Perched on a tree branch and clad in jeans, this year’s Christmas card photograph of the Cambridges could not be more different to that of the Norwegian royal family’s very formal portrait.
Although there are smiles all round for both families, the Cambridges delighted fans this year with a more casual look, while Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway and Crown Princess Mette-Marit once again opted for a more traditional picture.
The very different Christmas card photos of the two families give a fascinating glimpse into their lives.
With the backdrop of a resplendent Christmas tree in one of the opulent rooms of the royal palace in Oslo, Mette-Marit, 45, is joined by husband and heir-to-the-throne Haakon, 45.
By their side are their two children Princess Ingrid Alexandra, 14 and Prince Sverre Magnus, 13. While in three of the four photographs released, the family is joined by King Harald V, 81, and Queen Sonja, 81.
In impeccable attention to detail, the family of six have colour coordinated their clothing, with accents of red, navy, black and cream.
Mette-Marit, who recently announced she has been diagnosed with chronic pulmonary fibrosis, looks chic in a cream roll-neck jumper and navy velvet pleated shirt.
While Haakon is dapper in a blue lounge suit and festive red tie – the same his father is wearing.
Princess Ingrid can be seen in a navy roll-neck jumper and black skirt, while her brother Prince Sverre wears a blue suit very similar to his father’s.
Queen Sonja, meanwhile, looks festive in a cream dress, red shoes and matching red necklace, bracelet and earrings.
In both families’ photographs they can be seen affectionately touching each other’s shoulders or waists. While both Kate and Mette-Marit pose stand on the left hand side.
But there are of course some notable differences, the most obvious ones being the locations, poses and clothing.
This year’s Christmas card of the Cambridges is the one that royal fans have been eagerly anticipating as it marks their first as a family of five.
The adorable autumnal portrait shows the relaxed and beaming family sat on a tree trunk in a wooded area at Anmer Hall, their country house in Norfolk.
It is the family’s first Christmas card to feature baby Prince Louis, who was born last April and is now almost eight months old – and some royal fans say he "stole the show".
Kate, wearing a green jumper and blue jeans, cradles smiling Louis – dressed in a baby blue top and dark blue shorts, tights and shoes – in her arms as she rests against the tree trunk.
Princess Charlotte, three, dressed in a blue knitted cardigan and skirt balances in the middle with her arms around her parents.
Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, is sat on the branch next to Kate, with the top button of his shirt undone and his sleeves rolled up to his elbows.
While five-year-old Prince George, wearing Hunter wellies, blue trousers and a green jumper, grins and playfully stands on one leg with his hands on his dad’s shoulders.
Kensington Palace tweeted: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to share a new photograph of their family. The photograph, taken by Matt Porteous, shows The Duke and Duchess with their three children at Anmer Hall, and features on Their Royal Highnesses’ Christmas card this year."
Jersey-based professional photographer and filmmaker Mr Porteous has worked with the family on a number of occasions. He snapped portraits of George that were released on the future king’s third birthday.
Mr Porteous wrote on his Instagram page of the Cambridge’s Christmas card photo: “It was an honour to be asked to photograph The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family at Anmer Hall. Capturing the fun and relaxed moments between such a wonderful family was a true privilege.”
This year’s photo of the Cambridges is in stark contrast to the one released of them last Christmas.
In 2017, the family went very formal and were pictured against a neutral background, with no distractions, and in coordinated smart outfits.
William wore a dark suit and blue tie, Kate wore a powder blue Catherine Walker peplum jacket and skirt and the two children were also dressed in blue.
It was the Swedish royal family who released one of the more informal festive cards last year.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Daniel posed with their children Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar outside a snow-covered Haga Palace in Stockholm.
Princess Estelle was photographed mid-action throwing a snowball at the camera.
The Royal family
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