Prince George received love (and emojis!) from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles as he celebrated his 8th birthday on Thursday

By Lanford Beard
July 22, 2021 09:57 AM
The British Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and their son Prince George celebrate the 1:0.
Prince George at Wembley Stadium for England semi-finals - July 2021
| Credit: Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty

Prince George is another year older!

Before the third in line to the British throne turned 8 years old on Thursday, Prince William and Kate Middleton carried on a royal tradition by sharing a new portrait of their oldest son on Wednesday.

The new portrait shows George sitting on the hood of a car, grinning for the camera in a blue polo shirt with orange stripes. It even appears to include a subtle tribute to Prince Philip, who died in April at age 99, with George sitting on what looks like a Land Rover, which was a favorite car of Queen Elizabeth's husband.

As usual, the sweet shot was captured by avid photographer Kate, who has acted as photographer in recent years, capturing new image earlier this month in Norfolk (where the Cambridge family has a country home) and getting behind the camera to take snaps of George's younger siblings, 6-year-old Princess Charlotte and 3-year-old Prince Louis.

George's paternal grandparents, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall were among the royals who sent their love on Thursday.

And no future king's birthday would be complete without a tribute from the reigning monarch herself.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate MiddletonMeghan Markle and more!

And on Thursday, William and Kate shared their appreciation for supporters from around the world who've wished George well.

With this latest birthday has come some chic changes from George. Age 8 is the age at which etiquette experts say boys in aristocratic circles usually swap formal shorts for pants, and there's no doubt his style will continue to shift — just as his father's did at that age.

"He is growing up fast and more of a young man than a little boy now," Sophie Mirman, founder and creative director at Trotters, recently told PEOPLE of George's maturing style.

She noted of William and Kate, both 39: "I think his parents are fantastic at judging what to wear and when."

Prince George
Prince George at Wembley Stadium 11th July 2021
| Credit: Eamonn McCormack/UEFA/UEFA via Getty

Added the French-born designer, "His style hasn't changed, but it's evolved in the way that you would assume it would, and it's very much reminiscent of what the young princes would have worn in the time of Princess Diana. It suits George beautifully."