Princess Charlotte’s Birthday Photo Features a Touching Tribute to the Late Queen Elizabeth

In keeping with tradition, Kate Middleton and Prince William released a new portrait of their now 9-year-old.

Princess Charlotte’s Birthday Photo Features a Touching Tribute to the Late Queen Elizabeth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In celebration of Princess Charlotte's 9th birthday, Prince William and Kate Middleton have released a celebratory portrait of their daughter... which includes a touching tribute to the late Queen of England.

In keeping with tradition, Kensington Palace released a new photo of the princess, reportedly taken by proud mom Kate Middleton herself. The photograph was shared on all of the Prince and Princess of Wales' official social media accounts, including Instagram.

"Happy 9th Birthday, Princess Charlotte! 🎂," the photo's caption reads. "Thank you for all of the kind messages today." The caption also included a photo credit for Middleton.

In the picture, Princess Charlotte is wearing a blue shirt, red cardigan and leaning against a chainlink fence adorned with flowers. Eagle-eyed royal enthusiasts were quick to point out the subtle tribute to Queen Elizabeth in the photo—the flowers featured in the photograph are Clematis Elizabeth, one of the first florets named after the late Queen, according to Gardens Illustrated.

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A photo posted by princeandprincessofwales on

For the uninitiated, Charlotte's full name is also a tribute to the late Queen—when she was born on May 2, 2015, she was named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, honoring both Queen Elizabeth and the late Princess Diana, Prince William's mother who tragically died in a car crash on August 31, 1997.

After Kensington Palace released a photo of Kate Middleton and her children that was later found to be digitally altered, Middleton took responsibility for the reported "photoshop fail" and the fallout that followed.

After conspiracy theories and public speculation regarding her health and wellbeing hit a fever pitch as a result, Middleton announced she was diagnosed and undergoing preventative treatment for cancer.

The entire ordeal left royal commentators and fans alike unsure as to whether or not Middleton would continue her tradition of releasing portraits of her children on their birthdays. In fact, Kensington Palace was unceremoniously late in sharing a portrait of Prince Louis' on his birthday, which falls on April 23.

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"It is something of a royal tradition that royal birthdays are celebrated by the release of photographs. Catherine has taken a great many and they are always eagerly awaited," Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator, told The Daily Express.

"This (would have been) a shame because of the vexed issue of her Mothering Day photograph," Fitzwilliams continued. "The revelation that it was edited led to a highly embarrassing contretemps and the subsequent revelation that she was not only recovering from abdominal surgery but bravely fighting cancer."

Fitzwilliams went on to say that he believed there "might have been discussions" contemplating the best approach when it came to releasing Prince Louis birthday portrait, adding that the delay could very well "emphasize (Middleton's) need for time, space and privacy."

"After the misunderstandings of recent weeks, this should be universally understood," Fitzwilliams added.

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality and mental health, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find both her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.