Royal family releases new photo as Princess Charlotte turns two

Princess Charlotte appears to be thrilled at the prospect of her impending second birthday in this new photo taken by her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge.  Photo: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge via Getty Images

Princess Charlotte appears to be thrilled at the prospect of her impending second birthday in this new photo taken by her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge via Getty Images

Mario Testino and co better watch their backs - the Duchess of Cambridge has once again moonlighted as the official royal photographer and captured a new image of Princess Charlotte to mark her second birthday.

The artist formerly known as Kate Middleton photographed her daughter in April at their country compound in Norfolk.

Prince George plays with his father, Prince William, in a 2015 photograph released to mark his second birthday. Photo: Getty Images

Prince George plays with his father, Prince William, in a 2015 photograph released to mark his second birthday. Photo: Getty Images

The image was released by the palace on Monday evening ahead of Charlotte's second birthday on May 2.

"Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank everyone for all of the lovely messages they have received, and hope that everyone enjoys this photograph of Princess Charlotte as much as they do," a spokesperson said. 

The photo shows the toddler wearing a lemon cardigan and white collar shirt standing in a hayshed. 

Princes Chrlotte poses for a photo in May last year.

Princes Chrlotte poses for a photo in May last year.

Her love of bubbles, or "pops" as she reportedly calls them, has been well documented over the past two years, however, it appears sheep may be her new favourite thing, as suggested by the blue lambs embroidered all over her sweater.

Else she perhaps took the opportunity to show her support for the wool industry, something her grandfather Prince Charles, is an advocate of.

Charlotte appears to have inherited her mother's glossy hair genes, with her sun-kissed, brunette, shoulder-length locks neatly brushed and pinned to the side in the photograph.

Unlike her brother, who hammed it up for his close up at the same age, Charlotte appears more reserved in front of the camera. She instead has adopted something resembling a stiff upper lip - the Windsor's default facial expression. For Prince George's second birthday image, (also captured by the Duchess) he leaped from William's arms with a dazzling grin.

It is understood the Duke and Duchess will host a birthday party for Charlotte at Anmer Hall ahead of her turn as a flowergirl for her aunt Pippa Middleton's wedding on May 20.

Charlotte has not made many public appearances - her first official job was during the royal tour of Canada late last year.

She was last seen with her parents at Christmas time as they made their way to church near the home of her grandparents Michael and Carole Middleton in the Berkshire village of Bucklebury. It is understood she will begin nursery school later this year.

Her parents have spoken of her numerous times, with William confirming to BBC Radio 2 she enjoys watching Peppa Pig while Catherine has reportedly said the fourth in line to the throne was born to rule.

According to People, the mother-of-two told Samantha Burge, wife of Warrant Officer Class 2 Chris Burge, the princess is the boss of the household she shares with father Prince William, and four-year-old brother Prince George.

"She said that Charlotte is growing up really fast. She is the one in charge," Burge said.

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