15 DECEMBER 2008

Not even the inclement British weather could dampen the sunny mood of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as they shared a moment of merriment during a ferry-naming ceremony. And the royal couple apparently loved the fun-filled image so much they've decided to use it for this year's Christmas card.

The intimate and casual snap - which is very different to the posed shots which have been used since the couple wed in 2005 - was taken this summer during a trip to St Mawes in Cornwall. The heir to the throne and his wife, both holding umbrellas to protect themselves from the downpour, were overcome with laughter when a ceremony to name a vessel The Duchess Of Cornwall went slightly wrong.

"During the… ceremony the St Piran (Cornish) flag that had been covering the name plate - and which was being controlled by strings - came crashing down and landed on the Duchess's umbrella," says the local photographer behind the photo, Tony Hopewell. "Both of them started laughing at what happened and I was fortunate to capture the moment."

Photo: ©
From the thousands of pictures which have been taken of them this year the royal couple chose this intimate snap which features them bursting into laughter when a ferry-naming ceremony in Cornwall hit a minor glitch Photo: © Tony HopewellClick on photo to enlarge
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