Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have released a family photo with their son Prince George, a week ahead of their official visit to New Zealand and Australia. The official portrait, taken at Kensington Palace by Jason Bell, released Saturday shows the eight-month old royal baby with his parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The radiant-looking Duchess, 32, is holding Prince George on her knee as he focuses his attention on the family pet Lupo, a black cocker spaniel pictured sitting on the Duke’s lap. Catherine is wearing white, while William, 31, looks relaxed in a shirt with the sleeves rolled up. George sports a light blue jumper with his name written on it, over a white collar.
The picture was taken two weeks ago looking into a ground floor room at the palace’s Apartment 1A, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new home, where the Duchess will today celebrate her first Mothering Sunday as a parent.
Kensington Palace said the photograph was released because of the anticipated media interest in the family over the coming week, as the countdown to their Australasian tour begins. The Duke and Duchess and Prince George will arrive in Wellington, New Zealand, on Monday, April 7 and will carry out 48 engagements over the course of three weeks in the two countries.
“George being just a little over eight-months-old by the time they travel, I’m sure you will appreciate that the couple will have to make a final decision on those moments much closer to the time,” said Prince’s private secretary.
Prince George will attend his first official engagement on April 9, when he joins a parent and baby group at Government House in Wellington, the residence where the baby Prince William crawled for the first time when he was taken there by the Prince and Princess of Wales during a royal tour in 1983, reports the Telegraph.
As exclusively reported on March 26, the royal parents recently missed their baby boy’s first crawl while they were away on vacation earlier this month. Their bundle of joy spent time with his maternal grandparents, Carole and Michael Middleton, at their home in Bucklebury, England. His parents relaxed at the Maidives’ Cheval Blanc Randhell resort at the time, say US magazine.
The last time George was officially pictured, also by Bell, he was asleep in a bouffant of creamy ruffles – the historic Honiton lace gown worn by all Royal babies – at his christening last October. The celebrity photographer took four official portraits – and a surprise fifth released three days later – of the family and their immediate relatives.
The historic occasion included Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry.
Other photographs involved the Duchess’ family, parents Carole and Michael Middleton, sister Pippa Middleton, and brother James Middleton. The families came together at the Morning Room at Clarence House, Kensington Palace following the Chapel Royal service at St. James Palace in London.