Prince Louis was bound to make a bit of a mess with all that paint!

By Dave Quinn
April 23, 2020 10:39 AM

Kate Middleton is pulling back the curtain on what went into those adorable portraits of Prince Louis.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, photographed a handful of new pics of her youngest son earlier this month, in celebration of his 2nd birthday on Thursday.

Her sweet snaps showed a smiling Louis posing in a bright gingham shirt, while his hands were covered in a rainbow of paint colors. And while the final five photos looked picture-perfect, the making of them had at least one messy moment.

On Thursday, Kensington Palace uploaded a new unreleased pic from the shoot, showing Louis' face and lips covered in paint.

"Instagram vs Reality," they captioned the moment, getting on board the popular social media trend for the first time.

Prince Louis

With that came a note of thanks for those who sent well-wishes to the young royal.

"Thank you for all your lovely messages on Prince Louis’ second birthday!" read the caption. "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share new photographs of Prince Louis, taken by The Duchess this April."

Prince Louis
| Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Louis
| Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Louis
| Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge

Princess Kate, who is a keen photographer, has made it a tradition to take the official photos that mark the birthdays of her children each year.

Louis' painted hands didn't just make for a colorful photo this year; they also have a special meaning.

Like millions of children across the U.K., the young royal has been showcasing his artistic skills by making rainbow-colored paintings in support of National Health Service (NHS) workers and other essential workers tackling the coronavirus pandemic across the country.

One of the photos released showed off Louis' handprint, which he made as part of a stay-at-home art activity alongside his siblings, Prince George, 6, and Princess Charlotte, who turns 5 next month.

That's just one of the ways Prince William, 37, and Kate's kids have been showing their support during this tough time. Last month, Louis and his siblings joined millions of others clapping in appreciation of healthcare workers and other frontline staff fighting the coronavirus pandemic, in a cute video taken by his parents.

Prince Louis' handprint
| Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince George
| Credit: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The royal family of five is currently isolating at their country home, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk. Louis will be marking his special day on Thursday with an at-home family celebration.

And while the royal family has been making the most of their time at-home, Kate has admitted she has had to find a way of explaining the lockdown to her children.

“It’s been ups and downs, like a lot of families self-isolating. George is much older than Louis is and things, but they are aware, I’m always surprised,” Kate said. “And although you don’t want to scare them and make it too overwhelming, I think it is appropriate to acknowledge it in the simple ways and age-appropriate ways.”

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The royal parents are also grappling with homeschooling their two older children, Kate said.

“Don’t tell the children, we’ve actually kept it going through the holidays. I feel very mean!” she confessed. “The children have got such stamina, I don’t know how. Honestly, you get to the end of the day and you write down the list of all the things that you’ve done in that day. So, you pitch a tent, take the tent down again, cook, bake. You get to the end of the day — they have had a lovely time — but it is amazing how much you can cram into one day that’s for sure."