The Princess of Wales photographs Prince Louis for his birthday

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A new photograph of Prince Louis, taken by his mother, has been released to celebrate his sixth birthday. “Thank you for all the kind wishes today,” William and Kate wrote on their official Instagram page, where the photograph was posted earlier today.

A palace spokesperson added that the couple are grateful for all the birthday messages they’ve received for their son, especially as Kate receives treatment following her cancer diagnosis. With requests for Kate to be given privacy, the palace says it was aware of the difficult balance in then releasing the photograph of Louis, but decided to put out the picture as a way of thanking those who had sent birthday wishes.

preview for The best fashion moments from Kate, Princess of Wales

The photograph of the young prince, who is fourth in line to the throne, was taken in Windsor in the “last few days,” according to the palace, and showed the schoolboy lying down on a rug, grinning in a checked shirt.

It has been a turbulent time for the Wales family: a family photograph taken by the princess for Mother’s Day in March ended in controversy when photo agencies withdrew the picture over concerns that it had been digitally manipulated. In January, Kate underwent planned abdominal surgery, and subsequent tests resulted in her cancer diagnosis.

the british royal family attend easter mattins service

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Kate and William have asked for privacy at this difficult time, in order to protect their young family

The princess personally revealed her condition to the world in a video statement, made to the BBC on 22 March. She said: “It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family… William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.”

“As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK.”

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