Prince George, third in line to the crown, is nearly 1 year old. As Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 32, make preparations for the royal baby’s birthday celebration, here’s a look back at the young prince’s first year.
December 3, 2012: The Wait Begins
The royal baby craze began when Buckingham Palace announced that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant. But the happy announcement was tempered with some worrisome news: Kate Middleton was hospitalized, suffering from acute morning sickness. She was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London for treatment and stayed three days.
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July 22, 2013: The Royal Baby Is Born
Kate Middleton went into labor during the early hours of the morning. Prince William drove her to St. Mary’s Hospital (the same place Princess Diana delivered both Prince William and Prince Harry) without an entourage and in an unmarked minivan.
"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24 p.m.," a statement from the Palace said. "The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry & families have been told and are delighted. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight."
The announcement was originally made via Twitter and email -- a royal first. Minutes later, a proclamation on paper bearing the palace insignia was displayed at the gates of Buckingham Palace on a golden easel, the traditional means of announcing the birth of an heir.
July 23, 2013: The Big Reveal
The public got a first glimpse of the royal baby just one day later when William and Kate emerged from the hospital carrying their new bundle of joy as the crowd cheered.
William made a few jokes about his new son when answering questions from reporters. "He's got her looks, thankfully," he said, referring to Duchess Kate.
"He's got way more hair than me, thank God," Will added. "He's got a good pair of lungs on him, that's for sure. ... He's a bit heavy."
The royal baby also may have displayed a sense of humor. Many believe the newborn waved to the crowd when footage showed his hand popping out of his blanket.
July 24, 2013: The Name Announcement
The Palace said the couple was “delighted” to announce the royal baby’s name: His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. George was likely selected as homage to the royal baby’s great-great-grandfather, King George VI (Queen Elizabeth II’s father, who died when she was 26 years old).
The couple was mum on whether or not Prince George would have a surname. Members of the British royalty have the option to choose whether to have a surname or simply use the name of the royal house in which they reside. Prince William’s last name, for example, is Wales, based on his father Charles’ title, Prince of Wales. George could also adopt the royal family’s official surname, Mountbatten-Windsor, which would make the baby’s full name a mouthful: His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis Mountbatten-Windsor of Cambridge.
August 20, 2013: First Official Portrait
Photographed by the Duchess’ father Michael Middleton, the royal family released its first family photo with Prince William, Kate Middleton, a one-month-old Prince George and the family pets, Lupo and Tilly. The photos taken at the Middleton family home in Bucklebury were pulled from the family’s private album rather than hiring a celebrity photographer.
October 23, 2013: Christening
Prince George’s royal christening was held at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace, the same place the coffin of Princess Diana rested before her funeral in 1997. Only 22 people attended the ceremony, which was conducted by the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby. Close friends and family were invited by the royal couple, including the baby’s great-grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip; Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Harry; Kate's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton; and her siblings, James and Pippa Middleton. Baby George wore a lace-and-satin christening gown, a replica of a gown made in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter.
Prince William and the duchess announced the baby will have seven godparents: Oliver Baker (the couple’s friend from St. Andrew's University), Emilia Jardine-Paterson (Middleton’s friend from Marlborough College), Earl Grosvenor (son of the Duke of Westminster, one of the country's wealthiest men), Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (a former private secretary to the duke and duchess), Julia Samuel (a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales), William van Cutsem (William’s childhood friend) and Zara Tindall (Prince William’s cousin).
March 29, 2014: Second Official Family Portrait Released
George is the star of the family’s second photo, snapped by photographer Jason Bell. George and dog Lupo gaze at each other as the foursome sits at a window at Kensington Palace.
April 7-25, 2014:
At just 9 months old, Prince George embarked on a nearly three-week-long tour of Australia and New Zealand with his parents. The royal baby was seen getting on and off planes for each leg of the tour, but his best moments were during his official public appearances.
On April 9, Prince George met his royal subjects during a playdate at Government House in Wellington, where one little girl named Paige Stevens ended up in tears after he commandeered her wooden doll.
The Express reported that Prince George also hit another baby in the face by accident while trying to touch her. Kate -- in a gesture familiar to all new parents -- wiped drool from his face several times.
George received a gift—a stuffed wombat—from Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove at Sydney's Admiralty House on April 16.
George also visited the Taronga Zoo in Sydney where a bilby enclosure was named for him on April 20. He received a stuffed bilby, which he promptly threw to the ground. “He does love it, honestly,” William insisted.
June 15, 2014: Baby’s First Step
One month before his first birthday, Prince George took his first steps in public during the annual Jerudong Trophy match at Cirencester Park Polo Club in Gloucestershire. Middleton held the baby’s hand as he strolled in the grass.
— GLAMOUR South Africa (@GLAMOUR_sa) June 17, 2014