A look back at Prince William's first skiing holidays with Diana

Gemma Strong

Family skiing holidays hold happy memories for Prince William. The royal was just eight-years-old when he and his younger brother Prince Harry joined Princess Diana for a half-term skiing holiday in Austria, the two brothers hitting the slopes for the very first time proudly encouraged by their mother.

That break, almost 25 years ago, marked the start of a long-term passion for skiing for William, who has returned again and again to the slopes – with his mother, then his father Prince Charles, and finally this month with his young family.

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William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge – who went on a number of skiing holidays together before their marriage – are understandably keen to introduce their own children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte to the slopes from an early age. Last week, the family of four headed off for a short private skiing break in the French Alps, their very first holiday all together.

No doubt, William was full of encouragement for his children, especially little George. As a child, William was a cautious skier – in comparison to his younger brother Harry, who, then aged six, was happily racing downhill after just a few hours of coaching. Of course, his confidence grew with every annual trip, and like his father and his brother, he is now an accomplished skier.

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During the holiday, William and Kate proudly posed with their children for six photographs in the snow. A spokesperson for the couple said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share new photographs of their family. The images show Their Royal Highnesses enjoying a short skiing holiday with their children in the French Alps.

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"This was their first holiday as a family of four and the first time either of the children had played in the snow. It was very special and fun short holiday for the family, and they are grateful that (PA photographer) John Stillwell was able to capture the moment so well. The Duke and Duchess hope people enjoy the photos."

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