By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent
Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate released a new photograph of their son Prince George with a beaming smile to mark his eighth birthday on Thursday.
The future British king is perched on the bonnet of a Land Rover Defender in the image taken by his mother.
Prince Philip, who died in April a few months short of his 100th birthday, regularly drove Land Rovers and during his funeral his coffin was carried by a specially adapted defender which he helped design.
Turning eight(!) tomorrow 🥳🎂
📸 by The Duchess pic.twitter.com/1RI0fsXzDK
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 21, 2021
Including the famous vehicle in the image will be seen as a poignant tribute to the late duke, who had a passion for engineering.
George, who celebrates his birthday on Thursday, is pictured beaming at Kate behind the camera in the new photograph, and is casually dressed in a polo-style striped top and shorts.
Kate is a keen photographer and regularly produces images of George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to mark milestones in her children’s lives.
The image was taken outdoors earlier this month in Norfolk, where the Cambridges have their family home, Anmer Hall, which is close to the Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham residence.
Kate may have a passion for photography, but she has revealed her children sometimes wish their mother would put her camera down.
Speaking to a finalist of her Hold Still photography contest, Kate said about George, Charlotte and Louis: “Everyone’s like, ‘Mummy, please stop taking photographs’.”
George has spent the past 12 months living life under lockdown with his siblings and parents and has experienced some unusual things.
Kate has confessed she has been cutting her children’s hair, telling a group of parents in January: “I’ve become a hairdresser this lockdown, much to my children’s horror, seeing mum cutting hair.”
Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, at 4.24pm on July 22nd, 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.
A great-grandchild to the Queen, he will be the 43rd British monarch since William the Conqueror if, as expected, he follows the reigns of his grandfather, Prince Charles, and then his father, William.