The royal family surely has piles of portraits of them through the years under Queen Elizabeth II's leadership. However, the latest one is undoubtedly the most special yet.
Each year, the British Monarchy offers a what-so-called The Queen's Christmas Message (or The King's Christmas Message if the reigning monarch is a male) through television or radio airing. King George V started this tradition in 1932, and Queen Elizabeth II has been delivering a Christmas message since 1952.
Last Christmas 2019, Queen Elizabeth II successfully carried out her speech as she surrounded herself with selected photographs of her and the royal family. Some of the portraits since are a picture of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on the 50th anniversary of his induction as Prince of Wales; a family portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton with their three children; a snap of Prince Philip from her private collection; and a black and white picture of King George VI in 1944.
Royal commentators said that the photos featured were chosen to represent the direct line of succession. Now, as they welcomed a new decade both as a monarchy and a family, Queen Elizabeth II spearheaded another photoshoot to capture the best photograph ever taken under her reign yet.
2020 Four Generations' Portrait
To officially mark the new decade, Buckingham Palace released the newest portrait of the Queen with Prince Charles, Prince William and six-year-old Prince George.
According to the palace, the photograph was taken by photographer Ranald Mackechnie on Dec. 18 in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace. It was publicly shared on Jan. 3, 2020.
View this post on InstagramTo mark the start of a new decade, a portrait has been released of Her Majesty The Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George. The portrait was taken by Ranald Mackechnie in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace. Photograph © Ranald Mackechnie A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Jan 3, 2020 at 2:06pm PST
However, it was not the first time Queen Elizabeth II posed for a picture together with her successors.
The first-ever portrait of the four was released in April 2016 in line with the celebration of the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II and was used by Royal Mail on its commemorative postage stamps.
The same photographer, Mackechnie, appeared in an interview with CNN in 2016 and told them that the Queen and her successors were "very relaxed."
"The royal family were easier than my family to shoot, I have to tell you," Mackechnie went on.
The Best Photograph of The Royal Family
Despite being the second one, the new image of the four is considered the best as it is the first official photograph of the royal family's monarch and the successors since 1894.
More than a century ago, the royal palace released a photo of Queen Victoria and her successors -- King Edward VII, King George V, and the then-future King Edward VIII.
Queen Victoria, with her son who would become King Edward VII, her grandson who would become King George V and her great-grandson who would become King Edward VIII, 1894 [524 x 763] from r/HistoryPorn
It was the first portrait that showed the four generations of the monarchy and was taken as one of the official Christening Photographs of Prince Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David (a.k.a King Edward VIII).
Moreover, what made the new image the most memorable was the fact that the royal palace chose to gather the four to welcome the new year and new decade for the first time. The Buckingham Palace is never a fan of exclusive royal portraits, and the heirs to the throne usually stand for a photograph with their families.
In addition, body language expert Judi James added more reason to consider the portrait as the best royal family photo out there.
Talking with express.co.uk, she analyzed it and revealed that the way Queen Elizabeth II showed her dominance for the first time in a photograph with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George.
The 2016 photo showed Queen Elizabeth II sitting next to Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge. This time, however, Her Majesty chose to stand in the newest portrait.
"Standing rather than sitting in deference to her years she is placed in a forward position that shows she is still the strong, protective and dominant figure in the family and her wide smile and upright posture suggest she is going nowhere in terms of retirement," Ms. James explained.
Meanwhile, the current heir to the throne Prince Charles moved backward, suggesting that the Queen will truly hold on to her position for life, regardless of her age.