The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall have released their official 2020 Christmas card, choosing a candid picture as they relaxed in the gardens of Birkhall.
Prince Charles, 71, and Camilla, 73, have spent much of the year at their Scottish residence, choosing to spend the first lockdown at their home in Aberdeenshire and returning for a summer break.
In the charming new photograph, which was taken in the early autumn by a member of the royal staff, Prince Charles can be seen with his arm around Camilla as they shared a laugh together in the blooming gardens.
Prince Charles and Camilla appeared casually dressed in the snap, with the Duchess opting to wear jeans with a pink shirt and black blazer.
Prince Charles, 71, and Camilla, 73, have released their official 2020 Christmas card, choosing a candid picture as they relaxed in the gardens of Birkhall
Meanwhile the Prince of Wales also looked relaxed in an open collared shirt with a pair of light chinos and a beige blazer.
The couple have spent several months at their Scottish residence this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like the Queen, who is isolating at Windsor Castle, they have operated throughout the year with a reduced household.
They enjoyed spending the first lockdown at Birkhall but their stay attracted criticism from some SNP politicians because Charles was revealed to have developed coronavirus symptoms soon after arriving.
The couple spent the first lockdown at their Aberdeenshire home, before returning this summer for a staycation
Where will the royal family spend Christmas?
Charles and Camilla: Understood to be spending it alone at their home of Highgrove but will see Queen and Phillip ‘at some point’ during the holidays.
They will also see Camilla’s children Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes at some point.
Prince William and Kate Middleton: Could spend Christmas at Anmer Hall, Norfolk or with the Middletons in Berkshire.
The Wessexes: Prince Edward and Sophie are likely to spend Christmas at their home of Bagshot Park in Surrey.
The Yorks: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson are likely to spend Christmas with Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, as well as their husbands Jack Brooksbank and Edo Mapelli Mozzi. They may spend Christmas at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.
Princess Anne: The Princess Royal may spend Christmas with her children Zara Tindall, who is expecting her third child, and Peter Philips and their families on their estate of Gatcombe.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: The Sussexes are spending Christmas in California.
Sources were keen to stress that he did not know he had the virus when they travelled there.
Meanwhile they also enjoyed an extended break in Balmoral over the late summer months.
The pair began their annual holiday to Scotland in early August, with Prince Charles reportedly extending his trip seven days longer than planned so he can continue to pursue one of his favourite hobbies.
Taking to Twitter at the time, royal photographer royal Tim Rooke claimed a local told him Charles ‘has decided to stay up for an extra week because the fishing is so good’.
Fly fishing is a favoured pastime of several members of the royal family, with the late Queen mother a fan of the sport, while Prince Philip has also been known to take part in the activity while at Balmoral.
Charles inherited Birkhall from his beloved grandmother, the Queen Mother, upon her death in 2002 and now enjoys spending summers at the residence with his wife the Duchess of Cornwall.
The beautiful gardens are a particular source of joy for the famously green-fingered prince who has described the garden as a ‘special place’ to him personally.
Last year, the couple chose a picture of their visit to Cuba as they drove through Havana in a vintage British 1953 black MG TD, with the first in line to the throne taking the wheel, while his wife waves to the crowds.
The photo, which sees them both wearing sunglasses as they arrived at Cuban capital’s famous John Lennon Park earlier this year, was taken during their tour of the island March 2019.
Earlier this week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Christmas 2020 card featuring their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, was shared online by a royal fan.
In an adorable snap, all the family are wearing cosy winter clothes with the oldest child Prince George, seven, sitting next to his father, Prince William.
The royal couple’s 2019 Christmas card featured a photograph from their visit to Cuba in March
Princess Charlotte, five, is seen sitting on her mother Kate Middleton’s lap wearing a Ralph Lauren jumper, while the youngest of the clan Prince Louis, two, nestles between his parents, both 38.
The card is addressed ‘To all the amazing NHS staff,’ with the message: ‘Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year’.
The unveiling of the photographs comes as the royal family prepare for Christmas after their traditional festive celebration was cancelled.
Her Majesty, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, traditionally spend the festive season with close family on their Norfolk estate.
Earlier this week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Christmas 2020 card featuring their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, was shared online by a royal fan
But it was announced last week that this year they will forgo the festivities and remain at Windsor Castle, where they have been isolating with a ‘bubble’ of staff since October due to the ongoing pandemic.
It means the couple face spending Christmas Day without any of their four children for the first time since 1949, when the then Princess Elizabeth left a one-year-old Charles in the UK so she could be with Prince Philip in Malta.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend Christmas at Highgrove, in Gloucestershire, although they expect to see the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor at some point over the festive season. Camilla will also spend time with her family.
In Tier 2 regions, like Windsor, up to six people from different households are able to mix outdoors. This means the Queen and Prince Philip could meet with family members for horse riding or walks in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The unveiling of the photograph comes as the royal family prepare for Christmas after their traditional festive celebration was cancelled