Prince George Celebrates First Birthday With a Party and Visit From the Queen: Details!
Fit for a future king! Prince George was the toast of the town on Tuesday, July 22, as he and his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton, celebrated his first birthday with a private party at Kensington Palace in London. The royal toddler—whose birth last July 22 caused an unprecedented media frenzy—was feted in style by guests including his aunt Pippa Middleton, his uncles James Middleton and Prince Harry, and his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
Friends and family members started to arrive at Kensington Palace at around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The Duchess' mom, Carole Middleton, was among the first to arrive, followed by Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Prince William's former private secretary and one of George's seven godparents.
Other attendees included the future king's grandfather Michael Middleton, former nanny Jessie Webb, godmother (and Prince William's first cousin) Zara Phillips and husband Mike Tindall, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, godmother (and friend to the late Princess Diana) Julia Samuel, and the Duchess's school friend Emilia Jardine-Paterson, another one of George's godparents. Jardine-Paterson arrived with her son Leo, who has had playdates with the heir to the throne.
Queen Elizabeth II was among the last to arrive shortly after 4 p.m. She stayed at the party for around 50 minutes.
Her husband, Prince Philip, was unable to attend due to previously scheduled engagements at the Royal Museums on Tuesday, but Duchess Catherine made sure he got to spend some time with his great-grandson George beforehand. She and her little boy visited the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace, where the band of Irish Guards played "Happy Birthday." They arrived a few hours prior to the start of the gathering at Kensington Palace, which was decorated with balloons from well-wishers.
Westminster Abbey also marked the birth of the little prince with a ringing of the bells in George's honor. And the Golden Jubilee Bridge and fountains at Marble Arch were illuminated in blue to mark the occasion as well.
In advance of the special day, the Duke and Duchess served up three new photos of their son at the Natural Museum of History. They also released a statement saying, "We would like to take this opportunity on George's first birthday to thank everyone over the last year, wherever we have met them, both at home and overseas, for their warm and generous good wishes to George and our family."