"It was a lovely, jolly affair," a palace source tells PEOPLE
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Little royals on parade!
“It was a lovely jolly affair,” a palace source tells PEOPLE. “It was very relaxed.”
The source says there was no “particular logic” to featuring only the littlest seven of the Queen’s eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren in the picture: “It was felt to have just the younger ones.”
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Occupying a place of honor in the monarch’s lap – befitting a tradition of royal portraiture – is nearly 1-year-old Princess Charlotte. (With their matching pink cardigans and blue eyes, the two make a strong bid for royal twinning!)
Meanwhile, Prince George – who took his own place of honor in another royal portrait released on Tuesday – sports his signature Amaia knee socks as he stands between his cousins and VIP playmates, 5-year-old Savannah and 4-year-old Isla, the daughters of Peter Phillips. (Peter’s mom is the Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne.)
“She just did it,” a palace source tells PEOPLE. “She just picked it up – it wasn t staged. It was completely spontaneous.”
In addition to the multi-generational photo, the palace also released two other portraits taken by Leibovitz: The Queen with her beloved dogs Willow, Vulcan, Candy and Holly – she poses with them on the castle’s East Terrace – and a photo taken in the White Drawing Room at the castle of the Queen and her daughter Anne, 65.