Kate Middleton and Prince William send personal message after releasing Prince George's birthday photos

Isn't this just lovely!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released three new photos of their oldest son Prince George on the eve of his sixth birthday, and when the pictures were published on their official Instagram account, Kensington Palace, they were a hit with royal fans around the world. The images were particularly appreciated by the England football team, who enjoyed seeing the future King wearing the official football shirt in two out of the three snaps. On Instagram, England's official page commented on the photo, writing: "Happy birthday Prince George. Great choice of shirt." Kensington Palace then sent a rare response by replying with three lion emojis.

Prince William and Kate Middleton replied via Kensington Palace to the England football team

George's love of football has no doubt been encouraged by his sporty parents, in particular William, who is a patron of the Football Association. The Duke is known to occasionally write personal messages on Twitter during key football games, including the World Cup and when his favourite team, Aston Villa, are playing. George has also been seen practicing his football skills with his sister Princess Charlotte at a recent charity polo match, which they attended with mum Kate and younger brother Prince Louis to cheer on William and Prince Harry – who were taking part in the game.

MORE: New photo of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis released

Three new photos of Prince George were released to mark his sixth birthday

It isn't just football that George is a fan of, but tennis too. The young royal was lucky enough to have had a recent private tennis lesson from none other than Roger Federer, who is a good friend of the Middleton family. The tennis game took place at Carole and Michael Middleton's garden in Bucklebury, and Roger later praised George's "good" ability, and said that he was a very sweet little boy.

READ: Why Kate Middleton has never taken birthday photos of Prince George until now

Over the long summer holidays, George will have plenty of time to practice his sporting skills. The youngster is currently on holiday in Mustique with his family, where he will be able to enjoy playing on the beach and running around care-free, thanks to the island's no-fly policy, giving the Cambridges maximum privacy. This is the second year that George has spent his birthday in Mustique, and his parents will no doubt make it a day to remember. While there will be no photos from the trip, one of George's birthday portraits looked to have been taken in Mustique – giving royal fans a tiny glimpse into their private holiday destination.

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