The Royal family unveiled their official Christmas cards on Friday but former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe isn't happy that they have replaced the reason for the season with photos of themselves.
In their 2018 Christmas card, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla can be seen looking affectionately at each other, while Prince William has chosen a photo of his family resting against a fallen tree on their Norfolk estate.
For recently married Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's a black and white picture of the pair standing arm in arm as they watch fireworks at their May wedding.
Here is this year’s official Christmas card from The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) December 14, 2018
The photograph was taken by Hugo Burnand in the garden of Clarence House this summer. pic.twitter.com/JeLfgVsEwY
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to share a new photograph of their family.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 14, 2018
The photograph, taken by Matt Porteous, shows The Duke and Duchess with their three children at Anmer Hall, and features on Their Royal Highnesses’ Christmas card this year. pic.twitter.com/6XqCMlhLi8
It's a popular trend among celebrities to send out photos of themselves for Christmas but Widdecombe, a Catholic, says the fashion 'is at odds with what Christmas is truly about'.
Writing in The Catholic Herald, she said that as future Supreme Governors of the Church of England, Prince Charles and Prince William 'should know better'.
'Christmas is about the dawn of redemption and the child in the manger, not about ourselves,' she said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are delighted to share a new photograph from their Wedding Reception at Frogmore House on 19th May.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 14, 2018
The photograph, which features on Their Royal Highnesses’ Christmas card, was taken by photographer Chris Allerton. pic.twitter.com/PQPUuRwnIj
'The overwhelming majority of cards now on sale are secular, but robins, snow, carol singers and Santa at least have some loose connection with the feast of Christmas.
'I cannot see that promulgating photographs of oneself has anything whatever to do with it.'
She said it was a sign of how secular Christmas has become that Christian images and messages are now a 'rarity'.
As for her own Christmas cards, Widdecombe says she always chooses ones with a 'Nativity-related' picture on the front and includes a Bible verse and prayer on the inside for the recipient.
She says she has never received any objections, despite atheists, Jews and Muslims being among the friends she sends them to.
'[When] surveys reveal that only one in 80 Christmas cards features the Gospel story, we have to ask ourselves what, apart from too much food and too many presents, are we supposed to be celebrating?' she said.