Kensington Palace releases photo to celebrate Prince Louis' sixth birthday

The Princess of Wales has shared a picture of Prince Louis on her social media, confirming the photo was not edited, as ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports

A new photograph of Prince Louis, taken in the last few days in Windsor by The Princess of Wales, has been shared on Kensington Palace's social media channels to celebrate his sixth birthday.

The photo was accompanied with the caption: "Happy 6th Birthday, Prince Louis! Thank you for all the kind wishes today."

William and Kate's youngest child is expected to mark his sixth birthday with celebrations organised by his parents.

It is likely a family birthday celebration, perhaps involving the prince’s grandparents Carole and Michael Middleton, will be held after the prince's school day is over.

William and Kate are said to be aware of the fact that they have asked for privacy during the princess’s recovery, but wanted to share the photograph on social media as a way to thank those who have sent birthday wishes.

The photo is the first picture of the children released by Kensington Palace since the controversial Mother's Day image edited by Kate.

The viral response to the picture prompted the Princess of Wales to issue a statement explaining that she had been experimenting with editing and to apologise for any confusion caused.

The past few months have been an eventful period for the family because of Kate’s recent cancer diagnosis.

Prince and Princess of Wales out with their children, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince Louis - who held hands with Mia Tindall. Credit: PA

The couple took the time to sensitively share the news with the young royals, giving them time to process the information.

Louis was last seen in public on Christmas Day when the royal family made their traditional festive appearance on the King’s Sandringham Estate to walk to church.

He was pictured holding hands with Zara and Mike Tindall’s eldest daughter Mia on one side and grasping his father’s fingers with his other hand.

Earlier that month the young royal joined his older brother George, aged 10, and sister Charlotte, aged eight, at the annual Westminster Abbey carol concert staged by their mother Kate.

And a few weeks before the festive event, Louis and his siblings were taken volunteering by their mother, visiting the Baby Bank in Holyport near Maidenhead and got stuck in sifting through donated goods.

Louis holds his nose as he travels with George and Charlotte in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour ceremony Credit: left

Other notable appearances for Louis during the past 12 months include his balcony appearance with the royal family at the conclusion of Trooping the Colour last June.

The young prince stole the show when he seemed to pretend to ride a motorcycle or bike with his arms outstretched and covered his ears as planes roared overhead during the fly-past.

And when he travelled in a carriage with his siblings and mother, Louis held his nose to possibly ward off the smell of horse manure from the many military mounts.

In July, William and Kate’s children got the chance to tour a C-17 aircraft during a visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire.

Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte ahead of the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey, London.

Louis goes to Lambrook School in Berkshire with his brother and sister and has recently returned to the classroom after the Easter break.

William and Kate’s youngest child is fourth in line to the throne and 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.

He was christened Louis Arthur Charles at 11 weeks old, by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace in front of friends and family.

This is the Royal Rota - our weekly podcast about the royal family, with ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship and Producer Lizzie Robinson