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New Prince George photo released ahead of heir’s second birthday

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Prince George Birthday PhotoLONDON — A new photograph of Prince George has been released on the eve of his second birthday.

It shows the toddler in the arms of his father, the Duke of Cambridge, and beaming into the lens of world-famous photographer Mario Testino.

A spokesman for Kensington Palace 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.”

The photo is part of the series of official pics taken by Testino, the internationally-renowned fashion photographer, following the christening of Princess Charlotte — George’s little sister — on July 5th. They were taken in the gardens and drawing room at Sandringham House.

The image was shared via Kensington Palace’s Twitter and Instagram accounts in keeping with the palace’s new strategy of publishing via their own media streams first.

And the hashtag quickly took hold amongst royal followers:

Kensington Palace have only said that Prince George will be spending his birthday “privately,” which would most likely mean with close family at their country home in Norfolk.

Testino is a Peruvian photographer who, among other career highlights, was chosen by Princess Diana in 1997 to photograph her for Vanity Fair. He has also taken photos of William and Prince Harry with their father, Prince Charles.

In an Instagram post in early July, Testino wrote: “I am overwhelmed and honoured to be chosen to take these portraits on the occasion of Princess Charlotte’s christening, to carry on the documentation of the family that is the soul of this country, a country that has given me so much.”