Why Prince George’s birthday could solidify surprising departure from tradition for Kate Middleton

Prince George will turn 10 on July 22 and fans might already be anticipating a new photo, though it might not be Kate who takes it...

Prince George's birthday could solidify a change for Kate Middleton. Seen here he attends the traditional Easter Sunday Mattins Service
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince George’s birthday could solidify a departure from tradition for Kate Middleton as he prepares to turn 10 this month. 

With Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis now enjoying their summer holidays from Lambrook School, it’s perhaps unlikely fans will catch a glimpse of them again for several more months. Preferring to keep their children largely out of the royal spotlight for now, Prince William and Kate Middleton only bring their kids to certain occasions and engagements. Outside of these public appearances, the Prince and Princess of Wales also share special snaps of their children in honour of their birthdays each year. But Prince George’s birthday on 22nd July could cement a departure from tradition for Kate. 

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince George of Wales at Wimbledon 2023

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

In previous years Prince George and his siblings have mostly been photographed by none other than their proud mum the Princess of Wales for their birthday portraits. These are sometimes released the day before their birthdays and secondary shots are often shared with thank you messages on the actual day.

However, Prince Louis’ birthday photo was taken by Millie Pilkington this year. She also took the private photographs at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011 and is trusted by the couple to capture deeply personal moments. For Prince Louis, his 2023 birthday snap marked the first time ever Kate hadn’t been the one behind the camera for his birthday pictures. 

Whilst Princess Charlotte’s photo posted the day before was taken by her mum, the one shared on her birthday to thank fans for birthday wishes was by Millie. As Prince George’s 10th birthday approaches, it will certainly be interesting to see whether Millie or perhaps another photographer captures this milestone moment. 

The last time his birthday snap wasn’t taken by Kate Middleton was when he turned 5 and if his mother doesn’t take it this year, it could solidify the departure from their family tradition. It’s not known why in 2023 it hasn’t always been Kate taking these birthday pictures as we’ve come to expect over the years.

It could potentially be that now she’s Princess of Wales, her busy schedule means she has less time to enjoy photography than she used to or would prefer to enjoy family time without the pressure of taking a release-worthy photo. 

Though there is one birthday tradition that we can possibly expect to continue. During an appearance on A Berry Royal Christmas with Dame Mary Berry in 2019, Kate declared, “I love making the cake. It's become a bit of a tradition that I stay up 'til midnight with ridiculous amounts of cake mix and icing and I make far too much. But I love it."

For his tenth birthday this year Kate might once again be getting out her baking tins and ingredients to whip up something delicious for Prince George’s big day. And although fans might not know yet whether we’ll see a photograph taken by Kate to mark the occasion, a new photo will likely be posted the day before in line with previous years.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!