Now that the holidays are among us, it's time for one of the royal family's most adorable yearly traditions. Prince William and Kate Middleton's Christmas card is here, and it's crazy to see how much George and Charlotte have grown since last year. Of course, the entire family looks great (as per usual) in their coordinating blue outfits, but it's the little ones who are truly stealing the show.
According to People, the photo was taken by Getty Images' royal photographer, Chris Jackson, earlier this year — the same photographer who took the photo the family chose to use for last year's card, too. The mag also pointed out that it was likely taken on Prince George's fourth birthday, since he's wearing the same outfit in those photos, too.
Kensington Palace officially shared the card early Monday morning, and it seems that Jackson is pretty pleased that they decided on another one of his shots this year. "Delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to use this family portrait I shot as their Christmas Card this year," Jackson wrote in a tweet where he shared the winning photo himself. "Merry Christmas!"
Here's the photo they used for the card in all its beautiful blue glory:
The way George grabs onto his dad's hand, shyly smiling at the camera, as Charlotte poses beside him wearing a sly smile as she stands on her own says so much about their individual personalities. The older she gets, the more Charlotte looks like her grandmother, the Queen, and George already looks so much like a mini version of his father. How is it possible that this family keeps getting more adorable with every passing year?
Last year, their card wasn't revealed until after the holidays had passed, featuring another photo by Jackson that had been taken as the family attended a birthday party together. Instead of a posed photo, they chose to use a candid one, with the entire family looking on as a balloon twister made a balloon animal for the children.
Since the family tends to keep their lives as private as possible, getting to see photos like these can make fans feel included in their milestones. Being that George and Charlotte are still so young, it's hard to know anything about their personalities aside from what their parents choose to share with the world, but it definitely seems as though George is more reserved, while Charlotte is a bit more adventurous than her big brother.
This newest photo marks an important time in the royal family, because this is the last Christmas card they'll ever send out as a family of four. Next year, Middleton and William's third child will be here, and there will be another kiddo posing with them when the holidays roll around. So far, the family hasn't revealed whether they're expecting a boy or a girl, but Middleton's April 2018 due date will be here before we know it.
2018 will be such an exciting year for the royal family as a whole, too. Aside from welcoming a new baby, there's a huge wedding in the pipeline, too. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot in May, so it's definitely going to be a busy spring for everyone. And who knows — maybe this time next year, we'll get to see Harry and Markle's first Christmas card together as a married couple, too.
It will be so fun to see what the next year has in store for William, Middleton, George, and Charlotte, and this photo is a perfect way for them to close off 2017.