Princess Charlotte's Life in Photos: See Her Most Adorable Moments
In honor of her fifth birthday, here's a look at the cutest Princess Charlotte photos through the years.
Princess Charlotte celebrates her fifth birthday on May 2—and in her five short years, the little princess has provided plenty of smiles for royal watchers who have seen her grow from a tiny bundle of joy to a delightful toddler to a little girl who always knows what she wants. The only daughter of Prince William and Kate Middleton and fourth in line to the throne, Charlotte has been something of a scene stealer with her sassy personality (she's been known to put reporters in their place—but in the nicest manner), her perfect royal wave, and her fun-loving ways. Her close bond with her older brother, Prince George, and her two-year-old brother, Prince Louis, have made for many unforgettable memories over the past half-decade. Here, in celebration of her big day, are photos of Princess Charlotte's top royally adorable moments. And for more cuteness from the Cambridges, check out William and Kate's Most Adorable Couples Moments Through the Years.
Her first appearance (2015)
The day Charlotte was born—May 2, 2015—her parents wasted no time introducing the newest royal to the world. A mere 10 hours after her arrival, we got our first glimpse of her royal cuteness when her proud parents stepped outside the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London. For the auspicious occasion (Charlotte was the first daughter born to a direct heir of the throne since Princess Anne back in 1950), the little princess wore a sweet knit ivory cap and was swaddled in a delicate G.H. Hurt & Son shawl, reminiscent of the one Diana wrapped William in when he was born in 1982. And for more on the heir to the throne, check out 27 Things You Never Knew About Prince William.
Her first brother-sister photo opp (2015)
A month after the princess was born, in Jun. 2015, Kensington Palace released four precious photos of Prince George and his little sister, taken by the Duchess of Cambridge. We absolutely melted when we saw the shot of the young prince holding Charlotte in his arms and sweetly kissing her on the forehead. The image was made even more angelic because Kate chose to outfit both of her children in white.
Her playful puppy moment (2015)
Kate's skills as a photographer were on display once again when she captured her delighted baby daughter playing with her favorite stuffed puppy, Fuddlewuddle. The candid shot was one of a series of photographs released by Kensington Palace in late Nov. 2015 with this statement: "The Duke and Duchess continue to receive warm messages about Princess Charlotte from all around the world and they hope that everyone enjoys these lovely photos as much as they do." The toy maker, Jellycat, saw sales skyrocket after the photo was published.
Her first Christmas card (2015)
The Cambridges' Christmas card in 2015 featured the picture-perfect family of four gathered together on the lawn of their country estate, Anmer Hall, on in a crisp fall day with an adorably dressed Charlotte as the center of attention. And for more on the royals' holiday cards, check out The Secret Messages Hidden in the Royal Couples' Christmas Cards.
Her first time playing in the snow (2016)
The Cambridges' vacation in Mar. 2016 to the French Alps marked an important family milestone. At the time, The Guardian reported that a Kensington Palace spokesperson said, "This was their first holiday as a family of four and the first time either of the children had played in the snow."
Veteran royal photographer John Stillwell from the Press Association captured the family having fun in their ski jackets and hats with Charlotte bundled up in a pink hat and adorable snowsuit to protect against the winter's chill.
Her first fashion statement (2016)
To mark Charlotte's first birthday in 2016, Kensington Palace released four photographs of the little princess taken by Kate. Charlotte looked absolutely precious in every shot with her big blue eyes, cherubic cheeks, and light brown hair swept off to the side by sweet little bows. Kate loves to dress the children in traditional togs and like-minded mothers everywhere took note. The cardigans and floral dresses by M&H and soft-soled Mary Janes from Childrensalon worn by the princess in the photos instantly sold out.
Her first public playdate (2016)
Sixteen-month-old Charlotte was completely captivated by the balloons and animals at a children's garden party for military families during her family's royal tour of Canada in Sept. 2016. She and Prince George were particularly fascinated by the work of a friendly balloon-maker. And when she'd had enough family fun at her first public playdate, Charlotte decided to take a seat on a very patient therapy dog named Moose.
Her first mummy-and-me style moment (2016)
William and Kate decided to break from the traditional Christmas at Sandringham in 2016 and spent the holidays with the Middletons instead. And eagle-eyed royal watchers noticed that Kate and Charlotte were color coordinating throughout the visit.
When the family stepped out for their walk to services at St. Mark's, a local church in Buckingham, Kate wore a classic Hobbs coat with a fur collar in burgundy, while Charlotte mimicked her mum with a similarly colored dress, bow, and tights.
Her royal resemblance on her second birthday (2017)
Because of the intense interest in their growing family, William and Kate have opted to keep their children largely out of the public eye, issuing "official" photos to mark special occasions. In May 2017, in what has become a Cambridge family tradition, Kensington Palace released a sweet photo of Charlotte taken by Kate in honor of her second birthday where the little princess's resemblance to her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, was striking. Wearing a bright yellow cardigan and an inscrutable expression, all that was missing were the corgis. And for more on Queen Elizabeth, check out 13 Secrets About Queen Elizabeth Only Royal Insiders Know.
Her first time as a bridesmaid (2017)
Everyone was dressed to impress at Pippa Middleton's May 2017 wedding to financier James Matthews, but none more adorably than Princess Charlotte, who wore a flower crown in her hair and an ivory silk dress with a pale pink sash. For her first time as a bridesmaid, the princess—along with her big brother, Prince George, and several other pint-sized attendants—was outfitted in bespoke attire by Pepa & Co. Charlotte and George were so excited about their roles, Kate was caught on camera shushing the kids, which made for a perfectly imperfect adorable moment on Aunt Pippa's big day. And for more on Kate as a mother, check out 15 Ways Kate Middleton Has Modernized Parenting at Kensington Palace.
Her first sassy moment with the press (2018)
When the royal family arrived at church for Prince Louis' christening in Jul. 2018, everyone was all smiles. Afterwards, on the way back to Clarence House, a serious-looking Charlotte stole the show when she told reporters and photographers they were "not coming" to the celebration after the ceremony.
Her shining bridesmaid moment (2018)
By the time Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank in Oct. 2018, Charlotte had served as a bridesmaid in two other weddings and had the role down pat. The princess was a standout among the bridal party filled with royals cousins: Savannah and Isla Phillips, the daughters of Autumn and Peter Phillips; Mia Tindall, the daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall; and Maud Windsor, Eugenie's goddaughter and daughter of Lady and Lord Frederick Windsor.
Her cool Christmas card confidence (2018)
William and Kate opted for a surprisingly casual family Christmas card in 2018 with an image of the duke and duchess in jeans on the grounds of Anmer Hall, surrounded by their three children, nestled in the branches of a large tree. The photograph, taken by Matt Porteous, offers a glimpse into each of little royals' personalities. While a smiling Prince Louis is contently grasping Kate's arm and a somewhat shy Prince George plays around in his wellies behind his dad, Charlotte looks straight at the camera with her signature confidence that made her the family scene stealer once again.
Her cheeky gesture toward the cameras (2019)
At the King's Cup royal sailing regatta with their mother and their grandparents Carole and Michael Middleton in the summer of 2019, Charlotte showed her cheeky side by sticking her tongue out for the camera. Instead of earning her a royal reprimand, Charlotte set her mother off in a fit of giggles. It all started when Kate asked Charlotte and George to wave to the crowds through a window, but the little princess had another idea in mind.
Her crowd-goes-wild moment (2019)
During the 2019 Trooping the Colour, when the royals officially celebrate Queen Elizabeth's birthday in June, Charlotte certainly wasn't shy as she stood in front of her parents (and her less than enthusiastic older brother), waving on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. In one picture-perfect moment, she opened her arms wide as if to soak up the crowd's cheers.
Her first-day-of-school flair (2019)
In Sept. 2019, Charlotte joined George at Thomas's Battersea School in London, and their parents accompanied them on Charlotte's first day. The proud parents shared an official adorable photo of their darling duo looking smart in their matching navy and red uniforms.
Her assertive independence on Christmas (2019)
Charlotte stole the show from the rest of the royals during her first appearance at church on Christmas Day in 2019. Besides executing the perfect curtsy for the Queen, the princess charmed the waiting crowd outside the church when she graciously accepted a doll from a well-wisher.
But the best moment came when Charlotte was given a small bouquet of white roses from a starstruck six-year-old fan. When a royal aide attempted to hold the flowers for her, the pint-sized princess shook her head, insisting on holding on to them, and then returned to greet the crowd alongside her mother.
Her round of applause for those on the frontlines (2020)
In Mar. 2020, the Cambridge kids joined in the nationwide weekly salute, Clap for Our Carers. Princess Charlotte and her brothers applauded adorably—and enthusiastically—for all those on the frontlines fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the U.K. An official tweet that accompanied the video read: "To all the doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists, volunteers and other NHS staff working tirelessly to help those affected by #COVID19: thank you."
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.