In his usual fashion, King Charles sent out thank you cards to express his gratitude to those who sent him birthday wishes for his 75th birthday in November. However, this year’s card stood out from the rest. Unlike his previous thank you notes, which featured formal portraits, the 2023 card showcased a candid photo of the King. The image captured him mid-laugh, taken from the side, offering a more casual glimpse of the royal. It was a surprising departure from the expected coronation photos that were typically chosen for such occasions. The photo in question was taken by Chris Jackson during The Scotland National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.
Another noticeable difference in this year’s birthday thank you card was the change in tone. Instead of the typical third-person format, King Charles opted for a more personal touch by writing in first person. The person who received the note, known as Gert’s Royal Replies on Twitter, pointed out that it was the first birthday reply they had received from King Charles using the pronoun “I.” The card expressed the King’s immense gratitude for the well-wishes and conveyed his warmest good wishes to the sender. The shift in language further emphasized a more relaxed and informal approach to communication, possibly intended to foster a stronger connection with the public during his reign.
King Charles’ decision to use a candid photo and write in first person received positive feedback from fans. Social media comments praised the King’s informal photo choice, with many expressing their appreciation for the more personal touch in his correspondence. The public seemed to enjoy the opportunity to see a different side of the monarch, and the overall sentiment was that of warmth and admiration.
While King Charles deviated from tradition with his birthday thank you card, his Christmas card alongside Queen Camilla followed a more expected path. The card featured a photograph taken by Hugo Burnand in Buckingham Palace’s Throne Room during their coronation. The image showcased the couple in their full ceremonial regalia and robes, serving as a poignant reminder of the historical significance of their reign. On the other hand, the Prince and Princess of Wales went for a more relaxed approach in their Christmas greeting. The card featured William, Kate, and their children – George, Charlotte, and Louis – dressed in coordinated white shirts and jeans. It offered a glimpse into their family life and provided a contrast to the formal regality seen in the King and Queen’s card. The variation in Christmas card styles further exemplifies King Charles’ willingness to adapt and embrace different tones and aesthetics in his royal communications.
With the departure from tradition evident in both the birthday thank you card and the Christmas cards, it raises the question of what communication style and aesthetic choices the King will make in the future. The unconventional choices made thus far, such as using candid photos and adopting a more personal tone, indicate a willingness to connect with the public in new ways. It will be interesting to see how King Charles continues to shape the modern image of the monarchy, bridging the gap between traditional expectations and a more relatable and accessible approach.
King Charles’ 2023 birthday thank you card showcased a departure from tradition with its candid photo and personal message. The shift in tone and aesthetic choices demonstrated the King’s willingness to adapt and connect with the public in a more informal manner. Fans responded positively to the changes, appreciating the opportunity to see a different side of the monarch. Moreover, the variation in Christmas card styles further emphasized King Charles’ flexibility and desire to embrace different tones and aesthetics. These departures from convention provide a glimpse into the future of royal communication under King Charles’ reign, as he continues to shape a modern image for the monarchy.