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Princess Charlotte: Why Prince William and Kate won't be sharing any birthday photos

The royal couple have decided to break with tradition this year

Gemma Strong

Prince William and Kate's decision to release photographs in celebration of Prince George and Princess Charlotte's birthdays has become something of a royal tradition. But this year, the couple have chosen not to share a new image with the British public to commemorate Charlotte's third birthday on 2 May. The reason for this is likely rooted in William and Kate's determination not to overexpose their children at such a young age, with special consideration given to the fact that this is such a busy year for the royal family, and therefore the little Cambridges.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte made a rare public appearance last week at the Lindo Wing

William and Kate go to great lengths to secure privacy for their children, and the annual release of birthday photographs has been a clever way to satiate the public's desire to see the young royals as they grow up. However, given that George and Charlotte made a very rare public appearance just last week, as they arrived at the Lindo Wing to meet new baby brother Prince Louis, the need to release a new birthday image of Charlotte this year has been somewhat negated. What's more, it's highly likely we will soon be treated to a new family photo to celebrate the birth of Prince Louis – with George and Charlotte almost certain to feature. To celebrate Charlotte's arrival in May 2015, William and Kate shared a series of photos taken by the Duchess herself, showing George cradling his new baby sister – and the first family photos of Prince Louis are likely to follow a similar pattern.

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William and Kate shared the first photos of Princess Charlotte, being cradled by her big brother

George and Charlotte will again be back in the spotlight in May, at the wedding of uncle Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle. It's widely expected that the Cambridges will have official roles at the ceremony, acting as page boy and flowergirl – just as they did at Pippa Middleton's wedding in May 2017. And with more than 23 million viewers expected to tune in to watch the nuptials, not to mention the thousands of people who will take to the streets of Windsor on the day, William and Kate will be acutely aware of the intense media interest that will be placed on their children.

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The little Cambridges pictured at Pippa Middleton's wedding in May 2017

They are then likely to make another highly-anticipated appearance with their parents at the Trooping The Colour a short time later, on 9 June. Just as they have every year, William and Kate will join the rest of the royal family for the annual parade, with George, Charlotte, and possibly Prince Louis, set to make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, much to the delight of the British public.

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