Prince George: how is royal baby celebrating first birthday?
As Prince George turns one, here's everything you need to know about the third in line to the throne
Despite being third in line for the throne and receiving thousands of gifts since he was born, Prince George is celebrating his first birthday today with a "low-key tea party". Prince William and Kate Middleton are inviting friends and family to Kensington Palace to mark the occasion but have insisted that they don't want their son to be showered with gifts.
The Daily Telegraph says the plea appears to be "well justified" given that insiders say the prince has received 4,000 gifts since he was born, including three meerkats, a crocodile, two fattened bulls, a heifer and a goat.
Michael and Carole Middleton will attend the tea party today, along with Aunty Pippa and Uncle James. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are in Scotland on official duties, but Buckingham Palace staff have not ruled out a visit from the Queen.
He started the festivities early by getting himself onto the cover of Vanity Fair's August edition, which raised some eyebrows by describing Prince George as an "eligible bachelor". Nevertheless, Today.com reports that he has already received a marriage proposal - from a 10-month-old Australian admirer who popped the question by printing it on a T-shirt.
An official portrait (above) of the young prince was released in advance of his birthday, showing the royal toddler walking confidently, arms aloft. It was described as "rather underwhelming" by the Independent, but the Daily Telegraph is impressed by the prince's "boisterous energy". The paper adds: "With his arms outstretched and his eyes fixed on where he is going, the prince strides along the ground looking every inch the confident toddler."
As the celebrate Prince George's birthday, we review a busy first year in the life of the young prince.
When was Prince George born?
The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital in the early hours of 22 July 2013 and George Alexander Louis, Prince George of Cambridge, came into the world at 4.24pm that day, in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, with his father at the bedside. George weighed 8lb 6oz, according to the BBC.
How is he doing now?
More recent figures on Prince George's weight have not been made public, but in April the Daily Telegraph reported that the Prince was expanding rapidly when he toured New Zealand and Australia with his parents. Visiting the Uluru rock, Kate told 17-year-old Shannon Hunt that George had grown an "extra fat roll" while away from home.
When was Prince George christened?
George Alexander Louis (he doesn't need a surname, but could use Mountbatten-Windsor, Wales or Cambridge) was christened at a low-key ceremony in St James's Palace, London, on 23 October last year. His first name surprised nobody – 'George' had long been the bookies' favourite, said the BBC.
Who was Prince George named after?
The new prince is third in line to the throne and if he one day reigns, it will be as George VII. The significance of Alexander is not known but Louis is thought to be a tribute to Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip's uncle, who was killed by the IRA in 1979.
Was George popular in New Zealand and Australia?
In a 1983 break with royal protocol, Princess Diana insisted her nine-month-old son, Prince William, go with her on a royal visit to Canada. Twenty-one years later, William's own son made a similar public overseas tour, this time to Australia and New Zealand. And, judging from the presents he received (not to mention the marriage proposal), George was the PR hit of the trip. The Telegraph published this list of gifts received by Prince George during the royal visit:
- miniature 'Sealegs' amphibious boat
- Avanti 'Lil Ripper' bicycle and crash helmet
- baby-sized cycling jersey with HRH Prince George on the back
- child-sized flying helmet lined with possum fur
- kangaroo backpack
- giant cuddly wombat
- customised surfboard
- rocking horse
- a soft toy bilby (an Australian marsupial)
- a yellow car sticker that reads 'Wild Child on Board'
- skateboard with 'George' and two kangaroos painted on it
What else has Prince George received?
It's not just admiring members of the public who have showered the royal infant with gifts. According to The Sunday Times, Prince George has also received "a blue tricycle" from Boris Johnson, a "precious stone globe with a cross" from the Pope, a blanket from Barack Obama and a breakfast set from the prime minister of Malta.
Finally, what sort of pyjamas does the young prince wear?
Thanks to a royal walkabout in Crieff, we know that George has a pair of Spiderman pyjamas. However, his mother told local resident Lianne McNamara that George is too small to wear them just now, the Telegraph reported.
Prince George pictured at the polo walking for the first time
One month shy of his first birthday, Prince George has been showing off his walking and sporting skills at a charity polo match on Father's Day.
With a little help from the Duchess of Cambridge, the third in line to the throne toddled along as his father Prince William and uncle Prince Harry took part in the annual Jerudong Trophy match at Cirencester Park Polo Club in Gloucestershire.
The young prince even played with a soft football on the grass, prompting several UK newspapers to conclude that he should be playing in the World Cup.
"Get him to Brazil!" cries The Sun. "Prince George is great dribbler... and good at dummies... and already plays at Palace."
The Times believes it is "only a matter of time" before Prince George follows in the family tradition and is seen on a polo pony. "Prince George, who celebrates his first birthday on July 22, was on lively form," says the newspaper. "He wriggled incessantly in his mother's arms until she put him down, whereupon he immediately started to crawl away from her and into the path of a polo pony, when she swiftly picked him up again."
The Daily Telegraph agrees that he looks like an "aspiring sportsman in the making" as he "keenly grabbed" at polo mallets lying on the ground.
Prince William and Prince Harry are regular players at the Jerudong Trophy match, with the Duke last year leaving his heavily pregnant wife to play in the tournament.
Prince William and the Queen have been found to be significantly more popular than the UK's best-known politicians, according to a recent poll of more than 2,000 people. The Duke is more popular than his grandmother, while Prince Charles trails 20 percentage points behind them both. ·