Prince George is growing up!
In the new Christmas card picture released by Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday, 5-year-old George is not only debuting a new cheeky pose (toothy smile and a leg in the air!), but he’s also wearing a grown-up pair of long trousers.
Whatever the weather, George has always appeared in shorts for official royal photographs and events. It’s considered tradition in England for young boys to do so, especially in upper-class society. The concept dates back to the 16th century when boys were dressed in gowns until they were toddlers, after which they would be “breeched” and put into shorts.
“Boys wear short trousers until they are 8,” editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward has previously told PEOPLE. “It is very English.”
There is, however, one exception to the rule: royal weddings.
George wore long pants in public for the first time for a special occasion – his uncle Prince Harry‘s wedding to Meghan Markle in May. As a page boy, he wore a miniature version of the Blues and Royals coat that Harry and William wore to the wedding ceremony. The little prince ditched shorts again for Princess Eugenie‘s wedding in October, where he was also a page boy.
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George’s country casual look (complete with cute grass stains on his knees!) matches the rest of the family – with Kate and William both in jeans and him and his sister Princess Charlotte wearing matching navy Hunter Wellington boots. Coordinated in blues and browns, the family are smiling as perch on a tree at their country residence, Anmer Hall, surrounded by autumn leaves.
Another royal tradition? Wearing sibling hand-me-downs. In the arms of his mother, 8-month-old Prince Louis is wearing a pair of cotton bloomer shirts, that once belonged to his big brother George. In fact, George wore the exact same shorts for a holiday photo taken released exactly four years ago, perched upon a step when he was just 16 months old. The much-loved Griotte bloomer shorts from Amaia cost $54, and Louis wore them with the brand’s ribbed tights in navy and the Mayfair body in white cotton, which features a traditional Peter Pan collar.
And let’s not forget Princess Charlotte, 3, who is pulling off her own chic royal rewear. Wearing the same cardigan that George wore for the Queen’s 90th birthday portrait back in April 2016, the unisex jumper was last seen on Charlotte in the official photos celebrating the birth of Louis, released in April. The blue knitted cardigan is from Spanish brand Fina Ejerique.
“We are really proud that our cardigan has become one of their favorite pieces, worn by both Prince George and Princess Charlotte. It’s really a great honor,” Ana Perez, Creative Director of Fina Ejerique, tells PEOPLE.
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