Charlotte taking baby steps in pictures marking her first birthday


Princess Charlotte celebrates her first birthday on Monday - and new photos of her taken by her mother the Duchess of Cambridge reveal a young royal who is growing up fast.

The princess was introduced to the public on the day of her birth, May 2 2015, and like her older brother the images of the tiny infant were captured by the world's media.

She has only been seen in a handful of pictures since then, such as events to mark the six months after her birth, her first Christmas and most recently in a group picture with the Queen's other great-grandchildren and youngest grandchildren to mark the monarch's 90th birthday.

Now, to mark her first birthday, Kensington Palace has released four new images of her taken by Catherine at their home in Anmer Hall, Norfolk.

The photos show a happy young toddler - and one whose resemblance to her older brother, Prince George, is startling.

One of the new photos shows Charlotte in a pink cardigan with a white collar, worn over a soft pink floral dress - a pink clip in her hair - pushing a colourful baby walker full of alphabet blocks on the lawn outside, a determined look on her face.

In another, dressed in the same outfit, she sits on the floor at home gazing at the camera with big blue eyes similar to those of George.

A third photograph portrays her leaning on a wooden chair, this time wearing a cream cardigan over a blue dress with a blue ribbon clip in her hair.

And a final photograph shows Charlotte's startling resemblance to George as she clambers on a wicker chair, playfully glancing back towards the camera.

A spokeswoman for William and Catherine said: "The Duke and Duchess are very happy to be able to share these important family moments and hope that everyone enjoys these lovely photos as much as they do."

The princess was named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana in tribute to her grandmother Diana, Princess of Wales and her great-grandmother the Queen.

The Prince of Wales had said he hoped his new grandchild would be a girl and she seems to have delighted the whole family.

Charlotte's privacy has been carefully guarded by her parents, and William and Catherine have been determined to give Charlotte and George as normal an upbringing as possible.

They are said to find staying in London like being in a "goldfish bowl" and feel more relaxed at their private country sanctuary.

Charlotte spent the first few weeks of her life in Norfolk as the Duke and Duchess got to grips with having two children under the age of two.

In June 2015, touching pictures taken by the Duchess and released by Kensington Palace showed a proud George holding his newborn sister - and even giving her a kiss.

During the past year the princess has only been seen in public on one other occasion, her christening in July last year, when the Queen and the Middletons were among the select number of guests at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham.

On that day George stole the limelight when he stood on tiptoes to peer into her pram and chatted to the Queen, who bent down to speak to her great-grandson.

When Charlotte was six months old, new snapshots taken by Catherine were released showing blue-eyed, dark-haired Charlotte laughing at a toy dog and staring into the distance.

She also made an appearance in the Cambridges' official Christmas card - a picture of William and Catherine crouching down with their children in the gardens of Kensington Palace.

Luckily for the Duke and Duchess the princess has been an easy baby who slept through the night early on and was a better sleeper than George.

But there was no official royal overseas tour for Charlotte like George experienced before he turned one. The prince was the royal star of the show when he travelled to Australia and New Zealand in 2014 with his parents when he was nine months old.

With the princess fourth in line to the throne she will be an important figure in the monarchy in the years to come.

In recent decades the siblings of future monarchs - Princess Margaret and Prince Harry - have been more carefree and more likely to break conventions.

But it remains to be seen what type of character the latest edition to the royal family will have.