Prince William's birthday post is a welcome change for the royal family

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Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte attend Trooping the Colour 2024.Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty ImagesKate Middleton celebrated Prince William's birthday by sharing a photo of him and their children.The picture was more relaxed and candid than photos they'd previously shared of their family.Experts told Business Insider that the photo's tone may help shift the narrative on Will and Kate.After months of turmoil, the tides finally appear to be turning in Prince William and Kate Middleton's favor.Following a planned abdominal surgery in January, months of chemotherapy that began in February, and speculation about her well-being amid her extended absence from the public eye, Kate made a triumphant return to royal duty when she attended Trooping the Colour on Saturday.Her appearance marked a shift in the Prince and Princess of Wales' public image, as Kate and William were photographed as a united front for the first time since 2023.The couple seemed to build on that momentum on Friday when Kate celebrated William's birthday with a surprisingly candid photo of him and their three children on their social media channels.The lighthearted photo was a welcome change from the more formal approach they've taken to their public relations strategy in the past.Kate and William shared a photo of the prince with his children for his birthdayIn the photo, Princess Charlotte, Prince William, Prince Louis, and Prince George jump in the air on a beach, each sporting a big smile.According to the picture's caption, which the Princess of Wales signed herself, Kate took the photo sometime in 2024. View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Prince and Princess of Wales (@princeandprincessofwales) "Happy birthday Papa, we all love you so much! Cx," the caption read.The picture's background looked similar to a shot the Prince and Princess of Wales shared for Father's Day on Sunday, in which William stood with his arms around his children as they looked to the sea.William and Kate have not acknowledged the Prince of Wales' birthday on their social media channels since 2021, and the last time they celebrated his birthday with candid family photos was 2020.The photo they posted on Friday showed a silly and carefree side of the royals — particularly William — offering a stark contrast from photos like their posed 2023 Christmas card or even some of Kate and William's wedding photos.The photo exudes positivity at a time when the royals need itWilliam and Kate often took a more traditional approach to their public image since they became a public couple, following decades-old royal practices such as avoiding public displays of affection.Since 2021, they have tried to exude a more relatable image, but few photos have nailed it as well as their most recent post.Eric Schiffer, the chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, told Business Insider that the photo was a great move for the Prince and Princess of Wales' PR strategy."It projects strength, positivity, and resilience," he said of the photo. "It's a photo of a family united and strong irrespective of challenges and a nice strategic change that is inspiring and uplifting."Kristen Meinzer, a royal watcher, told BI that the photo humanized William, in particular, in a new way.Prince William in 2024.Richard Pelham/Getty Images"I think it's a really fun photo that shows a lot more personality than we normally see from William," she said. "I love the joyful energy and the fact that everyone feels alive and in motion."However, Meinzer also said it "would have been nice to see a photo that also included Kate."Kensington Palace has not released a new photo of William and Kate together in 2024, though they were photographed at Trooping the Colour."After all, birthdays are about celebrating life, and his life isn't just about fatherhood; it's also about being a husband," Meinzer said.But Schiffer said presenting William as a parent first and foremost may be better long-term.It's a strong move to paint William as a dutiful fatherBy intentionally posting a photo of William with just his children, Kate and William are sending a message that he is a father first — a father who is capable of stepping up for his children while their mother focuses on her health."I think it also highlights the fact that Kate doesn't have to do it all," Schiffer said."William can step up and be a dad and allow her to also have time for managing her health challenges, which is a mature message and will create even more connection with audiences," he said.Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte attend Trooping the Colour 2024.Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images"This highlights the fact that Kate has a partner who is a strong father and can keep the family uplifted and united," he added.Likewise, many members of the public may find William relatable as a father and leader in his family, which makes him seem like a future king "with a heart who cares, who is going to have his partner's back and will do the same for the country," Schiffer said.Kate shared an update on her health on June 14, saying that she will be undergoing chemotherapy for a few more months but that she hopes to attend a handful of royal engagements over the summer.Although William will continue to represent his family in person alone for a few more months, Kate's latest photo helps establish him as a normal, doting father who is more than prepared to protect the Wales brand until his wife returns to share the burden with him.Read the original article on Business Insider

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