"Everyone always comments on how Louis is the spitting image of Kate," a friend tells PEOPLE

When it comes to Prince Louis, the royal apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

In new pictures released to mark the 2-year-old’s birthday on Thursday, there’s a striking resemblance between mom Kate Middleton and her youngest child — something the royal mom has always happily acknowledged.

“Everyone always comments on how Louis is the spitting image of Kate,” a friend tells PEOPLE, adding: “She loves it and thinks it’s very sweet, she often jokes that he’s the only one of her kids who actually looks like her!”

On Wednesday, Kensington Palace released five images of the young prince enjoying a special arts and crafts project at the family’s country home in Norfolk. Taken by Kate, the images show Louis looking surprisingly pristine in a crisp blue and white gingham shirt with his hands covered in rainbow paint!

Prince Louis Kate Middleton
Prince Louis and Kate Middleton
| Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge; SplashNews.com
Prince Louis
Prince Louis
| Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Trooping The Colour
Kate Middleton and Prince Louis
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Two more images were released on Thursday, showing a cheeky Louis happily displaying his rainbow-colored hands to the camera and another picture of his face, cheeks covered in paint. Kate used the opportunity to join in the “Instagram Vs Reality” trend for the first time.

While Louis has inherited the Middleton genes (he also bears a strong resemblance to Kate’s dad, Mike Middleton), Princess Charlotte is often compared to her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. In pictures taken by Kate to mark Charlotte’s fourth birthday last May, a playful Charlotte wore a plaid skirt and looked very much like a young Elizabeth.

Prince Louis Michael Middleton
Prince Louis and Mike Middleton

Louis will be celebrating his special day in lockdown at the family’s countryside home Anmer Hall, where the Cambridges, like millions of families across the U.K., are self-isolating to stay safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Aside from engaging in rainbow-themed arts and crafts activities, no doubt with his siblings, Prince George and Charlotte, dad Prince William revealed that Louis has also been joining in on the family’s video calls, although not always in a helpful way.

Princess Charlotte, Queen Elizabeth II
Princess Charlotte and Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/PA/sipa; Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty

“For some reason, he sees the red button and he always wants to press the red button,” William told the BBC in a recent interview.

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The royal trio has also been taking part in the weekly “Clap for Our Carers” initiative in the U.K., standing outside their house to clap in support of all healthcare workers and other frontline staff. A sweet video taken by their mom showed Louis in casual clothes standing between Charlotte and George sweetly looking up at them as he clapped.