Princess Charlotte's 3rd Birthday Photo Is An Old One, But There's A Good Reason Why

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The British Royal Family has had a lot to celebrate recently, including Princess Charlotte's third birthday. On Wednesday, May 2, Prince William and Kate Middleton's daughter turned another year older. As happy as this news is, fans might be disappointed to learn Charlotte's birthday photo is an old one. Typically, a new picture is released of the royal kiddos as a birthday celebration, but this year there reportedly won't be a new image, at least not right away — and for an important reason.

On Wednesday, the Royal Family's official Twitter account shared a picture taken by Middleton of Charlotte from her first day of nursery school in January. "Wishing HRH Princess Charlotte a very Happy 3rd Birthday!" the picture's caption reads.

Royal expert Penny Junor spoke with ELLE UK Wednesday and gave her opinion on why she believes William and Middleton chose not to release a third birthday photo of Charlotte. "William and Kate won't want to overexpose their children," Junor explained. "They have never been entirely conventional so I imagine they might release a photo in their own time, and it might be one Kate takes herself."

So it sounds like there's a chance a photo recognizing Charlotte's third birthday could be released later on, but, right now, it probably won't happen, especially since both Charlotte and Prince George have been seen so often lately. They showed up at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital after their baby brother Prince Louis' birth, and Charlotte gave the cutest wave.

Charlotte and George are also expected to make an appearance at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's upcoming wedding on May 19. In December 2017, The Sunday Times reported George and Charlotte will be in Uncle Harry's wedding. According to the publication, they "will walk up the aisle behind Meghan Markle".

Their specific roles have yet to be announced, but it seems likely George and Charlotte will serve as a pageboy and a bridesmaid, like they did at Pippa Middleton's wedding. At the time of the report, Bustle reached out to Kensington Palace for comment on George and Charlotte's roles, but did not receive a response.

According to Hello! magazine, birthday photos of William and Middleton's children is their way of satisfying the public, who want to watch them grow up. This way, it's on their own terms and they control when, where, and how the public sees George, Charlotte, and Louis. Hello! also reports Middleton and William protect the privacy of their children as much as possible, so that's probably another reason why a new birthday picture of Charlotte wasn't immediately released.

Some might be wondering if Middleton and William are concerned about overexposing their children, then why do they pose for photos so soon after Middleton's given birth? Junor told ELLE UK, "A photo to commemorate the new baby's birth is hardly excessive however, and I would say, for historical purposes, it is important for there to be one."

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Every year, there has been a birthday photo released of George, and seeing as he turns five on July 22 (two months after Harry and Markle's wedding), it seems likely they'll release a new portrait. However, that decision might also depend on when Middleton and William choose to release Louis' first official photos, which may or may not feature George and Charlotte. If his first pictures do include his brother and sister, then maybe there won't be a new birthday picture of George, especially since his parents don't want to overexpose him and his siblings too much.

Whatever Middleton and William decide, you can't fault them for wanting to protect their kids. People should just be happy they get to see their children as much as they do.