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Happy 3rd birthday, Prince George! Little royal celebrates with adorable new photos

Happy birthday to Prince George! The third in line to the British throne turned 3 on Friday!
/ Source: TODAY

Happy third birthday, Prince George! As Kensington Palace said when it released four official photographs Friday to mark the occasion: “Can’t believe it’s been three years already!”

The new pictures show the young royal playing with the family dog, Lupo, and hanging out on an oversized swing (etched with the names of his parents, no less). The photos were taken at the family’s country home in Norfolk’s Amner Hall in mid-July.

Prince George
The pictures were taken at the family's Norfolk home in mid-July.MATT PORTEOUS / PA
Prince George
Happy 3rd birthday, Prince George!MATT PORTEOUS / PA

The prince’s parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, said they were excited about sharing the images to mark their older child’s milestone.

"The Duke and Duchess hope that people will enjoy seeing these new photographs," Kensington Palace said in a statement. "They would like to thank everyone for all the lovely messages they have received as Prince George celebrates his third birthday."

Prince George
Prince George, who celebrates his third birthday on 22 July 2016, balancing on a wooden swing. The picture was taken at the family's Norfolk home in mid-July by Matt Porteous.MATT PORTEOUS / PA
Prince George
Prince George balances on a wooden swing at his parents' country home in Norfolk, England.MATT PORTEOUS / PA

Prince George is third in line for the British throne, behind his father, Prince William, and his grandfather, Prince Charles.

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Matt Porteous, the photographer who took the photos, said he enjoyed the opportunity to take pictures of the young royal.

"It was a very relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere," he said in a statement.

In recent years, the Duke and Duchess have been more restrictive about public photos of their children, including 1-year-old Princess Charlotte, after run-ins they've had with aggressive photographers. The world last got a peek at Prince George in early July when he joined his parents at a military air show in Gloucestershire, England.

Here's hoping the little prince has a lovely birthday!