Kensington Palace released a photo of Prince Louis for his third birthday

Does the Duchess of Cambridge have a favorite child, or is her favorite child simply whoever is youngest? It certainly feels like Louis could be her fave! Louis turns three years old today, and that means that Kensington Palace posted another birthday photo. This was taken by Kate “earlier this week” on Louis’s “first day of nursery” school. I’m really impressed that he’s on that little bike, I see kids his age with those pedal-free bikes and I think they’re so clever. I didn’t learn how to ride without training wheels until I was like eight years old or something!

I also enjoy the fact that Louis isn’t done up in Little Lord Fauntleroy gear with knee-high socks, knickerbockers and a knit tartan vest. He just looks like a normal kid with VELCRO sneakers (or trainers, as they say on Salt Island). He really does look like Kate, but I’ve always thought that all of her kids look like her. I’m honestly not trying to start a blood feud about who the Cambridge kids look like. Please don’t! I hate those conversations. Especially since, as I just said, all the kids look like Middletons to me.

Also: Louis’s first day of nursery school means that he’s the first kid to go to nursery school in London, right? Charlotte and George went to nursery school in Norfolk.

prince louis 2

The Cambridge Family attend a special Christmas Pantomime performance at London's Palladium Theatre

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Kensington Palace.

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122 Responses to “Kensington Palace released a photo of Prince Louis for his third birthday”

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  1. Lady Luna says:

    I think he’s the one that looks just like Kate. He’s so cute.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      He is very cute, and in a few short years will be thrown under the bus with his sister to cover up whatever the heir needs a shield for. Sad but true.

      • Carolind says:

        The ‘heir’ is a kid of 7 who, to me, seems quite shy. Give it a rest.

      • FicklePickle says:

        @Carolind Currently the heir is Charles, who is in his 70s. Charles had no problem throwing his own non-inheriting son under the bus, or his own siblings or their spouses or his own parents, I seriously doubt he’ll have any reservations about throwing his non-inheriting grandchildren under the bus.

      • Tessa says:

        The trouble is that the heir is made to feel “more special” than the siblings. Little George was the one stirring the pudding with his father and grandfather and great grandmother. Charlotte was left out of it (Louis was a baby then).

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I see a lot of Edward and Andrew…that said, I don’t know the face of the Middleton male who is being mentioned as strongly favoring.

    • Ann says:

      I think he looks like Kate’ father, actually. I saw a picture of him just the other day, the first one I’ve seen, and there is definitely a resemblance. Louis is adorable.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      I agree… Louis is Kate’s mini-me, down to the eyebrows; unlike Kate, he looks like he’s full of joy. IMO, George is the one that strongly resembles Mike, and Char is pure Windsor with TOB’s eye shape (*so* much like Sarah Chatto around the mouth/cheeks. Remember, Sarah’s Margo’s daughter, so Char’s getting those Windsor genes).

      As much as I dislike the parents for their antics, I have to give it to them: they make lovely children.

      • Korra says:

        While I always thought George looked like MM, someone else pointed out his resemblance to the Earl Spencer and now that is who I see every time I look at pics of George.

    • Virginia says:

      If pictures can talk. William holding George’s hand firmly while Charlotte is on her own. Louis has his mom back.

      • Nikki* says:

        I know it’s a gossip site, but I’d caution against reading huge import in such a picture. William’s hand is near her shoulder, ready if needed. Some kids are very independent, or it could be a myriad of transitory actions warranting a parent holding one child’s hand and not another.

      • Tessa says:

        I notice that Charles who had wanted a daughter so badly never issued a one on one photo of himself posing just with Charlotte. Just the male children got the one on one picture. I hope that’s corrected this year.

      • Bess says:

        I’ve thought the same thing. Charles was so happy when Charlotte was born, but there aren’t any photos of them together. It’s odd.

      • SurelyNot says:

        You mean there are no photos that *you* have seen…

      • Tessa says:

        No Surely Not, but the boys had pictures released with their grandfather one on one special photographs. Charlotte did not.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Surely not
        There’s no photo issued of Charles and Charlotte hanging out, period. Maybe you’re thinking private photos? Which is different.

        When the children were infants Pro Charles articles came out about how he wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren, but William and Kate never made the effort. Which is shade for the parents not caring if the grandfather sees his grandchildren.

    • Madelaine says:

      Cuteness aside, what is catching my attention is that during the Oprah interview, Prince Henry said, “I guess the highlight for me is sticking him [Archie] on the back of a bicycle in his little baby seat and taking him on bike rides which is something I was never able to do when I was young. I can seat him on the back and he’s got his arms out and he’s like ‘whoah’.”
      And now little Louis magically appears on a bike when he could have been photographed anyhow else. Is this snap some sort of coded response to Harry’s definition of freedom or am I making too much of it?

  2. Becks1 says:

    I think he looks exactly like Mike Middleton, its almost scary how close a resemblance there is, there’s no need for further debate people, matter closed! lol

    Anyway this is a very cute picture, I was so glad to see the sneakers, the socks – he just looks like a normal little kid, which is nice to see.

    Anyone think Will and Kate will start working more now that all three kids are in school, even if Louis is just a few days a week?

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I think he looks exactly like Mike Middleton too! IMO,

      Charlotte looks like QEII.

      • Amigo says:

        Charlotte is all William now. As a toddler she looked like Carole and Pippa.
        And she has some resemblance with Sarah Chatto (chin and jaw). It’s strange, because Sarah inherited it from her father (not blood relative to Charlotte). Maybe this features was in Windsor, Spenser or Middleton families too.

      • Malificent says:

        I also see QEII in Charlotte. And I see a lot of George VI in George from certain angles.

      • Ann says:

        Agree, Louis looks like Grandpa Middleton. I do see some resemblance to QE2 in Charlotte but she looks a bit like Kate too. George is a combo of his parents. They’re all very cute kids.

      • Nic919 says:

        Agree that the boys resemble Mike Middleton strongly. Charlotte looks a lot like William did as a young child.

      • Tessa says:

        Sarah Chatto is a Snowdon. She and Charlotte happened to wear the same hairdo when they were small. But their faces are different, Sarah has her father’s chin and mouth. She did not take after her mother.

      • Tessa says:

        Sarah Chatto is rather plain and looks so much like her father. She has half sisters who look a lot like her, her father’s genes showed up in them. I don’t see any resemblance between Sarah and Charlotte, just the hairdo they wore when they were small.

    • Tiffany says:

      Me as well. Even down to the cheeks.

    • swirlmamad says:

      Yes, I think he strongly resembles Kate’s father too. There’s no Windsor in him, at any rate (and that’s a good thing!). As for working now all 3 kids are in school….Keen is gonna try hard to make that food baby happen so the work can get pushed out yet again. Ha!

      • Tessa says:

        William did look a lot like Diana but got Windsorized. Louis as he gets older may start getting more and more like a windsor.

    • Tessa says:

      I never saw a resemblance between The Queen and Charlotte. Different set eyes, and of course she’s only one ancestor. I would like to see the lovely Diana in her features. But I do see she looks like a Middleton.

    • Carabella says:

      I agree, there’s no debate: All three of the kids are Middletons. Charlotte has Carole’s eyeset (Goldsmith). Three kids, three with Kate’s eyes, not a bluey among them. I thought it must irk Billy that Archie looks just like Harry, while his own kids could be any guy’s …

  3. Aphra says:

    Sorry, but he is dressed EXACTLY like Little Lord Fauntleroy. Other than the cute shoes.

    • Jegede says:

      Nah, Louis looks like he’s actually dressed for school.

      Now Prince George’s style……..😉😉😉😉

      • Pilot says:

        Picture has been definitely staged though, it’s still too cold for short trousers here…
        However, style wise he might just wear the nursery uniform, so there might not be much choice.

    • Brittany says:

      I know you’re kidding but Little Lord Fauntleroy would be in a lace collar and velvet (with shoulder-length curls) according to the original illustrations and stage play. They don’t go THAT far. Lol.

  4. josephine says:

    He’s a cutie and it’s a nice set of pictures but it will be interesting to see what Charlotte looks like as she gets older. She has such an expressive face (and I’m hoping lots of spunk).

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I think she will become Princess Anne with a better hairstyle.

      • L84Tea says:

        I’m glad someone else said it besides me. In my opinion, Charlotte has more of the Windsor genes than her brothers do. I think she is actually the spitting image of William and a little Anne all wrapped up in one. I think George and Louis are going to grow up looking like Middleton men and Charlotte will look all Windsor.

      • Tessa says:

        Anne has her father’s features more than her mother’s. I see a lot of Middleton in Charlotte. Since the Windsors don’t marry cousins anymore it’s good to see other than Windsors in her features.

    • swirlmamad says:

      She’s a pretty little girl already….I’m sure she’ll grow up to be a lovely young lady.

  5. The Hench says:

    When I was a kid I used to roll my eyes and think it was so silly that the first thing any adult said seeing me after a period of time was “Gosh, haven’t you grown!”

    Now I am that adult.

  6. Mle428 says:

    Balance bikes! My son got so good on his that the pedal bike with training wheels was cramping his style. The training wheels got in his way and kept making him fall off the sidewalk and thus off the bike. My hubby took the training wheels off, and away he went! The balance bikes make it really easy for them to transition.

    • heygingersnaps says:

      One of my son’s friends was a master on his balance bike and scooter that on his 4th birthday he asked for a bike with pedals (no training wheels) and he’s so confident and great at it. Meanwhile my son who is also 4 years old, loved his balance bike and ride ons but is just not interested in his micro-scooter. So I don’t know if he’ll be any good with a pedal bike.

    • SarahCS says:

      I’ve noticed these around more and more in recent years and they seem such a fantastic idea. Get balancing kids!

    • Leesa says:

      Such an easier way for kids to learn to bike than training wheels. They learn the hard part first (balancing), then adding pedals isn’t that big of a deal.

  7. Digital Unicorn says:

    He’s a cutie and def looks so much like Mike.

  8. LW says:

    I think George is the only one who went in Norfolk, but I might be mistaken. Cute kiddo!

  9. S808 says:

    He is so damn cute! I have soft spot for this little one. He looks full of personality!

    • Liz version 700 says:

      He is adorable, and it makes me so sad to look at him and realize in 15 years he will be treated horribly to cover up for his brother and father and maybe even his grandfather. Seeing those kids after watching the family terrorize Harry makes me so sad for them. Their sole existence is to be thrown under the bus so George can be turned into a petulant man baby like his father and grandfather

      • Carolind says:

        All this miscalling of George who seems a rather shy seven year old kid is actually sick. Give them all a chance.

      • Tessa says:

        Charles was shy as a child but his grandmother spoiled him making him feel special and center of the Universe. Mountbatten did the same thing. It is unfortunate but children can be changed by attitudes of their parents and grandparents. Charles had and as a sense of entitlement and so does William.

      • North of Boston says:

        Carolind, I don’t see ANY “miscalling” of any of the kids.

        LizV isn’t berating George, they are pointing out a repeatable pattern in the Windsors’ recent history. Specifically, they are calling out the pattern of raising the oldest born child as the be all end end all, most recently Charles and William, so that (as far as we can tell from their public and/or reported words and actions) they grow up to be overindulged, catered to, petulant man-children who disrespect their wives, are unfaithful in their marriages and expect the lives of everyone around them to cater to their needs and whims.

        And in the last 3 generations of Windsors, this has come at an extremely high cost to the heirs’ siblings, who wind up overly controlled, or ignored, or left out of published family photos or thrown under the bus, to the wolves to deflect attention from the misdeeds or lack of deeds by the heir. William and Harry are the most recent example of that dynamic … perpetuated by the ADULTS in their lives when they were children, teens, and young men. And it’s no knock on who William and Harry were AS CHILDREN to notice that and say so.

        I hope George and Charlotte and Louis somehow are spared that treatment by their parents, family and courtiers … but judging by the “only the heirs” photos the RF has released, it looks like the Windsors have learned nothing.

    • Tessa says:

      I can see William and George complaining about Louis’ choice of wife. Like what happened to Harry when William tried to interfere.

      • I’m anticipating the day one of them chooses to marry a POC or comes out as LBGTQIA or both. The palace will blow a gasket and the tabloids will be leaving fruit offerings at the altar of the gossip gods.

      • SurelyNot says:

        I too cannot wait until these children are offered up for our daily amusement!

      • @SurelyNot
        I don’t mean to disparage them but rather hopefully due to Uncle Haz they have an example that there is an option outside of the regimented rules of royal life if they want it.

  10. Cecilia says:

    The pic is adorable but anybody find it weird that they posted this a day before instead of his actual birthday?

    • Kaiser says:

      I’ll criticize the Keens for a lot, but they usually release photos one day before the kids’ birthdays. Then they sometimes release another photo on the actual birthday.

    • Sofia says:

      It’s not anything suspicious. The palace always releases the pic to the papers the day before so it can be printed in the papers for the next day i.e on the actual birthday

      • Cecilia says:

        @sofia i didn’t know. Thanks for clarifying!

      • Harper says:

        It’s interesting that Deux Moi had a tip yesterday afternoon before the photo was released that Louis’s Bday photo would be him on his bike. Whoever is in that small circle of KP staff that knows what’s happening behind the scenes is having a good time leaking it to Deux Moi.

      • Sofia says:

        @Harper It could be a KP staffer but it could also have been someone who works for the rota. The photos are given to the rota the night before but embargoed until the papers come out/KP release them so someone who works for the rota could have seen it and then sent a tip.

    • Amy Bee says:

      @Cecilia: It’s all part of their arrangement with the press. The pictures are posted at the same time the papers for the next day come out. Harry and Meghan complained about not being able to post pictures when they wanted because of the palace’s deal with the royal rota.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah they usually release the pictures late in the day the day before – so we (in the US) usually see them the evening before, and people in the UK wake up to the picture and it has time to make the papers. Then they say “thank you so much for the kind wishes for Child’s birthday, here is another picture!”

      • Nic919 says:

        This is the usual pattern for them, which is why page six timed the release of the pap photos when they did. The Cambridges are nothing if not predictable.

    • February-Pisces says:

      I used to work as a journalist and usually things like this would be released to the press with an embargo, which is a date and time for when it is to be published. So the print press would receive the picture ahead of time giving the media enough time for it to make the morning papers. I’m assuming that KP send HD images to the media of whatever they are putting on their Instagram with a release time, so it can go live at the same time it’s up online.

  11. Jegede says:

    Happy birthday lil Louis!😎

  12. Lauren says:

    No competition. Louis is 100% Middleton. He has adorable apple red, chubby cheeks. Makes me want to squish them!

  13. Angie says:

    He’s too cute

  14. Seraphina says:

    He resembles Kate, IMO. I was told my youngest was my favorite (he looks like me and drive me up the wall). BUT he is also the one who makes me laugh and I was just more comfortable and got to enjoy him more because I was seasoned a bot by the other older children. Maybe that’s what is going on with Kate.

  15. Amy Bee says:

    Kate has Louis in a sweater with shorts, still not 21st century yet, but she’s getting there. Is it unroyal for children to wear t-shirts?

    • Pilot says:

      Might just be the nursery uniform

    • Original Penguin says:

      Pretty sure there’ve been photos on George in t shirts. The set with the England football shirt? And maybe in some dungarees when he was little?

  16. Sofia says:

    Oh he looks so adorable with that bike. Also Charlotte went to a London nursery school not a Norfolk one. It was called The Willcocks Nursery. They released the names for George and Charlotte’s nursery so I’m sorta surprised they haven’t revealed Louis’ nursery. I mean, it’s not going to affect my life nor do I really care (or should care) but it’s just something I noticed.

    Edit: He’s going to the same nursery as Charlotte so nvm!

    • Amy Bee says:

      No, it was released to press. Louis is going to Willcocks just like Charlotte did.

      • Sofia says:

        Ah, thank you! I don’t pay attention to the Cambridges and have no idea what they’re doing or said unless I read about it hear or on Twitter

  17. C-Shell says:

    He’s adorable, and the Middleton runs strongest in Louis, IMO. I read yesterday that he’s going to the same nursery school in London that Charlotte attended. Remember her cute little pics on the steps of KP? I hate so many things about KKKannot, but her pics of her kids are great. It helps that her subjects are so stinking cute.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      Lou has the strongest Midds resemblance because he’s still very young. As they all age the Windsor genes take over. Same happened to the older 2. They both looked more Middleton, but it fades with age.

  18. Harper says:

    Happy Birthday, Louis. What a cutie-pie.

  19. Watson says:

    All of their kids are super cute and Louis is no exception!

  20. Izzy says:

    He’s adorable. All of them are. I still say Charlotte looks like her great-Granny.

  21. Alexandria says:

    Happy Birthday Louis, stay healthy and happy.

  22. ABritGuest says:

    Louis is soooo cute. Lovely picture.

  23. tempest prognosticator says:

    Cute little cherub.

  24. Catherine says:

    A cute photo. I hope it will get people familiar with balance bikes. A lot of people don’t know about them. Not only does it speed the transition to riding. But overall it aids the development of physical coordination. The timing to the release of the photos is part of the deal with the tabloids. They get them for their front pages which they always post the night before. It drives clicks for their sight and persuades (they hope) people to buy the paper the next day.

  25. Tashiro says:

    I’ve never heard of balance bikes, interesting.

  26. lucy2 says:

    They are very cute kids. I hope they have a healthier and happier relationship with each other as they grow up, despite their parents’ shenanigans.

  27. Joanna says:

    I’m so confused how do you work the bike without pedals? No place to set your feet

    • Bloemheks says:

      They propel the bike by basically walking with very large steps, coasting in between. Kind of like a skateboard, but you use both feet on either side.

    • Lizzie says:

      Just like the Flintstones drove their cars, with their feet.

  28. Steph says:

    Lol I love that you think his outfit is normal. It’s completely insane to me. He’s dressed for two different climate zones at the same time. Short shorts on the bottom, then a long sleeve button down AND a sweater on top. It’s cute, that’s for sure but nonsensical. I’ll never understand why the Royals dress their kids the way they do.

    • SurelyNot says:

      It’s a uniform – boys wear short pants until a certain age. We rehashed this every time a photo of George was released. Baldy and Hazza were dressed the same as kids.

  29. goofpuff says:

    He’s absolutely adorable. I really hope he and his siblings get to have peaceful normal lives for as long as possible.

  30. Shari says:

    Kate and Will have some cute kids. They all look so happy.

    • Tessa says:

      And I hope they get much deserved privacy and are not constantly trotted out on appearances like they were last year.

  31. Hannah Young says:

    My son will be 10 in a few months so I may have forgotten, but Louis looks really self-assured for a 3 year old!

    A friend’s boyfriend worked at a bike shop and recommended a balance bike when my son was 4 – and while he was quickly good on, it did not help him with a regular bike at all. He couldn’t get the hang of actually pedaling so he found it a frustrating experience to go from gliding to actually having to push & pedal LOL. He didn’t learn to ride the bike until last summer, during the quarantine, when he was 9!

  32. Agreatreckoning says:

    Louis is pretty cute and looks like a happy little guy!

    I’ve never heard of a balance bike before either.

  33. TigerMcQueen says:

    It’s a cute picture and he’s a cute kid. And however I might be critical of Cathy, I think she really enjoys many parts of motherhood.

    That said, the first thing I thought of when I saw the pic was “A bike! Louis is on a bike! See how normal we are and how much Harry lies, because he totally could have biked with Archie if he were still in the firm!!!”

    • ABritGuest says:

      Good point Tiger McQueen. Hadn’t thought of that at all & hope it’s totally innocent but the royals were all out pictured driving themselves after Oprah so can never put petty moves past them.

    • Tessa says:

      I could not help but think that his being on the bicycle was a slam of Harry who talked about bicycling with his son. See, they can do this without moving to another country. Silly.

      • Randie says:

        THAT is exactly what came to my mind!!
        It felt like a dig at Harry.

      • Lady D says:

        Wouldn’t it get exhausting having to think that way all the time, or is it just me? Every move, every word, every picture and action analyzed and designed to make someone else feel lesser than. Me, I’d probably go get a life like so, so many of us here but not these people. Get even, get revenge, get one over on, prove I’m better, every single flipping day. No wonder these people don’t work, they don’t have the time.

      • Tessa says:

        The Cambridges are not subtle. When the Cambridges sent a birthday message to Harry they only included themselves with Harry when they were Fab three. No sign of Meghan. A not so subliminal message if I ever saw one!

      • Carabella says:

        “Get even, get revenge, get one over on, prove I’m better, every single flipping day. No wonder these people don’t work, they don’t have the time.”

        So sadly true, Lady D.

  34. nicegirl says:

    Gorgeous child

  35. Lizzie says:

    He is at a cute age. He looks genuinely happy in every picture with that sweet smile.

  36. Tessa says:

    I think they all favor the Middletons. I am puzzled that some think CHarlotte looks like the Queen, the Queen had a different shaped face and a different set of parents. I think Charlotte looks like Carole.

  37. The Recluse says:

    Charlotte’s expression in that photo is funny. She looks like she’s plotting to be Queen.

  38. Ladiabla says:

    Louis is such a cutie, and seems like such a happy little boy. I do love the pic Kate took of him and Charles, where he’s holding on tight to his grandpa. Such a sweet photo

    • Tessa says:

      I saw no pics released of Charlotte with her Grandpa. Did Kate take a one on one photo of them too? I am puzzled by that.

  39. Athena says:

    @Tessa, I agree with you about the bike. When I saw the picture I thought Kate was trolling Harry with the bike. He told the story about riding a bike with Archie and how he didn’t get to do that much as a child.
    I’m not familiar with kids bike, but this one doesn’t appear to have pedals.

  40. Cessily says:

    He has an adorable smile, I think all three of the children resemble each other and the Middleton side. This little guy also seems to be the sweetest of the bunch, but time will tell. Personally I silently high five the little Princess when she sticks her tongue out at paparazzi. No child should be to well behaved.

  41. Marg says:

    What a little angel! I just adore those gorgeous Cambridge children!