Prince George turns nine years old with a new portrait taken by his mom

Prince George of Cambridge turned nine years old today. Kensington Palace released a new photo of the prince ahead of his birthday, just in time for the photo to be featured in all of the morning papers in Britain. The photo was taken by his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge. All we know about the location is that A) it’s not a photo from the Cambridges’ family vacation in Jordan last year, B) the photo was taken this month and C) the photo was taken during a family vacation “in the UK earlier this month.”

So… they were on vacation in early July. I guess that’s why Kate, the royal patron of Wimbledon, completely skipped out on the first eight days of the Wimbledon fortnight, including the centenary event with Roger Federer. They were on vacation! And they only returned to watch a few matches and pose at a polo match, then they were out of London and back to their vacation schedule. Guess that argument that Will and Kate disappeared because they were so focused on the move to Windsor was bullsh-t? Shocking!

As for George, he’s a cute kid. We’ve seen a lot of George and his siblings recently, maybe that’s why this photo isn’t creating a “oh, he’s so big” buzz. We just saw him two weeks ago, and we saw a lot of the Cambridge kids during the Jubbly. Obviously, people are leaning in hard to “he looks just like William,” but I’ve always seen some Middleton in him. And no, this isn’t an invitation to fight in the comment section about who he resembles.

Photos courtesy of Kensington Palace, Avalon Red, Instar, Cover Images and Backgrid.

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85 Responses to “Prince George turns nine years old with a new portrait taken by his mom”

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  1. MakeEverydayCount says:

    Why does his hair color change so often? Poor kid. One can only hope the best for him, but we have pretty much seen what “Royalty” does to these children.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      What royalty does to these children is why I’m glad Harry got his kids out of the fold. They get chewed up and spit out because of the “invisible contract.”

      Maybe Charlotte and Louis will be able to lean on each other for support as spares, but who knows. 10 years down the road the RR can’t keep attacking the Sussex and their kids to protect the Cambridge kids.

      • MakeEverydayCount says:

        I have a feeling George will grow up resenting one or both of his parents. The world isn’t the same when Diana had William/Harry out in front of the cameras. It’s changed significantly.

      • Tessa says:

        I think will resented not being treated more special by his parents which is why george gets taken to events and his siblings stay home

    • LadyMTL says:

      Not defending the concept of royalty, or the BRF in general, but hair colour can change a lot. My brother is blonde and his hair has changed so many times! When he was very young he was white-blonde, then as he got older it changed to golden-blonde (slightly darker than George’s in this pic), and now he’s in his 40’s it’s very dark, what we used to call ‘dirty blonde’.

      I think George looks really cute; I hope he has as great a birthday as he can, considering.

      • MakeEverydayCount says:

        George’s hair color changed from when this picture was taken and Wimbledon. We are not talking about years we are talking days, weeks at the most. Nothing against George, I blame the horrid mother.

      • Nick G says:

        Growing up in Jamaica, most of the many British kids at my school had almost white blonde hair. But their mums mostly said they had brown or light brown hair back home. Being outside all the time at school in the hot tropics really bleached it out. When I see George’s hair, it just makes me think they take even MORE vacation time than we figure.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Re: hair color:
        Is it possible that at Wimbledon he had some product in his hair to style it? That could make his color slightly darker, depending on the product used.

        Also, is it possible the hair color was manipulated via photoediting to make George’s hair more similar in color to William’s at that age? I could see CopyKate doing that.

      • Aurora says:

        My hair has always been dark brown. But back when I was a kid, I spent most of the summer holidays outdoors. After having been to the beach a couple of times, my whole hair turned sort of a honey shade with blonde streaks, going back to normal shortly after school restarted. It also looked darker than usual on most formal pics, since my mother used to spritz a bit of anti-frizz product ( back then, they wete mostly oily or even greasy) when doing my hair for these events.

    • Shawna says:

      My son’s hair changes with the season and the level of sun he is or isn’t getting. And it looks different in pictures depending on the surrounding light. No conspiracy there.

      • aftershocks says:

        Exactly! As everyone with knowledge and similar experience are pointing out, George’s hair is blond to dirty blond. It will look a variation of shades based on light conditions in the photos that are taken. As well, if he’s in the sun for an extended period, his hair probably lightens. Winter months spent more indoors, his hair probably darkens to dirty blond.

        For real, this issue of George’s hair color is not something to get upset with his parents over! There’s more realistic things to take W&K to task for regarding their children than hair color naturally changing in light conditions. Come on now.

      • Fabiola says:

        My sons hair color also changes with the seasons, sun and lighting.

      • mosia says:

        I’m “dirty blonde” and my own color changes even depending how clean my hair is XD then there is sun, length and whenever my middlepart is on a sunny day

    • MissMarirose says:

      It’s just the light. His hair looks lighter in the sun (see the pic of him with Charlotte holding a bouquet) vs. in the shade of the royal box.

    • Alice says:

      I’m fair haired and my hair did this as a kid (and probably would today if it wasn’t highlighted). Depending on lighting and even what conditioner I used that day made a huge difference as to what color my hair appeared.

    • Siobhan says:

      That’s just super common for kids with dirty blond hair – it goes between looking more blond or darker depending on lighting and season ( it will get lighter in summer with sunlight). My hair and my kids hair has all done the same. Best hair color ever, it’s so versatile lol . In all honesty though, it’s natural and most kids with that hair color, as they get older their hair color will get a bit darker.

  2. Dee says:

    Taken by his mother. Where will the money go for the use of this photo? More buttons?

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      The money was once said to go to the Royal Foundation, but that was never confirmed or repeated. All signs point to the Cams pocketing the cash.

      Funny enough early on some twitter folks posted pics of Kate taking photos of the kids. There was a full crew for lighting and 2 other photographers with cameras around their necks or being used, but the photo is always credited to Kate. It was one of the better photos. No portrait view. Just nice.

  3. Daphne says:

    I wish they’d let him have a more modern hairstyle.

  4. Emmi says:

    I’m not one of those who think Kate’s a shitty photographer but this one – aside from the adorable child – isn’t great? The blurred background makes it super boring. You’re apparently on a beach (right?). Show the beach, it’s a great backdrop!

    I do like how the kids seem completely free and happy in her pics. I think a professional photographer could do more with it from a technical perspective but there is something about pics taken by parents. The kids just look less staged. Every photo of me taken during childhood that wasn’t taken by someone I knew isn’t great. I look bored, apprehensive, confused …. I was a shy kid. I wasn’t going to beam into the camera like I did with my mom.

    • Mia1066 says:

      Her pics (if they’re hers) tend to have this bland style. They’re never great shots. Some pro photogs discussed this exact thing with Louis (I think his) birthday pics at the beach.

    • Sofia says:

      For me the issue isn’t that Kate *herself* is a bad photographer, it’s how she’s hailed as this brilliant photographer when she isn’t. And it’s perfectly fine for her to be average. I think her skills are on par “mommy bloggers” and that’s fine. You don’t have to be great at everything yet the press still praise her every photograph like she’s the next Annie Leibovitz or something

      • Emmi says:

        To be fair, what else are they going to praise? Does she have any other hobbies or skills? I’m not one of those who thinks she’s epically lazy. Even if you have help, raising kids is a job. But outside of that …. yeah.

      • Nic919 says:

        Pretending that kate is anything but average is part of the establishment way of pretending the royals somehow deserve living off millions of taxpayer money in multiple manors and palaces. They shouldn’t do it but they will continue because there is nothing exceptional about Kate and this is the closest thing they have.

    • Cj says:

      I’m betting not showing the beach is on purpose because they don’t want people figure out that sand isn’t anywhere in the U.K. despite what they say about where they are.

  5. equality says:

    Are they in the UK? When you blur out the background and crop you could be on a beach anywhere.

  6. Purley Pot says:

    Happy Birthday George. He looks like a young Louie Anderson to me.

  7. Moi says:

    The mention of “holiday in the UK” is very deliberate. They want people to think they are only holidaying at home. When we know Mustique or whatever warm tanning spot is their final destination. Schools in the UK just closed for summer yesterday so what holiday were they on this month??

    • Siobhan says:

      It’s funny they even mention them being on vacation – I honestly would have guessed they were on a Norfolk Beach there – aren’t most of their beach pictures taken on the Norfolk Beach right by their home? I wonder if this might have been the vacation they helicoptered to right after Wimbledon (maybe they went right to Norfolk?). There was speculation that William and Kate went on a holiday alone during the first week of Wimbledon when they came back tan (but I thought it wasn’t the school holidays yet so assumed the kids weren’t with them wherever they were – but maybe I’m wrong on that?)

  8. Becks1 says:

    so this confirms what many of us said, they went on vacation and that’s why Kate missed so much of Wimbledon this year and why she and William came back so tan.

    Anyway, happy birthday to George, he’s a cute kid and looks pretty happy here.

    • Nic919 says:

      The blurring to conceal the background is on overdrive for this photo. Normally they aren’t this blurred. So do we even know if it was the UK? With them anything is possible.

      • swirlmamad says:

        Yeah, they weren’t in the UK. Maybe to try to hide that quick trip to Mustique or wherever.

      • Lexistential says:

        Hiding the vacation location is my thought too. Beaches in the UK are easy to tell versus beaches in Mustique.

      • BeanieBean says:

        The blurring is Kate’s one photographic technique. Anyway, cute kid, nice photo, and as Emmi said, like any other photo of a kid beaming at his parent.

    • Lorelei says:

      @Becks, I’m so confused because I’m definitely in the “W&K are living separately” camp. So do they still go on vacation together, “for the sake of the kids?”

      They were both quite tan at Wimbledon and George wasn’t at all, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything because they could slather him with sunscreen. But it seems like Will and Kate took separate tropical vacations, and then maybe one shorter one together in the UK with the kids which is where this photo was taken?

      I know I’m starting to sound conspiracy-theory-ish, lol, but William has been looking at Kate with such utter disdain for *months*, I find it so hard to believe he wouldn’t bolt away from her as soon as it was time for their holiday. They arrived to Wimbledon from different places, but they still went on vacation together? Who knows. It’s entirely possible, but as usual, everything is so secretive and a little bit “off” about whatever these two are telling the public.

      ETA I just had to rethink this theory because we know the Middletons were at Wimbledon and Pippa gave birth around then, so Kate wouldn’t have had anyone else to vacation with. Maybe they just get such enormous suites that they barely have to see each other even if they are there “together.”

      • SAS says:

        @Lorelai I assume they holiday together so they can both spend time with the kids. I think it would be really easy for rich people to book a large enough villa and have a large enough amount of staff/family/hangers on around to basically avoid interacting.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think they holiday together because they like to go on international vacations and they can’t silence the international media. Imagine if one person at the ski resort in France figured out that Kate was on vacation with the kids but without William and leaked it to a French magazine/tabloid. I also think that they probably stay in separate rooms, or get a suite or villa big enough to spread out and avoid each other.

    • aftershocks says:

      To me, the picture looks like it was taken a little bit after George’s visit to Wimby, because his hair was longer when he visited the tennis stadium. I remember a poster suggested that his hair was very long and it looked old-fashioned. Voila! Kate let George get his hair trimmed, and he clearly looks a lot happier, less hot and more at ease out of a grown-up suit and tie!

      I do think this hairstyle on George is getting rather old though. But maybe that side part follows the growth pattern of his hair? What would he look like without that pullover bang, I wonder?

      George has always been a handsome boy. Hopefully, he’ll be able to overcome some of the toxicity of the institution and the poor parenting decisions by W&K, as he matures.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ Ah, I see my question was already answered above-thread. George has a cowlick, which limits styling. The side part is there for a reason. Still, he’ll maybe be able to vary how he wears his hair as he grows. I think he looks better with his hair trimmed shorter in this b’day photo.

  9. Julia K says:

    He looks happy here. In public he appears anxious, so this is nice to see.

    • Lorelei says:

      @JuliaK, I know. We’ve seen him more in the last year than we did during the past seven years combined, and this photo is the happiest he’s looked in a long time. It’s a relief to actually see him looking genuinely happy.

    • aftershocks says:

      ^^ Yep, bingo. 👍 Instead of heavily introducing George to more stultifying, boring and awkward royal duties at this stage of his personal development, he’d be better off out of the public eye and rota scrutiny for several years.

      George seemingly would benefit from the privacy to develop his own unique personality and special gifts, without the burdens of soul-crushing ‘royal duty.’ He might even flourish or ‘thrive’ 😉 more by getting completely away from his parents at a creative, progressive Montessori-style boarding school. Not the typical hard-line English boarding schools depicted in movies and books.

      • Sumodo1 says:

        You beat me to it, though I was going to add: let George stay home and build a classroom somewhere he can be educated with friends, local kids and his cousins. And let it be Montessori-style. Montessori helped my son a lot.

  10. Sofia says:

    Happy Birthday George! Cute photo

  11. Persephone says:

    I think that’s their mother’s influence (the rictus grin).

  12. KFG says:

    I can’t wait for his tell all book. Like he does not seem thrilled to be an heir and I bet he makes both parents regret using him as their buffer.

  13. KBeth says:

    They have very cute children. This is all I have to offer.

  14. ***Stevie*** says:

    George’s eyes look like Diana’s brother’s eyes.

    • BeanieBean says:

      In that one photo of him & Charlotte walking side by side, his head tilt down & upward glance made seemed very Spencer-y to me. Very much like Diana’s brother & father. And Diana, come to think of it.

      • Lorelei says:

        @BeanieBean, I thought the exact same about that picture.

        I’ve always loved George and the more time that passes, the sorrier I feel for him. I hope that (against all odds) he doesn’t turn out like either of his parents. He looks like a sensitive little kid.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ I agree. From all we’ve heard about George’s childhood interests, and some of the sweet mischievousness we’ve seen of him in relaxed pics and videos with his siblings and other young Windsor royals, he appears to be sensitive, playful, and creative. We once heard he was taking ballet. His grandmother Diana loved ballet and all forms of dance. It’d be wonderful if that was a passion George could pursue. Another good reason for the monarchy, as it currently exists, to end.

  15. girl_ninja says:

    He’s adorable. I hope he doesn’t end up like his father but that will be difficult to escape. Maybe little Louie will escape the fate of spoiled awful royal son like his uncle Harry did.

  16. Cee says:

    The only thing he got from William, thus far, is the blond hair.
    He is a cutie and happy birthday to him!

    • Kyle says:

      His hair was not blonde in the photos taken at Wimbledon. Hair color doesn’t change that quickly. I do agree that he is a cute kid.

      • Anonymous says:

        Blonde hair 100% absolutely changes color that quickly.

        As other posters have noted, sun exposure (even in one day) can blow it out quickly, salt water and chlorine too, hair shampoo, conditioner and other products can make it look different colors, esp. much darker, lighting can affect how the color appears and in a photo or on any camera (video, etc.) it can appear different, just as weight appears different. Then there are filters too. Even if they’re not used specifically to make the hair lighter, you could be color balancing a photo and it can lighten the hair in the process.

    • BeanieBean says:

      And height, I would say. Looks like he’ll be kinda tall.

    • aftershocks says:

      Blond hair does change under a variety of light conditions, @Kyle. It also naturally lightens when exposed to lots of sun, as probably happens for George on these family vacations.

      I agree with you @Cee. George doesn’t seem to take much after Will physically. I see more Spencer and Middleton. George’s eye color is brown, not blue like his father’s. His nose is closer to Grandpa Middleton’s, which is frankly more handsome than Windsor nose structure. In Charlotte, I see a bit more of Will’s looks when he was younger.

  17. HeyKay says:

    When I see this young boy, dressed in a suit and tie, doing “royal duties” I think of the young ones I know IRL and I agree that Prince Harry was absolutely correct, as the next heir Prince George is trapped.
    If the BRF lasts that long. But for George, his life will be tracked, publicized, etc.

    Maybe Harry has opened a few minds.

    • Kay says:

      He always looks so shy and sad in the suit photos, and the combination of suit and slicked down hair exacerbates that. It’s such a stark contrast from how happy he looks in “off-duty” photos. He’s a cute kid, and now that I’m a mom myself, it makes me sad to see a tiny human who doesn’t have any power to dream of the kind of life they want…it’s foisted upon them.

    • PrincessK says:

      It is very sad he already has become a commodity. Poor child he has no control over his photo being plastered everywhere whether he likes it or not. He has now become public property and will be controlled by the the media corporations just like his parents who are releasing this picture to fulfil obligations to the invisible contract.
      Increasingly we can see Prince George being groomed to retain public interest and support.

  18. Lexistential says:

    Bland as that photo is, I’m glad George looks happy. He always seems so anxious in his public pictures, and when he doesn’t look nervous, he looks resigned (and very much like a bored kid who needed to be with his friends).

    As for the photo- I agree with those upthread. Show the beach if he was photographed on the beach. Blurring the background makes the photo defiantly mediocre (and perhaps purposely hides the vacation location).

    • Siobhan says:

      Well lucky for him, I think there’s next to no chance that the monarchy will last that long. He may well end up with a relatively normal aristocratic life.

  19. TeamMeg says:

    I love the blurred background! The soft colors make a beautiful backdrop. Such a gorgeous kid, right?! And the ear-to-ear smile looks genuine. It’s a treat to see George looking this happy. Nine is a wonderful age for a boy. The last year of full-on boyhood…very special.

  20. jferber says:

    Yes, she locked down the copyright. So maternal to make millions off your children.

  21. Shannon says:

    Just wanted to comment on the hair color changing.
    My 2 cents: hair color can look different depending on the exposure of the photo as well. Kate seems to like her images a bit overexposed, giving the photos an airy/light feel. It’s actually a very trendy aesthetic for things like portraits, wedding photos, influencer day-in-the-life photos, etc, and unless the photographer does things in post processing to mask out the portions they don’t want that to effect, it can even change the tonality of hair color/skin color etc… I could see this being the reason his hair looks lighter. You can even see in the Wimbledon photo above that that photo is slightly underexposed and everything looks darker.

  22. Lizzie says:

    We didn’t find out until recently what an insufferable brat William was as a child so I really don’t believe what we read about George now. He may be a really great kid but if her weren’t the rr would cover it up.

  23. HeatherC says:

    Cute kid. He makes an otherwise standard mommy photo look cute.

    About the hair, was he wearing product in his hair, like gel, to keep it in place when he went to Wimbledon? That will change the appearance of the color. And like others have noted, Kate likes her over exposure.

    Like I said, cute kid. Too bad his parents wouldn’t let him stay just a cute kid a while longer but the beast must be fed.

  24. AmelieOriginal says:

    Can’t believe he’s already 9! I actually thought this was a childhood throwback pic of William at first, the Windsor genes are very strong in George and I see zero Middleton in him (at least in this picture). Nice to see him relaxed, he looked kind of stressed at Wimbledon in that horribly heavy suit. But the over blurring of the background also blurs the left side of his body (right side of the picture) and it’s a weird effect.

  25. poppy says:

    He looks like a happy, normal boy. Lovely.

  26. Amy Bee says:

    The Cambridge children are over-exposed. Given that we’ve seen George on many occasions this year, there was no need for a birthday picture. Whoever at KP that negotiated this deal with the press did a terrible job and screwed George and his siblings. Admittedly this deal was done when Harry was still a working royal and used as cover for the Cambridges but after the Sussexes left there should have been a rethink of the current deal with the press.

  27. TIFFANY says:

    He got Bill’s smile.

    Sooooo…..there’s that.