Prince George turns 9 with new photo from UK royal family


LONDON — The 9th birthday of Britain’s Prince George was celebrated Friday with the release of a new photo showing the young royal wearing baby blue and beaming ear-to-ear.

The photo was taken this month, according to Kensington Palace, at an undisclosed beach in Norfolk, eastern England, where his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have a home as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s sprawling Sandringham estate.

George, who is third in line to Britain’s throne, is seen with a toothy grin in the image taken by his mother, Catherine.

It has become an annual tradition for the birthdays of the children of William and Catherine to be marked by the public release of photographs, normally taken by the duchess.

The young royals are generally kept out of the public eye, but this year, as the nation celebrated their great-grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee in June, marking 70 years of her reign, they attended a series of public events.

George’s younger brother, Prince Louis, captured hearts and international headlines after his emotional display on the balcony of Buckingham Palace amid the pomp. Spawning memes and online parodies, young Louis was seen cheekily pulling faces, clasping his hands over his ears, waving and yawning as his mother tried to administer order.

Prince George was born to much fanfare on July 22, 2013, as reporters and pundits waited outside London’s St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington to catch a glimpse of the royal couple’s firstborn child and heir.

Christened a few months later as George Alexander Louis, he is formally known as Prince George of Cambridge. He became a brother in 2015 with the birth of Princess Charlotte and then Louis in 2018.

George was most recently seen attending the men’s Wimbledon tennis final in July, when he watched from the royal box with his parents as Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat Australia’s Nick Kyrgios at the southwest London club.

George’s birthday was celebrated on the front page of many British newspapers — but a more controversial royal story about his late grandmother, Princess Diana, also dominated Friday’s coverage.

The BBC said Thursday it would pay “substantial damages” to the former nanny of William and Prince Harry, Tiggy Legge-Bourke, now known as Alexandra Pettifer, over “false and malicious” claims made against her, including that she had an affair with Prince Charles and an abortion, as part of BBC journalist Martin Bashir’s attempt to obtain an exclusive interview.

The explosive BBC interview, which aired in 1995, stunned the world for its candor and insight into Diana’s miserable marriage with Prince Charles. In the interview, Diana told a television audience that “there were three of us in this marriage” — referring to Charles’s relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, now his wife. Years later, an independent investigation concluded that Bashir had used fake documents and “deceitful behaviour” in engineering a crucial meeting that led to the interview.

The interview has been publicly criticized by William and Harry, while Bashir has since left the BBC on health grounds.

BBC reporter used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure 1995 Princess Diana interview, investigation concludes

Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, welcomed Thursday’s news, tweeting: “While I’m delighted to see that another innocent victim of this appalling scandal is being vindicated, it’s amazing to me that no criminal charges have been leveled against those responsible, yet.”

The interview was “a result of the deceitful tactics used by the BBC,” a statement from BBC Director General Tim Davie acknowledged Thursday. “I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to her [Pettifer]to The Prince of Wales, and to the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, for the way in which Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives.”

Davie said the BBC had let Diana, the royal family and audiences down. As a result, I added, “I have decided that the BBC will never show the program again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters.”

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