Kate Middleton and Prince William share photo of Prince Louis on bike to mark third birthday

Prince Louis, photographed by his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, at Kensington Palace Credit: PA

As Prince Louis turns three, his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a photo of the young royal on his first day of nursery school.

Louis, whose birthday is on Friday , is shown beaming as he sat on his bike in the grounds of Kensington Palace. The photo was snapped by his mum Kate on Wednesday.

Wearing a jumper, shirt, shorts and with his rucksack on his back, the prince appears ready to cycle off to Willcocks Nursery School. He was however taken to his school by car.

Prince Louis, photographed by his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, at Kensington Palace Credit: Duchess of Cambridge/PA

Louis is following in the footsteps of big sister Princess Charlotte, aged five, who also attended the same nursery.

He will likely celebrate his third birthday by sharing a cake with his new classmates, as revealed in the testimonials on the nursery’s website.

Kate, an amateur photographer, accepted a lifetime honorary membership of the Royal Photographic Society in 2017 and was praised for her "talent and enthusiasm".

A picture released in tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh featured Prince Louis, held by the Queen, with the royal couple’s other great grandchildren Credit: Duchess of Cambridge

The two-week period of royal mourning following the death of Prince Philip ends on Friday, allowing Kate and William to release the image.

The young prince was featured in a picture released in tribute to his great-grandfather, showing Philip and the Queen surrounded by their great grandchildren at Balmoral.

Kate said in January that parenting during lockdown has left her “exhausted” and joked about how Louis, George and Charlotte recoiled in “horror” when she became their hairdresser.

Louis and his sister Charlotte are pictured looking out of Buckingham Palace Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

Louis is the Cambridges’ youngest child and is fifth in line to the throne.

He was born on St George’s Day, April 23, 2018, at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, weighing 8lb 7oz.

The young prince has rarely been seen in public – his most prominent outing during the past 12 months was when he joined his parents and siblings at a special pantomime performance at London’s Palladium Theatre last winter.