As Meghan, Harry & Archie share their first family Christmas snap, we look at Royal Family cards through the years

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
The 2019 Christmas card of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on a Christmas tree at Clarence House, taken whilst on tour in Cuba. [Photo: Getty]

Christmas is just one day away, and one of the things sure to get us in the festive mood is the Royal Family’s seasonal greetings.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their first official Christmas card as a family of three, featuring baby Archie.

Also for 2019, we’ve had Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla’s Cuba holiday snap, and a new family photograph from the Cambridges.

READ MORE: Duchess of Cambridge shares previously unseen family photo in Christmas card

So how do the latest Christmas cards compare with the ones from previous years?

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Archie – 2019

The new Sussex family marked their first Christmas together with a sweet black and white image.

In the picture, the family-of-three gather before a Christmas tree. Baby Archie, who is just seven months old, crawls in the foreground of the photograph while his parents look on. This is the most close-up image ever released of the little one, who stares wide-eyed at the camera as his parents laugh.

Meghan and Archie both wear light-coloured knitwear, while Prince Harry wears a white shirt unbuttoned at the collar.

The card was shared from an unverified Twitter account called The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, rather than any official royal social media channels. The social post takes the form of an animated GIF, and parts of the tree appear to be sparkling.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry 'to miss Queen's Christmas events' this week

It reads: “Merry Christmas and a happy new year” and adds “from our family to yours” at the bottom.

It is believed the photograph was taken by American actress and musician Janina Gavankar, a friend of the couple.

At the bottom of the card, it reads: “This year we have decided to send our cards electronically.” This is yet another eco-friendly statement from the couple, who launched their sustainable travel initiative, Travalyst, in September this year amid a backlash over their private jet usage.

Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall – 2019

Taken during a visit to Cuba earlier this year, this sweet image shows Prince Charles and Camilla in matching panama hats and sunglasses while driving in a vintage British 1953 black MG TD.

The image is a contrast to the pair’s more formal, posed Christmas card portraits in previous years, and is a nod to Charles’ known love of classic cars.

The Cambridges – 2019

Continuing Prince Charles’ motoring theme, the Cambridge family pose on a vintage motorbike and sidecar for this year’s Christmas card, with little Prince Louis, who is 19 months old, sitting on his father’s knee while Prince George, 6, and Princess Charlotte, 4, stand upon the bike.

While it was not officially released by Kensington Palace, the Royal Air Force Cadets shared the image, which was said to be sent by the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Cambridges – 2018

Last year, royal fans went crazy for the Cambridge family’s Christmas card taken at their Anmer Hall home. Prince Louis, who had then not been pictured since his christening, was pictured in his mother Duchess Kate’s arms as George and Charlotte struck playful poses while standing on a tree branch behind father Prince William.

The Sussexes – 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a previously unseen image taken at their May 2018 wedding to mark their first Christmas together as a married couple.

READ MORE: Kate and William's children dominate their most liked Instagram posts of 2019

The Cambridges – 2017

Back when they were a family of four, the Cambridges shared an image taken by photographer Chris Jackson as their Christmas card.

Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles and Camilla – 2005

In 2005, Prince Charles shared an image taken at his wedding to the Duchess of Cornwall for his official Christmas card.

READ MORE: Royal fans 'in shock' at how grown-up Prince Louis looks in new pictures

The couple are pictured with Prince Harry and Prince William together with Camilla’s children Laura and Tom Parker Bowles. It was the first time Charles’ long-term partner Camilla had appeared on his Christmas card.

Prince Harry, Prince William and Camilla's children Laura and Tom Parker Bowles pictured at Charles and Camilla's wedding reception in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle. [PA]

Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry – 2004

A year before Prince Charles’ marriage to Camilla, he shared a Christmas card shot by photographer Mario Testino in the grounds of their Highgrove House home.

From left, Prince Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William pose for Charles' personal Christmas card in 2004, taken by Mario Testino in the grounds of Highgrove House. [PA]

Queen, Prince Philip and the Queen Mother – 1985

Here the Queen and Prince Philip are pictured with the Queen Mother in 1985. Mother and daughter sit on a bench while Philip stands between them.

A photograph from a Christmas card dated 1985 showing Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh alongside the Queen Mother in her 85th year. [PA]

Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry – 1984

Prince Charles is pictured with the late Princess of Wales, Prince William and newborn Prince Harry in 1984.

A photograph from a Christmas card dated 1984, showing Prince Charles and Princess Diana with their children Harry (left) and William. [PA]

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and family – 1979

The Queen and Prince Philip are pictured with their four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. The family centre around Edward, who was born the previous year.

A photograph from a Christmas card dated 1965 showing Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh alongside their children Princess Anne and Prince Edward (left), Prince Charles (centre) and Prince Andrew (right). [PA]

The Queen – 1942

The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, poses solo at the age of 16 for a Christmas card in 1942 upon her appointment as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards. She married Prince Philip five years later.

A Christmas card from Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain) to the Grenadier Guards regiment of the British Army in 1942. [Getty]

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