The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave fans a rare glimpse of their playful side, appearing in a new series of official portraits while on their first family skiing vacation with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The couple was in high spirits during their shot break to the French Alps.
In two portraits the royal couple can be seen playing in the snow, with William grinning as he tries to prise a snowball from Kate's hand. Another action shot shows Kate giggling after successfully hitting William in the chest with a snowball.
While William and Kate often appear smart and poised in their official portraits, these new images show a different side to their personalities and offer a welcome break from the formality of their photocall.
Their fun photoshoot was captured by Press Association photographer John Stillwell, and has drawn comparison to images released by other European royal families in recent weeks. The Belgian and Dutch royals have each participated in playful photocalls during their recent winter getaways, and may have inadvertently inspired the Duke and Duchess to follow suit.
A Kensington Palace spokesperson confirmed that William and Kate flew out for a long weekend, and wanted to share the snaps with the public.
"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share new photographs of their family," the spokesperson said. "The images show Their Royal Highnesses enjoying a short skiing holiday with their children in the French Alps.
"This was their first holiday as a family of four and the first time either of the children had played in the snow. It was very special and fun short holiday for the family, and they are grateful that John Stillwell [The PA photographer] was able to capture the moment so well.
"The Duke and Duchess hope people enjoy the photos."