Can you believe it? The year 2020 is already on its way. To mark the turn of the calendar — and the decade — Kensington Palace released a new photo on Friday, Jan. 3. And the new Prince George portrait features him as part of four generations of royals.
The portrait — which was shared to Instagram shows Queen Elizabeth standing next to her son, Charles, Prince of Wales; her grandson, William, Duke of Cambridge; and her great-grandson, Prince George. In other words, four generations of royals are pictured: the reigning monarch, followed by the first, second, and third in line to the British throne. According to the Instagram post's caption, the portrait "has been released to mark the start of a new decade." The caption concluded with, "Wishing all of our followers a happy and healthy 2020!"
It's an image bursting with historical significance, for sure. And as for Prince George? The 6-year-old future monarch looks seriously grown up — and mighty kingly, too. Instagram couldn't get over how mature the prince, who is third in line to the throne, looked. (Although it's worth pointing out they are staggered on steps — so Prince George isn't quite as tall in comparison to his great-grandmother as it first seems.) "He’s almost as tall as The Queen!!" one Instagram user pointed out.
Another Instagram user wrote, "Is it just me or has Prince George really grown??? He’s so tall!"
Yet another eagle-eyed person made an astute observation, writing, "I guess Prince George is old enough to start wearing pants now! Great photo!."
The pants part is pretty significant, though; it seems the era of trousers for the young royal has begun. Prince George has always worn shorts with long socks, per royal tradition and among aristocracy in the UK. It isn't until a boy reaches approximately age 8 that they ditch the shorts and long socks and make the transition to full-length trousers, according to Time. “It is considered very suburban for a little boy to be in long trousers when he is just a little boy," Editor-in-Chief of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward told People in 2014.
Up until he was spotted for the first time in trousers at his uncle Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in May 2018, Prince George had only ever been photographed in shorts. In December, royal fans once again took notice when the Cambridge family shared a portrait used for their Christmas card. Because the young royal was clearly rocking trousers in a silly pose alongside Prince William, Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Whether or not Prince George has ditched shorts and long socks for good, it's difficult to argue that he doesn't look shockingly grown up in the new photo shared by Kensington Palace. And you have to admit: Beholding a portrait of the young prince standing alongside three other present/future monarchs is pretty remarkable.