and happy — I never thought I would say this. Little George is cute and candid. Thank goodness, William took off his usual scowl and is actually smiling—a little bit of a constipated smile–but still smiling.

      Well talk about genes, George is looking like Kate’s father and Charlotte is a dead ringer for Carole.

    • Ray
      December 18, 2015 at 7:28 pm (2 years ago)

      I quite liked it, actually, and I’m still sticking with the not photoshopped opinion!
      I also agree, though, that the addition of Lupo would have been nice, especially as it is an outdoorsy style family picture, and the dog HAS been included in family pics before.

    • ABKM
      December 18, 2015 at 10:27 pm (2 years ago)

      I think it’s not the worst picture they’ve taken, though Kate always looks like she’s holding a sack of flour when she holds Charlotte.

    • Lauri from Ca
      December 18, 2015 at 11:04 pm (2 years ago)

      No I don’t think so Overit, I liked this picture too. As I said up-thread I felt that the lighting was good, color saturation was good, the subjects were happy and at ease, so all in all a nice little family photo. I’m more than a little surprised that they released a family photo and super surprised about all information on George’s preschool.

  30. Maggie - Minneapolis
    December 18, 2015 at 4:47 pm (2 years ago)

    This picture is adorable – I agree with others that a more holiday-themed picture would have been nice, but the BRF has never really done that and always just picks a nice picture, so I’m not shocked the Cambridges are doing the same. I also agree that Charlotte looks a bit photoshopped in – but I think it’s because the colors she is wearing don’t really go well with the other 3 Cambridges, so it may just be that she looks out of place, color-scheme wise. George and William, for example, are wearing more vibrant colors (that deep blue of William’s sweater and George’s pants), while Charlotte is wearing very pale, muted colors. Kate’s jeans also add that same deep blue that George and William have on, not to mention that her hair adds some vibrancy as well. So I really think it’s just a color coordination issue.
    As for those who don’t get why they picked this picture because of whatever issue – this picture has two children under the age of 3 and both are at least kind of smiling. It’s really hard to get that to happen, especially on camera!!! Maybe William is looking away because he was trying to get George to laugh, and then he succeeded but couldn’t turn back to look at the camera in time before George stopped laughing or ran away or something. It’s really not easy to get a family picture that has everyone smiling and looking at the camera when young children are involved. This may just be the best picture they got, for whatever reason. Or just the one they liked the most.

    • MavenTheFirst
      December 19, 2015 at 4:13 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m convinced the photo of Charlotte was taken separately with her leaning against someone or something. She smiled (or had gas) and I guess having both kids smiling was important enough to photoshop her in, and George, with smiles.

      This fits with the notion that the Cambridges are all about manufacture and manipulation, the new ‘modern’ and ‘normal’.

      • Jen
        December 19, 2015 at 5:17 pm (2 years ago)

        I can’t help contrasting this photo with the Christmas message from Victoria, Daniel and Estelle. One is phony (regardless of excessive Photoshop practices by the media), and the other, charming, simple and warm.

  31. Lja
    December 18, 2015 at 6:53 pm (2 years ago)

    I think the Christmas picture and the official pictures of Charlotte were all done on the same day .With all their money why would you dress your child in the exact same outfit for a Christmas picture as you would for an official release picture. It just seems very odd to me but then again W and K for all their university education do not seem to have much common sense. It does really reflect badly on them and just shows what little regard they have for the public.

    • Jen
      December 18, 2015 at 10:59 pm (2 years ago)

      Agreed. Charlotte looks to be the same age in both photos. They probably did the photos at KP, drove home and Kate took a few more. Or vice versa. After all, she has an expensive camera…

      As to Herazeus’ photographer friend’s analysis of this photo being a composite, weren’t the christening photos in the drawing room also composites?

      • R
        December 20, 2015 at 5:34 pm (2 years ago)

        The christening photos were all taken outside were they not?

        • Jen
          December 21, 2015 at 9:20 pm (2 years ago)

          I was thinking of the ones taken with the Queen, Phillip, Charles, Camilla and the Middleton’s in a very opulent drawing room. I read somewhere – maybe here! – that positions were altered as was the background to create the photo.

  32. R
    December 18, 2015 at 7:06 pm (2 years ago)

    To those saying why not a festive themed picture: it’s not really a thing in Britain okay? Even the Prime Minister’s one is plain.

  33. J
    December 18, 2015 at 9:42 pm (2 years ago)

    This photo is 2 months old. If they’re going to toss a bone to the press, might as well use an updated photo. It’s annoying.

  34. margaretty
    December 18, 2015 at 10:35 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi kmr and everyone i like to sugest you to see a film called “war room”!
    the film is great and i’m sure you will like it!!

  35. Lisa S.
    December 18, 2015 at 11:30 pm (2 years ago)

    I shall not rain on anyone’s parade today: I wish this family a Very Merry Christmas and a lovely new year in 2016.

  36. ccoop
    December 19, 2015 at 12:03 am (2 years ago)

    Cute photo! The children are darling. I think Charlotte takes after Pippa and Scarole at least for now. But she looks utterly detectible for a baby. She seems calm.

    I work with Photoshop daily. Not only is William Photoshopped into it, nearly all of them are. The photographer probably captured each of them in different moments and they put this together at the end. But adorable Charlotte looks blurred compared to the rest. I guess if photoshop wasn’t my job I wouldn’t notice as much. Doesn’t really matter because all photographs in a professional manner are now all photoshopped.

    Merry Christmas! Off to read about Camilla.

    • MavenTheFirst
      December 19, 2015 at 4:17 pm (2 years ago)

      I can’t disagree with you and thanks for your assessment. What I don’t understand is why there was a need to photoshop in the first place. Why not get the brood and family together and snap away? Geez, it’s not rocket science! It’s a family photo, been done by a multitude of families over the centuries. And that’s why it matters in this instance.

      • penelope
        December 19, 2015 at 4:58 pm (2 years ago)

        I find this overanalyzing of a photo rather fun: it kind of reminds me when the CIA was studying all the tiny details of the photos of Osama bin Laden… 🙂

        • MavenTheFirst
          December 19, 2015 at 6:16 pm (2 years ago)

          I don’t find it fun. I had no idea that dissembling/misrepresenting had become a thing but I do believe it to be real, and intended to manipulate. It’s disheartening for the less cynical among us who value truth and reality.

          • penelope
            December 19, 2015 at 6:19 pm (2 years ago)

            It’s just a photo ….

          • Emma19
            December 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm (2 years ago)

            Well MavenTheFirst maybe you are a little overreacting, at the end of the day it’s merely a picture. A lovely one as that. 🙂

          • MavenTheFirst
            December 20, 2015 at 12:33 pm (2 years ago)

            No need to get personal or invalidate another’s response.

          • Emma19
            December 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm (2 years ago)

            I just said that you were overreacting. It’s a christmas family picture and it seemed to me that you were comparing it to something a lot more dramatic. My bad.

          • R
            December 20, 2015 at 5:37 pm (2 years ago)

            I agree with Maven; it’s manipulative at worst and lame at best. If this photo is fake, it makes you think what else is about them is not real? DM just did an article today about how the Queen’s speech is not quite as it seems – the tree, decorations and even some of the xmas cards used in the shoot are not even hers but are brought in apparently!

          • Emma19
            December 20, 2015 at 8:37 pm (2 years ago)

            Well to me it’s just a family picture. Sure it would not do well to their image if the photoshopping was really there but I also find it ridiculous to sit down and analyse a photo like it’s proof of god knows what crime. Kinda makes you laugh if you think about it.

          • Sunny
            December 20, 2015 at 9:56 pm (2 years ago)

            When something feels off, it bugs people and they ask each other if either their eyes are tricking them, or are you seeing what I am? It’s just a question, but it goes to manipulation of image if they did photoshop Charlotte or Will in so they can demonstrate how normal they are just like everyone else, a normal family spending time together. Maybe they do. But if it’s photoshopped, it can be an effort to sell an image of two doting parents as regular people. The public wonder about their W&K at the hall, how much time they spend with the kids and what their favorite games are, just routine things that it would be nice to know. Perhaps some would feel that is invasive, but the public is paying for W&K, so giving them an idea of what’s going on in it other than throwing the occasional bone or having pics taken by insider photographers would be better.

          • Emma19
            December 21, 2015 at 6:37 pm (2 years ago)

            Well that’s all we’re gonna get! That’s why I found it hilarious that people actually sat down to check the picture from all possible angles. Like I already said at the end of the day it’s only a picture and if it’s fake I’m sure one day the truth will come out. For now I’ll just enjoy what I’ve got. Of course it would be nice to know what they do together but we also need to remind ourselves once in a while that they’re not stick figures you put some place to look pretty and smile and obey every our wish. They’re people who live and breathe and have right to a life too. I’m personally thankful enough of the glimpses they let us see.

          • Jen
            December 21, 2015 at 8:02 pm (2 years ago)

            It is just a family photo… and it’s not just a family photo. While it is common practice these days to digitally alter commercial product shots, MavenTheFirst raises a valid question about the manipulation of images here. Images are not innocuous artefacts, ever, and have just as much potency as words do, if not more so.

            We live in an increasingly visual society and images are meant to be ‘read’, in this case presenting a carefully controlled manufactured image of serene family life in line with the BRF’s continuing narrative as being the standard bearer of the quintessential British happy family/strong family values/ loving unit, et al. This may or not be the truth of the Cambridge situation; we don’t see behind the facade they present. However, the need to portray the photo as one the DoC particularly liked and wanted to share with the world seems disingenuous when it is merely a construction of composite images designed to portray an ideal determined by others but one to which we are also called on to subscribe. The seem keen to present their family as a recalling of a traditional era of Britishness; look at the toys (old fashioned toy train), the use of the 50’s pram at the christening; the retro clothes on George…

            As others have pointed out, the composition visually disturbs because of its odd composition, as well as being technically clumsy. Given that this couple portrays themselves as ‘normal’ yet goes to complex lengths to manufacture this illusion focuses questions as to why, apart from the obvious PR of appearing ‘we’re just like you’ (= accessible, down to earth future ruler). But they are not just like us; the BRF’s wealth and privilege is immense, as is the subsidy to them by the taxpayer.

            This is not the first time of course that the Cambridge’s have sought to imprint untruthful perceptions of themselves on the public mind; when newly married and in Wales this couple manipulated public opinion by creating the image of living simply, with images of Kate pushing a shopping trolley; the reality, however, saw them living in luxury with five servants at their disposal. The photo of Kate was not candid. It is curious that a couple constantly bleating for privacy keeps putting this nonsense out for public consumption.

            Of course, we can give the photo a cursory glance and think, how sweet. And that’s fine; it’s what the photo has been designed to do. It builds on the narratives long constructed by the BRF to be relevant, leaders etc. But in a time when there is much more demand for transparency of how and why people and events are presented to the public for acceptance, adoration – take your pick – the photo becomes more than just a family photo.

            This is an interesting discussion to have on a critical site.

          • R
            December 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm (2 years ago)

            Well said Jen

          • Emma19
            December 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm (2 years ago)

            It sure is an interesting discussion that people could have but in my opinion the truth is simple: people can either accept it as a family photo and enjoy it or not. And to me you’re reading way too much into it, okay maybe they’re trying to propose the picture of a quintessential happy british family strongly linked to tradition and basic british values. But isn’t that what pretty much every Royal Family does? Take the Swedish Royals who released a video of them baking for Christmas… what could be more traditional than a family baking all together? Do you think that all that including the words that the little princess spoke came from the heart and were completely natural? Again the truth is simple. The moment you become a public figure the line between truth and lie blurres so there’s always a bit of one in the other. Maybe one day I’ll meet Kate and see that she’s a horrible person or I could see that she really is a great woman. That’s how I see it.

          • Jen
            December 22, 2015 at 9:31 pm (2 years ago)

            Yes, Emma, you are right in that each royal family carefully crafts its image, I believe, in an attempt to retain (or regain) some relevance in contemporary life. All are expensive commodities for their various country folk to maintain so public support is vital.

            And commodities are what they have become. We treat them as such because we subsidise their lifestyle (user pays = user says) and are critical when they don’t live up to their ‘brand promises’: superior attributes and behaviour due to their status.

            Apart from my previous comments about image construction, I think irritation with the contrived Cambridge Christmas photo lies in people feeling continually played by this couple. As Sunny said, it feels off. It’s a trigger for a larger discontent identified with them: indolent, entitled, sly, sullen. Maybe the Cambridge’s are misunderstood but they do little to counter these perceptions.

            On balance, European royal families seem to perform the role of ‘modern royalty’ with maturity, elegance and grace. They appear to have a low key and more egalitarian approach, unsurprising given the countries they represent, compared to the suffocating British class system.

      • ccoop
        December 20, 2015 at 12:14 am (2 years ago)

        None of their bodies match the other if you look closely as they would if it was a group photo with everyone present. The photoshop is very obvious with William crouching. His sweater and Kate’s side and hair are far too defined and overly sharpened. It’s overly sharpened to compensate for the fact he was dropped into the photo. Same for Prince George’s hand near Kate.

        And as other’s mentioned, You would see Kate’s hands and arms more if she’s hold Charlotte on her lap.

        I find it fun to find the Photoshop areas in photos. Probably because I’m constantly manipulating images in Photoshop everyday.

        Maybe that day Charlotte didn’t feel good or something? Perhaps George was acting up and it was hard to get the correct photo of everyone together. It’s a bit strange, but sometimes photo shoots don’t turn out for whatever reason and it’s simply easier to photoshop the scene. This week I’ve been photoshopping handbags from wooden steps to beautiful stone steps. Simply put, the beautiful stone steps show off the bags better. It’s not always about manipulation as much as a matter of what looks better.

        • Jenny
          December 21, 2015 at 10:50 am (2 years ago)

          I think it could be about manipulation. I mean, everything is always so phony with W&K. Funny that the Swedish Royals can provide the world with such happy and loving photos of their family!

          I am disappointed to say the least. People are excited this time of year and were obviously very eager to see the little Prince and Princess with their parents in a holiday photo. Yes, it may be difficult to capture two little ones on film, but isn’t that what the photographer was being paid to do? I am sure he/she has experience dealing with kids and parents in photo sessions.

          Oh, to me this is definitely a Bah Humbug kind of moment!

  37. R
    December 19, 2015 at 10:00 am (2 years ago)

    He is cutting himself out of the picture Shiv!!

  38. murueskimo
    December 19, 2015 at 7:52 pm (2 years ago)

    First time poster long time lurker here 🙂
    While I find the picture nice I think it definitely is a composition and a deliberate one at that. Why would they do that? Could it be because Wills is so paranoid re privacy he doesn’t want to share any of the “real” situation private photos and thus insists on releasing the photoshopped ones that do not picture anything real. Kinda like “When the picture was taken I did not know that it would end up released for the whole world so I was not in my role as DoC”. Am I making any sense?

    If the picture is indeed a composition of 2 or more different pictures, it would be cool if someone made a pin a donkey’s tail type of game of this picture for office Christmas party: just the back ground as a poster on the wall and then blindfolded people would need to place the different components of the picture (Kate, Wills, PG, PC, maybe the toy train and Char’s shoe as well) in their right places.

    • jenny
      December 21, 2015 at 10:53 am (2 years ago)

      Please keep posting, murueskimo. Your take on this situation and the Pin the Tail on the Donkey type of game is hilarious.

  39. Carrie
    December 19, 2015 at 11:00 pm (2 years ago)

    In previous family photos the dog Lupo was included. Does anyone know what has happened to Lupo? Thanks in advance.

    • Cathy (2)
      December 21, 2015 at 3:48 pm (2 years ago)

      There is something out from the photographer today who said they only had limited time, Charlotte was fussy at the end, George refused to do anything without the red train and Lupo was there running around but just didn’t make the cut.

      • R
        December 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm (2 years ago)

        Where does it say this?

  40. Ruby
    December 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm (2 years ago)

    There are so many weird things about this photo that as crazy as it is that 3 images would be photoshopped together when they have gone to the trouble of a professional photographer
    I actually think it’s plausible. The thing that gets me about this is that they try so hard to be “normal” it’s irritating. Like, oh, normal families have family photos that are endearingly sloppy. Yes they do when they are taken on a iPhone and then posted on Facebook. But when “normal” families hire a photographer for a family portrait they would not accept such shoddy, disorganised work. They would expect a shoot with someone who could sort that s..t out and get a proper shot. The shoe off, the mid-stride George, It’s all so affected.

    • R
      December 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm (2 years ago)

      Yeah trying too hard is always suspicious IMO.

  41. Amy
    December 20, 2015 at 4:31 pm (2 years ago)

    As I look at the photo, a few things stand out. William clearly loves George. Kate “seems” happy. Wills seems very distant from Kate and doesn’t seem to notice that Charlotte is even there. He has no rapport with her. He has eyes for his son alone.

    • Sunny
      December 20, 2015 at 10:13 pm (2 years ago)

      Exactly Amy, and I think that’s what started the idea of photoshopping. There’s a weird disconnect that doesn’t normally happen when people are next to each other and is the opposite of W&K with baby George pic taken by Mike. And Charlotte’s face looks off. Hmm

  42. R
    December 20, 2015 at 5:05 pm (2 years ago)

    Just waiting for the British press to do an article on the photo being photo-shopped but I bet they daren’t! Nobody wants to face the truth. Everybody in UK is so desperate to believe they are a perfect, happy modern family that if it came to light that they had to photo-shop a family photo because they either couldn’t or wouldn’t get it together to do a real one then there might actually be chaos…

    • Lisa
      December 21, 2015 at 9:59 am (2 years ago)

      Even if someone in the British press points it out, the Cambridge’s will just throw the kids under the bus and say that they weren’t cooperating so they had to take a shot from earlier or later and work it in…blah, blah, blah. I think I read somewhere (maybe here) that someone contacted the Palace about the possibility of photoshopping and that first they said no, but then that Charlotte wasn’t in the best of moods for most of the shoot, but didn’t come right out and confirm anything.

      It will be interesting to see how things are handled in the future.

      • jenny
        December 21, 2015 at 10:56 am (2 years ago)

        Yes, blame it on the baby! That’s what people always do! If Charlotte was not in the best of moods, don’t the Cambridges have enough time on their hands to re-schedule? And, surely, they could afford to pay the photographer for the messed up first shoot and pay again next time around!

        Wow, I am surprised how much this fake photo is getting on my nerves. Should I blame that on my baby?!

    • Amy
      December 20, 2015 at 6:29 pm (2 years ago)

      Not sure if I am convinced about the photoshop, but the close-up of Charlotte shows that she is not a very pretty baby. Looks aren’t everything, but I’m not really a person who thinks that every baby is beautiful (except to his/her parents). This poor girl is all Carole, with a hint of Her Majesty when not amused. We shall see. I wish her no ill.

      • R
        December 21, 2015 at 3:08 pm (2 years ago)

        Really? I think she’s gorgeous. Prettier than Kate looked in her photos of her as a baby.

        • ABKM
          December 21, 2015 at 3:51 pm (2 years ago)

          I thought Kate looked darling in her baby pictures–she was all natural little girl with none of the manufactured polish that we see now.

        • Amy
          December 21, 2015 at 7:29 pm (2 years ago)

          We can agree to disagree, R. 🙂

  43. Frith
    December 22, 2015 at 5:50 pm (2 years ago)

    LOL, yesterday in my Facebook trending news sidebar thingy, there was a link saying that there were thoughts that their Xmas photo was photoshopped!

    • Ellie
      December 23, 2015 at 1:14 am (2 years ago)

      As someone who manipulates photos and stuff in Photoshop, it definitely is ‘shopped. Charlotte is just hovering there. It makes very little sense. What Herazeus posted above is true, I think: all of it is fake. Not surprising with these two. I just wonder why. They have two gorgeous children, why not show them off for Christmas!