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Happy Birthday Photo of Prince George

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Palace has released a new picture of George to mark his 5th birthday. It shows the little prince smiling from ear to ear at Clarence House. As we suspected, this bright shot was taken by Mark Porteous during the christening party for Prince Louis. Those eyes are all Middleton, aren't they? :)


The stories around this 5th birthday are focusing on the heir's personality. George went from a very unimpressed, but confident toddler and preschooler (waving with both hands to the cameras in Canada!)...


...to a shy, toe-tapping kindergartener:


I don't think this is a change that goes all that deep in the little guy's personality. I think it is quite clear that George, while shy around the clicking cameras and media attention, is just fine in the privacy of his family setting.


Several birthday specials have reinforced that George is bright and bubbly behind palace doors. Vanity Fair reported:
“George is very aware that he is a prince and that he is different to his peers, and I don’t think he likes the cameras, but William and Kate are doing their best to ensure he has a lovely, normal childhood,” said a family friend. “George needs more coaxing to smile in public because he is quite shy. There’s a lot of William in him.”
That last point is probably right on the mark. George does seem to be a lot of William, and will likely always be more reserved, particularly as he grows and wrestles with the parameters of his life and his role. But just like William has matured into a very self-possessed, funny and compelling man, I am sure the natural self-confidence we witnessed in George will reassert itself in public in the years to come. A little more from the Vanity Fair piece:
Nonetheless, a mother at Thomas’s Battersea says that George is popular in his class. “He’s a lovely boy and is really sweet. He’s very social and makes friends very easily and he’s well-liked.”
The Mail report details the love and hands-on attention William and Kate lavish on their kids, including the fact that Kate did the school run the morning after giving birth to Louis! 
The couple have made a point of doing the school run themselves as much as possible. Indeed, Kate was seen dropping off her son the morning after she gave birth to her third child, Prince Louis.
And when the parents of children in the reception class held a ‘get to know you’ coffee morning, William turned up unannounced, dressed down in chinos, jumper and wearing his glasses. 
George's stable and loving family life will stand him in good stead as he moves forward in his formative years. Certainly today's birthday photo shows a happy, healthy little man. Happy Birthday to a very sweet little prince. 

40 comments:

  1. This latest photo celebrating George''s 5th birthday confirms my belief that Matt Porteous excels in taking photos of kids. George has a natural smile in this pic, but more than that, he's smiling with his eyes. Hats off to this photographer!

    As for the rampant rumour--who talked?--that the Cambridge family were off to the Caribbean for the week including George's birthday, I remain unconvinced. It's been years since the family went. Years! Much as I might wish the rumour was true, I doubt it.

    JC

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    1. It is not a rumour. They were spotted in St. Lucia with her parents, Pippa and her husband. St. Lucia is a common place to change planes for the smaller planes that fly to Mustique. William has not been on the court circular since their appearance at the men's final last Sunday which is definitive proof they are away.

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    2. And it has not been years since the Middletons went to Mustique.

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    3. Pippa was actually just photographed in London a few days ago, so at least that part seems to be incorrect.

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    4. "Years," as in more than one--three, to be exact, :+) as Jane points out.
      Is Mustique the only destination possible from the ST. Lucia airport? How far is the Matthews resort?
      With all the surveillance and monitoring techniques the tabs have at their disposal, (the only media reporting this so far, "royal reporters" or not), including paid informants. it would not surprise me if the news is correct. However, usually it is known exactly where the families are staying on the island. I sometimes wondered if busyness and business was only one factor in their avoiding Mustique the past years. Pictures usually emerge, including one set showing a pregnant, bikini-clad Kate.

      There is supposed to be a 50th anniversary celebration for the resort going on there. I would think they would avoid that like the plague--which reminds me: wasn't the Zika virus thought to be a factor one year? Some closely packed gatherings are security nightmares. I can see the Middletons and maybe the Matthews attending but I can't imagine how the Cambridges could be protected in that environment.

      Of course, I am one who couldn't imagine how security could be managed at a Pippa country wedding. Where there's a will... I still feel sorry for the RPOs, although they do get a paid trip to a Caribbean island. :+) (that one's for you, bh.) anon1

      PS I appreciate your adding a note of skepticism, Jane and JC.It doesn't compute for me, although a lot of royal goings-on baffle me at times. Ha!

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    5. HAHA. Wrong post. Wait. I was responding to JC's and K3's comments.

      I think some of the perceived shyness is age-related. Two and three- year-olds generally have no filters. The more intelligent and aware a child is, the more likely to be wary of strangers. When Charlotte begins to become aware that not all people are adoring fans and may or may not be safe she will likely tone down her courting of the press. There are exceptions: I can think of at least two in the BRF. Estelle of Sweden is always used as a comparison for ideal media/royal child exposure; she is older now and not quite the show-off extrovert she once was. Personality enters into a child's response but maturation and experience also enter into the equation.
      I also have felt for awhile that George has become adept, as many intelligent children do, at gauging his environment and adapting his response accordingly. Turning away, hiding, and frowning could be his way of expressing dislike or disapproval, not fear. It beats throwing shoes at them. Ha! anon1

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    6. Those were taken last Sunday, the day before they were said to have left.

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    7. Just to clarify-the two in the BRF I was referring to are Margaret and Diana, who both had tragic endings. Diana courted the press and then reportedly manipulated them. I don't think Margaret Rose courted the press as much as flaunted it (and her family) anon1

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    8. According to "Marie Claire," Pippa was seen last Friday in London wearing Seraphine. She looked great. anon1

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  2. Happy Birthdat George. Seems like it was just yesterday I was on the treadmill watching the little tv waiting for you and your parents to come out of Lindo Wing on my lunch break. He is very shy in front of those cameras, but his parents are doing a great job of giving him a normal upbringing. So blessed.

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  3. Great picture! He is adorable, and I am sure his family is giving him a wonderful birthday.

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  4. He is very cute but it is the same old shirt.

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  5. Adorable photo of a very happy little boy. Matt Porteous is definitely the photographer I prefer for the Cambridge family photos! Let's hope he takes the family Christmas photos. As was mentioned in a previous post, George is looking more and more like his Grandpa Middleton but he certainly does seem to have William's personality. That is not a bad thing. He has a more serious role ahead of him than his siblings so to be able to take some things seriously will be important. He's only five so the balance will happen. It seems to be a pattern. Elizabeth was more serious than Margaret, Charles raised seriousness to a whole new level and never found the balance, William is more serious than Harry, and now this youngest generation.

    I think it speaks volumes that William showed up at George's school for the "Get-to-know-you" coffee. Kate was still grappling with that dang HG and so he stepped up and did it even though it was probably all mothers there. They really are working hard to give their children normal lives. Can you imagine what it must have been like to see a future king come to their social? And I can't believe Kate was up for the school run the day after giving birth. The woman is amazing! Louis must have just gotten up and walked out for her to be in such good shape!

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    1. I kind of doubt that this information of Kate doing the school run a few hours after giving birth is correct. Probably some miss-citation from previous reports.

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    2. Of course she didn't. Like any other mother she needed a little break and time to get to know her new son.

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    3. :+) Robin.."gotten up and walked out." anon1

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    4. Well my daughter went to the store for nappies the evening after her second Caesarean (I thought she was crazy.)

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    5. Jo, I can't believe she was out of the hospital, let alone shopping and I assume driving. I know the insurance companies are getting pesky about such things but I thought at least three days was the average post-C-section stay. A doctor would leave himself wide-open for law suits discharging a patient that soon. There are so many potential life-threatening complications that can arise suddenly. On the other hand, immobility can cause a few of those complications.
      A day after surgery. Wow! anon1

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    6. In Europe as the Health System is public insurance companies don't speak about that, just in case you leave, it's not a necessity only sort of status...
      Yo can do what you want...if you feel you are able to..

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    7. Not sure if i completely understand your comment. But in the european country I life, if you leave the (public) hospital on your own responsibility, without the "ok" of the doctor, then you risk that your insurance wont pay for anything that might happen after you leave that is related to that medical case, even if it is not a direct consequence to leaving the hospital too early. Not all EU countries are the same.

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    8. I don't understand you either, insurances have their own hospitals . Ones are public others private...So if you are in a public hospital, that will be paid by the public Health System, not any insurance...

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    9. Nope, sorry, here, only one part is being paid by subventions from government etc. A substantial part is being paid by the (mendatory) insurance, and very often one part by the patient himself. At least in my country. Hold true also in public hospitals.
      I just left the hospital last Tuesday, I'm pretty confident that I understand our system ;)
      We do not have a system where public hospitals are fully sponsored by the public health system.
      Different countries in Europe simply have different systems.

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    10. Ok, thanks, it's just different. In my country all is supported by government unless the dentist and orthodontics....

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  7. Happy birthday prince George, future king of England

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  8. Lovely photograph: the little prince with the laughing eyes.
    There seems to be a great deal of speculation in today's papers, as to whether he is aware of what lies ahead for him.
    He seems a bright child and unlike many of his predecessors, has not been confined within palace walls, so I find it hard to believe that he has not started asking questions.
    I hope he has a lovely birthday, without a posse of paparazzi following him---wherever he is.

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  9. I agree Matt P did very well capturing a happy expression on George's face. And he managed to avoid capturing the prominent under-eye circles George seemed to sport in the Matt H christening photos (most notably in the one taken in front of the grey backdrop.) But since this is a posed photograph taken by a professional, not a candid snap taken with a family member's cell phone, I'm not impressed with the photographer's composition. There must have been somewhere at Clarence House that would have provided a more attractive and/or interesting background for a posed photo of a child than a brick wall. This photo and the one with Kate and Louis were all purportedly taken "in the garden" at CH. I realize in the UK "garden" doesn't necessarily mean what it does in the US. Apparently garden simply means the area outside a house (what we might call the "yard" in my part of the US.) The photo of Kate and Louis features what looks to be a light-colored driveway/road in much of the background on the left side but at least that photo seemed less posed. And often candids do have less-than-ideal competing backgrounds or odd lighting that can't be corrected (like the back of Kate's neck.) But for a planned photo, surely there ARE actual gardens at CH. I've seen photos! So it puzzles me a brick wall was chosen. I guess it could be intended to be symbolic of George's future as an heir but I kind of doubt it. The pose with one hand in his pocket and one arm behind him (so hands and parts of both arms are hidden) looks natural enough I guess, not exactly relaxed but natural, but that pose combined with close-in cropping so legs aren't shown either...it seems a little odd. I'd prefer a "head and upper shoulders" shot or a full-body shot, legs and feet included to this head and torso look. I do realize it's hard to photograph children but shooting digital and the ease with which many photo corrections can be made does make it easier. But the photographer still has to choose where/how to pose his subjects and how to (generally) frame the shot.

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    1. I think it’s more likely it was a candid shot that captured a lovely, real moment and smile and William and Kate simply liked it best and chose to share it.

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  10. Very cute photo!
    Re Lizzie's comment...they probably removed the dark circles by air brushing or whatever. My son has really bad allergies and during Spring and Autumn especially, they show up. But George looks so much like Grandfather Michael that it might just be genetic. Doesn't he also tend to look dark under his eyes?
    Anyway, it's an adorable photo and we get a glimpse of his personality.

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  11. Jane: Nice reference to your blog by Emily Andrews on the most recent On Heir podcast. I do love that podcast, I find Emily and Omid very knowledgeable and real in the way they report on the BRF activities. Hope everyone is having a nice summer. I love this picture of George. With all due respect to Lizzie, I think it's a lovely picture in and of itself and don't really see the need to analyse it for clues as to intent and symbolism. But I applaud Lizzie for taking the time and providing her view. Hope the Cambridge family is having a lovely week in the sun.

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    1. It's possible dark under-eye circles were removed by an adjustment Cara. You're right those can be from allergies or be genetic. My feeling though is Matt H's lighting/exposure created/deepened the circles rather than Matt P removing them. I think (as is true for many people), the structure of George's brow, eyes, and face is such that lighting from above, unless off-set by enough face-level light from the front, creates under-eye shadows. In addition, in Matt P's shot George's chin is slightly raised which would make a difference in the light falling on his face. But having never seen George I can't know if any of that's true!

      I do want to clarify Jane I wasn't suggesting the brick wall WAS symbolic. I just didn't see a good reason to pose a 5 yr old against a brick wall so I wondered if it was intended to be symbolic. There's been talk in the media about what George knows of his destiny and before that there was discussion on this blog. And after all, so much about the royals is symbolic. From just the day this photo was taken the Queen's portrait had been moved so it would show in photos, the same room used for the photos as when George was christened, a christening gown worn that's a copy of an heirloom, a historic royal gold font moved to the chapel for the ceremony, and Jordan River water flown in for the baptism. Lots of symbolism! And in some photos of George as an infant he wore Will's old clothes or copies of Will's old clothes. Plus we've often discussed intended symbolism in Kate's clothes. So I'll probably never look at any planned posed picture of the royals as just a nice picture without wondering about symbols! But I don't think the wall was symbolic here....just odd to me. But since I posted my original comment I've seen stories suggesting some think it's "cool" because it's an urban grunge look like on an album cover (Michael Jackson, the Ramones, Pink Floyd. That wouldn't have ever occurred to me!)

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    2. Pink Floyd occurs to me since my granddaughter is painting the walls of her room, one wall at a time. I teased her about it; she had heard of Pink Floyd, but not "The Wall." I know. Inconceivable.
      She goes days between painting walls, for various reasons. She left the paint rollers out on the deck and they got rained on-twice...etc. It is a very pretty light shade of periwinkle blue. Her previous colors were magenta and emerald green--alternating walls. I have no idea how she could sleep in that room. The colors would give me nightmares.

      I think that discussion of the reveal of George's destiny is just filler on a slow news day and likely a result of some reporter's being out in the sun too long. Those royal reporters tend to jump on the royal gossip bandwagon at times. I think the photographer took a lot of candid and posed shots and this one was picked because it was cute. Someone said there are more published somewhere. There wasn't just one birthday photo. anon1

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    3. Maybe not a reporter's flight of fancy on a slow day. The germ of the idea came from a remark made in a interview by an author promoting the latest Charles biography. Judging from the title, the book is quite favorable to Charles and he likely provided material for the stories. However, what the author actually said and what the tab writers made of it with various click-magnet tag line and headlines is something else. Keeping secrets from George, overprotecting him etc.
      As I understand it, the original quote was related to Charles's preparation for the throne. anon1

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  12. It's a sweet photo, I think. I imagine the photographer was just taking photos as the opportunity arose, and this was one the Duke and Duchess liked.
    The last couple of times I engaged a professional photographer all of the photos were posted to a website and I could pick and choose from there.
    Maybe this event was similar.

    Whatever, he's a cute kid. The entire Cambridge family is just adorable.

    I do think Prince George looks like his grandfather Middleton, I always have. Michael seems like a quiet man, not really wanting publicity, perhaps the young prince takes after him in this way too.

    I hope the family is enjoying their vacation. There's not much prettier than Caribbean water!

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  13. I love this! They sound like very sweet and attentive parents, which of course we already knew! This is a darling photo.

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  14. I don't know how I could be much more impressed with both the Duke and Duchess. I especially love that, in this era of few solid role models, they seem to be a beacon and guide for how young people should behave.
    On another note, I have to wonder if Kate gets B-12 shots or similar, in order to leave the hospital so regally and with such stamina, so soon after giving birth?? It's the only thing I can think of that is natural and effective in that situation. She just wows me.
    As for George's photo-sweet, simple, and natural, the way it ought to be. I've thought from infancy that he looked just like Grandpa Middleton, too. I'm curious to see who Louis will resemble. I also really, really hope they have a fourth child. So far, they are running parallel with the Queen, but I would hope if there is a fourth, it's a sister for Charlotte. :)

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    1. Very well said. Yes. What good role models they are. Their relationship is so beautiful. I was wondering how she looked so good after giving birth too. She must have had births with no complications. I was not able to stand for a few days, let alone walk. She probably also wanted to get home asap bc of the media circus she was causing. Can't blame her. God bless them!

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    2. More likely a foundation of years of nutritious diet and appropriate exercise...natural and effective. anon1

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  15. Unrelated to this post--I haven't seen Royalfan comment here in a while.

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    1. Oh don't worry, she is fine. She shares her wisdom on other site.

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