Princess Kate and Prince William’s daughter continued a royal tradition dating back to when Prince George was a baby – as Princess Charlotte Stars in New Portrait for Her 9th Birthday Taken by Kate Middleton

Princess Charlotte is ringing in her 9th birthday with a new portrait.

Kate Middleton and Prince William shared a new photo to mark their daughter’s last single-digit birthday on May 2.

Alongside the image, which was taken by the Princess of Wales in Windsor over the last few days, read, “Happy 9th Birthday, Princess Charlotte! 🎂 Thank you for all of the kind messages today. 📸 The Princess of Wales.”

In the photo, Charlotte can be seen beaming at the camera while leaning on a flowery hedge and wearing a maroon cardigan and blue denim skirt.

The sweet portrait was also reposted on the royal family’s official Instagram and X pages, which share updates on King Charles, Queen Camilla and other royals.

Westminster Abbey also marked Princess Charlotte’s big day on social media by sharing a photo of the young royal at King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation almost one year ago. Seated between her parents, Charlotte looks at something in Princess Kate’s lap inside the historic venue.

“Wishing Princess Charlotte a very happy 9th birthday!” Westminster Abbey’s team captioned the image. “Her Royal Highness is pictured here at the coronation of Their Majesties The King and Queen in the Abbey last year.”

prince charles
prince charles

However, the bells at Westminster Abbey did not ring to mark the princess’ birthday. The last time they did was in 2019 before the gesture was limited to a reduced number of royal family members in recent years. Before 2020, the bells marked the birthdays of 12 royals, including all three of William and Kate’s children. However, the bells only mark the birthdays of King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William and Princess Kate.

The new image of Princess Charlotte was released a week after another special occasion for the family: Prince Louis’ 6th birthday.

On April 23, the royal couple released a new photo of their youngest child taken by mom Princess Kate in Windsor, which showed him smiling on a blanket in the grass — and revealing a lost tooth! PEOPLE understands that the Prince and Princess of Wales shared the photo to acknowledge well-wishers who reached out to wish their son a happy birthday.

Before Prince Louis’ big day, uncertainty swirled around whether the royal parents would release a new picture in honor of his birthday as they have in the past. In March, Princess Kate released a statement after a photo taken by Prince William of her with their children to mark Mother’s Day in the U.K. was removed by multiple news agencies due to suspicions of manipulation. “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day,” she said.

The release of Princess Charlotte’s birthday portrait continued a longstanding royal tradition. Prince William, 41, and Princess Kate, 42, have issued a new portrait (or portraits) of each of their children in honor of their birthdays since 10-year-old Prince George was a baby.

Last year, the couple released two new photos of their only daughter for her 8th birthday. The first image, taken by mom Kate and released on her birthday eve, showed Charlotte flashing a smile from a white wicker seat and wearing a summer dress.

“Wishing Princess Charlotte a very happy birthday! 8 tomorrow,” Prince William and Princess Kate captioned the photo across their social media channels, along with a red balloon and birthday cake emoji.

On Princess Charlotte’s actual birthday, the royal parents released a second snap.

“Thank you for all the birthday wishes,” read the Instagram caption of the photo taken by photographer Millie Pilkington. Princess Charlotte’s second 8th birthday photo showed her wearing a striped sweater and snuggling with the family dog Orla amid a field of daffodils. Orla adorably joined Princess Charlotte’s 7th birthday portraits as well, appearing in one of the three images the Prince and Princess of Wales issued in 2022.

In a shift from tradition, Prince William and Princess Kate released both Louis and Charlotte’s latest birthday photos on their actual birthdays. Until now, the couple almost always published celebratory portraits on the eve of their children’s birthdays, often taken by Kate, who is known for her photography hobby.

It’s understood that the new protocol related to a desire for privacy after the Princess of Wales shared on March 22 that she was undergoing treatment for cancer. She similarly expressed the sentiment in her self-written speech.

“We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment,” Princess Kate said in the video message.


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