It seems like only yesterday that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge proudly displayed their first-born on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
The following year the third in line to the throne, then ten months, was dubbed ‘the Republican slayer’ when they took him on tour to Australia and New Zealand and he won the nation over with his chubby little legs and characteristic pout.
Now, as he and his classmates at Thomas’s Battersea, the private prep school he attends in London, prepare to move up and become ‘leaders’ of the Lower School, his mother Kate, 37, has proudly offered a glimpse of how big her ‘little Georgie’ has become.
All three pictures released yesterday by Kensington Palace to mark the future king’s sixth birthday today were taken by the duchess, a talented amateur photographer.
Gap-toothed grin! Playful George can be seen belly laughing in official portraits released by Kensington Palace ahead of his sixth birthday today
Little lion! The birthday boy shows off his cheeky smile and missing baby teeth in the photographs – and hints at his love of sports by wearing an English football shirt
In another picture taken during a family vacation at an undisclosed location, George appears more reserved and can be seen wearing a green polo top and nautical shorts as he poses for the camera
‘The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share three new photographs of Prince George to mark His Royal Highness’s sixth birthday,’ Kensington Palace said.
The prince has clearly inherited his father’s love for football – the Duke of Cambridge is president of the FA and an Aston Villa fan – as evidenced in his white England team top in two of the new portraits.
The Mail understands that while those pictures were taken at Kensington Palace during the England ‘lionesses’ recent World Cup campaign, the top is one of his favourite items of clothing and George can frequently be seen haring around Kensington Palace with a football at his feet.
In the snap, the future king laughs as he lies playfully in the garden of their home at Kensington Palace – clad in the white England football home shirt.
Pictured, left, Prince William when he was George’s age, with brother Harry and mother Diana. Right, Kate Middleton when she was a child
A second photograph again shows George in the shirt, grinning gleefully at the camera, while a third picture shows the young prince on a family holiday just a few days ago.
Royal official have not confirmed where the family are, although reports suggest they may have flown with Kate’s family to the exclusive Caribbean island of Mustique.
But George is clearly enjoying soaking up the sun, wearing a pair of blue and white stripped swimming shorts over which Kate has quickly thrown a favoured green polo shirt – a snip from High Street store H&M at just £6.
Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, at 4.24pm on July 22 2013, weighing 8lb 6oz.
He made his public debut in front of the world’s media on the hospital steps one day later, wrapped in a white merino wool shawl, cradled in his proud parents’ arms.
When George was born, Kate Middleton followed in Princess Diana’s footsteps and stood on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St Mary hospital for the first time – which she has continued to do for the birth of all her children. Pictured, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with newborn Prince George on 23 July 2013
Striped delight! Prince George photographed walking about in official pictures released back in 2014 to mark the young royal’s first birthday (left)
Prince George – the eldest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – donned a baby blue ensemble as he was pictured in his father Prince William’s arms during his second Trooping the Colour, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, on 13 June 2015
George put on a serious display when he attended the wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor
George the joker! The young Prince was pictured playing tricks behind Mia Grace Tindall at St George Chapel, in Windsor, on the day of Princess Eugenie’s wedding on October 12 2018
Cheeky page boy! The birthday boy couldn’t contain his excitement during Princess Eugenie’s wedding in Windsor on 12 October 2018 – and was pictured with his hand over his mouth in shock
A great-grandchild to the Queen, he will be the 43rd monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England if, as expected, he follows the reigns of his grandfather, the Prince of Wales, and then his father, William.
In public George can sometimes come across as a serious little boy, who has already developed a clear wariness of the cameras that are part and parcel of his royal life.
But friends say that while he is definitely more cautious and sensitive in nature than his younger sister, Princess Charlotte, four, the little prince is actually a bundle of fun.
Apparently he has settled down well at Thomas’s Battersea, where will be joined by Charlotte in September.
William and Kate are familiar figures at the school gate and have thrown themselves into school life, helping out at coffee mornings and cheering their son on from the sidelines at sports day.
The couple have been deeply touched by the sensitive way in which the school staff have handled his arrival, particularly with the other children and parents.
It’s not an easy job to balance the excitement that many naturally feel at having a future king in their midst with the Cambridge’s understandably fierce desire to allow George as normal a childhood as possible.
A royal wave! George has grown to be more serious in front of the press but in 2016, aged three, he graced the media with a cute wave. Pictured, leaving from Victoria Harbour to board a sea-plane on the final day of their Royal Tour of Canada on October 1, 2016
During the Canada Tour of 2016, George, then three, enjoyed some downtime and was pictured smiling as he played with some bubbles at a children’s tea party at Government House in Victoria on September 29, 2016
Fire hazard! Prince George helped his father mind a fire in the Adam White and Andree Davies co-designed garden ahead of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London on 19 May 2019 (left), before being joined by his sister, Princess Charlotte, four (right)
Prince George and Princess Charlotte, four, playing together as they attended the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day at Billingbear Polo Club on July 10, 2019 in Wokingham
King of the hill! Prince George, aged two, photographed taking a tumble at the Gigaset Charity Polo Match at the Beaufort Polo Club on June 14, 2015
George, it seems, is growing up into a happy and confident little boy, obsessed – like so many others – by anything to do with the police and emergency services, helicopters, dinosaurs and volcanoes.
He has even been known to say that when he grows up he wants to be a pilot like his daddy – who previously flew with the East Anglia Air Ambulance and Anglesey RAF Search and Rescue team.
It’s something that William and Kate are in no hurry to dissuade him from.
While they are acutely aware of their son’s destiny, and have – very gently – talked to him about his position, they are keen not to over burden him with thoughts about the future. There is, they say, plenty of time for that.
Thanks to his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as their adored and no-nonsense nanny, Maria Borrallo, the future king is enjoying a fun-filled, ‘outdoorsy’ upbringing, exploring the gardens at Anmer Hall, their Norfolk county home.
The Cambridge’s oldest children George and Charlotte were on their best behaviour when attending the christening of their younger brother Prince Louis, at the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace on 9 July 2018 (left)
Prince George was captured playing with his two siblings Princess Charlotte and brother Louis during the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day at the Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham on July 10 2019
Run, George, run! As an active young boy, the prince is often photographed playing around and running just like he did at the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy at Beaufort Park on June 10, 2018 (pictured)
George has also been revealed as a fledgling tennis player – after having a lesson from one of the sport’s superstars.
Roger Federer – George’s favourite player – visited the prince at the home of Kate’s parents in Bucklebury, Berkshire, and said ‘cute’ George had a ‘good’ technique.
Kate, who is a passionate tennis fan, is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), the organisation which stages Wimbledon – and promotes the health benefits of spending time in the fresh air.
The duchess told Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell while launching a competition for the children’s television show: ‘Rain or shine, they’re dragged outside.’
George helped provide inspiration for Kate’s Chelsea Flower Show Back To Nature garden in May, requesting stepping stones over a mini pool.
In London, he is a familiar sight scooting through Kensington Gardens with Charlotte at his heels, sporting a cute union flag helmet and a scuffed pair of Crocs.
Dad William ensures aides take account of school runs and family kick-abouts when organising his diary, acutely aware of how difficult it was for his own father to find time for the family away from work.
In truth, little Prince George is fairly indistinguishable from other rumbustious six-year-olds in his class. Which is exactly how his adoring mummy and daddy want it, for now.
Merry Christmas! George held onto his father’s hand on Christmas morning 2016, while his sister Charlotte, then one and half, was carried in her mother’s arms. Pictured at Englefield on December 25, 2016
In the official Christmas card from the Cambridge family for Christmas 2018, George showed off his playful side next to a more demure Charlotte and a happy baby Louis
Cautious mother Kate would make sure to cover her son’s ears with noise canceling headphones to protect his hearing when out in a particularly loud environment. Pictured, Price George on his first birthday