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Today is Princess Charlotte’s 8th birthday, and following tradition, Kensington Palace has released a new photo of the young royal. Captured by mom Kate Middleton, the photographer behind nearly all birthday portraits of her three kids, Princess Charlotte looks more grown up than ever — and so much like dad Prince William.

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The palace’s statement accompanying the photo reads, “The Prince and Princess of Wales are delighted to share a new photograph of Princess Charlotte ahead of her eighth birthday.” The little girl is seen sitting in a high-backed wicker chair wearing a frilly white dress with sprigs of colorful flowers embroidered throughout the material. Her long brown hair is worn down in waves, blowing in the breeze, and she appears to be mid-laugh, showing off a gap-tooth smile that’s so similar to Prince William’s around the same age.

Princess Kate’s previous birthday portrait of Charlotte was captured at the family’s country home Anmer Hall in Norfolk. The then-7-year-old sat in a field of wildflowers with one arm around a black dog while clutching a few plucked flowers in her opposite hand. She wore the same mid-laugh smile, along with a cornflower blue sweater and dark blue pants.

  • Pre-Birthday Festivities

    Image Credit: Getty Images.

    Princess Charlotte’s celebration started ahead of her birthday on May 2 with a visit to London’s Royal Opera House over the weekend. Kate arranged for the birthday girl to see the ballet Cinderella with a small group of friends, which was no doubt a delight for the princess — her mom previously shared in 2017 that Charlotte “absolutely loves” ballet.

    Twitter user @BarbieDavies spotted the group during their surprise outing, writing, “First visit to @TheRoyalOpera in @CoventGardenLDN to see #Cinderella. Wonderful ballet with fabulous performances by a great cast. And who should be in the audience? The Princess of Wales with Princess Charlotte and her friends.”

    Video clips of Princess Charlotte and her friends being invited on stage at the end of the performance circulated on social media as well. One particularly adorable clip showed glitter falling on stage while the group of girls stood with their arms stretched high, trying to catch the sparkling flakes.

  • Day-Of Celebrations

    Image Credit: Ashley Crowden – WPA Pool/Getty Images.

    Because her birthday falls on a Tuesday this year, Charlotte will likely be spending the day at school. The young royal attends Lambrook alongside her brothers, Prince George, 9, and Prince Louis, 5.

    Following another tradition, the birthday girl is suspected to enjoy a homemade cake prepared by her mom. Kate revealed in Mary Berry’s A Berry Royal Christmas in 2019, “I love making the [birthday] cake. It’s become a bit of a tradition that I stay up ’til midnight with ridiculous amounts of cake mix and icing and I make far too much. But I love it.” 

  • A Celebratory Week

    Image Credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Images.

    Princess Charlotte’s birthday festivities lead right into her grandfather’s coronation on May 6. The young royal is expected to be in attendance as King Charles is officially anointed king on Saturday, alongside both of her brothers and her parents.

    Prince George will be participating as one of Charles’ pages, and all three children will reportedly join William and Kate in a carriage behind the Golden State Coach carrying Charles and Camilla on the way to the coronation. 

    The Times also reported that the three young royals will accompany the King and Queen Consort as they leave Westminster Abbey after the service.

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son, Prince Archie, also celebrates his fourth birthday on the day of Charles’ coronation. Harry will reportedly be in attendance for the service in London, but will only make a quick appearance before flying back to California to celebrate his son. It’s certainly a big week for the royal family! 

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