Even royals struggle to get the perfect Christmas card photo.
In a new photo shared by the Danish royal family, Princess Isabella, the 12-year-old daughter of Crown Prince Frederick and his Australian wife, Crown Princess Mary, 47, gives one of the royal family’s white Kladruber horses some serious side-eye in a Christmas picture released Friday.
Taken in the royal barn behind the historic Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, the festive image also shows Isabella’s elder brother Prince Christian, 14, and 8-year-old twins Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine relaxing with their parents alongside two of the thoroughbreds — which have been housed in the barn since the year 1700 and originate from the Czech Republic.
A video posted on Instagram also shows the family feeding carrots to the horses before they set about the important task of decorating a large Christmas tree with tinsel, baubles and golden lights — with the Crown Prince performing the key role of placing a glittering star on its peak.
The family then enjoys some Christmas treats with their horses — with more than one of the animals helping itself to a tasty festive nibble from the expensive-looking porcelain plates.
“Wishing you a very Merry Christmas,” says a message at the end of the video.
Crown Prince Frederik met his wife at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where she was working as a marketing consultant.
The daughter of a mathematics professor, she was raised in Hobart, Tasmania and married the Crown Prince, 51 — who is heir to the throne of Denmark — in May 2004 at the elegant Copenhagen Cathedral.
As with most royals — particularly Queen Elizabeth — horses are an important element of the Danish royals’ lives, with the stables of Christiansborg Castle playing an integral role. Today, the stable houses 11 white Kladrubers, which are used for official events such as state visits, ambassador receptions, summer trips and royal birthdays.
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The stunning white horses are actually born dark but change their color around the age of six. They have also carried the aristocratic families of Europe on their backs and in carriages for generations.
“We have always been very conscious of keeping and maintaining them, ensuring that they not only live on, but really exist with horses and carriages,” Danish Queen Margrethe wrote in a 2008 book, “and that the horses are really used for riding with it all taking place in the beautiful old stables.”