King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 75, were photographed at the Braemar Games on September 3, 2022 by Samir Hussein. This photograph, taken just five days before Charles became King, has now become the official Christmas card for the King and Queen Consort.
Judi James, a professional body language expert, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to explain the significance behind the photo and why they chose it for the festive season.
She claimed: “This seems to be a very symbolic choice of photo for their Christmas card this year. Firstly there is the traditional styling and setting.
“Charles is wearing tweed and Camilla is in full Scottish mode to register ongoing unity with the North, as well as a message of continuity rather than change.
“Prince Charles was not yet King when this photo was taken, but he is shot in profile in a rather regal pose that will now be a familiar one from coins and postage stamps.
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“His facial expression appears good-humoured but thoughtful and, unlike many royal cards, he is no longer addressing the camera and the viewer straight on, using eye contact.”
King Charles appeared to look to the side in this photograph whereas Queen Camilla looked the opposite way, almost behind her husband.
Judi added: “There is no direct contact or message in this pose for the public or even for Camilla, and this slight distancing also reflects a more regal look.
“We can see him here but he is not seeing or pretending to see us, making the Christmas wishes less personal.”
According to Judi, Queen Camilla’s body language emphasised her “loyal support” for her husband as they stood together at the Braemar Games.
She explained: “Camilla’s head is very much in shot though, showing the couple as a strong working team.
“This pose emphasises Camilla’s role as a loyal supporter and even a raiser of mood, as her smile is bigger and warmer than her husband’s here and the way it causes creasing of the skin makes her look like a kindly presence.”
However, despite Queen Camilla’s eyes looking in the direction of King Charles, Judi argues that this narrative is “misleading”.
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She opined: “This looks like a loving gaze from Camilla to Charles to also show fondness and admiration.
“But in fact, this is a little misleading, even though the sentiments are obviously correct.
“The direction of Camilla’s eye gaze does not actually seem to be aimed at Charles’ face!
“On closer inspection, she seems to be grinning at someone to her right, which would give her a more sociable image.”
King Charles and Queen Camilla will be spending Christmas at Sandringham House along with other members of the Royal Family.
It will be the first royal Christmas without Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal Family have a jam-packed schedule on the Norfolk residence at Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, the Royal Family reportedly follow the German tradition of opening presents the day before Christmas Day.
Then on December 25, the Royal Family attend church at St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate, where they also perform a royal walkabout to greet the crowds of royal fans and well-wishers.