How DID he get so gorgeous? From the war hero snapper to a peculiar princely hair parting, the story behind George's utterly adorable new portrait
- Adorable new portraits of Prince George were taken by Edward Lane Fox
- His strong comb-over goes against tradition for men to wear it on left
- The cute but classic tank top from Cath Kidston sold out three weeks ago
On parade: Prince George, resplendent in his marching guardsman tank top, strikes a relaxed pose
His father says he is ‘a little bit of a rascal’ — and these adorable new portraits of Prince George, now 17 months old, show plenty of mischief in his huge brown eyes.
Here, Alison Boshoff reveals what the photos tell us about his development.
THE COURAGEOUS CAMERAMAN
When the first informal picture of George was taken by Kate’s father, Michael Middleton, it was clear the Prince would not soon be sitting through any formal photoshoots with strange (if highly skilled) photographers. This time the pictures were taken by a member of the couple’s staff, rather than an outside professional, reflecting the deep trust the couple have for their inner circle of advisers.
The chosen cameraman was Edward Lane Fox, Prince Harry’s private secretary, who has previously worked as a freelance photographer. He joined the household office of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at Kensington Palace in 2013.
He previously served in Bosnia and Iraq in the Army, with the Blues and Royals, and was a captain. After leaving the military, he took a Masters degree at the London College of Printing in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism. He joined the Palace after getting to know Harry through a mutual involvement in the Sentebale charity.
The choice of photographer appears to have paid off — the photos are relaxed and full of character, reflecting the fact they were taken by someone George already knows.
BRAVING THE COLD
The pictures were taken in a courtyard at Kensington Palace, which is the London base of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, where they live in the apartments previously used by Princess Margaret. That this location was chosen reflects the way in which Kate and William cherish their home life, and the great fun and freedom Prince George is afforded in the private grounds.
Though the pictures were taken at the end of November, George is in shorts with bare legs — indicating not just the unseasonal warm temperatures this year but his love of the outdoors. He might be a prince, but he is hardy, too.
PARTING BREAKS WITH TRADITION
Not only are his lovely golden locks catching attention here — so, too, is the strong comb-over, and its distinct direction. For while George’s hair is parted on the right, traditionally men part theirs on the left and women on the right.
Although the distinction is now largely considered outmoded, there is a body of thought that holds that right-hand partings on men do not look good — particularly on would-be leaders.
The chosen cameraman was Edward Lane Fox, Prince Harry’s private secretary, who has previously worked as a freelance photographer (left) and George breaks tradition with the direction of his parting (right)
Some believe this was even a factor in the U.S. presidential election in 2000 — George W. Bush parted his hair on the left, making him appear stronger and more suited to be President than his opponent Al Gore, who parted his hair on the right. The change is perhaps most obvious in the original Superman films, where Christopher Reeve parted his hair on the right when he was Clark Kent and on the left when he was Superman.
And the left-sided parting certainly seems to have worked out for two other advocates — Prince William and Prince Harry, when they were children.
Some have suspected the influence here of George’s Spanish nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, hired earlier this year. In fact, the parting decision is due to George’s natural hair pattern, says leading hairdresser Mathew Alexander.
‘This is an adorable haircut and complements his look, which is very retro, Forties and a bit Christopher Robin. It is also very on trend with the sweep over,’ says Alexander.
George is cuddled by his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge (left) and his father Prince William, right
‘I can see a little cowlick — a swirling section at odds with the rest of the hair — and that is dictating where the hair is parted.
‘Any good hairdresser goes by looking at your crown and any cowlicks to see where you hair parts naturally.’
But his current style and colour is not an indicator of what it will be in adulthood, says hairdresser Beverly Cobella — in fact, he may end up dark like his mother.
‘You can expect his hair to change completely in colour and texture between the ages of five and seven, and then again in his teens,’ she says.
‘We all wonder whether there will be baldness, as there is plenty on the Windsor side, but trichologists advise looking at the mother’s father to see what will happen, and Michael Middleton has a full head of hair.’
LOOK WHO’S TEETHING
Cheeks as pink as a blushing milkmaid and even a visibly swollen cheek on one side — it certainly looks as if poor Prince George is teething at the moment.
We have already seen his front teeth make an appearance, and now it looks as if his molars are coming through, too, hence the swelling.
He is entirely on schedule here — experts say the first teeth appear around the six-month mark with a full set of milk teeth in place after about two years.
THE PRO’S VERDICT
‘This is a successful set of pictures which are technically accomplished,’ says professional photographer Andrew Parsons.
‘The lighting is flat, the background is neutral, the exposure is correct. You can tell they have been done by someone with professional experience but what is nice is that you can also see they have been taken by someone the boy is comfortable with. There is a naturalness about them.’
For while George might appear naturally photogenic, it is a huge challenge to take good, candid portraits of children. ‘They have a short attention span and it shows if they are not happy,’ says Parsons, co-founder of the i-Images picture agency, which photographed George on the Down Under tour. ‘It can be very hard to get children to smile, and some hate having their pictures taken so cry.’
George’s happy demeanour suggests his parents or nanny were present, says Parsons. ‘He is probably looking at them,’ he says. ‘But it would be nice if he was looking at the camera in more than just the one shot.
‘Yet the fact his parents have chosen this set of pictures, with quirky images, says a lot about them and their love of his character.’
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