A child's fascination with the world around them is one of the delights of having a baby, and Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, neé Kate Middleton, are loving every minute of it – as seen in official photos released to mark Prince George's first birthday on July 22.
In their third official portrait session as a family, the royal couple look on happily as their son explores a butterfly exhibition at London's Natural History Museum.
Prince William, Kate and Prince George pictured at the Natural History Museum
The couple decided to release one picture of George walking at the weekend and these two new images on the eve of the big day.
Kate, who has perfected a chic working mum wardrobe, had picked out a green Budding Heart Silk Tea dress by Suzannah for the occasion.
On her shoulder is a patch of drool – one of the hazards of having a teething toddler that the young mother takes in her stride now.
The family have released three pictures to mark Prince George's first birthday
Kate had similar issues on tour in Australia when she resorted to wiping George's mouth discreetly with her hand, then drying the excess drool on her dress.
For this month's photoshoot George was in dungarees by French children's clothing Petit Bateau, costing £27.65.
Press Association photographer John Stillwell said the little Prince was "quick on his feet", "lively" and "determined". His description comes after William also talked about George "charging around and opening doors" in the Cambridges' apartment in Kensington Palace.
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The visit to the museum, where Kate is a patron, is another sign of how the royals intend to shape their son's interests. The tender images were taken at the Sensational Butterflies exhibit on 2 July.
Prince George pictured walking unaided for the first time
Kate became interested in working with the museum after opening the Treasures exhibition in November 2012. She also accompanied William to Borneo where they met scientists researching rainforest biodiversity.
Meanwhile, both Prince William and Prince Charles have talked about their passion for wildlife conservation, inspired by George.
HELLO! magazine's special souvenir issue is out now!
Prince George quiz: How well do you know the royal baby? VIEW GALLERY William, Kate and George visited Taronga Zoo during their royal tour Down Under
On Tuesday, the family will gather for a private birthday party at Kensington Palace
, which the Queen is expected to attend. Although Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be absent as they are in Scotland for their annual summer visit.
It's likely that the Middletons will be in on the fun and may even supply some of the decorations, given that they run a highly successful party products business.
In her first ever TV interview Pippa Middleton talked enthusiastically about her role as an auntie, saying George is "a characterful little boy", who has given them a lot of joy.
Kate and Pippa's mother Carole Middleton has been very involved in her grandson's upbringing. She and husband Michael were the first to visit him the day after his birth.
The royal baby spent his first few weeks at the Middleton family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire. Then, earlier this year, William and Kate left George with his nanny in Bucklebury, while they went on a holiday to recharge their batteries in the Maldives.
Don't miss this week's HELLO! issue celebrating Prince George's 1st Birthday.