London -Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine on Monday thanked well-wishers around the world as they prepared to celebrate their son Prince George's first birthday.
The couple released two new photographs of the family, showing toddler George fascinated by butterflies at London's Natural History Museum, ahead of his birthday on Tuesday.
William and Kate, 32, were to throw a private party with family and close friends at their Kensington Palace home to mark the occasion.
In a short message accompanying the birthday pictures, they thanked the public for their generosity towards the little prince over the last 12 months.
"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," they said.
George has only been seen in public on a few occasions, most notably on the royal tour of Australia and New Zealand in April.
In one of the new pictures released for his birthday, George is looking at a blue morpho butterfly that has landed on the back of his father's right hand.
The youngster, sitting on a bench with his parents, appears about to pick up the insect.
In the other picture, William, Kate and their young son are transfixed by something above their heads.
The photographer, John Stillwell, said George, who is third in line to the throne, was "very lively and very sure of himself and confident - a very determined young boy".
The shots were taken a few weeks ago. George is pictured wearing a pair of dungaree shorts over a polo neck T-shirt, shoes and socks.(Getty Images)Join Channel24, SA's biggest entertainment news website, on Facebook for all the latest royal news.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
Brad Pitt has missed the deadline to respond to Angelina Jolie's divorce petition, seeking to avoid sparking an acrimonious legal battle. Read More »
Shailene Woodley has written an essay detailing her arrest for trespassing and what people can do to help protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Read More »
10 epic pics.
All the deets.
South AfricaCity Press
Johannesburg CBDResourcing Solutions
HousesR 3 300 000
HousesR 2 495 000