Princess Charlotte's fifth birthday: 55 of the royal's cutest moments captured on camera
Princess Charlotte, the only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, turns five on Saturday.
The princess will be the third royal to spend their birthday in lockdown, soon after her younger brother Louis and her great-grandmother, the Queen, had to do the same.
Her parents released new images of her helping pack food parcels for isolated pensioners as they played their part
Charlotte has been homeschooling alongside her older brother, George, at the family home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall.
She also attends Thomas’s Battersea, like George.
Charlotte, who is fourth in line to the throne, is more regularly seen as she grows up, and has appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony several times, for Trooping the Colour and has been at church in Norfolk for the Christmas Day service with her family.
Enthusiastic and confident, Charlotte has charmed royal watchers for the last few years.
She took the lead as her family clapped for carers during the BBC’s Big Night In which saw her father have a starring role opposite Stephen Fry in a skit.
And she stood proudly next to her brothers during the first Clap for Carers video, which William and Kate released on Instagram at 8pm.
During a tour in Ireland, her mother Kate revealed she is “really into gymnastics”.
She told performers: “She’s doing cartwheels, handstands, everything. It’s so good for their basic skills of balance and coordination.”
Princess Charlotte made her first appearance at the Christmas Day service in Sandringham with the Queen in Norfolk in 2019, and received gifts and flowers from well-wishers.
She and George had been to the service with Kate’s parents in previous years, but it was their first time going to church with the Royal Family.
Kate matched the colour of her hat with the colour of Charlotte’s dress coat, for more mother-daughter dressing goals.
She also regularly attends the Queen’s Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace, held the week before Christmas, as Her Majesty can’t fit everyone round the table in Sandringham.
Charlotte attends school in Battersea alongside her older brother George. However, they have both been homeschooled recently during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Duchess of Cambridge told the BBC she’d continued their homeschooling during the Easter break, as they had been in their routine, and said she couldn’t believe how much stamina they had.
She said: “Honestly, you get to the end of the day and you write down the list of all the things that you’ve done in that day.
“So you pitch a tent, take the tent down again, cook, bake.
“You get to the end of the day, they have had a lovely time, but it is amazing how much you can cram into one day that’s for sure.”
Charlotte definitely seems to have inherited her mum’s active streak.
At family days out to the polo each Summer, she’s been photographed kicking a football around with her brother and cousins, as well as doing gymnastics around the field.
William told Malta’s prime minister she loved to dance as they chatted at a reception for Commonwealth Day.
And Kate has spoken about how she is happiest when the kids have been “out in the countryside and we are all filthy dirty”.
William also suggested the five-year-old is sporty, telling a young footballer at the Diana awards about George and Charlotte playing together.
He encourages them to know Charlotte could be as good as George when it comes to the sport too, so she knows there’s no gender divide to tackle.
Charlotte made history when she was just two years old as well. Before she was born, there was a change to the law which stopped male heirs overtaking their sisters in the line of succession.
It means that even though Louis was born when Charlotte was two, she remains fourth in line to the throne.
It’s a very different fate to that of her aunt, Anne, the queen’s daughter. Anne is much further down the line because her younger brothers, Andrew and Edward, and their children are above her because they are men.
It’s also different to her cousin Lady Louise Windsor, who is a rank lower than her brother, the Viscount Severn.
Charlotte has been a bridesmaid several times in her young life. She has been in the group for her uncle Harry’s bride Meghan Markle, and for her auntie Pippa, Kate’s sister.
She was also a bridesmaid for Princess Eugenie, when she married Jack Brooksbank in Windsor.
Read more: How the royals tackle parenting
Princess Charlotte has shown something of a sassy side on a number of occasions, and one of the best-known was her brother Louis’s christening.
The family walked through from the chapel into a private room, with a gaggle of photographers snapping them as they went past.
Charlotte, then three, told photographers “you’re not coming” as she clutched the programme from the service.
It was enough to amuse her father, who couldn’t help but smirk.
She’s also been known to stick her tongue out, once when she was with her mother at the King’s Cup regatta, which was being hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
She even did it as she arrived for Prince Harry’s wedding at St George’s Chapel.
Read more: Chocolate cake and gun salutes: How the Royal Family celebrates birthdays
Charlotte is not the first royal to have to celebrate during lockdown. The Queen turned 94 on 21 April, and had to keep her celebrations low-key - even cancelling the gun salutes which usually happen in London and Windsor for the first time in her 68-year reign.
Charlotte’s little brother Louis turned two in lockdown as well, and her parents had to mark their ninth anniversary indoors rather than out to dinner.
Birthdays in the Royal Family tend to be quite private affairs anyway with photos released of the children to mark the special day.
Kate is a keen baker, once telling Mary Berry about her habit of making too much icing, so she may well be whipping something up for her daughter on Saturday.
Prince Harry and Meghan confirmed they had video called the Queen on her birthday, so Charlotte might have a similar day lined up, with zoom parties so her grandparents and great-grandparents can wish her a happy birthday.
If photos are anything to go by, Charlotte loves being with her family, immediate and extended. Photos released for her grandpa’s 70th birthday showed her happily alongside Camilla, who could possibly be referred to as her step-grandmother.
She also lovingly held her little brother Louis in photos released for her third birthday.
And she’s a frequent subject of her mother’s photographs. Kate said one of her favourites was of Charlotte smelling a bluebell, and Kate is often the amateur photographer behind the birthday pictures.
She doesn’t let being the little sister stop her being the boss. Back in 2017, Kate told a fellow mum Charlotte was the “one in charge” at home.
And the Queen seemed to notice too. Speaking to two sisters about whether the older looked after the younger, their mum said it was the other way around.
The Queen said it was like that with Charlotte and George.
Charlotte also reportedly loves unicorns, according to her dad William.
William told a firefighter during a visit on Emergency Services’ Day “my daughter loves unicorns. Loves them, very cool” as he admired artwork by a three-year-old.
And she had a unicorn keyring on her bag for her first day at school.
Charlotte also enjoys cooking, and their parents have revealed they make pizza dough and pasta over the years.
Charlotte has picked up lots of stamps in her passport in her early years, being taken on royal tours with her parents.
Her first royal tour was to Canada in September 2016. This tour included a party with children from Canadian military families.
In 2017, she went on two royal tours, to Poland and to Germany.
As she gets older, tours have been conflicting more with term time, so Kate and William tend to leave her at home with their nanny and brothers.
She might be a useful person to have around if the Cambridges are ever asked to go to Spain too. According to People magazine, she was picking up Spanish before she even went to nursery - the perks of having a Spanish nanny.
Charlotte’s proved she’s got royal selling power, just like her mother. The dress she wore when she arrived at hospital with her father to meet Prince Louis sold out in 24 hours according to Today.com.
It’s no surprise when her mum and her aunt Meghan have a similar power.
While she may be known to us as Charlotte, Kate revealed that she’s called Lottie at home.
Chatting to a blogger while on tour in Northern Ireland in 2019, she asked how old her son was. After she was told the boy was four, Kate said “he’s the same age as Lottie”.
Charlotte went on her first holiday abroad in March 2016, when the duke and duchess took her and George skiing in the Alps.
According to the Royal Family website: “It was the first time either of the children had played in the snow, and was a very special and fun short holiday for the family.”
Before Charlotte started at Thomas’s Battersea with George, she went to Willcocks nursery in London.
Charlotte’s full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, a tribute both to her great-grandmother and her late grandmother, Diana, William’s mother.
While she will never know Diana, William has previously spoken about keeping her memory alive in their home.
Charlotte was christened in Sandringham, with water from the River Jordan, and her godparents are all friends of her mum and dad.
They include Sophie Carter, James Meade, Adam Middleton, Laura Fellowes and Thomas van Straubenzee.