Prince George flashes a cheeky grin in his 9th birthday portrait: photo

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Everyone hail the future king! The royal family celebrated Prince George’s 9th birthday by releasing a new portrait of the young prince.

As is tradition Prince William and Duchess Kate shared a series of snaps of their eldest child via the Cambridges’ official Instagram account on Thursday July 21, the day before George’s 9th birthday.

George, who appeared to be on the beach in the photo, gave the camera a cheeky grin. He wore a powder blue collared shirt and his sandy hair was parted perfectly to one side.

William and Kate, both 40 – who are also the proud parents of Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 9 – post a photo of their children just before their respective birthdays each year. The Duchess is usually the photographer, capturing sweet moments of her three children’s unique personalities in every shot.

Last year, the day before his 8th birthday, the Cambridges’ Instagram account shared a picture of George, who was wearing a blue and orange striped polo shirt and had his blonde hair parted low to one side. He grinned broadly at the camera like he was laughing.

George, third in line to the British throne, looked like the perfect mix of his two parents: while his eyes were identical to his mother’s, his blonde hair and cheeky smile were exactly like his father’s.

The snap for the king’s 9th birthday showed just how much he’s grown in recent years. In the photos shared by Kensington Palace in honor of his 7th birthday in July 2020, the prince looks much younger and is wearing a different green shirt in each picture. Though George sported the same mischievous grin as in his 8th and 9th grade photos, his face was still that of a younger child.

In 2013, George’s birth was the most anticipated royal birth since his father’s in 1982 – 31 years earlier.

Although William and Kate introduced each of their children to the media shortly after they were welcomed into the world, introducing George to the world was the most nerve-wracking. Not only was he the firstborn of the Cambridges, but his birth immediately placed him well up the line of succession.

“Yes, [it was] Slightly frightening, slightly frightening, I won’t lie,” Kate said in a February 2020 interview on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast about introducing baby George to the public, which she did outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London, just a day after the birth of their eldest son.

“Everyone has been so supportive and both William and I were really aware that this was something that everyone was excited about and, you know, we’re very grateful for the support that the public has shown us,” she said University of St Andrews alum continued, noting, “I felt it was really important that we could share that joy and appreciation with the public. But it also involved having a newborn baby and inexperienced parents and not knowing what that would entail, so there were all sorts of mixed feelings.”

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