Sunday 16 December 2018

British royals giggle in first picture of the their entire family - including a joyful Prince George and Meghan Markle

In this handout image provided by Clarence House, HRH Prince Charles Prince of Wales poses for an official portrait to mark his 70th Birthday in the gardens of Clarence House, with Their Royal Highnesses Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Willliam Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, on September 5, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson / Clarence House via Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by Clarence House, HRH Prince Charles Prince of Wales poses for an official portrait to mark his 70th Birthday in the gardens of Clarence House, with Their Royal Highnesses Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Willliam Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, on September 5, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson / Clarence House via Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by Clarence House, HRH Prince Charles Prince of Wales poses for an official portrait to mark his 70th Birthday in the gardens of Clarence House, with Their Royal Highnesses Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Willliam Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, on September 5, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson / Clarence House via Getty Images)
Prince Charles dotes on grandson Prince Louis, with daughter-in-law Kate Middleton in a still from a BBC documentary, taken by Chris Jackson/Getty
In this handout image provided by Clarence House, HRH Prince Charles Prince of Wales poses for an official portrait to mark his 70th Birthday in the gardens of Clarence House, with Their Royal Highnesses Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Willliam Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, on September 5, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson / Clarence House via Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Britain's royal family shared a picture all of its key senior members for the first time in an attempt to lift the veil of mystery behind palace gates.

The portrait, taken by Getty royal photographer Chris Jackson, was released in honour of Prince Charles's 70th birthday and features the doting grandfather joined by his two sons and boisterous grandchildren for a family photo taken at Clarence House. Even Prince Louis, who was pictured immediately after his birth and in a set of christening photos, made an appearance, as his mother Kate Middleton proudly held on to him, flanked by husband Prince William, with Prince Harry and expectant wife Meghan Markle filling out the row.

Charles was seated centre stage with grandson Prince George on his lap, his wife Camilla and a patient looking Princess Charlotte.

The photographs are rare images of the prince with his three grandchildren, which will increase to four when Meghan gives birth next year and it marks the first time the entire dynasty has been pictured together in one frame.

In this handout image provided by Clarence House, HRH Prince Charles Prince of Wales poses for an official portrait to mark his 70th Birthday in the gardens of Clarence House, with Their Royal Highnesses Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Willliam Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, on September 5, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson / Clarence House via Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by Clarence House, HRH Prince Charles Prince of Wales poses for an official portrait to mark his 70th Birthday in the gardens of Clarence House, with Their Royal Highnesses Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Willliam Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, on September 5, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson / Clarence House via Getty Images)

The photo shoot was staged in the garden of Clarence House in September, and appears to show a "before and after" of the moment the photographer said "smile for the camera".

"I was delighted to have been asked to take these portraits of the Prince of Wales surrounded by his family to celebrate the important milestone of his 70th birthday," Jackson said of being behind the lens on the day.

"It was particularly special to capture such an informal and relaxed family portrait over a fun afternoon in the gardens of Clarence House."

Kate was pictured in one the hottest must-have this season: a polka dot, collared Alessandra Rich dress, that is drawing comparisons because it was also one of the preferred wedding guest looks from Meghan and Harry's nuptials when actress Abigail Spencer wore it in Windsor in May, while the Duchess of Sussex is wearing her preferred Givenchy, this time a belted white shift dress.

Behind the scenes, things are changing within the British royal family as they prepare for Charles's eventual ascension to the British throne and William's eventual role as heir and he and the Duchess of Cambridge are splitting from Harry and Meghan, who will be setting up their own court to focus on each couples respective interests and responsibilities, which all currently remain under the same Kensington Palace umbrella; but it appears it's business as usual on a personal level between the famously close brothers.

In a recent BBC documentary, William spoke of how he wants his father to spend more time with George, Charlotte and Louis.

Prince Charles dotes on grandson Prince Louis, with daughter-in-law Kate Middleton in a still from a BBC documentary, taken by Chris Jackson/Getty
Prince Charles dotes on grandson Prince Louis, with daughter-in-law Kate Middleton in a still from a BBC documentary, taken by Chris Jackson/Getty

"I think he does have time for it, but I would like him to have more time with the children," he said.

"I think, he's reached his seventieth year, it's a perfect time to consolidate a little bit because as most families would do, you are worried about having them around and making sure their health's OK, and he's the fittest man I know but equally I want him to be fit until he's 95, you know, going on."

Charles turns 70 on Wednesday and will spend part of his birthday with Camilla having tea with a group of inspirational people who also celebrate their 70th birthday this year. In the evening, the Queen will throw a private Buckingham Palace birthday bash.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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