Prince George's seventh birthday photos—taken by Kate Middleton herself, in what has become something of a tradition for the Cambridge kids' big days—were a celebration of George reaching another landmark. But they were also an opportunity to telegraph something about the Prince as an heir.
The royal family has long mastered the art of sending subtle messages: take the many nods to the Queen in Princess Beatrice's wedding, and how they shifted the narrative away from Prince Andrew; look at how the Queen can honor her late father with just a brooch. For George, it was his shirt. The simple, camouflage-printed T-shirt he wore in one of the two photos released by Kensington Palace spoke volumes.
As Elizabeth Holmes explained in her popular Instagram series on royal fashion, "So Many Thoughts": "The Queen is the head of the armed forces and served for a brief stint during WWII in the women's branch of the British Army. Wills was a pilot in the Royal Air Force, Harry served in the army for a decade (incl [sic] in Afghanistan), Charles and Philip were in the Royal Navy. Pics of all of them in uniform are important to the visual narrative the family crafts... This is a sign, at age 7, that George's life is devoted to service of his country."
It's something that the royals also did when Princes William and Harry were young. Numerous old photos of the brothers show them dressed in military garb, foreshadowing their future service.
Clearly, the message got across. The official British Army Twitter account shared the photo of George, writing, "We especially love your choice of t-shirt! What do you think @irish_guards, a guardsman in the making?" The British Army in London account then responded to that, posting a video of the Coldstream Guards celebrating George's birthday. "Number 7 Company @ColdstreamGds have got in there first!" they wrote.
— The Army in London (@ArmyInLondon) July 22, 2020
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