Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Britain's most adorable royal heir (OK, maybe second most adorable), enters the "terrible twos" in a day and everyone is thrilled the fourth-in-line to the throne appears as healthy, happy and cute as she was a year ago.
Charlotte turns 2 on Tuesday, and for the occasion, her doting parents, Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge, on Monday released a new picture of the toddler, which was snapped up by British media and royal followers, or anyone who just likes gazing at endearing snaps of royal tots.
Charlotte's hair, grown noticeably longer, looks from the picture to have turned from dark blond to almost reddish brown (although that could be the lighting) and is pinned back with a blue ribbon clip. She's dressed in what has become "Charlotte style," in a cardigan sweater in yellow decorated with blue sheep, over a blouse or a dress with a Peter Pan collar.
She appears to have been photographed outdoors or in a barn in front of a background of hay, and she's wearing a quizzical smile as she plays with something colorful.
“The Duke and Duchess are very pleased to share this photograph as they celebrate Princess Charlotte’s second birthday,” the palace said in a statement released on Twitter. "TRH would like to thank everyone for the lovely messages they have received & hope that everyone enjoys this photograph as much as they do."
The Duke and Duchess are delighted to share a new photograph of Princess Charlotte to mark her second birthday tomorrow 🎈 pic.twitter.com/0Xftc3EFPz— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 1, 2017
As before, her mother, a keen amateur photographer, took the picture. The palace said it was taken in April at the family's country retreat, Amner Hall, in Norfolk, where they live mostly full time now. They are set to move back to Kensington Palace in London in the fall when big brother Prince George, who turns 4 in July, starts pre-school.
Will and Kate released pictures of Charlotte when she turned 1, and also when George, turned 1, 2 and 3. More pictures of him are expected in July.
In fact, it's becoming a tradition for the Cambridge children, the great-grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II and the grandchildren of her heir, Prince Charles the Prince of Wales. They are especially important royal kids because they are the closest to the throne, but they have been relatively sheltered from public view by their careful parents, who have been living hours away from London in Norfolk.
Like her brother, Charlotte was born at St. Mary's Hospital in London, a short drive away from her parents' London base, a lavish 20-room apartment at Kensington Palace. As they did with George, a massive mob of media waited hours in the street next to the hospital for the baby to be born about 8:30 a.m. local time; the couple and the newborn emerged 10 hours later and drove off to Kensington Palace.
You can count on two hands the number of times Charlotte has appeared in public and been photographed, and that's counting the day of her birth when her parents left the hospital, her christening and sets of baby photos by Duchess Kate of Charlotte with George and taking her first steps.
Her two most recent appearances were at Christmas Day services at a church near the Middleton family estate outside London, and in October during the Cambridge family's fall tour of British Columbia in Canada, when royal photographers were able to snap the children multiple times during the trip.
We can expect at least one more public glimpse of the two children on May 20, when Auntie Pippa Middleton marries her London finance manager fiancé, James Matthews. Charlotte will be a bridesmaid and George will be a page boy.