Kate Middleton's action shot of George, Charlotte and Louis for William's 42nd birthday is the best royal family photo we've seen

 Prince George of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024 .
Credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty

The Princess of Wales has shared a new photo of Prince William with Prince George, Charlotte and Louis to mark his 42nd birthday and we’ve not seen a royal snap quite like it.

Less than a week after fans were treated to a special family snap from the Princess of Wales in honour of Father’s Day, she has taken to social media once again to mark her husband’s birthday. Prince William turned 42 on 21st June and the Wales family didn’t disappoint when it came to upholding the photo tradition. This year’s birthday picture was taken at the beach and features Prince George, Charlotte and Louis. Not only that, but it’s a radical departure from previous years as this birthday picture is an action shot of Prince of Wales and his kids jumping into the air.

With their mouths open in screams of excitement, the four royals look like they're having the time of their lives. Proud dad Prince William is at the centre of the photo with Prince Louis on one side and Charlotte on the other, whilst Prince George holds his little brother’s other hand.

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Although Kate isn’t named as the one behind the camera, no other photographer was credited and since it’s such an intimate family moment it’s perhaps likely she did take the picture. Either way, it was her initial which signed off the message, "Happy birthday Papa, we all love you so much! Cx".

It’s not known when the picture was taken but given the sunshine and how the royals are wearing shorts and have bare feet, it might well have been during the past few months. The action-shot style of Prince William’s birthday picture is not only very different to other birthday posts, but to most Royal Family photos.

It has a sense of fun and a down-to-earth feel to it which contrasts with the more composed photographs we tend to see of the Royal Family. This was a wonderful choice and really helped to showcase their family life and personalities on a day which is personal to Prince William.

Beaches are also a special place for them all and the beach in Norfolk near their Anmer Hall home featured in the Prince and Princess of Wales’s milestone 10th wedding anniversary photo and showed the family enjoying time there. The recent Father’s Day photo taken by Kate was also shot at a very similar, if not the same, beach as the birthday picture.

Speaking to OK!, the BBC’s former royal commentator Jennie Bond expressed her belief that the Father’s Day snap of them in their "happy place" is a "poignant reminder of how they have faced such a difficult time together: a tight family unit".

Prince William’s 42nd birthday photo also shows them as a family unit, in an even more relaxed and off-duty way.

The release of this picture came just a few days after the Waleses made their first in-person appearance all together as a family in 2024 at Trooping the Colour. This was Kate’s first official appearance since she revealed that she had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

Ahead of this public event a new photo taken by Matt Porteous was shared and the Princess explained that she was "looking forward" to the parade and hopes to join a "few" engagements in the summer, though her treatment is ongoing and "will be for a few more months". It was lovely to see her with Prince William and their children at Trooping the Colour and fans will no doubt be hoping for some more special appearances over the next few months.