Royals

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry share a joke as they watch Prince Charles and his brid...
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20 Of The Most Iconic Candid Photos Of The Royal Family Through The Years

They love to relax together.

There is no doubt that the royal family knows how to do glamour better than most of us. Admittedly, they do have access to more jewels and tiaras and gowns and castles and such. So they obviously have a leg up. But here’s the thing: is glamour what this family is all about? Do they just sit around all day, waiting to dress up and pose for photos and have people line up to curtsy for them all over the place? Perhaps. But going by how happy the royal family looks in these candid photos, probably not.

Whether they are hanging out together at Queen Elizabeth’s Balmoral Castle in Scotland or running around at horse trials or playing a spot of polo together, royals truly look happiest when they’re relaxing together. Letting their hair down, dressed casual, laughing and enjoying some candid chats. Those are the precious moments that really put the family in royal family.

Everyone, from Queen Elizabeth all the way down to the littlest royals like Prince Louis, clearly revel in just hitting pause and being themselves. That’s when royal watchers can get a glimpse of their actual personalities and see a bit of who they are to each other.

That’s when the magic happens.

Two Princesses & A Corgi

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In 1940 Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret curled up by a window to read with their corgi. This sounds like a perfect day.

Royal Square Dancers

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Feast your eyes on this photo of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip square dancing on a royal tour of Canada in 1951. Those jeans on him, that scarf on her. Glorious.

He’s King Of The Surf

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Prince Charles was (future) king of the surf when he went in for a dip on his royal tour of Australia in 1981 with Princess Diana.

Snickering Sisters

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Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson always seemed to love hanging out when they were sisters-in-law. I wonder what they were giggling about in this photo from a polo match.

Hats Off To Harry

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Prince Harry might have been in his uncle Charles Spencer’s wedding party in 1989, but he wasn’t taking things too seriously. He stuck his tongue out at fellow wedding guests, and this would become a trend throughout his life.

The Art Of Racing In Bare Feet

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Princess Diana took this foot race with other moms seriously at Wetherby’s School in 1989. She even took off her shoes for it.

A Kiss From A King

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Prince Charles planted a kiss on Prince William at a polo match.

Not Too Classy To Sit In The Grass

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Once again, Princess Diana was truly the People’s Princess when she sat in the grass to watch a polo match with Prince William in 1989.

A Princess At Play

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Princess Diana played in the waves with friends and her kids in 1993, and looked totally at home.

She’s Mad About Harry

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Everyone loves a guy who makes them laugh, and Queen Elizabeth is no exception. Look at the way she looks at Prince Harry, who was making a silly face at Prince Charles’s 2005 wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles.

Girls Night Out

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Kate Middleton and Prince William went through a break-up in 2008, and Kate Middleton dealt with it by getting dressed in sequins and going out with sister Pippa Middleton for a night on the town. I support this.

There’s That Tongue Again

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During a 2008 visit to Lesotho, Africa, Prince Harry made a child laugh by sticking his tongue out. This has really become a schtick for him.

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

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The 2012 Summer Olympics in London saw Prince William getting touchy-feely with new wife Kate Middleton. And she did not hate it.

Brothers In Shorts

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For years Prince Harry and Prince William played football on Christmas Eve, and that tradition included wearing shorts. I’m just saying.

This Face Says It All

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During a 2014 visit to New York City, Kate Middleton was wrapping presents when a woman called out to tell her to hurry up. Her face was the best response.

Mom Play Date

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Kate Middleton hangs out with fellow royal mom Autumn Phillips and little Prince George in 2015 during a polo match, and she looks like she’s having a great time.

Her Happy Place

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Queen Elizabeth was in her nineties went she went out for a ride on the grounds of Balmoral in 2021. But it’s her happy place so what can you do?

Making The Queen Laugh

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Meghan Markle made Queen Elizabeth laugh in 2018, clearly she and her husband Prince Harry have a sense of humor in common.

Takes After Her Uncle

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Princess Charlotte looked to take after her uncle Prince Harry when she stuck her tongue out at her grandfather Michael Middleton in 2019.

Taking It To The Next Level

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Prince Louis is the reigning royal clown in this photo from 2019, wearing his mom’s sunglasses and trying to get the attention of his aunt Meghan Markle. How adorable.