Although formal photographs rarely say much, they can sometimes say all. A little over 50 years ago, the camera clicked on a family group in the shadow of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Christmas Day had arrived and the royal kids were just emerging from divine worship. A young Prince Charles was there trying to restore order to the chaotic tribe of cousins, aunts, and goddaughters. His stylish, fashionable teenage sister, Princess Anne, was also present.

If 1969 was a momentous year for mankind — the Apollo 11 moon landing, Concorde’s maiden flight and The Beatles’ last public performance — then it was brimming with significance for the Royal Family.

It saw the death of Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice, Charles’s investiture as Prince of Wales and the Queen making her first appearance at Trooping the Colour on her horse Burmese, the black mare she would ride for the next 18 years.

52 years after her death, the Queen can be seen at Windsor Castle once again to celebrate Christmas. This is another year that has been marked by extraordinary resilience as well as personal loss.

There will not be Prince Philip to her side for the first time. Rather than an extended family gathering, only a few will travel with her in protest over the rising number of Covid cases.

It will not be part of any royal Christmas rituals like the annual pilgrimage to the church.

One tradition that was a part of the Christmas season in 1969 had disappeared. The Queen didn’t broadcast a Christmas broadcast for the first time in 52 years since she was elected to the throne.

Scroll down to view the family photo. 

This charming photograph was unearthed from the Daily Mail archives. It is thought to be the first time that these ten young royals had been pictured together

From the Daily Mail archives, this delightful photograph was found. The Daily Mail archives revealed that this is the first picture of the ten young royals photographed together.

The official explanation was that with Charles’s investiture and the screening that summer of the fly-on-the-wall documentary Royal Family, the public had had a surfeit of royal television coverage.

But, in fact, the Queen had grown rather tired of the formulaic ‘my husband and I’ festive address to the Commonwealth and wanted a change. As Philip put it in a TV interview: ‘To sit in front of a TV camera and just deliver a message simply doesn’t get across. We need to come up with a better way. So we thought we would take this year off and scratch our heads and see if we can do something better.’

Anthony Craxton, a filmmaker and old friend of Philip was asked to conduct a live transmission from Windsor so BBC viewers could join Philip in Christmas Eve worship. That is how this adorable photograph from Daily Mail archives came in. This is believed to have been the first photo of these young royals together.

Clive Limpkin’s expertise as a Mail photographer is as important as the banter between Princes Charles, Andrew and the smiley, suited man between them. The cause of all the mirth was a shouted warning to the cameraman to watch out for any unexpected surprises deposited by the Queen’s corgis.

Limpkin died at the age of 82 in 2012 and later told how Andrew had advised him to be careful. ‘At some point Andrew told Charles to belt up, despite being a younger brother,’ Limpkin said. ‘I remember it as a very happy occasion. They all seemed in great spirits.’

Another 48 hours passed before the final picture was published. Like other newspapers, the Daily Mail didn’t print an issue on Boxing Day. Today, though, we do.

This photograph shows us a lot about the Royal Family. And, perhaps more important, how will it affect the direction of the monarchy in the future. Charles, who is smiling and formal, takes centre stage. This is his first sign of his most frequent behavior, with his blue suit tightly buttoned. One hand slides into a pocket. He’s 21.

On the contrary, Princess Anne looks much more at ease. After completing six O-levels, and two A levels at Benenden School a year prior to her official duties, she had just begun public service. Fashion conscious, she was soon to become the pin-up of the Queen’s family. Andrew, nine year old, is beside her. Prince Edward was five years older.

The most fascinating thing about this meeting is the expectation that all ten of them would have formal duties in their lives. Its future is now firmly in the hands of Charles, Anne, and to a lesser degree, Edward.

Prince Andrew, who then was his brother’s understudy as heir in line to the throne, is now removed from royal life and almost completely marginalised by the toxic Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

They are not easily recognisable by anyone except the most dedicated royal fan. But once upon a while they were just as familiar as the Princes George, Louis, and Princess Charlotte on the Buckingham Palace balcony during ceremonial events such Trooping The Colour.

What has been their fate in the past half-century since that picture was taken?

Let’s take a look at…


1. James Ogilvy

James Ogilvy

James Ogilvy

Aged five in 1969, James is the elder child and only son of the Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra and the late Sir Angus Ogilvy. He was the 13th generation to inherit the throne at birth and now is the 58th. After being educated at Eton College as well as the University of St Andrews, his career was that of a publisher. Now 57, he is said to be the Queen’s favourite godson. While vacationing in Florida, with Julia his elegant wife and their two young children in 1997, he survived a shark bite.

2. Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones

Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones

Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones

Then five, Lady Sarah is the Queen’s adored niece. Now aged 57, Princess Margaret’s daughter married Daniel Chatto (artist) in 1994 to become Lady Sarah Chatto. Her line of succession was at seventh position when she was born. She currently ranks 28th. Prince Harry’s godmother, she is.

3. George, Earl St Andrews

George, Earl of St Andrews

George, Earl St Andrews

George was seven when he was born. He is now the older son of Duchess and Duke of Kent. He was the tenth child in the line for the throne at the time of his birth. He is now 59 years old and 42nd in line to the throne. His godson, Prince Philip’s son, is now married to Canadian academic who serves as chancellor at Bolton University. They have three children: Lady Amelia Windsor, a pinup of the Royal Family.

4. Lady Helen Windsor

Lady Helen Windsor

Lady Helen Windsor

At five years old, Lady Helen was the younger sister to George. (see above). At the moment, she is 47th in line for the throne. After five years at the all-girls St Mary’s, Wantage, she moved to Gordonstoun for the sixth form where she was nicknamed Melons because of her shapely figure. She is married to Tim Taylor, an art dealer. They have four children together.

5. Viscount Linley (David)

Viscount (David) Linley

Viscount Linley (David)

He was eight years old when he married Princess Margaret. In 2017, he was made the 2nd Earl de Snowdon after the passing of his father, the photographer. He is a furniture maker and former chairman of auction house Christie’s. He was the fifth-in-line to the throne at the time of his conception. Today, he’s 25th. He’s now sixty and is divorced from Serena Stanhope, his daughter by the Earl of Stanhope.

6. Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew

He was the first to be born to a monarch during 103 years. He now ranks ninth.

7. Marina Ogilvy

Marina Ogilvy

Marina Ogilvy

Marina was three when she became the first child in the family. Prince Charles’ goddaughter is Marina Ogilvy (the younger sibling of James Ogilvy). Her seven-year marriage was to Paul Mowatt (photographer), with whom she has two children. She is currently 61st on the line of succession. Something of a royal wild child, Marina was briefly the Windsor’s most infamous back sheep. Famously pregnant before marrying Mowatt — in black — in 1990, she once posed for a fetish magazine in a rubber jumpsuit and crown surrounded by corgis. This led to a dispute with Sir Angus Ogilvy and Princess Alexandra Ogilvy, her parents. After her divorce, they reconciled. She reverted back to her maiden name. She is now a musician and teacher.

8. Prince Edward

Prince Edward

Prince Edward

Then five, was third in line to the throne — today he is 14th. In 1999, he married Sophie Rhys-Jones, a former PR girl. They have had two children together.

  • The life of a princess was beginning in 1969 when Princess Anne began her royal duties. Two times married, with two children she has been the most hardworking member of the Royal Family. She will remain in that role even after her brother is made king. In 1969, Charles was being trained for the throne. In 1969, Charles graduated from Cambridge. He is the longest serving heir to the throne at 73.