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Real talk: When it comes to holiday card photos, getting our kids to say "cheese" and look at the camera (without a finger up their nose) feels like an exercise in futility. 

Then, the royal family holiday card photo—with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all looking picture perfect—drops and we all question our parental ability to corral our kids and just take the damn photo already.

But Kate, an amateur photographer herself, has a trick up her sleeve: Instead of forcing the kids to stand still and grin ear-to-ear, she does the opposite. She lets everyone (Prince William included) be themselves.

That's why George is teetering on the edge of a totally unsafe-looking tree branch (come on, it's next to a pile of sharp sticks) and Charlotte is squinching a bit and wearing her big brother's hand-me-down sweater. Meanwhile, Louis is all cozy in his mom's arms and William got to drop the formality and leave not one, but two shirt buttons undone. 

Yes, Kate herself looks flawless, but think about it: That's the only part of the pic that she can control. 

So, royal lesson learned. The key to capturing the madness is to stop trying to control the madness. The Duchess just schooled us in Christmas card protocol yet again.

RELATED: Kate Middleton and Prince William's Christmas Card Is Here, and Prince Louis Stuck to Royal Protocol

 

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