Friday, December 10, 2010

Antique Image of the Day: A Royal Christmas Card, 1938

Christmas Card with Marcus Adams' Portrait of
The Royal Family at Buckingham Palace
December 20, 1938
Pictured: Princess Elizabeth, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth,
and Princess Margaret
The Royal Collection
During the reign of King George VI, the Royal Family’s favored photographer was Marcus Adams. Adams was often employed to take the photograph that was used on the official Christmas card of the Royal Family.

Such was the case with this 1938 Christmas card which was signed, “Bertie, Elizabeth, Lilibet and Margaret." The card is dated 1939.

The photograph, taken two years into the reign of George VI, was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth. Looking at this with modern eyes is interesting. “Bertie” is King George VI whose name was actually Albert Frederick Arthur George. “Elizabeth”’ is his wife, the woman most of us have known as “The Queen Mother.” Margaret is, obviously, Princess Margaret. And, “Lilibet” is Princess Elizabeth who is now Queen Elizabeth II.

To see such a personal greeting from the Royal Family is most unusual, and, then to see them looking so happy is quite a treat. Of course, now, the most interesting thing about this card is the image of a teenaged Queen Elizabeth II—looking hearty and carefree. It reminds us that all families are basically the same at heart.

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