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Magnificent seven: Prince George celebrates birthday

Prince George in a second photo taken by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge earlier this month.

Prince George in a second photo taken by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge earlier this month.Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge/Kensington Palace via Getty Images

The palace said the pictures were taken by Kate earlier in July. The location was not disclosed, but it’s likely they were taken at or near Anmer Hall, the family’s Norfolk country home where the Cambridges have been isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will and Kate have released photos of George every year on his birthday, a custom they started for George’s first birthday and have followed for their two younger children, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, on their birthdays.

Even in a royal family, Prince George Alexander Louis occupies a special place: As one of the Queen and Prince Philip’s eight great-grandchildren, he is third in the royal succession, behind his father Prince William, 38, and grandfather Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, 71.

It’s the first time since Queen Victoria was on the throne, in the late 19th century, when four generations of direct heirs have been alive – and specially photographed together, as has happened with George and his relatives two times in recent years.

Rare as they are, British royal fans eagerly await new pictures of the little prince, who comes off as especially endearing in the less formal photos of him with his siblings hugging and hanging on to their father.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has locked down Britain for months and sent royals to their various estates and castles to quarantine, has meant even fewer opportunities for anyone to grab by-chance photos of George out and about or on his way to school, for instance.

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Will and Kate have only recently begun to schedule in-person socially distanced public engagements, resorting to Zoom appearances after the country went into lockdown in March. The children have been talked about during these video appearances but not seen.

During the lockdown, they were spotted in April clapping for healthcare workers outside Anmer Hall, and later in pictures released by the palace in June for Prince William’s 38th birthday.

It is not yet clear when George and Charlotte will return to their private London school, Thomas’s Battersea. Most British primary schools reopened on June 1 by government order. Thomas’s had a phased reopening, with Charlotte’s class able to attend but not George’s class, according to the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail, so the two are believed to be still at Anmer Hall.

Will and Kate have been home-schooling them in Norfolk, discovering, as have millions of parents, that teaching kids can be harder than they anticipated.

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