Princess of Wales sends touching birthday message to Prince William

The Princess of Wales paid personal tribute to her husband on his 42nd birthday
The Princess of Wales paid personal tribute to her husband on his 42nd birthday

The Princess of Wales has paid personal tribute to her husband on his 42nd birthday, telling Prince William “we all love you so much” and signing with a kiss.

The birthday message was issued alongside a new photograph of the Prince with his three children.

The image was taken by the Princess in Norfolk last month, and shows Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis leaping over the sand dunes, hand in hand with their “Papa”.

“Happy birthday Papa, we all love you so much!” reads the accompanying message, which is signed “C x” to denote Catherine and a kiss.

The photograph is arguably the most casual ever released by the Wales family, showing the three children open-mouthed and shouting with joy as they jump.

The Prince, in pink shorts and a hoodie, looks straight at the camera, which is being held by his wife on the Norfolk beach.

All are dressed in off-duty summer shorts, with blue sky behind them.

Princess Charlotte, nine, wears a long-sleeved striped Breton top as favoured by her mother, with floral shorts and an anklet as an accessory.

Her brothers George, 10, and Louis, six, wear T-shirts - a plain navy Nike top for the elder and a palm tree logo for the younger.

Louis is in the middle of the “gang”, as Prince William has described his young family, holding hands with his father and older brother.

Challenging year

The Princess’s rare, personal tribute to her husband comes after a challenging year for the Wales family.

They made their first appearance of the year together for Trooping the Colour, with the Princess saying that she is making good progress but has “good and bad days”.

Prince William is supporting her and their children through ongoing chemotherapy.

The Wales family made their first public appearance of the year together for Trooping the Colour
The Wales family made their first public appearance of the year together for Trooping the Colour - ©Karwai Tang

The bells of Westminster Abbey will ring at 1pm to celebrate the Prince’s birthday on Friday, with BBC Radio 4 playing the national anthem this morning.

Meanwhile the Royal family social media account, representing the King, marked the birthday with a photograph of a baby Prince William being held by his father.

‌The photograph was taken by Tim Graham at Kensington Palace in London on Feb 1, 1983.

Prince Charles with his son, Prince William, at Kensington Palace in London, 1st February 1983
Prince Charles with his son, Prince William, at Kensington Palace in London, 1st February 1983 - Tim Graham

His 42nd birthday comes after he enjoyed an evening out in Germany for the football on Thursday night.

He joined King Frederik of Denmark to watch the 1-1 draw between their respective countries in the Euro 2024.

Prince William is president of the FA, and a vocal supporter of the England squad.

He was also seen at Royal Ascot this week, joining Carole and Michael Middleton, his mother and father-in-law, as well as his royal cousins.

The Prince rode in a carriage with the Queen for the traditional procession along the course, and was seen warmly embracing Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.

The Prince turns 42

Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales was born second in line to the throne at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, at 9.03pm on June 21, 1982.

He weighed 7lb 1 1/2oz and was the first-born son of the then-Prince and the Princess of Wales.

At just nine months old, he accompanied his parents on a six-week official visit to Australia and New Zealand, which was a break from tradition, with royal babies usually left at home in the care of nannies.

A baby Prince William with his parents at Alice Springs Airport during their 1983 Australia tour
A baby Prince William with his parents at Alice Springs Airport during their 1983 Australia tour - Anwar Hussein/Hulton Archive

His mother Diana, who separated from the then-Prince of Wales in 1992, died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

William was just 15 years old when he and Prince Harry 12, walked behind the Princess’s coffin during a funeral procession through London.

The Prince met Kate Middleton at St Andrews University in Fife, and the pair married at Westminster Abbey in 2011 after dating for more than eight years.

They welcomed their first child George in 2013, followed by Charlotte in 2015, and then Louis in 2018.

After the death of the late Queen in 2022, the King announced in his first historic address that he had made his first-born and his wife the new Prince and Princess of Wales.

Since his last birthday, William has launched Homewards, his five-year drive to eradicate homelessness in six locations around Britain.

His other key focuses include raising mental health awareness and the Earthshot Prize, his £50 million environmental competition to find solutions to help the planet.