Kate Middleton Shared A Rare Family Photo, And It Revealed Just How Much She Resembles Her Mom

Every Mother’s Day, tributes flood onto social media in honor of moms across the globe. And in 2020 even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took time to share cherished photos of themselves with their respective mothers. William, of course, uploaded an image of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who can be seen in the snap alongside the prince and his brother Harry. But it was actually an unexpected photo of Kate Middleton’s mom, Carole, that caught many people’s attention – and that’s because the resemblance between mother and daughter is truly uncanny.

Now, the picture was surprising to some extent because the public doesn’t get to see much of Kate’s side of the family. Neither do the Middletons speak publicly about their famous relative. And Omid Scobie, the host of royal-centric podcast The HeirPod, has confirmed as much to listeners, saying, “It’s very rare we actually even see her family members mention Kate’s name in public.”

Carole, her husband, Michael, and their children, Pippa and James, have been this way since Kate became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Scobie explained, “They’ve been extremely quiet for obvious reasons ever since she married into the royal family.” But that doesn’t mean the Middleton clan aren’t spotted spending time together.

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And Carole has actually earned somewhat of a reputation as a devoted grandmother. Yes, while she may not speak to the media about her royal ties, she has been known to help look after Kate and William’s three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – from time to time.

William and Kate have actually made their children’s care a priority throughout their time as parents. Their decision to take on only one nanny, Maria Borrallo, was an unprecedented decision as far as royal child-minding goes, too. But when Borrallo’s not around and the duke and duchess can’t do the job themselves, the pair enlist Carole and Michael to look after their children.

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And Carole has done so on a number of occasions. In December 2019, for instance, photographers captured her departing from Kensington Palace, where she was thought to be babysitting while her daughter and son-in-law prepared for an event at Buckingham Palace. Kate’s mom also reportedly watched the kids when their royal parents went on tour to India and Bhutan in 2016.

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But that’s virtually about as far as Carole’s public appearances go. Perhaps, then, that decision to remain out of the spotlight is precisely why the duke and duchess’ Mother’s Day post got so many people talking. In any case, the snap gave a small glimpse into the lives of the future queen and her mother.

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So, what else do we know about the Middleton clan? Well, as royal fans may remember, Kate came into the world on January 9, 1982 – and experienced a childhood that was undoubtedly rather different to that of her future husband. And while her father Michael’s side of the family did have links to the British aristocracy, both he and his wife, Carole, originally worked in aviation.

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Michael’s career as a flight dispatcher took his wife and children from their home in Berkshire, England, to Amman, Jordan, when Kate was only two years old. Then, once the future duchess turned three, she spent her days in the Middle Eastern nation at an English-speaking nursery school. But the Middletons wouldn’t stay in Jordan for long, making their return to the United Kingdom just over two years after their arrival.

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When the clan were back in England, Kate’s life resumed as normal. In time, her parents signed her up to attend St. Andrew’s School – a private institution near their Berkshire home. And those early years both in and out of education seemingly proved idyllic for the royal, as she explained on an installment of the podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby in February 2020.

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Kate said, “I had a very happy childhood. It was great fun, and I’m very lucky I come from a very strong family. My parents were hugely dedicated. I really appreciate now as a parent how much they sacrificed for us. They came to every sports match, they’d be the ones on the sideline shouting, and we’d always have our family holidays together.”

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And Kate’s teachers at St. Andrew’s remembered Michael and Carole’s daughter as a down-to-earth, dedicated student. In February 2020 Kevin Allford, who had taught the duchess physical education, told the Press Association that Kate had been a “hard worker and very conscientious.” He also noted that the royal had been “a tremendous athlete and swimmer” – as had her sister, Pippa.

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The young Kate and Pippa also took part in a Berkshire Brownies club, where they picked up new skills, earned badges and went on trips together. In 2011, however, pack leader June Scutter recalled to People that the future Queen of England and her sister had been “just ordinary children – nothing different from any others.”

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Kate’s humble upbringing also allowed her to explore an interest in the performing arts – most notably in theater. At 11, she starred in St. Andrews’ production of My Fair Lady as the lead character, Eliza Doolittle, following that up two years later with a part in a version of the Victorian-era drama Murder in the Red Barn.

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Not every moment of Kate’s childhood was as pleasant as these, though. She experienced bullying, for one, after attending the Downe House School for a short period. Consequently, she may have been happier after transferring to Marlborough College, where she studied art, biology and chemistry and played a full rota of sports.

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Then, after graduating from the college, Kate went on to travel the world during a pre-university gap year. During that period, she not only took studies at the British Institute in Florence, but she also trekked to Chile and rowed the Solent – a strait that separates mainland England from the Isle of Wight. Ultimately, though, Kate returned to school, embarking on a course at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

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Fans of the royal family will know what happened next, of course. Kate moved into St. Salvator’s Hall, where Prince William also lived while studying at the same institution. The pair started dating soon after their initial meeting in 2001, in fact. And four years later, the duchess graduated with a degree in art history, turning her tassel alongside her future husband.

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Then, in November 2010, life changed forever for the entire Middleton family when Kate and William announced to the world that they were engaged. The future King of England had even given his bride-to-be a ring that his mother, Diana, had once worn. And, famously, the couple went on to exchange vows at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011.

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Over 300 million people across the world watched William and Kate’s wedding, and they got to know the bride’s close-knit family in the process. Most notably, Kate’s sister, Pippa, served as her maid of honor; her parents and brother naturally attended the ceremony, too.

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Then, gradually, William and Kate welcomed three children of their own: George, Charlotte and Louis. And becoming a mother seemed to give Kate a new perspective on the time she had spent with her siblings and parents in Berkshire. The duchess certainly suggested as much during her appearance on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast.

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There, Kate said, “What resonates the most is the simple things. I see that now with my own children. Life now is so busy and distracting, and sometimes simple things like watching a fire on a really rainy day provide such enjoyment. I remember that from my childhood – the simple things, like going for a walk together, I try to do this with my children.”

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Those quieter moments also apparently helped Kate’s royal brood to retain some sense of normality. The duchess added, “It totally strips away complications and pressures. I think those experiences mean so much to children and the world they’re in, which is a real adventure at that age.”

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And Kate hoped to inspire other parents to get as involved with their kids. She explained, “As children, we spent a lot of time outside, and it’s something I’m really passionate about. I think it’s so great for physical and mental wellbeing and laying those foundations. It’s such a great environment to actually spend time in, building those quality relationships.”

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It seemed, too, that Kate’d had a good relationship with her grandmother. The duchess recalled during the podcast, “I had an amazing granny who devoted a lot of time to us. [She was] playing with us, doing arts and crafts and going to the greenhouse to do gardening [as well as] cooking with us.”

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Of course, the public has yet to learn exactly what Carole and her royal grandchildren like to do together. But in any case, it seems that Kate’s mom is close to the brood – not to mention her daughter. And in 2020 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge duly decided to celebrate Carole with a sweet Mother’s Day post.

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In March – the month in which Mother’s Day falls in the U.K. – William and Kate shared four photos on Instagram to commemorate the occasion. The first snap shows Kate in the foreground, carrying her daughter, Charlotte, on her back while William appears behind her giving a piggyback ride to George.

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The second photo, meanwhile, shows a much younger William and his brother, Harry, huddled around their mother, the late Princess Diana. This was followed two slides later by a shot of a very sweet Mother’s Day card that had been crafted by George. But in between those two snaps, there was one other photo featuring Kate’s mom, Carole, cradling the duchess as a baby.

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And the image highlighted something that stunned fans: the mother and daughter looked very much alike. One commenter wrote in response to the photograph, “Wow! I never noticed such a strong similarity before.” Another exclaimed, “Omg they look so alike,” while a fellow Instagram user added praise to the post, writing, “Good genes run in the family!”

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Other royals similarly shared their well wishes on Mother’s Day, with Harry and Meghan posting their own tribute to moms everywhere. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote on Instagram, “No matter what you call your mum, this Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom, we honor the mums all over the world who do so much every single day.”

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Princess Eugenie – cousin to William and Harry and tenth in line to the throne – shared some touching words, too. First, she mentioned her mother, Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, writing, “Today, I want to celebrate my mumma but also all the amazing mothers out there.”

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Then Eugenie turned her thoughts to healthcare workers in particular, adding, “I would like to celebrate all the mothers that can’t be with their children today because they are saving lives… Today and every day, we should tell our loved ones how much we love and cherish them.”

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And even the Queen paid tribute to moms on her official Instagram account. There, the monarch shared an image of both her and her mother in 1951, when they were Princess Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth, respectively. She also accompanied the photo with the message, “Mothering Sunday is a chance to thank and celebrate all mothers and caregivers – wherever they may be.”

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The moving photo of the young Princess Elizabeth and her mom provided a rare glimpse into what seemed to be the monarch’s sentimental side. Usually, you see, the Queen keeps her own expressions of affection private – ostensibly because of her role as a figurehead.

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And since Mother’s Day, Kate and the other royals have been keeping themselves busy. The future queen has even begun to step into the spotlight more after years of working on her charity causes behind closed doors. Marlene Koenig, an expert in the royal family, talked to the Daily Express about this change.

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Koenig revealed that Kate “has been doing behind-the-scenes work for several years now, meeting with her charities to discuss projects.” The author added, “I think she prefers the slow and steady kind of work – taking on work more slowly but surely.” One of the duchess’ main causes is early childhood development, for which she launched a nationwide survey in order to improve best practice in the United Kingdom.

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Kate has apparently studied the subject, too, and become somewhat of an expert in the process. That’s according to a source who spoke to The Daily Telegraph in March 2020, explaining, “She doesn’t just want to talk about this issue, but [also] to build an evidence base for action.”

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And that desire explains why Kate has spent so much time honing her child-development knowledge. The insider continued, “She understands the science, and she’s now respected by the people in the sector because she’s spent years trying to work it all out. So, it is only natural for people to want to hear more from her about it.”

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It could be good that Kate has people listening, too, as the source claimed that the duchess’ chosen field of study is highly important. They said, “It’s easy to dismiss work on child development as nice and cuddly, but the social side of this is as significant as climate change.”

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For Kate, the issue may be at least a little personal; she has three young children of her own, after all. And with two of her little ones enrolled in school, the future queen has more time to dedicate to her patronages. Still, Koenig added to the Daily Express, “Family life matters to William and Catherine [even] as they juggle an increasing number of engagements.”

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And, of course, it was Kate’s upbringing that showed her just how important these childhood moments and milestones are. She learned those lessons from her parents, Michael and Carole, who seemingly serve as doting grandparents to her children – and judging by the duchess’ Mother’s Day post, she hasn’t taken her mom for granted.

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As royal watchers will know, Kate is actually pretty proficient with a camera herself. For years now, she’s snapped her nearest and dearest; on occasion, she’s even officially released the resulting photos to the world. And that was the case when Princess Charlotte turned four, as the duchess celebrated the special occasion with her sweet shots of the little royal.

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Ever since Kate Middleton and Prince William embarked on their journey as parents, it’s become a tradition of sorts for the duchess to take official photographs of the couple’s kids. As a result, then, royal-watchers and fans of the family alike have been treated to candid snaps of Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte – most notably on their respective birthdays. And it appeared to be business as usual, too, when Charlotte was about to turn four in May 2019. On that occasion, you see, Kate revealed the result of her latest photo shoot on social media – and the images she captured are undeniably adorable.

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More specifically, though, Kensington Palace tweeted out the pictures – along with a message to the public. “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share three new photographs of Princess Charlotte ahead of her fourth birthday tomorrow,” the official account explained. “The photographs were taken in April by the duchess at Kensington Palace and at their home in Norfolk.”

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And Kate’s beautiful photographs not only brought fans up to date with how the princess was growing, but they also seemed to show off her personality. Judging by the snaps, then, the young royal seems to be growing up into an energetic, outgoing girl.

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It may be hard to believe, too, that Charlotte is almost old enough to start attending school. Nonetheless, as ardent followers of the British royal family know, the princess was born on May 2, 2015, in St. Mary’s Hospital’s Lindo Wing – the very place that also saw the arrival of her big brother, George. And her birth – as well as that of her younger sibling, Louis – also happened to make royal history.

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As soon as Charlotte entered the world, you see, she became fourth in line to the throne – behind only George, her father, William, and her grandfather, Prince Charles. And while in the not-so-distant past, the birth of a younger brother would once have pushed her back to fifth in line, the law was changed in 2015.

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Once Louis arrived, then, Charlotte became the first British royal older sister to outrank her younger brother in lineage. That said, she may not yet know the ins and outs of her future responsibilities; reportedly, George doesn’t even know that he’ll likely be king one day.

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Meanwhile, when Charlotte was born, there was an outpouring of celebration – as is often the case for royal babies. Even before her name was announced, London landmarks such as the Tower Bridge and BT Tower lit up in pink to mark the delivery of a girl, while gun salutes took place the following day at the Tower of London and in Hyde Park.

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But Charlotte’s arrival also seemingly prompted Kate and William to take extra steps to ensure the family’s privacy. In particular, the duke and duchess arranged for letters to be sent to “individuals found operating on or around the Sandringham estate,” as a spokesperson told the BBC in 2015.

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And these notes stated in no uncertain terms that William and Kate wished to be left alone. “There have in the past been a number of intrusions into the privacy of the royal family which in the main have been as a result of professional photographers using long-distance lenses – not only to observe the royal family, but also to photograph them going about their activities on the estate,” read the message.

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It appeared, too, that George and Charlotte’s presence made the matter particularly urgent. “The warm-hearted and understandable interest in the royal family and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge needs to be balanced with their right to private family life. This is especially important for a family with very young children,” the spokesperson added.

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Still, Kate and William try to balance out the privacy issue by providing new pictures of their children – images typically captured by Kate herself. “Nothing is a given, but in terms of managing to keep a good relationship with the British media, it’s in William and Kate’s interest to release photos,” royal expert Victoria Arbiter explained to Cosmopolitan in 2018.

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And it appears that Kate is an accomplished snapper, too. At the very least, during the same period in which she was studying for her art history degree at St. Andrew’s University, she was learning camera techniques on the side. At one point, she was also mentored by celebrity photographer Alistair Morrison, and Morrison has since sung the duchess’ praises to the media.

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Then when Kate was given an honorary membership of the Royal Photographic Society in 2017, The Guardian published a piece about the royal’s photos that similarly honored her talents. “Kate’s photographs of her children – she snaps other stuff too, but it is her portraits of George and Charlotte that are most memorable – are full of love. Seen with a parent’s eye, they are strong, characterful portraits,” wrote Jonathan Jones.

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And Kate has taken many pictures of Charlotte in the years since the princess was born. Perhaps among the sweetest, however, are the photos of the newborn Charlotte alongside her older brother, George. The adorable shots were created in May 2015 and released by Kensington Palace the following month.

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Then in November 2015 the palace released two more images of Charlotte – again captured by Kate – in which the young royal is seen smiling cutely for her parents. “The duke and duchess continue to receive warm messages about Princess Charlotte from all around the world, and they hope that everyone enjoys these lovely photos as much as they do,” the statement released alongside the snaps read.

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At around this time, sales of whatever Charlotte was seen wearing suddenly started to take off. Demand soared for the M&H Tiendas dress that the princess was sporting in the November 2015 pictures, for instance – with the result being that the Spanish company soon sold out of that particular style.

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And M&H founder Margarita Pato Cid later shared her delight about the situation on Facebook. There, she wrote, “It has been a great surprise for us, and we feel really touched about it… dressing the Duchess of Cambridge’s daughter is more than a great honor.”

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After that, Kate released a set of four photos of Charlotte to mark her first birthday, with one of the shots showing the princess having reached the childhood milestone of walking. Her hair had also grown long enough to enable accessories to be put in it.

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And, yet again, Charlotte’s clothes prompted considerable excitement from one brand. “We are absolutely thrilled that Princess Charlotte looks so happy and beautiful wearing our rose-stitch cashmere cardigan,” said a spokesperson for the company Olivier Baby. “It’s an honour to be part of such a momentous occasion on her first birthday.”

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Meanwhile, an insider speculated on the celebrations for Charlotte’s first birthday. “George will enjoy all the birthday festivities, and I’m sure there will be a few of his friends invited too,” postnatal care nurse Sarah Dixon told People. “He’ll help Charlotte open all her gifts – older siblings love to do that!”

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Then when Charlotte turned two in 2017, Kate delivered again with a snap that showed her daughter at the family home of Anmer Hall. This adorable image was accompanied by a message, reading, “The duke and duchess are very pleased to share this photograph as they celebrate Princess Charlotte’s second birthday. Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank everyone for all of the lovely messages they have received.”

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So, by the time that Charlotte’s third birthday rolled around, the release of a new celebratory photograph had practically become a royal tradition. But for that occasion, she and the whole family got an extra special present: a new baby brother. And, appropriately, the birthday photo that Kate took that year showed young Charlotte cradling and kissing Louis.

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The Daily Mirror reported at the time, meanwhile, that Charlotte had probably had a quiet third birthday party given the royals’ packed calendar – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had also wed that month, after all. However, the tabloid also mentioned that Charlotte’s great-grandmother, the Queen, had taken a helicopter to Kensington Palace to celebrate with her and meet the new arrival.

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And considering William and Kate’s devotion to privacy and the wellbeing of their children, it’s not surprising that the exact details of any royal children’s birthday parties are under wraps. Yes, the kind of cakes they have and the presents they receive are unrecorded – for the moment, anyway. But by contrast, we do know that Charlotte embarked on a day trip not long after she had turned four.

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Yes, in May 2019 Kate took all her children with her to the Chelsea Flower Show, where she had helped oversee the creation of a new garden called “Back to Nature.” And many photographs were taken of the family running around, with George, Louis and Charlotte picking up sticks and generally just behaving like kids.

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Charlotte practically stole the show on that occasion, too, with her personality evident in specially recorded video of the event. The footage sees her barefoot, jumping in water and smiling at everything; at one point, she even yells out “Ooh la la!”

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And then it appeared that Charlotte has developed a sassy, adorably bossy side. During playtime in the garden, George seems to be trying to make something with stones and sticks. When William asks his daughter, however, “Can you help George?” she responds “No!” before skipping past the pair.

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Charlotte can also be heard shouting “George! Quicker, George!” while the family were playing. But it seems that she and her older brother aren’t always at loggerheads. In the video, for instance, the princess is seen following George to the garden’s little river and sitting down next to him when both decide to stick their feet in the water.

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And it seems that this kind of carefree play was just what the Duchess of Cambridge had in mind when she came up with the garden. Of the project, Kate was quoted on the Kensington Palace social media accounts as saying, “In recent years, I have focused much of my work on the early years and how instrumental they are for outcomes later in life. I believe that spending time outdoors when we are young can play a role in laying the foundations for children to become happy, healthy adults.”

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But while the photos from the Chelsea Flower Show garden showed the royal kids being packed full of energy, Kate’s official fourth birthday pictures of Charlotte were a touch more sedate. One photograph shows the little princess grinning excitedly while brandishing a picked flower.

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Another snap shows Charlotte sitting on a wood fence and looking ready for adventure. Yet while the tartan skirt that she sports in the photo was ultimately revealed to be from London clothing store Amaia Kids, her other clothes proved harder to identify. The fashion website What Kate’s Kids Wore suggested, nevertheless, that Charlotte’s turtleneck may be a hand-me-down from George.

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And when the new photographs were posted on the Clarence House Twitter page, people from all over the world took the opportunity to comment. “Fabulous photos! Catherine really does a wonderful job – and of course wishing Princess Charlotte a very happy birthday and many happy returns,” wrote one person.

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Several Twitter users thought, too, that Charlotte looked a lot like the Queen – an assessment with which Hello! magazine seemingly agreed. “Charlotte and her great-grandmother share the same striking eye structure. From their matching blue eyes to the arch of their eyebrows, there’s no questioning their resemblance,” the publication remarked.

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But along with the well-wishes from members of the public, there was also comment from the princess’ uncle, Harry, and aunt, Meghan. And the royal couple gave their congratulations in a sweet, casual style. “Happy birthday, Charlotte! Lots of love, H and M xo,” read the message on social media, which was accompanied with cake and balloon emojis.

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What’s more, on this occasion William did actually share a tidbit about what he thought Charlotte’s birthday party would be like. The revelation came by way of The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson, who had talked to the royal while receiving a CBE at Buckingham Palace.

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And Donaldson talked to the Daily Mirror about what William had told her. “He said [that] it’s his daughter’s birthday today, and he loves [The Gruffalo],” the writer divulged in May 2019. “He reads my stories to his children, and he said he was going to have quite a rowdy party – he’s got a lot of children [coming].”

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Of course, Charlotte’s birthday is over now, leaving her ready for yet another milestone later in 2019. In September, you see, she will be starting school for the first time. And while it’s not yet known which institution she will be attending, the media have speculated that she will be a student at prep school Thomas’s Battersea like George.

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And then there are also quite a few other notable occasions in the calendar for 2019. In addition to the annual events such as Trooping the Colour, there’s a high chance that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will go on a royal tour overseas. If the couple bring their children with them, then, photographers other than Kate may be able to snap lots of pictures of Charlotte.

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Plus, Charlotte and the other royal children have a new playmate now in the form of their cousin Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor – the first son of Harry and Meghan. Archie arrived on May 6, 2019, meaning he and Charlotte will ultimately celebrate their birthdays in the same week.

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All in all, then, Charlotte’s fifth year on the planet appears to be a good one so far. And while the adventures of the young royal look likely to continue well into the future, her mother may just be on hand to document all of her milestones.

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