Royal Family Christmas Card 2020: When will the Queen, Prince William and more release their Christmas photos?

Royal Family Christmas Card 2020 - as Prince William releases his, we look at when we can expect the rest

Royal Family Christmas Card 2020? Undated file photo of Queen Elizabeth II recording her annual Christmas broadcast last year in Windsor Castle, Berkshire.
(Image credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images)

The Royal Family Christmas cards for 2020 have already started dropping - after Prince William, Kate published their adorable Christmas card family snapshot with their children Prince George, Charlotte and Louis.

The festive photo, published on their Kensington Royal Instagram comes exactly one week to Christmas - and shows the Cambridge's all sat on a hay bale in front of some logs.

Prince William has Louis, two perched between his knees, with Prince George, seven, sat on the end, while Kate has Princess Charlotte sat on her lap. 

READ MORE: Harry and Meghan and Catherine and William share adorable unseen Christmas card photos

All of the Cambridges are wearing their winter clothes, with jumpers, jeans, corduroys and boots a favourite - along with a shirt under their pullovers.

William's father Prince Charles and wife Camilla have also released their own Christmas card too - taken in the sunny garden of their Aberdeenshire home.

When will the Royal Family Christmas Cards 2020 be released?  

Traditionally the Royal Family release their own Christmas card - and have done ever since 1914 when King George V and Queen Mary - Queen Elizabeth II's grandparents - sent a greeting card to their troops who were fighting in World War I at the time.

It read, "With our best wishes for Christmas 1914. May God protect you and bring you home safe."

In 1942, her majesty Queen Elizabeth II followed in her grandparents' footsteps, when she mailed out cards to the Grenadier Guards regiment of the British Army, who were fighting in World War II. On the front was a portrait of herself.

But over the years the holiday greeting has changed with the times and today it includes a new photograph and a message inside. 

In previous years, including 2019, the cards have been released around 14th December and on 21st December the Royal Family released extra sweet festive family snaps for charity of Prince George making Christmas puddings.

In 1955 the Queen opted for a family snap for the Christmas card front and it featured her husband, Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and their children at the time Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

The photos went colour in 1957 and went on to have more of a personalised feel to them - featuring pets, and props including a pram and a boat.

And in 1989 Queen Elizabeth II sat beside Phillip in a horse-drawn carriage.

Who does the Queen send Christmas cards to?

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh send around 750 Christmas cards each year, which will usually feature a family photo. The card is signed 'Elizabeth R' and 'Philip' and features their official cyphers. 

Family, friends, and Members of The Royal Household will likely be the recipients of The Royal Christmas Card, but British and Commonwealth Prime Ministers, Governor-General and High Commissions may also be sent one. 

The Duke of Edinburgh has a further 200 cards sent out at Christmas to different regiments and organisations close to him. So you might need to keep an eye on social media for the Queen's 2020 creation.

And to every Christmas card she receives from members of the public, she sends an official letter back...

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What were the royal family Christmas photos last year?

In 2019 Prince Charles and Camilla notably opted to celebrate the festive season with an unseen throwback snap taken from their trip to Cuba. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall released a card with one of their favourite photos which saw them enjoying a ride in a vintage motor.

The Cambridge's also opted for a vehicle-themed snap, with children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Louis climbed aboard a motorbike and side-car.

Meanwhile Prince Harry and Meghan chose to let son Archie be the star of the show with a close up snap of him crawling towards the camera, and the couple smiling behind him, with the words embellished on the front, "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from our family to yours."

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In 2001 a special Golden Jubilee exhibition at Sandringham previously displayed The Queen's Christmas Cards, a collection of the family photographs which have been used on the personal greeting cards sent by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to their friends and employees over the years since the accession in 1952.

This fascinating record shows the children and grandchildren of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh growing year by year in pictures taken by family members such as His Royal Highness The Duke of York and Lord Snowdon, as well as professional photographers.

What photos might the royal family use for their Christmas cards in 2020?

There are now more than 50 Christmas cards which have been sent - some recording key events such as christenings, weddings and anniversaries, but many others are informal family snapshots.

The Cambridges' have opted for a rustic family snap again, similar to their photo in 2018 which was taken with a nature backdrop at Anmer Hall. 

And Prince Charles has chosen to feature flowers as his background - as gardening is a passion of his. Ans likewise, his latest festive photo, sat on a garden bench beside Camilla is similar to that of their 2018 creation.

It is not yet known whether Prince Harry and Meghan, who quit the royal family earlier this year, will be releasing their own Christmas card snap. But if they choose to, it's unlikely that the royal family will promote it on their social media.

Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.