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Prince George is on his way to being a “grown-up.” The 10-year-old, who is second in the line of succession, looked like his “own” man in the Wales family’s 2023 Christmas card photo, according to a body language expert. Ahead, what stood out about George. Plus, there was another 2023 occasion where the young royal looked mature. 

The Wales family revealed their 2023 Christmas card on Dec. 9

It’s the time of year again. The time that brings with it British royal family Christmas cards in the form of new or never-before-seen photos. On the heels of a family night out for Together At Christmas, Prince William and Kate Middleton unveiled their 2023 Christmas card. 

It showed the Prince and Princess Wales alongside their three kids: George, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5. In contrast to their Christmas card photos of the past, the family of five posed without any festive flair.

Instead, they all matched in jeans and white button-down shirts in the black-and-white photo. Photographer Josh Shinner took the Christmas card photo in Windsor, England, Kensington Palace said in a press release. 

Keeping with the pared-back theme, the Wales family had a simple caption for the photo in a Dec. 9, 2023, post to their official X account. “Our family Christmas card for 2023,” they said. 

George had his own ‘identity’ in the 2023 Christmas card photo

The Wales family in their 2023 Christmas card photo
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte | Josh Shinner/Kensington Palace via Getty Images

Body language expert Judi James analyzed the 10-year-old’s pose and facial expression in the Christmas card image. Speaking to the U.K.’s The Sun, James noted how George stood out from the rest of his family. 

“He is smiling, but he’s not following the group norm with a teeth-baring smile,” she said. Meanwhile, his pose — one hand in his pocket, leaning against Kate — made him “look at his most relaxed and grown-up to date.” 

“This is one of the first poses where he has begun to look like very much his own young man with his own identity rather than William’s mini-me,” James said. 

“George’s best smiles have been photographed by his mother,” she added. “And he has tended to look a little uncomfortable in formal poses.”

“Here, he has one hand slung casually in his pocket. And his smile is shown in his eye expression, with a soft, closed-lip mouth smile,” she said. 

Maybe it’s that George is headed for boarding school in a few years. Or that he’s had quite the year of being in front of cameras, from his grandfather King Charles III’s coronation to Wimbledon and Trooping the Colour. 

George also looked grown up in his birthday portrait

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The 2023 Wales family Christmas card wasn’t the first time George looked like quite the grown-up this year. In his official birthday portrait marking his turning 10 on July 22, 2023, George posed on a staircase for photographer Millie Pilkington.

The image, also released on William and Kate’s official social media accounts, had James noticing a lack of playfulness in George as he entered the double digits. 

Showbiz Cheat Sheet acknowledges conditions and cultures can impact body language and is sensitive to all backgrounds.