The Queen has posed for photographs with her son, Prince Charles, grandson Prince William and great-grandson Prince George in an apparent message about the continuity of the British Royal family.
Buckingham Palace released photographs of the Queen and the three immediate members of the line of succession as they prepared traditional Christmas puddings.
Prince George was the focus of attention for his older relatives as he stirred pudding mixture in a bowl.
The Palace said the four generations of Royals represented a cross-section of people helped by a charity for serving and former members of the armed forces - the Royal British Legion - which the Queen had supported since 1952.
The Queen is Patron of the British Legion & the puddings will be the centerpieces of the charity’s Christmas get-togethers.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 21, 2019
The pudding making was led by a Legion care home chef Alex Cavaliere & attended by veterans - Colin Hughes, Liam Young, Lisa Evans and Barbara Hurman. pic.twitter.com/K67BtFEWnx
The family scene struck a happy note for Queen Elizabeth, 93, after a difficult year.
Over the past 12 months, her husband Prince Philip got a police warning for his involvement in a car crash, grandsons Princes William and Harry publicly fell out and her second son Prince Andrew became more entangled in the furore over his links to disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein.
On Friday, 98-year-old Prince Philip was taken to hospital for treatment of an existing condition, Buckingham Palace said.
A royal source said it was not an emergency admission and that the prince had been able to walk into the hospital. He is expected to stay there for a few days.
Philip, who has been at his wife's side throughout her record-breaking 67 years on the throne, retired from public life in August 2017 although he has occasionally appeared at official engagements since.
The couple, whose relationship has been dramatised in the popular Netflix TV programme, The Crown, celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary in November.
Harry and Meghan to spend Christmas in Canada
Prince Harry's office has confirmed that he and his family will be spending "private time" in Canada over the Christmas holidays.
Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan, and their seven-month-old son, Archie, will miss the Queen's traditional Christmas gathering at her Sandringham estate.
Palace officials confirmed Prince Harry's family was in Canada but did not provide details.
The Duchess lived in Canada for many years before she married Prince Harry while she was filming the TV series, Suits.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the family with a tweet.
Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie, we’re all wishing you a quiet and blessed stay in Canada. You’re among friends, and always welcome here.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 21, 2019
"Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie, we're all wishing you a quiet and blessed stay in Canada," he said.
"You're among friends, and always welcome here."