LONDON — With all the melodrama surrounding the British royal family, the Prince and Princess of Wales are cutting out the color and presenting something more nostalgic for their 2023 family Christmas card: a black and white family portrait that hints at the past.
The photograph by Yorkshire-born photographer Josh Sinner emulates the 1992 Christmas card staged by the-then Prince Charles and Princess Diana featuring a young Prince William and Harry.
That year was another turbulent one for the royal family — it was that December that Charles and Diana’s separation was announced by British Prime Minister John Major to the House of Commons.
The Christmas card of the two boys alone feels somber, while the 2023 version is more upbeat with all parties grinning, excluding Prince George, the future heir to the crown.
The Waleses are all wearing white shirts tucked into their jeans with a visible Ralph Lauren polo logo on George’s shirt.
The portrait is a big step away from the family’s English fairytale photos taken in the countryside of Norfolk or Suffolk, where the family escape to spend time alone.
Sinner’s photograph is the Americanization of the Waleses with a mix of ‘90s JC Penney catalog with Calvin Klein’s Eternity campaigns, as well as a nod to a black and white candid photo that Patrick Demarchelier took of Prince William photographing his mother and brother.
The fashion photographer’s image was re-shared by the two brothers to mark Diana’s death in 2017.
The Waleses — known for following the royal gospel of never complaining, never explaining — have taken this opportunity to subtly poke the British tabloids, which will be dissecting every inch of the photograph.
In 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their own black and white Christmas card. Black and white photographs have almost become their signature move when announcing news to the world, from their engagement photos shot by Alexi Lubomirski to the announcement of their second child captured by Misan Harriman.