Royal Christmas Cards ~ Diana and Charles 1981-1991

Here are the Christmas cards that Diana and Charles sent out during their marriage. They tell quite a story!


For their first Christmas card they chose a classic wedding photo. Predictable, but it was The Wedding of the Century, after all. So, will William and Kate pick a wedding photo? If they do, I hope it’s a fun one, like the a picture of them in the Aston Martin leaving Buckingham Palace. THAT would be good! Or a behind the scenes picture that we haven’t seen yet (fingers crossed).


William’s first Christmas card appearance! Wow – what a difference a year makes…wedding, new Princess, new little Prince. That is quite an expression captured on his wee face!


Wee William on a swing at Balmoral. How cute that they put up a swingset on the grounds…Charles is wearing the Royal Balmoral Tartan. This tartan was designed by Prince Albert back in 1853 for members of the family to wear during their stays at Balmoral. Nowadays, Queen Elizabeth wears this tartan along with other members of the family that have received permission from her to do so (that’s right, the Queen specifies who in her family has the privilege).


Wee William and Wee Harry, who was born on September 15th that year. Note – Diana’s hair has gotten longer each year so far… We think that she is wearing the sapphire earrings here that William recently gave Kate, and that she wears as drops. (click here for more on the earrings)

1985: And we’re back at Balmoral. This time Diana is getting in on the tartan fun as well! This was most likely taken at the family’s annual retreat to Balmoral in August. Love this picture of them both on the pony.


We’re notices that William is very good at smiling in all these Christmas cards. And how cute is Harry in this photo? Matching white shirts and red shorts for the boys. This was either taken at Highgrove, Diana and Charles’ country home, or at Kensington Palace. And they have a dog! Wonder what the story is there…


This relaxed family photo was taken when the Wales were on vacation with the royal family of Spain in Mallorca. How about those crowns on Diana’s sweater? Total Princess Diana humour. Again, matching shirts and shorts for W and H.


Quite a change from the shorts and tans in Mallorca…


Highgrove. Matching shorts and shirts. Something about this photo seems a bit sad – they aren’t grouped all together as in previous Christmas card shots. Charles seems kind of off on his own…


And…matching sweaters and trousers. Sweet.


The last family Christmas card, a tad strained and pushed….the boys do not look as relaxed and happy as they have in previous years. At this time, Diana was collaborating with Andrew Morton on the book Diana: Her True Story which was published in May of 1992, the Queen’s Annus Horribilis. In December 1992 it was announced in the House of Commons that the Prince and Princess of Wales would separate.

So, which is your favourite of these royal Christmas cards?


Categories: British Royal Family, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge

3 replies

  1. I like the card with the pony and the one where Diana is holding the Jack Russell terrior. Those are both such endearing shots!

  2. I like them all, but I like the composition of the last one.


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