FOR many parents, a child’s second birthday heralds the onset of the so-called terrible twos - but Prince George’s big day has been marked by the release of an official picture showing the toddler smiling as he is held by his proud beaming father.
George’s birthday is tomorrow and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are likely to celebrate with a party for their son attended by family and friends.
The picture was taken by celebrated fashion photographer Mario Testino immediately after Princess Charlotte was baptised at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham on July 5.
A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: ‘’This photograph captures a very happy moment on what was a special day for the Duke and Duchess and their family.
“They are very pleased to share this picture as they celebrate Prince George’s second birthday.”
In the photograph released to mark George’s birthday, he smiles as he leans towards the camera and William cannot help but laugh, as he holds his son in his arms.
The Duke and Duchess’ son is a typical toddler with a boisterous nature, inquisitive mind and limitless energy.
He is growing up into a confident little boy who has taken his moments in the limelight in his stride.
It is thought the Cambridges will celebrate George’s birthday privately at Anmer Hall, their Norfolk home, as William is still settling into his new job as an East Anglian Air Ambulance helicopter pilot.
Since the prince’s appearance at his christening, when he was just a few months old, he has looked a content and happy child, interacting with whoever and whatever is around him.
In George’s most recent outing - the christening of baby sister Princess Charlotte - the prince seemed unconcerned by the many well-wishers waiting outside the Norfolk church.
He was pictured talking to his great grandmother the Queen, peering into a pram to look at his sister, playing with the pram’s wheels and waving to the crowds.
In the official christening pictures the toddler looked more serious, putting his feet on a sofa as he sat between his parents, but in another image he smiled broadly and played with his hair as he was held up by his father.
In future years William and Kate’s eldest child may follow in the footsteps of his father and develop into a sensible, focused, monarch in waiting.
But at the moment, like any little boy his age, George likes nothing better than playing with his toys and is a handful for his parents.
Despite his young age George is getting to grips with dealing with the media - something that will be a major factor in his life.
The youngster did show a few nerves at first when he went to see his baby sister just hours after she was born on May 2.
The toddler gestured to his father to pick him up when he spotted the dozens of photographers and cameramen outside the Lindo wing, the private maternity unit of St Mary’s hospital in Paddington, London.
But he was soon waving at them and seemed curious about why the large crowds were outside the hospital, turning his head to get a good look as he was carried inside the unit by William.
Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, third in line to the throne and a future king, was born at the Lindo wing at 4.24pm on July 22 2013, weighing 8lbs 6oz.
He made his public debut in front of the world’s media on the hospital steps one day later, wrapped in a white merino wool shawl, cradled in his proud parents’ arms.
A great-grandchild to the Queen, he will be the 43rd monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England if, as expected, he follows reigns by the Prince of Wales then William.
He will also eventually become head of the armed forces and the Church of England, and possibly head of the Commonwealth, if the role is maintained in the future.
The prince is George’s first grandchild and also a first grandchild for Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton.
He was christened in October 2013 at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, London, and was on his best behaviour, gurgling and blowing bubbles.
His seven godparents are the Cambridges’ former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, William’s cousin Zara Phillips, friends Oliver Baker, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, and William van Cutsem, family friend Earl Grosvenor and Julia Samuel - a close friend of William’s late mother.