Released in celebration of the princess’s fourth birthday Thursday, Kensington Palace took to Twitter on Wednesday evening to share the photographs, which were taken by Charlotte’s mother, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. The photos were taken at Kensington Palace and at their family home in Norfolk, formally known as Anmer Hall.
On social media, the reaction to the newly released photographs was overwhelmingly positive with thousands sending birthday wishes to the queen’s great-granddaughter as she turned 4. Many compared young Charlotte to old photos snapped of Queen Elizabeth, while others insisted she is a mini version of her father William.
Among the well-wishers were Charlotte’s Uncle Harry and Auntie Meghan, who took to Instagram, writing in the comments on one of the photos: “Happy Birthday Charlotte! Lots of love, H and M xo”
Catherine, more commonly known as Kate, married Prince William in April 2011. The couple now have three children: Charlotte, Prince George and Prince Louis.
Born in May 2015, Charlotte, full name Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, is the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Her full name is a nod to reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II and her paternal grandmother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.
Charlotte is fourth in line to the British throne, behind her older brother, George, her father, William, and her grandfather Prince Charles. Thanks to a change in British legislation, gender no longer affects the order of succession, making Charlotte the first princess to be guaranteed that her place in line to the throne won’t be disrupted by younger male siblings — or in this case, Louis.
It appears Kate has a passion for photography and has shared photos she has taken of her children in the past — usually to mark birthdays and milestones celebrated by the family.
Many Brits will look back in fondness on the day Charlotte was born, but perhaps particularly those called Charlotte who were offered free pizza for sharing the same name as the little royal on the day of the royal announcement.