The photos were taken by his mother Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge

The future king of the United Kingdom has turned a year older. Prince George, who is third in line to the British throne, marks his 7th birthday today (July 22). And to celebrate, his proud mother Kate Middleton took not one but two fresh portraits of the cherubic tot which were later shared on Instagram.

In the first photo that was posted yesterday on Kensington Palace's official Instagram page, Prince George shows off a wide toothy grin for the camera, dressed in a dark green polo T-shirt. The picture has garnered over one million likes, at the time of writing. 

In the second photograph, which was also taken by the Duchess, the young prince is seen outdoors enjoying nature as he smiles at the camera. The newly released images were taken earlier this month and it's easy to see how Prince George is growing up to look just like his father, Prince William. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were said to be "delighted" to share the new photographs of Prince George, according to a statement by Kensington Palace.

Born George Alexander Louis, the young royal is the eldest of the Cambridges' three children. His younger sister Princess Charlotte turned five in May while Prince Louis celebrated his second birthday in April. All three siblings were captured applauding side by side for frontline healthcare workers as a way to show their appreciation during the UK's weekly Clap for Carers initiative.

The Duke and Duchess have been open about their parenting styles and frequently share amusing accounts about their children as they go about their royal duties. 

For instance, during a visit to The Nook, one of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH)’s purpose-built hospices, Kate revealed: “The children are really enjoying growing their sunflowers, Louis’ is winning so George is a little grumpy about that!”

Last year, during the Cambridge couple's BBC Christmas special with baking legend Mary Berry, Prince William, who is an avid Aston Villa supporter shared that he told budding football fan George he could “support anyone but Chelsea”.

“So naturally, he supports Chelsea.”

The prince is Queen Elizabeth's great-grandchild and is expected to ascend the throne following his grandfather, the Prince of Wales, and his father, the Duke of Cambridge.

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