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Prince George grins in eighth birthday photo with a sweet nod to Prince Philip

Big celebrations for the Cambridges' eldest son

Danielle Stacey

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have released a new image of their eldest son, Prince George, ahead of his eighth birthday on Thursday.

Taken by mum Kate earlier this month at the Cambridges' country home in Norfolk, the future King grins directly at the camera.

And in a sweet nod to the late Duke of Edinburgh, George sits on the hood of a Land Rover Defender, which was Prince Philip's go-to choice of car. 

George, who has just finished Year 3 at Thomas's Battersea school, wears one of his signature polo shirts in a navy with orange stripes colourway from John Lewis, with a pair of navy shorts. 

READ: 22 of Prince George's cutest moments through the years

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WATCH: Prince George's cutest moments as he celebrates eighth birthday

A statement from Kensington Palace read: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share a new photograph of Prince George ahead of his eighth birthday tomorrow."

Prince Philip passed away at the age of 99 on 9 April, with his funeral held at St George's Chapel in Windsor eight days later. 

In a touching tribute to his grandfather, Prince William, shared a previously unseen photo of the Duke during a carriage drive with a two-year-old Prince George in 2015. 

He wrote at the time: "I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!"

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Smiling George sits on the hood of a Land Rover Defender

Football fan George was last seen in public at the Euro 2020 final with his parents, but was consoled by dad, Prince William, as England lost against Italy in a penalty shootout.   

William and Kate usually spend their children's birthdays in private, but the Duchess has previously spoken about a sweet tradition she's continued for George, Charlotte and Louis.

The mum-of-three told Mary Berry in 2019: "I love making the cake. It's become a bit of a tradition that I stay up 'til midnight with ridiculous amounts of cake mix and icing and I make far too much. But I love it." 

MORE: Prince William and Kate Middleton have reached this incredible new milestone

MORE: 10 little-known facts about Prince George

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The Cambridges at the Euro 2020 final

In 2019, HELLO! also exclusively revealed that William and Kate organised a football-themed party for George and his classmates at Kensington Palace for his sixth birthday, before the Cambridges jetted off to Mustique for their summer holiday.

Prince George Alexander Louis was born on 22 July 2013 at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington. He is third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William.

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