NEW: Photos being released days ahead of birthday
Prince William drove Duchess of Cambridge to hospital in unmarked minivan
Christening took place at chapel where Princess Diana's body lay ahead of her funeral
The royal baby's nanny has been trained in self-defense
Believe it or not, it has been almost a year since the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis, the son of Britain’s Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton. The baby is third in line to the British throne, behind his father and his grandfather, Prince Charles.
Ahead of his first birthday on July 22, three new photos are being released by the UK’s Press Association. One, showing the smallest royal dressed in blue and taking a step, was released on Saturday. The Press Association promises two more pictures Monday.
Here are five interesting things you might not know about the royal tyke.
1. Baby George had a low-key birth, relatively speaking.
As the Duchess of Cambridge went into labor, Prince William drove her to the hospital in an unmarked minivan – with minimal security and without a royal entourage – from Kensington Palace to the back entrance of Saint Mary’s Hospital. Even more down-to-earth? The announcement of Prince George’s birth first came through e-mail and Twitter. It was truly a digital moment, according to CNN’s Max Foster, who reported live from the hospital that day. The duchess, with Prince William present, delivered the baby boy at 4:24 p.m. He weighed 8 pounds and 6 ounces. The couple later announced he would be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.
2. His early days were not spent at the royal palace.
Despite the tradition that royal newborns spend their first days inside palace walls, Prince George spent his at the duchess’ family home in the village of Bucklebury. The decision was reportedly met with protest from the highest ranks in the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II. Though there was a colossal security presence outside the home, inside it remained just the family. Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, took on the all-important role of royal nanny while her father, Michael, became the royal photographer. But the intimate family setting did not last long – Prince William was back to work with the Royal Air Force by August 15.
3. Prince George has a special connection with Princess Diana.
Prince George’s christening was held on October 23 at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace. That location was no coincidence; it was where the body of Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, lay at rest in the days leading up to her funeral in 1997. The event also set the stage for the epic portrait of Queen Elizabeth and her three direct heirs, Princes Charles, William and George. It was the first time a reigning Queen and three generations of heirs were photographed together in more than 100 years.
4. He has a supernanny.
While Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are busy with royal obligations, Prince George is cared for by what some would call a supernanny. Spanish-born Maria Teresa Turrion Borallo was trained at the prestigious and selective Norland College in England, which specializes in training nannies. There she learned everything from basic child care to defensive driving and even self-defense. This nanny not only has to handle diaper changes, she also has to worry about potential kidnap attempts and invasive paparazzi.
5. In his first year, he’s embarked on an international tour and made quite the fashion statement.
Prince George has had a lot of firsts this year, and many of them were in the public eye. The royal baby tagged along in April with his mom and dad on their first family trip abroad in New Zealand and Australia. The 9-month-old followed in the footsteps of his father, who was the first heir to be brought along on a royal trip at such a young age when his own parents toured Australia and New Zealand in 1983.
After his overseas adventures, the public saw Prince George once again on Father’s Day. But instead of the spotlight shining on his doting dad it was once again on baby George, who took his first steps in public, carefully holding on to his mom for balance. Not only that, the overalls he was wearing immediately sold out worldwide.