Prince George is celebrating his sixth birthday today, and to mark the occasion, Kate Middleton and Prince William released three new photos of the young royal. In two of them, George is playing in the Kensington Palace gardens, and sporting a soccer jersey.
The seemingly innocent clothing choice has sparked a small controversy. George is repping the England Lionesses, and it's understood that the photos were taken as the World Cup caused a surge in the team's fame — although, per the Daily Mail, it's one of George's favorite shirts regardless.
The House of Windsor isn't meant to just represent England; as the U.K.'s reigning royals, they're supposed to support Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland as well. And as everything the royals do is put under a microscope, even a small thing like George wearing an England jersey can cause a stir, and accusations of giving England preferential treatment.
As blog Gert's Royals pointed out on Twitter, the jersey underscored a larger perception that Prince William and Kate Middleton's children haven't traveled enough around the U.K. "We have yet to have an official photo/appearance in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland," the account wrote.
Today’s birthday photos were definitely England 🏴 centric w/ Prince George wearing a England @FA shirt. But in fact all of the UK photos/appearances of Cambridge kids have been in England.— Gert's Royals (@Gertsroyals) July 21, 2019
We have yet to have an official photo/appearance in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. pic.twitter.com/R15mkAWOFw
More than support of any individual team, though, George's jersey is likely meant to communicate his genuine love of sports. "George loves to play football, he’s rarely without his football, and he’s one of the best players in his class," a source told Vanity Fair. "He plays regularly and is really very good."
His father, Prince William, is the president of the Football Association, and a big fan of the game himself. Recently, his and Kate's Twitter account has taken to posting in support of sports teams—like the below message, which congratulates the Lionesses.
What a performance @Lionesses, a superb display!— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 27, 2019
The whole country is behind you going into Tuesday’s semi-final, bring it on! W
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