Prince Louis' birthday photo: The Duchess of Cambridge’s portrait is a masterclass in dressing three-year-olds

Tamara Abraham
·3-min read
Prince Louis birthday photo 3rd - The Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Louis birthday photo 3rd - The Duchess of Cambridge

Three-year-old boys are a delight. Just ask the Duchess of Cambridge who captured all the joy and cheekiness of that particular age in her new portrait of Prince Louis, who celebrates his third birthday today.

The snap was taken on Louis’ first day at nursery, and he poses on a balance bike in a navy jumper worn over a striped shirt, with pale grey-blue shorts and trainers.

Of course, getting them out of the house looking well turned out is more of a challenge. I can only imagine how many parents across the country - having conceded to letting their own tiny tyrant wear Paw Patrol pyjamas to nursery again - will be looking at that snap and asking, “How did she manage that?”

Prince Louis - The Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Louis - The Duchess of Cambridge

For a start, Louis’ shorts are spotless. I can’t see them staying that way on my three-year-old nephew for too long, particularly if messy play or gardening are on the agenda. His socks are pulled up too, and his shirt collar is perfectly symmetrical.

It’s a very on-brand look for a Cambridge birthday portrait. Kate is careful to dress her children in a timeless way, so that decades from now, when we look back at these pictures, they don’t look too dated. Just look at the birthday portraits of Prince George, which pay homage to pictures of his father as a child. She couldn’t resist a nod to the statement collar trend in Princess Charlotte’s fifth birthday pictures though - I’m not sure I could have done either.

There are some trappings of the modern child in Louis’ latest picture too. There are the velcro trainers that he can put on himself, and the sporty backpack - presumably packed with a snack, a change of clothes and a couple of stray toy vehicles.

Kate is a practical parent too. While the Cambridge kids may wear heritage brands like Pepa & Co and La Coqueta for formal occasions, their day-to-day wardrobe is more likely to comprise of childrenswear from accessible brands like Boden and Tu at Sainsbury’s. When they interviewed Sir David Attenborough, George and Charlotte wore their school uniform, while Louis wore a John Lewis jumper.

It’s all very normal. While the Duke and Duchess probably put a little thought into the kids’ outfits, they certainly don’t obsess over them. Could I see George, Charlotte or Louis turning up to a park meet-up wearing goggles, as my friend’s little boy did recently? Or insist on wearing odd shoes? Probably not. But I also couldn’t see them stopping them.

Three-year-olds are endlessly funny, messy and quirky - and no doubt Louis is too. But of course this is a royal portrait, so all that stuff stays off camera.

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