Prince Louis’ latest birthday photo sparks safety concerns for this reason

The Duchess of Cambridge shares a sweet snap of son Louis, three, riding his balance bike but it prompts fears

Prince Louis birthday photo, Queen Elizabeth II, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor Getty)

Prince Louis' birthday snap has sparked concern among fans on Twitter after the youngster was pictured on his Frog balance bike without wearing a helmet.

The unseen snap—taken by his mother Kate Middleton—was shared on the Kensington Royal and Royal Family social media accounts, with the caption 'Three tomorrow. Taken earlier this week by The Duchess before he left for his first day of nursery, The Duke and Duchess are pleased to share a new image of Prince Louis.'

And while many fans commented on how grown up he was looking—with some likening him to the Duchess of Cambridge—some fans pointed out that the Prince Louis birthday photo was giving the wrong message when it comes to a child's safety on a balance bike.

One user tweeted, 'I’m surprised no one mentioned that Prince Louis wasn’t donning a helmet #SafetyFirst' another put, 'Kate posts a photo of Louis on his bike and I haven’t seen a single: why isn’t he wearing a helmet? He’s only three...' and concern for his safety was even sent from across the globe, when one Twitter user posted, 'Happy Birthday Prince Louis @ that’s a great bicycle you have but where is your helmet. Hoping you had one for your birthday. Have a fun day. Love from Australia'. And another concerned fan asked, 'Why is Prince Louis being photographed riding a bike without a helmet? #PrinceLouis #cycling.'

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A balance bike, like the one pictured in the Prince Louis birthday photo, is a training bicycle that helps children learn balance and steering. It has no foot pedals, no drivetrain, no chain, no gears, no gear shifters, no derailleurs, and no freewheel, so it makes it easy to use. They are normally best suited to children who are aged 18 months to seven years old but if your child can walk, chances are they can use a balance bike. 

But some mum's who have looked to purchase a bike for their children took to Mumsnet to discuss whether bike safety helmets should be worn on balance bikes—and the majority of people on the forum agree that a child should wear a helmet.

One user wrote, 'I would say you should, yes. Partly because they can get up quite a speed if they get any good, but also because it will make your life much easier when you move them up to a 'proper' bike and they're already used to wearing a helmet.'

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Another agreed and said, 'Yes, they can take a good tumble over the handlebars and you want getting on a bike to immediately mean helmet for them.'

And a third mother warned of the consequences after her son fell off his balance bike and 'cut his head on a stone on the ground'. She added, 'He also took an enormous chunk out of the front of his bike helmet. Without the helmet that chunk would have come out of his face/nose/skull something.'

Maybe the helmet was taken off just for the Prince Louis birthday photo...

Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.