A NEW portrait of the future King of England, Prince George, has been released to celebrate the young heir's fourth birthday today.

A beaming Prince George wears a striped, collarless shirt and his hair combed casually to the side in the photo.

It was taken by Getty Images royal photographer Chris Jackson who described the prince as a "happy little boy.''

Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, released the photograph ahead of Prince George's birthday today, and said it had been taken at Kensington Palace at the end of June.

This is an image taken at the end of June 2017 and released on Friday July 21, 2017 by Britain's Prince William and Kate Duchess of Cambridge of Prince George who celebrates his fourth birthday on Saturday. July 22, 2017. The picture was taken at Kensington Palace in London.
This is an image taken at the end of June 2017 and released on Friday July 21, 2017 by Britain's Prince William and Kate Duchess of Cambridge of Prince George who celebrates his fourth birthday on Saturday. July 22, 2017. The picture was taken at Kensington Palace in London. Chris Jackson - Getty Images via AP

"The Duke and Duchess are very pleased to share this lovely picture as they celebrate Prince George's fourth birthday, and would like to thank everyone for all of the kind messages they have received,'' Kensington Palace said in a statement.

The couple also released a new photograph of Prince George's little sister, Princess Charlotte, when she turned two on May 25.

The sweet picture of the princess was taken by her mother, a keen photographer, at their home in rural Norfolk, Anmer Hall.

Prince George is third in line to the throne, behind his grandfather, Prince Charles, and his father Prince William.

Both children were born at St Mary's Hospital in London.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge depart from Hamburg airport. Picture: Getty

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge depart from Hamburg airport. Picture: GettySource:Getty Images

The young royals have spent most of their young lives away from the public spotlight, but this week joined their parents on a goodwill visit to Germany and Poland, a five-day pre-Brexit charm offensive.

Tens of thousands of people turned out to see the royal family, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte an important part of the visit.

The visit proved a little overwhelming for the young prince, but he brightened up yesterday when shown the inside of a hi-tech helicopter at Hamburg airport in Germany.

By contrast, Princess Charlotte, who had been on her best behaviour for the previous four days, threw a little tantrum and dropped to the ground at the airport as the family prepared to fly back to the UK. She was comforted by her mother Catherine, who has won rave reviews for her performance on the tour, where she met survivors of the Holocaust and visited a concentration camp.

The impeccably-dressed princess also showed good humour, downing a beer after being beaten in a rowing race by her husband, trying the local liquor in Poland, and conducting an orchestra, leading German commentators to liken her to Princess Diana, her husband's popular mother, who died in a car accident 20 years ago

News Corp Australia


INCREDIBLE FOOTAGE: Storms tear CQ towns to shreds

INCREDIBLE FOOTAGE: Storms tear CQ towns to shreds

INCREDIBLE FOOTAGE: Thousands without power after storms wreak havoc

DIANNE RECOVERY: Specialist teams ready for investigation

DIANNE RECOVERY: Specialist teams ready for investigation

Dianne towed into Bundy port for investigations

Local Partners