When Queen Elizabeth sat down earlier this month to record her annual Christmas message to be broadcast on TV, she did so sitting beside a number of the carefully-placed family portraits.
The photos aren’t just family mementoes — they help to capture some of the themes of her yearly broadcast. And as such, no detail is missed by Queen or her staff as they look back on the year. This year, the assortment included photos of the monarch with Prince Philip in the year of their 70th anniversary, as well as great-grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte and her newly engaged grandson Prince Harry and fiancé Meghan Markle on another table.
But a few years ago, there was a last-minute scramble to find the right picture, PEOPLE understands.
In 2013, the Queen was set to talk about Prince George’s arrival and Christening (her annual address even included behind-the-scenes footage from that special day in October 2013) when an eagle-eyed courtier realized something was amiss: They had no picture of the said moment to display.
So, the quick-thinking aide took advantage of Buckingham Palace’s built-in resources. They raced down to the shop on the public side of the palace and snapped up a print of one of the official images from George’s christening, featuring the little prince being held by dad Prince William, alongside his grandfather Prince Charles and the Queen.
It was put in a simple frame and placed between a black and white image of the Queen and a similar one of Prince Philip — and no one was any the wiser.