The Prince and Princess of Wales have released an eagerly awaited photo of their youngest son Prince Louis to mark his sixth birthday today – and one royal expert believes in doing so, it has sent a message about the future

The Princess of Wales has shown she’s keen to “let bygones be bygones” by releasing an adorable new snap of Prince Louis to mark his birthday, according to a royal expert.

The unedited close-up image, showing Louis grinning at the camera as he lies barefoot on a blanket on the grass, was taken in the last few days at Windsor by Kate, who announced last month that she is undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer. It comes just weeks after the furore surrounding a Mother’s Day portrait which the princess admitted editing.

Kate issued a public apology last month when an image Prince William took of the princess with Prince George, Charlotte and Louis was found to have been digitally altered. And there had been fears it may have meant the couple would choose to not mark their children’s birthdays with a picture going forward.

Kate has released a photo of Prince Louis to mark his sixth birthday, which she took in the last few days

Prince Louis in a new snap to mark his sixth birthday (
But with the release of the new snap, royal expert and historian Dr Tessa Dunlop believes it shows that Kate wants to “forgive us for our scurrilous speculation.”

She told the Mirror : “It is ironic that Louis was born on St George’s Day, not his older brother, George. But perhaps the youngest of Wales children who is best suited to England’s national celebration – embodying the eccentric, happy-go-lucky spirit that plays to the more attractive side of Englishness.

“Louis’s mother, Kate, knows just how much her youngest has won hearts and minds with his theatrical antics up on the balcony – hands over ears, arms outstretched. The photo drop of her birthday boy on the Wales’s Instagram account at lunchtime is a salve for royal aficionados.

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“Kensington Palace could easily have let this birthday go – Louis is only six, he’s not in line to inherit the throne, his mother is having cancer treatment, his father is trying to multi-task and the general public’s propensity towards conspiracy theories has hardly covered us in glory. But by choosing to share a photograph taken by Kate the Princess of Wales is messaging that she’s keen to let bygones be bygones. She will forgive us and our scurrilous speculation if we quietly let her resume the role of royal photographer-in-chief.”

Meanwhile, Tessa added that the cheerful image shows William and Kate are back at what they do best – “posing as Britain’s first family”. She explained: “Needless to say, few can grumble over a close-up of a six-year-old in a checked shirt. Instead, the cheerful image and positive note it has struck is a reminder that the Prince and Princess of Wales are keen to get back to what they are good at – posing as Britain’s first family – and we are keen to have them.

“The release of the photo, slightly later than normal in the day, is a sign that Kate, like the King, is managing cancer treatment alongside other duties and tasks. In the wake of a major operation and health scare, hers will be a graded recovery, with Louis’s picture one small step towards her return to royal normality. Surely as good a reason as any to flutter the St George’s flag?”