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Party time for Prince George as he celebrates turning three

Published 17/07/2016

Prince George wears ear defenders in a helicopter at the Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford
Prince George wears ear defenders in a helicopter at the Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford

Prince George celebrates his third birthday this week.

Third in line to the throne and future king, George turns three on Friday July 22 and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son will be looking forward to his party and opening his presents.

The prince is known for his boundless energy, with Kate describing her eldest child as "a really lovely little boy".

George marked his second birthday at home in Anmer Hall, Norfolk, close to the Queen's Sandringham estate.

He was joined by friends and family, including his parents, younger sister Princess Charlotte, grandmother Carole Middleton, nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo and great-grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh.

The prince, who started nursery at the beginning of the year, might even invite some of his new friends from the Westacre Montessori nursery school to this year's birthday celebrations.

But William and Kate should take note. According to the parenting guide What To Expect: The Toddler Years: "Three-year-olds can handle a little more party than two-year-olds - but just a little more.

"Too much more can send pint-sized party-goers into celebration overload, with less than pleasant results".

Kate will have plenty of help from her parents who run a party paraphernalia business. She could even turn to sister Pippa Middleton whose book Celebrate was marketed as a one-stop guide to entertaining - although it was mocked by some for its over-simplistic advice.

The Duke and Duchess usually release an official photograph to mark the prince's birthday.

George made a rare public appearance just over a week ago when he donned ear defenders to explore the aircraft at the Royal International Air Tattoo in RAF Fairford - in what was his first official engagement in the UK.

As a three-year-old, George will be becoming increasingly independent - and might now even be able to dress himself and prepare his own bowl of cereal.

Three-year-olds can already run and jump with ease, but George may be able to balance on one foot for a second or more.

The prince, who is enrolled in nursery for a few days a week, will soon be eligible for a free nursery place.

All three to four-year-olds in England are entitled to 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year - usually taken as 15 hours a week in term time.

William and Kate could begin claiming this in September - the term after George turns three.

He is due to start full time school in September 2017, with the Duke revealing that they are trying to decide on where to send him.

Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born at St Mary's Hospital's private maternity unit, the Lindo W ing, at 4.24pm on July 22 2013, weighing 8lbs 6oz.

He made his public debut in front of the world's media on the hospital steps one day later, wrapped in a white merino wool shawl, cradled in his proud parents' arms.

A great-grandchild to the Queen, he will be the 43rd monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England if, as expected, he follows reigns by the Prince of Wales then William.

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