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William and Kate release new family photo for Christmas amid Harry and Meghan Netflix controversy

EMBARGOED TO 2230 TUESDAY DECEMBER 13 This photograph should be solely used for news editorial purposes only. It shall not be approved for souvenirs, or memorabilia; or anything colourably similar. No charge should be made for the supply, release or publication of the photograph. There shall be no commercial use whatsoever of the photograph.The photograph must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form and must include all of the individuals when published. The photograph shall not be used after 31st December 2022 without prior permission from Kensington Palace. Copyright in the photograph is vested in The Prince and Princess of Wales. Publications are asked to credit the photograph to Matt Porteous. Undated handout photo issued by Kensington Palace of the Prince and Princess of Wales with their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in Norfolk. The photograph, which features on their Royal Highnesses' Christmas card this year, was taken by the photographer Matt Porteous earlier this year. Issue date: Tuesday December 13, 2022.
The Prince and Princess of Wales have released a new photo, taken earlier this year in Norfolk, as their 2022 Christmas card. (PA)

William and Kate have released a new family photo, which will feature on their 2022 Christmas card.

The image was taken by photographer Matt Porteous earlier this year and shows the Prince and Princess of Wales walking hand-in-hand at home in Norfolk, with their three children: George, nine, Charlotte, seven, and Louis, four.

In the summery snap, the children all wear shorts and trainers while their parents wear jeans and shirts.

Both William and George sported Ralph Lauren shirts, while Princess Charlotte wore a jumpsuit with strawberries from Sfera.

Kate's casual look included a pair of white Superga trainers, which she has worn numerous times before, along with a broderie anglaise shirt from M.I.H Jeans which has already sold out.

The family's annual Christmas card is the first time we've 'seen' George and Charlotte since the Queen's state funeral in September. Louis was last pictured in June at the late monarch's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

It's also the first posed family photo released since William and Kate were given their new title — and drops amidst a heap of Royal Family controversy.

Harry and Meghan's Netflix documentary is due to drop the second volume of episodes on Thursday - the same day that Kate's Royal Foundation Carol Service will take place.

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While the rest of the royals will be out in full force to celebrate the 'Together at Christmas' concert, the Sussexes will conspicuous in their absence.

The card release follows the full trailer for the upcoming episodes of the Netflix documentary, during which Prince Harry can be heard saying: "They were happy to lie to protect my brother, they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us".

While little context is provided in the trailer, the duke's comments echo those made by his wife during the couple's interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021. Meghan, however, referred simply to a family member, rather than singling William out.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with Oprah Winfrey. (Harpo Productions/ Photographer Joe Pugliese)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with Oprah Winfrey. (Harpo Productions/Photographer Joe Pugliese)

Read more: Harry and Meghan's relationship timeline

The Wales' Christmas card photos tend to offer the public a glimpse at the family at home or on holiday, stripped of the pomp and circumstance that so often surrounds them.

Last year's image was taken during a family trip to Jordan and in 2020 they were seen seated and smiling in front of a pile of chopped fire wood.

King Charles has also recently released his first Christmas card since becoming monarch — he selected a picture taken shortly before his mother, the late Queen, died in September. In it, he is seen in profile, while Camilla looks over at him smiling widely.

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EMBARGOED TO 2200 SUNDAY DECEMBER 11 The 2022 Christmas card of King Charles III and the Queen Consort in front of a Christmas tree in Clarence House, London. The photograph was taken at the Braemar Games on the 3rd September 2022 by Samir Hussein. Picture date: Sunday December 11, 2022.
Charles' first Christmas card since becoming King. (Samir Hussein/PA)

Captured at the Highland Gathering, he was in attendance to celebrate the late Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee as she was not well enough to attend herself.

Then-Prince of Wales cut a heather rope to officially open the Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee Archway, before he watched competitors take part in the traditional Highland Games activities like hammer throw and tug of war.

The photograph was taken by Samir Hussein, who has a long history of taking iconic and historic snaps of the royals.

Kate and William are thought to be spending their first Christmas without their matriarch at Sandringham with the rest of the Royal Family. This is where traditionally the Windsor's spent Christmas while the Queen was alive. While there have been reports that Charles would like the festive season to be less formal going forward, it seems that this is one tradition the family will be keeping up.

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