Prince George's Ninth Birthday Marked With Smiling Photo Taken by Kate

Prince George, the eldest son of Prince William and Kate Middleton, marked his ninth birthday on Friday with a portrait released by Kensington Palace taken by his mother.

The image, showing the smiling prince, was taken during the Cambridge's family holiday in the U.K. in early July with the royals said to be "delighted" to share the portrait in a press release from the palace.

George has had a particularly busy year with his public appearances increasing, owing to his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

As well as attending the jubilee Trooping the Colour in his first carriage procession on the first day of the celebratory weekend of events, the young prince was also present at the Platinum Party at the Palace pop concert which saw him sing along to artists such as Alicia Keys and Sir Rod Stewart.

The royal's most recent public appearance was in early July where he accompanied his parents to his first Wimbledon championship tennis final.

The prince watched Novak Djokovic win the mens' singles finals match against Nick Kyrgios and was filmed meeting the champion after the event.

Prince George at Wimbledon
Prince George enjoyed his first public visit to Wimbledon with his parents to watch Novak Djokovic win the mens' singles finals championship match. July 10, 2022. Karwai Tang/WireImage

Portraits by Kate Middleton

The birthday portrait is the latest in a line of studies taken by the prince's mother, Kate.

A passionate photographer, she has taken the majority of her children's officially released milestone photographs in an intimate expression of controlling the public exposure of her family.

The duchess was tasked with another photographic commission released this month in the form of a series of official photographs taken to mark the 75th birthday of her step-mother-in-law, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Camilla asked Kate if she would photograph her for the front cover of a special guest-edited birthday edition of the British magazine Country Life, and speaking about the results said in a documentary charting the issues compilation:

"It was very kind that the Duchess of Cambridge came with her camera. She's an extremely good photographer and it was all very casual you know—there wasn't much hair and makeup. It was just done in the garden with a lot of laughs and it was a lovely way of doing it."

As well as taking family photographs, Kate also has experience taking studio style photography of other notable sitters, namely holocaust survivors Steven Frank and Yvonne Bernstein for a project marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.

The royal's photographs for this project were taken in Princess Diana's former apartment at Kensington Palace and went on display at London's Imperial War Museum in 2021.

The Cambridge Family

Prince George and his siblings Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, are reported to be relocating with their parents to a home on the queen's Windsor estate, in the shadow of her castle home where she is now living permanently since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

Prince George and Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee
Prince George appeared at the Platinum Jubilee balcony appearance standing next to his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. June 5, 2022. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Though palace sources have revealed that no firm decision has been made on the move, the family making Windsor a home base in the country would allow them to spend more time with the queen, who shares a close relationship with Prince William as well as her great-grandchildren.

George is third in line to the British throne and is set to become king after his father. The young prince was photographed standing next to the queen for her final jubilee balcony appearance on June 5.

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Prince George and Kate Middleton
Prince George's ninth birthday portrait was taken by his mother, Kate Middleton. Photographed together at Wimbledon, July 10, 2022. Karwai Tang/WireImage