Both Clarence House and Kensington Palace have shared new official portraits of the royal family to celebrate Prince Charles’ 70th birthday this week.

The two photographs in question feature the Prince of Wales and his family, with Charles and Camilla seated on a wooden bench in the garden of their Clarence House home, surrounded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and of course their grandchildren – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The photographs, taken by Chris Jackson, have of course gone viral, but it’s not just for the sweet body language between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle or Princess Charlotte being her adorable and sassy self.

 

Instead, the photographs are going viral because of a noticeable absence. Who’s missing? Well, just his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Yes, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were both absent from the photograph, as were his siblings – Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

So why was the Queen absent from the family photo?

Well, apparently it’s completely intentional, with the Queen steadily relinquishing key duties to the next generation of royals to carry the baton for her, with rumours even emerging that the monarch is thinking of abdicating the throne in the next three years.

It is therefore thought that this photo is her stepping back to show the new faces of the royals.

Happy birthday again to HRH Prince Charles!

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Via Marie Claire UK