They look like any other couple with a newborn would. Yet, unlike most new families this one garners world wide attention and sends media into a frenzy.
Royal watchers were wrapped to hear that the first official photos of the newborn Prince George – the third heir in line to the british throne – and his parents had been released from Buckingham Palace.
But some fans were left a little disappointed with the uncommonly informal nature of the family portrait, which they say failed to show off his face clearly.
The two photos released are the first glimpse of young Prince George Alexander Louis since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge introduced him to the world after leaving the London hospital where he was born on July 22.
Siting on a blanket in the back garden of the Duchess’s family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, the doting parents are pictured with their sleeping newborn son and their black cocker spaniel, Lupo. Lying just behind the happy family is Tilly, the Middelton family’s golden retriever.
Breaking away from tradition, the family opted not to have a formal photograph for George’s first official photo shoot. Instead, the two happy snaps were taken by the Duchess’s father, Michael Middleton, earlier in the month.
The images are a far cry from official photographs released in the months after Prince William’s birth in 1982, in which a young William was adorned with an intricate laced gown, held by his mother, the late Princess Diana.
One BBC Royal Correspondent described the family snaps as “relaxed, happy and unselfconscious – much like most couples might look after their first-born baby”. Which is exactly the image the independent and modern royal couple have been emulating since their engagement. It’s no secret the new parents want to break away from royal traditions of rigid formality, even choosing to change diapers themselves.
Opening up about wanting to be more independent, Prince William revealed in a recent interview on CNN that he had made a point of driving his wife and son home from the hospital, joking that he was secretly “terrified” he would “mess up” the baby’s car seat as the world media looked on.
“I know there’s been speculation about that. I had to practise, I really did, I was terrified… it was going to fall off or it wasn’t going to close properly, so, I had actually practised with that seat, but only once.” the prince admitted in the interview.
“Where I can be, I am as independent as I want to be, same as Catherine and Harry,” he said. “We’ve all grown up differently to other generations. And I very much feel if I can do it myself, I want to do it myself. And there are times where you can’t do it yourself and the system takes over or it’s appropriate to do things differently.
“Driving your son and your wife away from hospital was really important to me. And I don’t like fuss so it’s much easier to just do it yourself.”
The 31-year-old Duke of Cambridge also shared his feelings on becoming a dad, admitting that he does not get up in the night to tend to the baby as much as his wife, who he described as doing a “fantastic job”.
Fatherhood has already changed his outlook on life: “I think the last few weeks for me have been just a very different emotional experience. It’s something I never thought I would feel myself and I find, again it’s only been a short period, but a lot of things affect me differently now,” the new father said.
So what did he have to say of little George?
“He’s a little bit of a rascal, I’ll put it that way, he either reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger, I’m not sure, but he’s doing very well at the moment,” says the Prince, who also described his new son as a “little fighter”.
“He wriggles around quite a lot… he doesn’t want to go to sleep that much, which is a little bit of a problem.”
“As a few fathers might know I’m actually quite looking forward to going back to work,” joked William.
Last week, the Prince told reporters that he would be taking his young family from their current home on the Welsh island of Anglesey when his posting as a search and rescue helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force finishes at the end of september.
Prince William, who is second in line to the British throne, is expected to return to London to take on more royal duties from his 87-year-old grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.