Although it's common to see photographs of the British royal family making official appearances around the world, it's rare that the public gets a chance to see inside of their homes. When we do get a peek at their personal lives, nothing goes unnoticed. When the Queen met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in late June 2021 at Buckingham Palace, viewers spotted a rare photo of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on display.
The Queen Returned to Buckingham Palace
After spending a year at Windsor Castle during the pandemic, Queen Elizabeth finally returned to Buckingham Palace just in time for the beginning of summer. She was also able to attend her first in-person meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson since the pandemic started.
While the two had continued their weekly meetings, it hadn't been face-to-face as usual, with the Queen quarantined away, protecting her health at age 95.
Family Photographs Are Displayed Around The Palace
As usual, the Queen had family photos displayed on the tables and desks around her. Photos of the royal family were framed and lovingly placed next to a bouquet of flowers. While members of the royal family have their photos taken everywhere they go, the Queen hand selects her favorite photos that hold special memories to display at the palace.
The British royal family continues to grow, as both of her grandsons now have children of their own.
The Latest Member Of The Royal Family
While Prince William and Kate Middleton have three children, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle welcomed their second child, a daughter, in June 2021. Lilibet "Lili" Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born in a hospital in the city of Santa Barbara, California, where Prince Harry and Meghan have been living.
While the Queen hasn't met her great-grandaughter in person yet, she did get to see her on video when Harry and Meghan called her soon after Lilibet's birth.
The Queen's Great-Grandaughter Was Born In America
Prince Harry's daughter wasn't born in England like the rest of his family, including his first son. While her birthplace doesn't follow the tradition of the royal family, Prince Harry and Meghan have been dancing to the beat of their own drum for a while, so it came as no surprise.
And while the pandemic created special circumstances that prevented Prince Harry and Meghan from traveling to England with their new baby, the Queen is sure to meet her soon.
The Queen Doesn't Have Hard Feelings Toward Prince Harry
Although the announcement of Prince Harry and Meghan stepping down as senior members of the royal family took the Queen by surprise, and was quite a disappointment, the family has since moved on.
The Queen has wished Harry and Meghan well, and like any other grandmother, is happy to see her family growing. The couple even named their daughter in honor of the Queen. "Lilibet" is Queen Elizabeth's family nickname. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex asked the Queen for permission to use the name, and she happily obliged.
The Photo Of Prince Harry And Meghan Hadn't Been Seen Before
While the Queen met with the Prime Minister, the camera panned wide and showed the photographs displayed on the table. That's when viewers spotted the one of Prince Harry and Meghan-- only they had never seen it before!
The image was a photograph taken of the couple during their engagement celebration that wasn't released to the public. It shows that the Queen is truly happy that her grandson Prince Harry found the love of his life.
Prince Charles Announced The Opening Of A New Hospital
Workplaces, schools, and news stations have made major adjustments in 2020 that often include communicating by video, from home. The British royal family is no different.
Prince Charles became the first royal family member to announce the opening of a new hospital via video broadcast. Charles set-up the call from his desk at his Birkhall residence on the Balmoral estate. The Prince and his wife Camilla typically use the residence as their summer vacation home and viewers were thrilled to catch a glimpse inside.
The Prince Graciously Thanked Everyone Involved
Prince Charles gave a passionate address to the workers who helped open the latest Nightingale hospital in London. Broadcasting on the British royal family's YouTube channel, the Prince said, "It is without a doubt a spectacular and almost unbelievable feat of work in every sense."
He continued speaking of Nightingale, "From its speed and construction in just nine days, as we've heard, to its size and the skills of those who have created it."
He Sounded Like A True King
While Prince Charles is next in line in succession to the throne, there is still no sign that Queen Elizabeth II will step down. Now in his early 70s and having waited for all of his life to take the throne, Prince Charles' time may never come, as it could instead go to his son Prince William.
However, listening to his inspiring speech, describing how much can be done if everyone cooperates and works together, viewers got a taste of what it would be like if Prince Charles became King.
The Twittersphere Paid Attention To The Background
There was plenty of conversation on Twitter following Prince Charles' address. Some commented on the hospital opening, while others questioned the Queen's whereabouts. And then, the commentary turned to what was in the background-- the photographs displayed on the piano behind Charles' desk.
The Prince had to have known that the photographs would be visible. But still, he isn't used to addressing the British people from inside his vacation home. It wouldn't be all that surprising if a mistake was made.
Birkhall Is One Of The Most Private Properties Of The Royal Family
The summer home in Birkhall was built back in the 1700s and sits on an expansive 53,000 acres in Scotland. Charles inherited the Birkhall grounds from the Queen Mother, his grandmother, in 2002. For Charles, the home is filled with childhood memories of holidays spent with family on the open land.
It's also where the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall spent their honeymoon, in 2005. After Prince Charles tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2020, he and Camilla went to Birkhall to self-isolate.
Birkhall Holds Special Meaning For Charles and Camilla
Birkhall is a very special place for Prince Charles and Camilla as a couple. Here they're pictured at the estate in Scotland, dressed in matching coats. The royal couple used this image to announce their engagement on February 10, 2005.
They posed on the same porch with their dogs in 2020 to commemorate their 15th wedding anniversary, still looking happy as ever. Originally having met in 1970 at a polo match, the couple didn't marry until 35 years later.
A Photo Of The Prince And His Sister Princess Anne
One of the images displayed on the piano behind Prince Charles is a framed photograph of young Charles and his younger sister Princess Anne.
This photo was taken when the two siblings were brought to Malta to meet their parents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip after they completed their royal tour. The year is estimated to be 1954, with Prince Charles around six-years-old at the time and Princess Anne being just four-years-old.
A Photo Of Charles and Camilla After Their Wedding Ceremony
Another significant photo displayed behind Prince Charles during his address was a picture taken of Charles and Camilla leaving Windsor Guildhall after their civil marriage ceremony in 2005. Since both Charles and Camilla had previously been married, the ceremony couldn't take place in a church, following the British royal family's tradition.
Neither of Prince Charles' parents was in attendance, which of course includes the Queen herself. While the ceremony didn't get far as much attention as Charles' wedding to Princess Diana, this day clearly holds a very special place in his heart.
A Photo Of Prince Harry And His Family
Charles' son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are arguably were the two most controversial members of the royal family in 2020 as the couple has shaken up the tradition and decided to step down as senior members of the royal family.
Some viewers expressed their relief to see a photograph of the couple with their son Archie at his christening just days after he was born. Prince Charles attended the christening, but the Queen did not.
Reportedly, Prince Charles Wasn't Initially Happy With Harry's Decision
Seeing a photograph of Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie was in fact, a noteworthy observation. Prince Harry wasn't expected to ever take the throne; his brother Prince William and his children are ahead of Harry, the second-born.
Yet Prince Charles expected Harry to live a life of service to the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Harry and Meghan kept their conversations about their exit entirely private from the palace. When they abruptly announced that they were stepping down within a year of Archie's birth, Charles was reportedly taken by surprise.
Prince Charles Adores Baby Archie
Watching Prince Charles' address, viewers commented on how sweet it was to see the photo of baby Archie. Charles met Archie when he was 10 days old. Camilla says Charles adores being a grandfather.
She told Hello Magazine, "He will get down on his knees and crawl about with them for hours, you know making funny noises and laughing." Charles has said, "It's a different part of your life. The great thing is to encourage them. Show them things to take their interest. My grandmother did that, she was wonderful."
The Queen Made An Official Statement, Wishing Them Well
After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention of stepping down, the Queen released an official statement. She included, "My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family."
She couldn't entirely hide her disappointment, however. The statement continued, "Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family."
Charles Wished The Timing Had Been Better
Prince Charles and his staff were reportedly blindsided by Prince Harry and Meghan's announcement. Like the Queen and the rest of the royal family, Charles was left in the dark ahead of their official statement. He was on a book tour in the Middle East when the couple made their announcement and was one of the last to know.
Their decision also meant Prince Harry would leave the UK, at least part-time. Charles could also be disappointed to be away from his newest grandson Archie, as Harry and Meghan announced they'd be splitting time between North American and the UK.
Prince Harry Welcomes His Father's Advice
After the initial shock wore off and Prince Charles returned from his book tour, the father and son were able to talk about the departure in person. A source close to the royal family told The Sun, "They have a very strong and close father-and-son relationship."
And although Harry isn't always in the UK, the distance hasn't driven a wedge in their relationship. "Since his move to Los Angeles, they have been in regular contact. Charles is not an avid user of text but there are videos and phone calls."
A Photo Of His Niece Zara Riding Her Horse
Viewers spotted many royal family members in Prince Charles' photos. Another was of his niece, Zara Tindall. The daughter of Princess Anne, Zara is an Olympic athlete, competing in equestrian.
When she was born, Zara was sixth in the line of succession to the British throne. However today, she's 18th. Prince Charles has always loved horses as well, competing in polo from the time he was a young boy until 1992 when he retired from competition.
A Mysterious Silhouette
Viewers were able to identify the people and the setting of many of the photos displayed on Prince Charles' piano, but there was one that kept the conversation going on Twitter.
There was a black and white framed image over Charles' shoulder that wasn't easily identifiable. While the Prince gave his address, a Twitter user named Richard Littler zoomed in on the photo and shared it for a closer look. Was it even a photo?
A Pencil Sketch
After taking a closer look, viewers watching Charles' address began speculating what the image could be. One user replied, "If you look closely, there seems to be a faint pencil drawing in the frame."
Charles did have plenty of his grandchildren's artwork on display around his study. Perhaps it was a sketch done by a family member, or a family heirloom from the Queen Mother, with who Charles had a close bond.
The Significance Of Family Photographs
The conversation continued as no one could figure it out. "Did Charles forget to put a picture in the frame?" asked one Twitter user. That, however, seemed highly unlikely in a royal family estate.
This isn't the first time that a display of photos has caused a conversation. Each photo pictured on Queen Elizabeth's desk for her Christmas photo was noted. A photo of Prince Harry and Meghan was noticeably missing. Prince William and Kate didn't appear either, but their children George and Charlotte had their portraits displayed.
It Appears To Be A Photo Of Camilla
However, in late May 2020, Prince Charles gave Classic FM presenter Alan Titchmarsh a tour of his home at the Clarence House. The radio DJ was surprised at the sight of Charles' untidy desk, covered in papers and surrounded by various photos.
One of the photos in clear view is the framed black and white silhouette photo that later appears on Charles' piano. But in this image, you can see that the image is of his wife, Camilla, wearing a white sash draped over the top of her head while on a tour in Egypt, 2006.
The Royal Family Is Just Like Us
As viewers got to see a rare look at Prince Charles' desk, many couldn't help but theorize deeper meanings into the items they saw. Like any other proud grandpa, Prince Charles has photos of his family and his grandchildren's artwork around his home.
Having been isolated from other family members since March 2020, Charles commented in June 2020 that he was "terribly sad" being away from his grandchildren. He told Sky News, "But fortunately at least you can speak to them on telephones and occasionally do this sort of thing. But it isn't the same, is it? You really want to give people a hug."