Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were all smiles on a trip to Scotland this past summer, where the two posed for a very natural, sweet snap that ended up being their Christmas card. The royals look thoroughly relaxed in front of the camera in the countryside, where a pal was snapping from behind the lens. And while the photo was never intended for the public, the future monarch and his wife were smitten with the shot and decided to use it for the holidays.
While it's a loving portrait that might be of any other rock solid couple there are details that give away their royal status. On the cover the card features the Prince of Wales' distinctive feathers emblem and the Duchess' cipher. Inside is written simply "Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year" and there is room for a personal message.
A Clarence House spokesman said: "As is customary at this time of the year, we have given a copy of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall's Christmas Card to PA today for them to release on our behalf."
A few weeks ago the couple came back from a highly successful tour of New Zealand and Australia, where Charles celebrated his 67th birthday with a huge party on Cottesloe beach in Perth. The future King was supremely relaxed on the trip, charming the crowds, hugging babies and even cheekily joking about the All Blacks Rugby World Cup triumph, quipping to an audience in Wellington: "What the hell am I going to say to the Aussies".
From there the couple went on to Malta and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference, accompanying the Queen, who proudly paid tribute to her son's role with the organization.
It's Camilla's presence that has allowed Charles to come into his own, and this card is his quiet way of showing the world just how much he owes his darling wife.