The Spanish royal family's new Christmas card is from a particularly special trip

By Jessica Pollack

When selecting a photo for their 2018 Christmas card, the Spanish royal family looked back on a visit that bears particularly special meaning for the foursome. The gorgeous snap shows Queen Letizia, King Felipe and their two daughters, 13-year-old Princess Leonor and 11-year-old Infanta Sofia, in casual ensembles posed in front of a breathtaking and mountainous landscape. Zarzuela Palace revealed the front and back of the card on Thursday (Dec. 13).

The photogenic family stopped for a Kodak moment during a hike through the Picos de Europa National Park in Asturias this past September. Standing in front of the Lakes of Covadonga, this marked the first visit of their eldest daughter, the Princess of Asturias, to her principality. This trip was surely a powerful one for the future queen, whose parents are positively beaming in the snap. Spain's royal family was on hand to mark the park's 100th anniversary.

The photo was taken on their trip to Asturias. Photo: © Casa de SM el Rey

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019" reads the red script on the back of the card, which features a thin red border. A handwritten message adds, "With great affection and our best wishes," with the four family members' signatures below. The young women wrote their formal names, "Leonor, Princess of Asturias" and "Sofia, Infanta de Espana."

MORE: Princess Leonor makes her first speech at age 13

Following suit with the Cambridge family, who wore jeans in this year's Christmas card, the Spanish royals traded last year's formalwear for a more laid-back look. Queen Letizia wears a pair of khaki pants with a white button-up shirt and brown cross-body bag, while her husband King Felipe is clad in grey jeans, a checked shirt and an olive-green safari-style jacket. Their daughters, who often dress in similar styles, look darling in bohemian blouses and trousers.

They wrote the sweetest message. Photo: © Casa de SM el Rey

The holiday season in Spain is filled with family fun and festive treats. On Christmas Day, King Felipe and Queen Letizia's pretty lookalike daughters will wake up to find a small present under the tree. The royal couple host the customary Spanish Christmas Eve dinner in the Zarzuela Palace for his parents, former sovereign King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. For New Year's Eve, Queen Sofia often flies to Greece, where her brother, the country's former King Constantine, has lived since his return from exile in London.

RELATED: Holiday traditions of Europe's royal families

On the eve of Epiphany on Jan. 5, Spanish children traditionally receive gifts from the three Kings and eat roscon, a ring of brioche filled with cream and containing a present for one lucky child to find. It's an especially big day for the family, as it's also the birthday of patriarch Juan Carlos.

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