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[Updated] Official Photos Released of Princess Charlotte's Christening

Thursday, July 9, 2015

No rest for the wicked... :)  The official photos from Princess Charlotte's christening have been released, and as we suspected, they are gorgeous. Taken by Mario Testino at the Sandringham Estate, they carry his signature style. I love that William and Kate chose this shot with George pulling at his hair. It is obviously a posed photo, but that touch of the natural--allowing his personality to pop through--was a very sweet touch. 


The group photo turned out very well. It is interesting that the Queen and Camilla are both in assertive pastels, as opposed to the Middletons' neutrals. They all work together, but it does serve as a distinction, whether intentional or not. I am just now noticing that Camilla's outfit seems to match Prince Charles's tie. Other random reflections include: I think Carole looks fantastic here, and doesn't George look hilarious all somber with his feet on the sofa? You know what also looks amazing? The room! Gorgeous location. 


The Daily Mail has run an article in which they describe the room, and I have to share:
The Drawing Room has a musical theme to it with pictures of musical instruments on the ceiling and on the finger plates of the doors. The room was described by Queen Victoria in her journal as 'a very long and handsome drawing room, with painted ceilings and panels with two fireplaces.'
Italian craftsmen were brought to Sandringham to carve the intricate panelling on the walls and cornices, and to paint the trompe l'oeil ceiling panels. The carved panelling derives from the French Louis XVI style of the late 18th Century. Its white marble fire-places, painted ceiling and pastel shades are typical of the Edwardian taste.
The portraits set into the wall panelling in the background of the photograph were painted by Edward Hughes in 1896 and depict the two youngest daughters of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra – Princesses Victoria and Maud.
The elaborately gilded glazed cabinets, parts of which can be seen in the background of the photographs, are thought to be Danish and contain silver gilt and Bohemian glass. Both Queen Alexandra and later Queen Mary were great collectors of objets d'art.
This father-son portrait is very sweet, beautifully conveying both George's joy and William's delight in his child. I hope, however, that the Palace does not count this as a birthday photo. We will need new photos of George in several weeks. :) 



Lastly, my favorite, the mother-daughter shot with Kate looking down at her wide-awake and alert little girl. This has a very natural feel to it. The lighting makes it seem like an impromptu snap, as it well might be, although it could just as easily be Testino's deliberate technique. I think that Charlotte looks very much like a Middleton, except here I am catching a little bit of Queen Elizabeth II's intense-scrutiny stare. 


As everyone knows, Mario Testino took William and Kate's engagement photos, and it was said that the below shot was impromptu--that he saw it, loved it, and snapped. A lot of candid moments can happen on a photoshoot, so perhaps only those present can know if this story is legend or true. In any event, I think it is a favorite for many.

Mario Testino
Quoted in the aforementioned Mail piece, Testino said about the christening shoot:
'Photographing Princess Charlotte's christening was an amazing experience. What impressed me the most was the energy of the family, and of that between the Duke and Duchess. One sees how solid they are together and one gets a sense of their strong family values. 'It was incredible to be able to document four generations of the British Royal Family together – the monarch and three heirs to the throne – and very heart-warming to see the close relationship between them all.'

'I am overwhelmed and honoured to be chosen to document this occasion and to carry on the documentation of the family that is the soul of this country, a country that has given me.'
Testino is famous for his portraits of Princess Diana, which highlighted her glamour and beauty while maintaining a simple sophistication. I secretly (or not so secretly) hope that Kate will do a shoot with him sooner rather than later. I honestly think it is time she had some really elegant, official photos taken...preferably styled in gowns, and maybe with something denoting her royalty. A tiara, you say? I would not object...



65 comments:

  1. Oh the comments over on the BBC news site. So ignorant, so just plain nasty.
    I too love the pictures. Catherine is obviously completely enamoured with her little girl - who shows every sign of turning into a beauty. How could she not with those genes?

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    1. I can't read the comments on the BBC news site. It seems that all of the haters are there just to create a stir. And yet, they are there gobbling up the photos just like everyone else. If they don't care (or have worse feelings) about the royals, why are they there in the first place? Can you tell it's a pet peeve of mine? lol

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    2. The photos are just lovely and the casual ones are an unexpected treat. Charlotte look so much like Kate. Does anyone recall the photo of Carole holding Kate as a baby? Identical IMO.

      And when it comes to Mario Testino's statement regarding the day, I'd say the proof is in the pudding. Clearly, this is a very happy family and George and Charlotte are blessed with two loving parents, and extended family.

      Btw, Robin, I share your pet peeve. :)

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    3. I was mistaken...this is the photo where I see the resemblance between Kate and Charlotte.

      http://us.hellomagazine.com/imagenes/royalty/2014033117860/prince-george-spitting-image-of-mother-kate/0-93-395/kate-split--z.jpg

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    4. If you can see any resemblance good for you:)))

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  2. Lovely photos! I love how these are more informal - you can argue it is Mario, Charlotte being 2nd to the throne (out of the siblings), etc - or a combination of all those - but all that matters is they are lovely and once again convey the Cambridges desire for a more relaxed, normal life. The fact that they choose to be memorialized and go down in history with this style of photos says a lot.

    I noticed that in this extended family photo, and all the photos from George's christening featuring the Queen, included is the Queen's purse! I cannot imagine her purses carrying such significance, and it baffles me why these talented, experienced photographers aren't removing it all together. Unless the Queen refuses, and who is to argue?!

    Agreed on the Middleton women vs. Queen/Camilla. Frankly, we all know the Queen can do as she pleases, and she's wearing a lovely pink in a nod to her great-granddaughter. Camilla, while I like her, may have been a bit too bold as step-grandma. I think the Middleton women follow Kate's lead, and also choose to blend in, as this really isn't about them - they have a supportive role.

    Amanda, Canada

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    1. I think The Queen's handbag is as much a part of her as her arm! I agree with you - who is going to argue with her? :-)

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  3. Jane darling, I love all your posts.
    Have you noticed that the Queen wore blue for George and pink for Charlotte? Maybe it is just coincidence, but I am delighted to see this :)

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    1. The Queen is very deliberate and traditional, and with private dressmakers at her disposal I believe she can have something gender-specific created. :-)

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    2. Gaia, I also was so pleased to see the Queen's colour choices to honor her great-grandchildren.
      1000% perfection!

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    3. Hi there, Gaia!! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I agree, I love how the Queen color coordinates, like the bright pink she wore the day Charlotte was born! I am sure that was a salute to the baby! :) xo, Jane

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  4. Ok, everyone is going to disagree with me but I was so looking forward to these pictures and I am disappointed. I know the style is more informal than those from George's but I feel like we didn't get the great shots we got from his. Remember the one of George with his parents with his arms outstretched or the one with George smiling up at his mother? The Testino family shot is beautiful and George eith his dad is wonderful. I feel like we don't get a good look at Charlotte as she is at any angle and not well propped up. I know she is younger than George was but I wish there Testino took a full on face shot of
    her.

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    1. I don't think I disagree with you, I just think we have to keep in mind we have been told these are the selection of photos W&K chose to share with us. My guess is shots probably exist that you desire (e.g. full on face shot, or at least closer up), but they chose not to share. Imagine how large their private photo album will be from that day/portrait session :-)

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    2. Personally, I think the difference in their ages at this point in their life is the issue. George was a full month older and probably a little more alert and active than Charlotte is quite yet. I think these are lovely pictures and I can see now why the Middletons chose the outfits they did. The tone of the picture is just beautiful and I quite like the colors on Camilla and the Queen. I love the shot of George smiling. I think that's the first pic we've seen of him with a full on smile instead of his signature solemn expressions. Well done Mario.

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    3. I have a feeling there are many more photos that we are not privy to. To be honest, I didn't expect the more casual photos. I assumed it would be one or two official photos and that's it.

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    4. Like you say, anon and royalfan, I'm sure there are many more pictures that we will not get to see. I'm just perturbed that I really can not tell what Charlotte looks like because of her angle in all these photos which, as Jane in Canada points out, is probably due to her age.

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    5. Yes I am surprised she looks as alert and cute as she does at her age. I think the photos of Charlotte are fantastic.

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  5. I love all of the pictures but have a question regarding the group picture. Catherine's brother and sister and in it so it makes me wonder where Harry is? Is he off doing something important? Or just not included? Thank you! and excuse the question if it sounds silly.

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    1. He was travelling to Africa for charity work. I find it hard to belive his schedule couldn't have been planned around this, or rearranged. Especially since these are historical family photos, and significant life events.

      A theory I have, however wrong/right it may be, is that Harry may be having a hard time coping with William happily/successfully married with two children, and he is still trying to find a girlfriend up for the BRF challenge. So he throws himself into a variety of work, which is largely out of the UK. I believe he loves them all and is happy for them, but it may be hard. I can speak from personal experience, as someone who struggles with infertility, that at times I really struggle, or literally cannot handle, to be around pregnant women and newborns...and then being asked why I haven't had kids yet. Sometimes I can and am genuinely happy for them. Other times I decline an invite and deal with my personal struggles. So maybe I read too much into it, but it seems odd and I can empathize greatly with his position...in the limelight...being asked by interviewers...etc.

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    2. Thank you for your input! I often wonder the whole royal family feels. It's so hard to imagine what their life is like daily, and what their personal relationships are like.

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    3. Harry had already planned a three month trip to Africa so I imagine that, not being essential to the ceremony, he decided not to change his plans. I'm sure he talked this over with William and Kate and they were fine with it.

      Anonymous 11:25AM - I too struggled with infertility. I was very blessed with one child and then could have no more. It is difficult. My friends and my sister-in-laws were popping out babies left and right (I have 19 nieces and nephews) and we were the first married. I am so sorry for your struggles and pray you may find a solution.

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  6. Such lovely photos!! George is such a cutie and I'm so glad we got to see a picture with such a big smile on his face - I feel like we're getting a glimpse of his adorable personality here. And Kate looks so fantastic!!

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  7. Hi Jane, I had the same thoughts than you - Charlotte reminds me of the queen! And I too love the room where the group photo was taken and I love the way the queen's pink coat and William's tie pick up the pinks in the paintings and the carpet. Love the pastel colors! charlotte is changing so quickly it would be great to have photos from the three times that she has been photographed next to each other. Lovely photos!

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  8. Sonja from BavariaJuly 9, 2015 at 11:54 AM

    These pictures are wonderful - I love the mother-daughter and the father-son portraits. They look a bit more intimate and warm.

    The drawing room is just beautiful - a prettier background that the room in which george's christening photos were taken.

    Well, I have to say that I'm not so pleased with the very first picture of the four cambridges in the garden. The scenery is great, but I wish Kate would have stood a bit closer to 'her boys' ;) (I just think that would have made the photo even more lovely and warm)

    Charlotte's hair looks brown, but this could also be because of the lighting... and george's also seemed brown when he was christened, but now it is blonde...
    What do you think, will charlotte become a brunette or a blonde?

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  9. I love these so much! A couple of (disjointed) thoughts:

    - My favourite thing about the group photo is that, while there is still very much a focus on the Queen and the royals, it's also a wonderful Middleton photo. Down the centre of the picture is Carole, Kate and Charlotte - a lovely touch to the three generations!

    - I think Charlotte looks so much like Kate as a baby! I had thought she looked like George, and she does, but there is also definitely a resemblance to Kate.

    - If any photo is candid, my guess is it's the George photo. It's not a day that's about George so they didn't need a photo of him alone (although I LOVE it, so I'm not complaining!) Also, you can see the pram and, I think, Kate's hat in the background - so I think this one just happened!

    - I was trying to decide if I prefer the photo of Kate and Charlotte, or the photo from George's christening with Kate looking at George. They are both great, but I do like that Charlotte is looking towards the camera.

    - In general, I love the happy, relaxed feel of these photos. I don't know what Mario Testino says/does while taking photos, but he really seems to capture his subjects looking joyous! It's beautiful!

    Amy

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    1. I just noticed the pram and hat - very cool! Because of the angle - do you think Kate may have been leaving over to pick up Charlotte from the pram?

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    2. I think so!

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    3. Amy, I hadn't noticed the centre lineup of Carole, Kate, Charlotte until you pointed it out.
      Now, that's all I see and think it's so well done! So thank you~

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    4. I think Charlotte looks like Kate's baby pictures too, especially in the one with just the two of them. She looks like George's baby pictures in the shot with all four of them. I think she will resemble her mother a lot though.

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  10. I have to say I'm just not a fan of Mario Testino's work, he uses to much Photoshop for me. In the first pic of the Cambridge family, Will and Kate's faces have been altered to an unnatural point and the last shot of Kate and Charlotte has poor lighting and focus. The pic of the whole family is good and the casual pic of Will and George is very lovely but I preferred the pictures of Prince George's christening done by Jason Bell.

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    1. Agree with you on the first pic - Kate's face seems elongated, her jaw is thinner than it normally is... that is the first thing I noticed! I do love the family picture, although it was probably altered too!

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    2. And Jason Bell's photos of George's Christening weren't photoshopped to the max? Kate and George looked like plastic dolls in the Jason Bell photos they were photoshopped so much.

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    3. Question? If these were "Photoshopped", then why did he not remove the lighting issue in Kate and Charlotte's issue or remove the hat and pram from the one of William and George? It doesn't make sense at least to me to alter people's face and not remove the other distracting things.

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    4. Excellent question, Anon 10:26.

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    5. ...because, 10:26, the presence of the "other distracting things" lends credence to the naturalness of the picture.
      And it worked, apparently.
      The group photo is certainly enhanced.
      There were remarks about William and Kate being photo shopped-I have no idea if this is true. However,
      did anyone notice that Camilla's hair looks to be about two inches off the sides if her face, while her jowls
      have mysteriously disappeared? that Phillip's face is at an unnatural angle on his neck and resembles photos
      taken of him 20-30 years ago? that the Queens lower limbs, including her usually swollen ankles, seem
      to have undergone an overnight slenderizing? (although, I must add, she and most of the royal ladies have
      or have had,, a nicely turned ankle.)
      For that matter, what happened with Michael's hair?

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    6. Anon 7:27, your comment made me take a good look at the group photo and compare it to the others. I do not know the correct terminology, but I do agree that some type of "effect" was used.

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  11. Love the photos! Mario Testino's work always appears to be 3D, especially the Kate-Charlotte one! Great depth on the photo!

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    1. Me too! I love Mario Testino's photos. They are more artistic without losing the feeling of intimacy.

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    2. I love all of these photos! Not a stuffy one in the bunch and the mother/daughter and father/son choices are my favorites. While these were taken by a world renown photographer, they have the feeling of family photos and not so posed.

      I hope, with the release of the photo of the both families, the naysayers about the choices of white/neutral colors made by the Middleton women will see how perfect a choice it was. Never upstage Her Majesty. Camilla pops second to The Queen and, although it is said she will never hold the title of Queen, she is still married to the next heir to the throne. The Middleton family members are very wise in their choices for official event exposure. They show respect for the royal family that is completely proper. It is probably why they enjoy a warm relationship with them.

      I agree with you, Jane, that I hope this doesn't preclude a birthday picture for George's second birthday! His little expressions are too precious to skip an opportunity for more photos!

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  12. So happy to finally see these!
    But a little bit dissapointed at the fact that Charlotte's face is not in the right angle/focus at that one shot with Kate and Testino shot some of these from a high angle - Kate looks awfully thin (the head looks so big!).. I suppose he wanted them to cry out his signature for many years to come. Well, I don't know. Something more traditional like the family photo would be more suited for such a traditional occasion, in my opinion.
    Aside from that everyone really looks lovely, just a happy and beautiful family!
    Of course I also missed Harry. But one can not be always everywhere.
    Something else is bothering me, though: Jame's beard. I know, it's a la mode, I know it's totally 'cool' but I don't like it, esp. on these photos, and I'm so sure, ten-fifteen years from now he will laugh at that ridiculous thing.
    Thanks for covering so beautifully!
    Alice

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  13. Would have loved to see a photo of William and his daughter!! :)

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  14. Don't know a thing about photography so suffice to say that these pics are winners, in my ignorant opinion.

    On to matters of greater importance:HAIR! It is apparent that George did not have a recent haircut nor was his hair plastered down with gunk--does someone at KP actually read this site? What is also apparent is that George loves hair; first, he most ungallantly played with his mothers hair in New Zealand, now he is having fun with his own. Shout out to Charlotte: watch it, kiddo; Big Bro is virtually guaranteed to have a go at yours!

    On a more serious note, I would have loved to see a pic of William, George, Kate, Charlotte, and HMTQ sitting on that divan, minus all background characters; call me crazy, but those five looked like Family. Further, IMO, Charlotte appears to look like a cross between HMTQ and Kate--not a bad combination. (I have always thought that HMTQ was prettier than her sister; Elizabeth, unfortunately, was constrained by protocol, in matters of dress and hairstyle.)

    Shout out to George: You are one cute kid, but your sister is cuter; learn to live with it--and pray to God that you have not inherited the Windsor Disease (premature balding).

    Again, lovely pics. I can certainly see why Diana favoured Testino.

    JC

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    1. Hi JC, once again, I enjoyed your post!

      May I ask what your thoughts are on the Middleton ladies' color scheme in the formal photo? I thought the result was quite tasteful and understated.

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    2. Certainly you may ask. Basically a ditto on your take. Altho initially I thought, c/o photos taken on July 5th, that Carole Middleton was dressed in cream, I was delighted to see her in grey. I even sort of liked her hat (the poor woman has a history of less-than-glorious headgear). And, really, what else could Pippa have chosen, aside from cream? The Queen had cornered the market on pink, Camilla was wearing blue, and Big Sis was wearing a summery take on winter white. (And I personally suspect that in photos of such historic significance, Pippa and Carole would have been made aware of the colour schemes chosen by the Queen and Camilla well before time.)

      So yes, tasteful and understated, royal fan. (Sorry about the gap in your name, by the way; I have tried, numerous times to correct Jenny, my very own laptop, but she is annoyingly obstreperous).

      JC

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    3. JC, when George was christened, the color scheme was shades of blue and shades of white/neutral. I wonder if the same was true this time...? I believe Charlotte's godmothers were dressed in blue, therefore, the Queen the only one wearing was in a different color. Whether my theory is correct or not, the result was very easy on the eye. Well, almost (wink, wink).

      And no worries about Jenny :)

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    4. Oh dear....the only beverage I was drinking was a cup of coffee. :))

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  15. The photos look a bit 'touched' as is usual with Testino's pictures. William's face, in particular, looks like it has been digitally 'altered'

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  16. .
    This is my take on the photos: I got very eager the moment they announced it was Mario Testino: I was expecting gorgeous photos like the shootings of Diana or the engagement pics of W&K. When I saw the 4 of them released I thought uhm... meh...

    My favourite is, ironically the photo of William and George. Spontanoeus and very beautiful.I liked the general idea of father and son vs mom and daughter, but the focus should have been on Charlotte. George had already the spotlight at the christening and I think that photo is more suitable for his second birthday than his sis'd baptism...

    The group photo was fine and it seemed quite relaxed. (Carole's hair looked not flattering there anyway),

    The family pic would have been cut if Kate didn't look so horribly photoshopped and her head looked strange...

    Photo of Kate and Charlotte: the light spoilt a little bit the setting... it is the photo I like less...

    To be honest, Kate managed to do a much better work when she took the pictures of her children together, which is not easy... I was expecting the same from Testino... He (almost) makes me regret Jason Bell.... And I thought I would never say this!

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    1. I wouldn't hold my breath--if you are--over pics of George on his second birthday being released. My bet: Kate will snap some candids which will go into the family photo album.

      I do agree, Nina, that Kate's pictures of George and Charlotte were terrific--I even began to wonder if Kate had missed her calling! Is she a frustrated portrait photographer who found herself married to a future king--in which case, William lucked in; no doubt, she is capable of taking great photos of him, and of the kids, over the years. And Kate would be a much cheaper alternative to the likes of Jason Bell and Mario Testino. Problem is: WHO is going to take great portrait pictures of HER?

      JC

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  17. I like the group shot just fine but wasn't wowed by the others. In particular, the shot of the four of them is off: The airbrushing seems excessive—perhaps that's what's causing the bizarre proportions of Kate's head and neck. It's a shame because she looked so incredibly gorgeous that day.

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  18. Beautiful! I do think the angle is a bit off .... but otherwise beautiful.

    Oh George. .. just so cute and so photogenic. Great to see a smile versus his smirks and quizzical stares. Straight on smile! Fabulous

    Fsmoky photo is lovely. ... and yes the Middleton color scheme was perfect! Gosh they are always impeccable. ..

    Charlotte .... she is definitely dark haired. Maybe she will not be ad brunette as Kate or the Queen but not sure she will go blonde like George. Though I still see some red in his hair at times. Charlotte definitely looks loke George but not totally... I do see Kate and the Queen. Her eyes look like Kates eyes in the widely circulated baby pic of Kate. Charlotte is of course beautiful. How can she not be? This family is just gorgeous. Will be lovely watching them grow up.

    Overall I am happy with the pictures (because my happiness matters here LOL)... the angle is off some .. Kate seems sone what photoshopped but as bad as George's christening pics. She did look like a doll in one of the pics as another person commented above.

    Hope we get some new pics of George foe his 2nd Birthday in a few weeks. Hard to believe that so much time as passed.

    Another great post Jane!

    Nina

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    1. Again..

      Words changed
      Words missing

      This cell is driving me mad! I read and reread and it still changes things around. ..

      Sorry all ~ Nina

      My life revolves around the 'red pencil' !! LOL

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  19. By the by, the photos that Kate took of George posing with Charlotte were very similar to the formal portrait that Earl Snowdon took of the toddler William posing with (newborn baby) Harry on his lap (there was even a cushion in the photo as well). I am old enough to remember this! I feel there is a bit too much replication......also, George wearing copycat clothes to ones that William wore.....it's a bit eerie, not a tribute to Diana at all. They need to be more original, and establish their own identities etc.

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  20. The group photo here is not dissimilar to the Jason Bell one.

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  21. The photo of William & George is my favorite; Kate & Charlotte a close second. I read that the background arrangement in the family photo was partly driven by the need to break the white/cream/Middleton ladies' hue up - didn't even think of that. Sweet family! And Her Majesty's purses never cease so amuse me;)

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  22. Pippa looks taller than her mother in the group photo, emphasizes the height of her shoes!

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  23. It's a strange angle to photograph Charlotte from......doesn't look natural, and the child looks different in this image to other photos we have seen of her.

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  24. Testino has REALLY altered the shape of William's and Kate's faces in the first photo! I'd like to definitely know if Kate's hair is naturally curly or not, the fact that George's hair seems to be suggests it might well be.

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    1. It looks like from all the photos over the years Catherine's hair is naturally curly.

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  25. Testino has made William's forehead look more prominent.....

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  26. From the extremely small amount I know about photography, I understand that the type of lens used can really change the shape and size of people's faces. Mario Testino may not have altered their faces with Photoshop, but may have used some lens, for an Official Photographical Reason that I know nothing of, which happens to make them look a little...atypical. Any photographers in the group that can comment on this?

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  27. love the Cambridge family photos I think these there favorite photos I think they are many much shot that Mario testino made and I love the they are presented in modern way the second photos with the Cambridge family s very beautiful I love all the shot prince George looking candid I love mother and daughter shot although its seems Photoshop for instagram I think prince George official photos are more formal and class but these seems more relax and being a family I quite sad not prince harry not around to the group

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  28. When I first saw these photos, I was disappointed, but decided not to comment immediately.
    In royal Christenings prior to Prince George, all we saw were the official photos, so they looked good. At George's we had some pictures before and after the ceremony and of course, George was a month older than Charlotte is now, so we got the lovely pictures with his arms outstretched and the one smiling at Mummy.
    This time we had such lovely pictures before and after the ceremony---I will never forget the first sight of them on "Sky" as they began the walk to the church and though we couldn't see Charlotte in her chariot, we knew she was there. No posed photo could be better than that, or of George looking round for all the other guests, as they began their walk back.Or the picture of George talking to HM so confidently.These all showed us a family interacting with each other
    So this morning I appreciate the official photos more, for their pictures of Charlotte's face, for the backgrounds and the smiles.
    I hope the protocol for royal Christenings has now been changed for ever.

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  29. Something to look forward to--- the Duke and Duchess will both be in Portsmouth on July 26 for America Cup races.

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