Shot in stylish black and white, this family portrait is rather more pared back than the traditional bright and busy Christmas card.
The monochrome image chosen by William and Kate shows the pair smiling alongside sons Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte who is sitting in a chair at the front of the group.
But is there more missing from the Prince and Princess of Wales’s festive portrait this year than a bough of holly and a woolly jumper or two?
That was the mystery puzzling eagle-eyed observers last night after they focused in on the left hand of Prince Louis, five, and noticed his middle finger appears to be missing.
Of course, he seems simply to be spreading his fingers wide. But then a closer look also led some to question what has happened to William’s left leg.
He appears to have adopted quite a wide stance but only his right leg is visible. Similarly, only one of Kate’s feet is in view behind the chair Princess Charlotte, eight, is perched on.
Trick of the eye: The Waleses’ family portrait confused some observers
A royal source told the Mail that Prince Louis seems to have bent his finger over
The Prince and Princess of Wales shared their family picture online with the caption: ‘Our family Christmas card for 2023,’ along with a Christmas tree emoji and a red love heart.
The three men and boys are dressed in matching plain shirts – George opting for a Ralph Lauren Polo number – and dark trousers, while Kate and Charlotte have swapped the trousers for denim jeans.
Many speculated the image had been poorly edited or photoshopped, with one social media user writing: ‘While it’s a nice family photo, as soon as I looked at it, I noticed Louis’ hand. He’s missing a finger.’
Another posted: ‘Consider the angle of his [William’s] supposed right leg, his left leg should be visible in the chair opening unless he’s trying to do a split?’
But fear not. All is well with Louis’ ‘missing’ finger, and all the Waleses’ limbs have been accounted for.
A royal source told the Mail: ‘It’s not photoshopped. It seems as if he [Louis]… just bent his finger over. He’s certainly not lost a finger – don’t worry about that!’
As for William and Kate, it could be that William’s left leg was hidden behind Charlotte and Kate was standing with one foot in front of the other.
Lovers of the Firm were sent into a frenzy when the image was published, with many commenting on how fast the Wales children are growing up – with Prince Louis seemingly on his best behaviour for the photo shoot.
On Friday, he blew out Prince Charlotte’s candle during his mother’s annual Christmas carol concert in Westminster Abbey, which left his sister, age eight, in stitches.
However, it seems Louis was not up to his usual cheeky antics, as he was pictured standing up straight, with his father’s guiding hand on his shoulder.
‘I reckon that’s a firm hand on Prince Louis to keep him from running off! Love that mischievous kid,’ one royal supporter said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Fans of the royal family also discussed how Prince George has shot up in the professional snap, with some noting that he has almost grown as tall as Kate at just ten years old.
Lovers of the Firm were sent into a frenzy when the image was published, with many commenting on how fast the Wales children are growing up. Pictured: The family at Prince Louis’s christening in 2018
One wrote: ‘Prince George is so tall,’ to which another responded: ‘Yes! He is already on his mother’s shoulders and he is just ten years old.’
Another remarked: ‘Prince George is going to be 6’5′ or taller!’
A third penned: ‘I love how George is leaning into his mum, almost protecting her and how Charlotte is the independent one saying we’ve got this.’
Many have said that the young Princess looks like a spitting image of her great-grandmother, the late Queen.
Others have predicted that she is going to be the next ‘star’ of the family, and commented on how she ‘oozes confidence and class’.
William, Kate and their children were photographed at Windsor earlier this year by acclaimed photographer Josh Shinner.