The royal family sent out their first-ever Christmas card

By Peter Mikelbank
December 21, 2015 09:25 AM
Photograph by Christopher Morris, Courtesy Palace of Monaco

Like any family holiday snapshot involving babies or young children, it’s inevitable – there’s always one group member who isn’t prepared for the camera.

In PEOPLE’s exclusive look at Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco’s first family Christmas card, Crown Prince Jacques seems to have gotten the memo and is staring down the camera. However, his twin sister, Princess Gabriella, appears genuinely distracted by that apple.

Well – it couldn’t be cuter.

In keeping with Charlene’s wish for an informal family portrait to grace the couple’s personal holiday cards, the photo session for the couple’s personal holiday card took place outside the palace. Shot at the family’s Roc Agel retreat on Nov. 20 (the day after the twins charmed crowds from the palace balcony during Monaco’s National Day celebrations) by photographer Christopher Morris, the cozy indoor setting captures the casual charm of 37-year-old Charlene’s hands-on style of parenting.

During the relaxed afternoon at home, the couple and their “good little rugrats” also made a brief video.

The holiday card arrives at end of a very busy year for the Mon gasque couple and their little children.

The twins, who were born last December had a public and very glamorous christening in May before making an appearance at Albert’s 10th anniversary celebrations in July. In August, they donned traditional costumes for an annual picnic celebrating Mon gasque culture and, in November, they got their first taste of activism when they joined their parents for the March for Climate on Nov. 29.

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Most recently, they shared they celebrated their first birthday earlier this month with 100 local schoolchildren – and little Jacques took his first steps in public.

As Albert, 57, told PEOPLE earlier this year, “You never know how kids are going to turn out. But if these first few months have been any indication, it’s going to be an incredible joyride and an incredible experience.”

The inside of the Monaco royal family's Christmas card
Photograph by Christopher Morris, Courtesy Palace of Monaco

The inside of the card shows the royal couple’s signatures – their interlocked “A” and “C” initials beneath a crown, a logo they’ve used since their wedding – and a Christmas message repeated in French, English and Mon gasque (“festusu Natale’).

“All our best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a New Year 2016 filled with joy”

If the adorable photo is any indication, the family will be having a very happy (and hopefully apple-filled) new year.

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