Kate Middleton and Prince William are set to celebrate Princess Charlotte's ninth birthday on May 2, but fans are eagerly waiting for the annual birthday photo that the family usually releases.

However, it seems like the Prince and Princess of Wales might be breaking tradition this year, just like they did for Prince Louis' sixth birthday last week. Traditionally, the couple would release images of their children's birthdays under embargo the day before, but for Louis' birthday, a new picture was posted directly on social media on his actual birthday.

So far, no new picture of Charlotte has been released, indicating that the couple might not be following their usual tradition. It could be possible that a new picture of Charlotte will be posted on social media later today, on her actual birthday. The change in process is understood to be due to the unprecedented times the family is going through.

Princess Charlotte turns nine today but Kate and William have yet to release a new photograph of her to celebrate

William and Kate have asked for privacy after the princess revealed her cancer diagnosis, but they did post a picture of Louis last week to thank those who had sent birthday wishes. Like her brothers, Charlotte is largely growing up away from the public glare.

She was last seen on an official outing on Christmas Day when the Royal Family made their traditional festive appearance on King Charles' Sandringham Estate to walk to church, reports the Mirror. She was pictured accepting gifts from well-wishers alongside Zara and Mike Tindall's eldest daughter, Mia.

The Wales family can be seen on Christmas Day at Sandringham in 2023
The Wales family can be seen on Christmas Day at Sandringham in 2023

Meanwhile, back in December, she joined George and Louis at the annual Westminster Abbey carol concert staged by their mother Kate. And a few weeks before the festive event, the trio were taken volunteering by their mother, visiting the Baby Bank in Holyport near Maidenhead, where they got stuck in sifting through donated goods.

Since then, the past few months have been an eventful period for the Wales family. The couple took the time to sensitively share Kate's cancer diagnosis with their children, who also include Prince George, 10, giving them time to process the information.

Charlotte goes to Lambrook School in Berkshire with her brothers. It is likely a family birthday celebration will be held after the youngster's school day is over.

Fans also noticed something unusual about Louis' hand during a family Christmas snap last year
This photo was featured on the Waleses 2023 Christmas card

The princess is William and Kate's middle child and is third-in-line to the throne. She was born on May 2, 2015, at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, weighing 8lb 3oz.

She was christened Charlotte Elizabeth Diana at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, in front of family and friends. At the tender age of three, she made history when her younger brother Louis was born. Thanks to a change in the rules of primogeniture, she wasn't overtaken by him in the line of succession.

Before this, males would have taken precedence over females. Louis' birth in 2018 marked the first time these new changes came into effect.

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