Princess Charlotte’s 9th birthday portrait contained a sweet nod to her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth you might have missed

The youngster was beaming in her birthday photo - but did you notice the hidden detail?

Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Charlotte
(Image credit: Getty Images)

To mark Princess Charlotte’s ninth birthday, her parents Kate Middleton and Prince William shared a sweet portrait of the youngster to Instagram - but did you notice the nod to her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth in the background? 

It's not only the Wales children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who get excited when their birthdays roll around each year. Because, while they anticipate opening up the best toys of 2024 and enjoy eating birthday cake, royal fans are equally excited to see the birthday portraits Kate Middleton takes and releases to mark the occasion every year. 

Just last week, fans were treated to Louis' sixth birthday portrait and yesterday [2 May] the Waleses shared Charlotte's ninth birthday photo, with both of the youngsters looking incredibly grown up in the snaps. 

But while many gushed over Princess Charlotte's likeness to her dad and others couldn't get over how fast she's growing up, many missed the sweet nod to Queen Elizabeth hiding in the photo's background. 

The photo, snapped as usual by Kate Middleton, saw Charlotte, who sits third in the royal line of succession, smiling in a garden, leaning on a fence in the sunshine, with her face framed by some beautiful pale pink flowers. 

While many could appreciate the flowers' beauty, only avid gardeners could have noticed their reference to Charlotte's great-grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II who passed away in 2022. 

As pointed out by Gardens Illustrated, a close look at the picture shows that the flowers are Clematis Elizabeth, which the publication's experts revealed is one of the first plants that was ever named after Queen Elizabeth. 

The plant bloom in late spring and early summer and is described as a "strong climber with pale pink flowers and a delicate scent." 

The subtle nod to the late monarch was an incredibly sweet touch and one she would surely have appreciated. Queen Elizabeth was a huge fan of gardening and was a dedicated patron of gardening charity the Royal Horticultural Society. 

While the monarch never got to visit the charity's infamous Chelsea Flower Show with her great-granddaughter, we're sure they got up to all kinds of fun in the gardens of Sandringham and Balmoral when the family would get together. 

The pair had a very close relationship right from the moment Charlotte was born, Kate Middleton shared in the documentary The Queen at Ninety.

Talking about Charlotte's birth, she revealed, "The Queen was really thrilled that it was a little girl, and I think as soon as we came back here to Kensington, she was one of our first visitors here."

In other royal news, Prince George, Charlotte and Prince Louis will skip this iconic royal event this year - but the reason why is completely understandable. And Prince George, Charlotte and Louis' favourite ‘relaxed and playful’ royal relative revealed - they ‘bring a sense of normality’ to their lives. Plus, Prince George, Charlotte and Louis will be delighted with the exciting new feature in King Charles’ garden - and it also lets the monarch live out his own childhood dream.

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.