It’s Prince George’s tenth birthday today—happy birthday to the future king!—and, in addition to baking George a cake late into the night last night (as is the Princess of Wales’ tradition for each of her kids’ birthdays), Kate and Prince William have released a new portrait of the heir to the throne for his milestone birthday.
Per People, the photo was taken in Windsor earlier this month by the Wales’ new favorite photographer Millie Pilkington. “Looking more grown up than ever in the new image, George is seen smiling for the camera as he sits on steps wearing a button-down shirt and long pants,” the outlet reports. The photo is reminiscent of a series of photos taken in November 2014, when the then one-year-old future king posed on another set of steps at Kensington Palace in London for portraits released ahead of the Christmas holiday that year.
As opposed to Kate—who used to take the annual portraits of not just George but also his younger siblings Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis—the Wales family has been employing the services of Pilkington often in the past year, including not just George’s birthday portraits this year but also Charlotte's and Louis'. Pilkington also took the family’s annual Father’s Day photo, where William posed with his trio at Windsor.
We have seen the birthday boy out at a few royal engagements in the past week, appearing alongside his entire family at the Royal International Air Tattoo and, just days later, alongside his parents and Charlotte at Wimbledon for the men’s singles final. (Louis was apparently upset he had to stay at home.) Today, though, will be celebrated privately and will tap into his love of sports—The Daily Express reports that George’s birthday party at Windsor alongside a few of his friends from school will be football-themed, but won’t be lavish, the outlet reports.
“I’m told that this birthday party will be family, of course, close friends, friends from his old school, [and] friends from George’s new school, but it’s not going to be showy in any way,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight. “A lavish party, where there’s a huge expense, is just not William and Kate’s style.”
Birthdays matter to William and Kate, Nicholl said, saying that the couple “are known to celebrate big birthdays, but they are known to do it below the radar. So whatever does happen will stay very firmly behind closed doors.”
She continued “[Kate] still always bakes the cake, she will be doing a tea party, [and] I’m told there’s going to be something of a football theme involved in the celebrations.”
George was born at 4:24 p.m. on July 22, 2013, at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, weighing 8 lbs., 6 oz. Kate recalled on the “Happy Mum, Happy Baby” podcast about the moment she held her firstborn in her arms: “Amazing, amazing,” she said. “It is extraordinary as I’ve said. How can the human body do that? It is utterly extraordinary, actually. And he was very sweet. And I was also sort of relieved that he was a happy, healthy boy.”
The next day, William and Kate introduced their son—whose name had still not been announced publicly—on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s to the waiting public in a moment that Kate recalled was “slightly terrifying, I’m not going to lie,” she said on “Happy Mum, Happy Baby.” She continued “Everyone had been so supportive,” noting that she and William understood the importance of sharing their son with the public. “But equally it was coupled with a newborn baby, and inexperienced parents, and the uncertainty of what that held, so there were all sorts of mixed emotions.”
Of George’s new birthday portrait, body language expert Judi James told The Daily Express that in the photo “George seems to have suddenly and emphatically stepped out of his childhood in this stunning birthday photo,” she said. “His cheeky grin has gone, as has his more playful, childlike body language, and instead we are seeing a young man looking relaxed and confident in a pose reminiscent of his father.”
James said his pose in the snap looks natural: “George displays an even eye gaze here and a symmetric, relaxed, natural-looking smile,” she said. “His pose on the steps might have been awkward but his long limbs make it look natural and authentic. He seems to be looking at the world in a calm and relaxed state and he looks very smart for his age here. There’s not an ounce of awkwardness as he poses for this portrait, just good humor and what looks like a desire to appear as unpretentious and as natural as possible.”
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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