As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry release their Christmas card photo for 2018, a body language expert has revealed the true meaning behind it.
The new black-and-white picture of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – who are due to welcome their first child next spring – is the first-ever photo to be made public from their wedding reception in May.
In the snap, the royal couple are seen putting their arms around each other’s waists and holding hands with their backs to the camera.
Both look ahead as an enormous fireworks display erupts over a lake at Frogmore House – the grounds of their future home in Windsor.
Judi James, who is an expert in body language and behaviour, has given her insight into the intimate photo.
She said: "This super-glam, über-cool card is less about Christmas cheer and more about Harry and Meghan’s enviably romantic life as an A-list power couple in the Hollywood style.
"It could be an ad for a luxury brand, with the formally dressed couple lost in their intimate moment as they gaze up at the fireworks.
"By turning their backs to the camera they allow us to share their moment but not their company. It implies they’re in that stage of love where they only have eyes for one another."
Meanwhile Kate Middleton and Prince William revealed a strikingly different Christmas card photo for 2018.
The adorable portrait of the Cambridges shows the relaxed and beaming family sat on a tree trunk in a wooded area at Anmer Hall, their country house in Norfolk.
It is the family’s first Christmas card to feature Prince Louis, who was born last April and is now almost eight months old.
Kate, wearing a jumper, is holding smiling Louis – dressed in a light blue top and dark blue shorts, tights and shoes – in her arms as she rests against the tree trunk and Princess Charlotte, three, balances with her arms around her parents.
Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, is sat on the log next to Kate, with his top button undone and his sleeves rolled up to his elbows.
Five-year-old Prince George, wearing Hunter wellies, blue trousers and a green jumper, playfully stands on one leg with his hands on his dad’s shoulders.
The photos were revealed by Kensington Palace on Friday amid claims that there is a growing rift between the couples.
The picture of Meghan and Harry was taken during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding reception at Frogmore House on the night of May 19.
It was taken by Chris Allerton and features on their Christmas card.
Kensington Palace tweeted: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are delighted to share a new photograph from their Wedding Reception at Frogmore House on 19th May. The photograph, which features on Their Royal Highnesses’ Christmas card, was taken by photographer Chris Allerton."
The photo of the Cambridges was taken by Matt Porteous earlier this year.
Kensington Palace tweeted: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to share a new photograph of their family. The photograph, taken by Matt Porteous, shows The Duke and Duchess with their three children at Anmer Hall, and features on Their Royal Highnesses’ Christmas card this year."
Jersey-based professional photographer and filmmaker Mr Porteous has worked with the family on a number of occasions. He snapped portraits of George that were released on the future king’s third birthday.
Mr Porteous wrote on his Instagram page of the Cambridge’s Christmas card photo: “It was an honour to be asked to photograph The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family at Anmer Hall. Capturing the fun and relaxed moments between such a wonderful family was a true privilege.”
Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall also released a Christmas card photo on Friday.
It shows the couple – Charles in a blue suit and tie and Camilla in a cream and crepe dress – gazing at each other while they are sat on a wooden bench.
The photograph was taken by Hugo Burnand in the garden of Clarence House in central London this summer.
Mr Burnand is used to working with members of the royal family as he took the wedding pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s nuptials in 2011 and Charles and Camilla’s big day in 2005.
Charles also asked the photographer to take the birthday image which marked his 60th year in 2008, and he has taken a portrait picture of the duchess.
The royals are due to spend Christmas together as per tradition at the 92-year-old Queen’s Sandringham residence.
Meghan and Harry are set to celebrate their first Christmas as a married couple – and their last without children, as former Suits actress Meghan is due to give birth to their first baby next spring.
They are set to move out of their cottage on the palace’s grounds early next year for a quieter and more secluded home in the grounds of Frogmore House in Windsor.
Initially, it was believed they would move into an apartment next to Will and Kate in Kensington Palace in west London.
This week, it was revealed that Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will have to curtsy to Kate when the Duchess of Cambridge becomes Queen.
Last year, Kate and William released a picture showing them standing with George and Charlotte, just months before Louis’ birth.
The happy family were all wearing baby blue with beaming smiles on their faces.
The 2017 photo was taken at Kensington Palace by Chris Jackson, Getty Images’ royal photographer.
The Royals at Christmas
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