kate middleton with kids in car

Why Kate Middleton has never taken Prince George's official birthday photos until now

The Cambridges have always relied on professional photographers

Ainhoa Barcelona

The Duchess of Cambridge surprised royal fans on Sunday when she and her husband Prince William released three new photos of Prince George to celebrate his sixth birthday. By way of a change, the portraits were taken by Kate herself and not a professional photographer, as they have been in previous years.

The reason is simply that George is heir to the British throne. He is currently third-in-line after his dad Prince William and his grandfather Prince Charles, therefore it makes sense to have his official portraits taken by a professional. His previous birthday snaps have been shot by the likes of Chris Jackson, Mario Testino, Matt Porteous and John Stillwell – renowned photographers who are trusted and often employed by the royal family.

Video: A look back at Prince George's year

Furthermore, about half of the portraits that have been released were not taken specifically for George's birthday. They were taken at formal, family events including Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis' christenings by an official photographer, and later released as a birthday portrait. Hence why George looks so smart in some of his past birthday snaps as they were part of a bigger set.

MORE: Happy birthday Prince George! See other royals aged six

prince-george-in-mustique

George was pictured on holiday in Mustique

This year, Kate chose to release her own snaps from her personal album, including one of George on holiday in Mustique. The future King looked beach-ready in a pair of blue striped shorts by swimwear brand Sunuva, and a teal polo shirt. Two other snaps showed George playing in the grounds of Kensington Palace, proudly wearing his England football shirt.

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While Kate usually relies on a professional to take George's birthday portraits, she has shared various of her own photos in the past to mark her children's milestones, including Prince George's first day of nursery in 2016. Kate has taken all of Princess Charlotte's birthday portraits as well as the first at-home photos of baby Louis when he was just a few days old in 2018, followed by his first birthday shots in 2019.

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