Palace shares adorable photo of Prince George on fourth birthday

prince george
The young royal has returned home from an official tour for his birthday.

Little Prince George is growing up fast!

The young royal and future king will celebrate his fourth birthday on July 22 and the Palace has released a new portrait of the smiling youngster to mark the occasion.

The official portrait shows George smiling with an adorable gap-toothed grin and a mischievous look on his face.

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The Palace said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were delighted to share the new photo of their son and thanked everyone for the kind birthday messages they had received on his behalf.

The young royal family returned to England on Friday following a week-long tour of Poland and Germany.

George was treated to an early birthday present as they prepared to leave Hamburg, hopping into a helicopter to poke around and play.

George and Charlotte explore helicopters in Hamburg on the last day of #RoyalVisitGermany🇩🇪🚁

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on

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Read more: A surprisingly modern choice for Prince George’s schooling

Like his father before him, George is growing up while the world watches on, enthralled by his every move.

While William has previously admitted to struggling under the spotlight from a young age, he has made it his mission to make things easier for his own children.

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Both William and Kate have spoken openly about their desire to give their children as much of a ‘normal’ upbringing as possible.

The Duchess is much more of a hands-on mother than many of her royal predecessors and the majority of her time at home caring for George and Charlotte.

Read more: Prince George gets early birthday present, Princess Charlotte spits the dummy

There’s no word yet on how the family will celebrate George’s special day, but no doubt it will be filled with plenty of presents and hopefully a big slice of birthday cake!

Check out these photos of how the little prince has grown over the years.

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Have you enjoyed watching George grow up over the years? Are you happy to see how hands-on William and Kate are with their children?