Were You Fooled By The Royal Family Portrait, Too? [Opinion]

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The royal family recently released a portrait in celebration of the 70th birthday of Prince Charles, but there’s more to the charming snapshot than what meets the eye. Within the image is a subtle message, a secret meaning that only the most astute royal watchers managed to catch. So, were you one of the people who was fooled by the portrait into thinking exactly what you were supposed to think?

The new portrait shows multiple generations of royals. Down front are Prince Charles and wife Camilla, along with Princess Charlotte and Prince George. A smiling Kate Middleton holds Prince Louis behind Charles, with Prince William, Princess Harry and Meghan Markle next to her.

Most importantly, young Prince George is sitting on his grandpa’s lap. And if you thought it looked sweet and charming, or it made you smile, then you’re already buying into the hype machine that’s churning behind the scenes of the royal family. Because there is a shift coming, and it could make a storm of anger sweep over Britain and beyond, according to News.

This royal family portrait has been carefully arranged, and the imagery well-planned. The pairing of Charles and George is about more than a grandfather and his grandson. It’s about a 2016 survey, which revealed that Prince George, then a toddler, was already more popular with the British public than his rather infamous grandfather.

Prince Charles remains unpopular with the general public in Britain, and by extension the rest of the world. Charles is still remembered as the man who cheated on Princess Diana and destroyed the fairy tale romance the rest of the world wanted so badly to believe in.

But Princes Charles is the heir to the throne, and his mother, Queen Elizabeth, is 92-years-old. Realistically, Prince Charles will become king any day now. And when that happens, the British people are not going to be happy.

That’s why pictures like this one are so important. In a very quiet way, the royal family is working to present a different side of Charles, a more likable side. A grandfatherly side.

And sitting near Kate and William and Harry and Meghan — who are beloved royal couples — Charles and Camilla don’t look quite as easy to hate as usual, though Charles and Camilla are perhaps the most unpopular royal couple in living memory.

So if you loved this portrait, don’t worry. There will be more like it as palace officials continue to work to re-shape the public persona surrounding Charles, in hopes of turning him into a king that Britain can accept.

The same day the formal portrait was released, the royal family released a “smiling” version of the picture, according to Parade. Another, showing Charles with his youngest grandchild, Louis, is even sweeter.