Prince Louis appears to be missing a finger in new Christmas picture and royal fans go crazy

Prince Louis and his siblings are undoubtedly looking forward to having a great Christmas. Many of Queen Elizabeth’s traditions will of course be upheld, though new one will likely be added in the years to come. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton brought their children with them on December 8 as they attended the annual Carol Christmas Sevice, which the Princess of Wales has been in charge of for the last three years. Soon, the Christmas celebration will begin at Sandringham – but some rules will be upheld. For example, Louis is banned from eating with his parents. 

Yearly, the royal family takes Christmas photos and shares them with royal fans worldwide through social media. This year was no different, as Prince William, Kate, and their three children posed for a black-and-white photo. However, royal fans have noticed something quite morbid. Is Prince Louis missing a finger?

These days, with many young children and grandchildren, royal Christmases are certainly more hectic and louder than before. Sadly, Queen Elizabeth is no longer with them, and this year will mark the family’s second year without her.

Prince William & Kate Middleton shares new Christmas card

Prince William and Kate Middleton are keen on celebrating Christmas with their family at Sandringham. This is because they want to give their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, a yearly family tradition – not only because it’s fun, but because the couple wants to give their kids as “normal” a life as possible.

The fact that they want to give them a normal childhood appears still to be the goal for William and Kate every Christmas.

Just days ago, the Prince and Princess of Wales shared this year’s Christmas card with their family. The photo of William, Kate, George, Charlotte, and Louis was black and white and had no festive background or ornate settings.

“Our family Christmas card for 2023,” the caption read.

The full-color fancy Christmas card was left to King Charles and Queen Camilla this year.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

But William and Kate chose the simple black-and-white picture without any decorations in the background. According to a palace insider, this is a clear message about how they want to give their children some normality.

“Those children look pretty happy with life,” the palace insider told People Magazine earlier this year. “A lot of it is the stabilizing normality Kate brings — and that’s how she grew up. William absolutely loves it.”

“Coming from a different background, she appreciates the importance of having family time,” a source close to the royal household added. “She wasn’t brought up in that aristocratic setting where you see the children for a short time each day.”

Fans react to Prince Louis Christmas card picture – is he missing a finger?

This year, photographer Josh Shinner got the enviable task of capturing the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children for their annual Christmas card.

The theme of normality was something he also noticed, as he described in a post on his Instagram page.

“It was such a pleasure to photograph The Prince and Princess of Wales and their family for the Christmas portrait this year,” Shinner shared on his Instagram page. “Without doubt one of the most relaxed and enjoyable sittings I’ve ever had, and I now have a whole new set of jokes that are right on my level thanks to the children…”

He shared that he didn’t want to disclose what jokes the children made. But we can only imagine they have great humor, just like their parents.

The Christmas picture was a success. But now, some royal fans have noticed a strange thing in the picture. Five-year-old Louis, who has charmed fans worldwide and most likely will continue to do so, seems to miss his middle finger as his hand rests on his sister Princess Charlotte’s chair.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis
Josh Shinner/Kensington Palace via Getty Images

As reported by PageSix, the picture only features Louis’s index finger, ring, and pinky fingers. One explanation could be that he has tucked his long finger away. But it didn’t stop royal fans from wondering what had happened.

“Prince Louis finger is missing, also they have photoshopped someone else’s leg onto his. I certainly hope taxpayers didn’t pay for it,” one person wrote on X, previously known as Twitter, which PageSix reported.

A second user wrote, “Prince Louis middle finger is missing and his legs look strange.”

“Are Prince William children even real or are they fake? Why does Louis not have a finger and look at Louis leg both legs don’t look similar,” a third noted.

“Did William and Kate rent a child? What’s happening am trying to find out or Did they just photoshop the entire picture I need answers,” a fourth concluded.

Christmas card show “strength and total confidence,” body expert says

While the insider told People the Christmas card picture tells how William and Kate want to give their children a normal childhood, body language expert Judi James has another theory.

Speaking to the Sun, she says it shows a hidden message of “strength and confidence.”

“This monochrome photo might not suggest a typical Christmas look but it is a very powerful signal that the Prince and Princess of Wales, and their three children, would like to announce the fact they are a very cool and a very unbreachable family unit,” Judi James told The Sun.

“The strong sense of tight, loving ‘uniformed’ grouping and the stark monochrome, plus the relaxed and confident body language looks like the emotional equivalent of them having a moat and drawbridge around them.”

The body language expert concluded, “We’re being shown the strength and total confidence of the pared-down family brand here, without all the trimmings and trappings of their royal status, we know they look superb in formalwear and royal regalia but this is the casual and much more relatable version and if anything it proves they’ve got the charisma with or without the diamonds and medals.”

Prince George
Photo by Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

While Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Princess Louis are having as normal a Christmas – and childhood – as possible, the royal family has many unique traditions that have been around for decades. That also includes etiquette rules and behaving well.

Speaking to The Sun, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams revealed many traditions the royal family will follow this Christmas.

Royal traditions

For example, arriving at Sandringham is not just driving up to the gate when you want to, but knowing in what order to arrive is essential.

“The royals usually arrive the day before Christmas, and they arrive in order of seniority. The least important members arrive first,” Fitzwilliams told The Sun.

Moreover, the royal family exchanges “joke gifts” on Christmas Eve.

“The presents are laid out in the red drawing room at Sandringham, and these are joke gifts. The royals don’t give each other expensive presents,” he said.

“It’s a joke or cheap present – what do you give to the family who has everything. On Diana’s first Christmas, she didn’t know that they gave cheap joke gifts, so she gave expensive presents and felt awkward. It’s Harry giving the Queen a bath hat [and] Kate giving Harry a grow-your-own girlfriend kit, it’s fun.”

Etiquette around the dinner table is also very important for the royal family. That also applies when they are only together and not with other guests.

For the Christmas lunch, royal etiquette expert Miranda Holder explained that salt and pepper must be sprinkled on the plates and not straight onto the food. Moreover, the royals, including King Charles himself, must hold their drinking glasses by the stem, not the bowl. When drinking, they should never extend their pinky finger either.

The fourth and probably most important rule for the royals to follow is when King Charles stops eating and puts down his knife and fork; everyone else should do the same.

Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte
UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images

For Prince William, Kate, and the rest of the grownups in the royal family, this is probably not a problem. However, it reasonably is for the youngsters.

Why Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have to eat Christmas lunch alone

Therefore, at least for Christmas lunch, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis all have their meal at a separate table.

Speaking to Mirror, former chef Darren McGrady, who worked as a cook for the royal family for 15 years, said that the reason why the youngest members of the royal family have their separate tables is because they have to master the art of polite conversation and etiquette before they get “access” to the grownups table.

Meanwhile, he added that educating the royal children about it is the job of the nannies.

“The royal nursery wasn’t just for educating the minds of the young royals but educating their palates, too. Nanny always had control of the menu and made sure they ate balanced meals that included not only lots of healthy vegetables but introduced them to new grownup dishes too,” McGrady said.

Moreover, the chef said he had difficulty getting the children to eat their vegetables – and used to hide them in sweet treats. Time will tell if Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis will get broccoli in their Christmas treats – or if they will make Santa happy by eating them alone.