Last Friday those genetically blessed royals, The Cambridges, released their family Christmas photo.
Needless to say the world went mad for the gorgeous snap that bears little resemblance to the family photos most of us manage to capture.
The backdrop is far more picturesque than your average backyard. Little Prince George looks adorable as ever. Kate & William look rested, relaxed and HAPPY. Little Princess Charlotte is peeping out, oblivious to her missing shoe. It is all kinds of lovely and has their personal brand of perfection stamped all over it.
But a few days on the gloss is wearing off. The world is suspicious. Are they really that perfect? Did the royal family use photoshop to tweak their Christmas card?? Has Princess Charlotte’s smiling face been superimposed on her body?
Plenty seem to think so. Personally, I don’t buy it. My eye isn’t trained in this realm but I am reliably informed by those whose eyes are, that something isn’t quite right in this image. Something about the blurry background around Charlotte’s face? Her head appearing to ‘float’?
So look, we don’t know if it was or it wasn’t and we won’t pretend to. But I do know this: if this snap has been tweaked I would understand why.
Have you ever tried to get a toddler and a baby looking in the same direction for a photo? With their eyes open? Without one of them scowling/ crying/ wriggling away/ wiping their nose/ chasing a bird/ reaching for their favourite toy or pack of sultanas? While also smiling? Or at least not looking tortured?
It’s the holy grail of family photography and hats off to anyone who manages it. (By the by, if you’ve ever looked through a parent’s phone and wondered why they have 800,00 thousand images of their kids THIS IS WHY. It’s not just because they’re completely besotted with their offspring. It’s because it takes about 15 snaps to get one with their eyes fixed in the same direction, by which point, all of the magic has faded, and you close your phone. )
So if Princess Charlotte did fail to behave impeccably for the family portrait? It would hardly be a travesty. It would be proof of her age. Seven months is hardly the point at which any baby – blue-blooded or not – begins behaving on cue.
The question is have is this. What would you do if you had arranged a photographer, got the kids and yourselves dressed in your finest for some photos and the youngest member of your family refused to smile on demand?
Would you call the whole thing off, reschedule and repeat the exercise again the next day? And the next? Or would you make use of the digital skills of a photographer and superimpose a snap of your baby’s face from a more smiley day? I’d probably go for the latter. Wouldn’t you?
Do you think the image has been altered?