The Prince and Princess of Wales celebrated their eldest son, Prince George’s tenth birthday on Saturday, 22 July – but in an unexpected move, Kate broke family tradition. 

The royal Couple released a new photograph of a smiling George sitting on the steps at Windsor Castle. The Prince looked adorable wearing a checked blue and white shirt, with teal jeans and boots – similar to outfits we’ve seen on father William. 

WATCH: Prince George’s best moments as he turns 10

However, instead of Kate photographing the birthday portrait – a tradition she started back in 2015 when she took the first official portraits of her daughter Princess Charlotte – they were taken by photographer, Millie Pilkington, instead. 

Princess Kate typically shares photos she has taken of her children on special occasions like birthdays and the first day of school. But for the second time in recent months, she has turned to Millie to photograph her children. 

Millie captured the image of George earlier this month, and back in April, she took Prince Louis’ official photo for his fifth birthday. 

prince george tenth birthday photo© Millie Pilkington / @milliepilkingtonphotography
Prince George’s official tenth birthday photo wasn’t taken by mum Kate

Kate had a passion for photography long before she joined the royal family. Her official profile on the British monarchy’s website notes her love of taking pictures. “The Princess of Wales has a longstanding interest in the visual arts, photography, design and textiles, having studied History of Art at St. Andrews University,” it reads. 

“Her Royal Highness is Patron of several arts organisations, including the National Portrait Gallery, the V&A and the Royal Photographic Society. A passionate photographer, The Princess has shared many of her photos with the public over the years. In January 2020 she took part in a special photography project to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust, contributing two powerful photographic portraits of Holocaust survivors and their families.” 

kate middleton taking a photo© Pool
Princess Kate had a passion for photography long before she joined the royal famil

It adds: “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in May 2020 Her Royal Highness created Hold Still, a photography project launched in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, which invited members of the public to share photographic portraits they had taken during lockdown, providing a unique record of the nation’s shared and individual experiences as the pandemic took hold.” 

Of course, Kate will no doubt still take her own photos during George’s special day, which will reportedly be celebrated with an intimate gathering at the Waleses’ Windsor abode. George is now enjoying the school summer holidays with his parents and younger siblings, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five. 

Kate Middleton baking with George, Charlotte and Louis© Instagram / @Kensington Palace
Kate will celebrate George’s birthday with his siblings at home in Windsor

The Prince will be going into Year Six at Lambrook School in Berkshire when the young royals return to their classrooms in September. 

It has been an extraordinary year for George. After a house and a school move last summer, the youngster moved up the line of succession and saw a family name change, following the death of the late Queen Elizabeth II

Prince William sat next to prince george at wimbledon© Getty
Prince George has joined his parents at many sporting events over the years

The former Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now the Prince and Princess of Wales, while William is now heir to the throne, making George second-in-line. 

William and Kate are slowly introducing their eldest child to his future public-facing role. In recent years, we’ve seen George make his debut at sporting events, including Euro 2020, Wimbledon and the Ashes. He carried out his first major role independent of his parents when he was chosen as one of his grandfather King Charles’s Pages of Honour at the coronation back in May.

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