New photo of Princess Charlotte released before her 2nd birthday

The photo was taken by Charlotte's mom, Princess Kate.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share a new photograph of Princess Charlotte to mark her second birthday tomorrow," Kensington Palace wrote in a statement today releasing the photo. "TRH would like to thank everyone for the lovely messages they have received & hope that everyone enjoys this photograph as much as they do."

Princess Kate took the photos at the family's Anmer Hall home last month. Charlotte is pictured in a yellow sweater featuring baby sheep and a navy blue bow in her hair.

William, 34, and Kate, 35, have been vigilant about shielding Charlotte and her older brother, Prince George, 3, from the paparazzi and protecting their privacy so they can enjoy a normal childhood. William and Kate have released personal photographs of George and Charlotte periodically to satisfy the public's interest in their children.

Kate also took four photographs of Charlotte that were released to the public last year for Charlotte's first birthday.

There is no indication what the theme for a birthday celebration will be, but given Charlotte's love of horses, bunnies and balloons, it's a good guess that they may be featured.

William and Kate's daughter was mesmerized by balloons at a children's party she attended at Government House during William and Kate's tour of Canada last September. She was heard exclaiming "pop" as she pounded on the balloons before hugging a bunny and bouncing on a dog.

The fourth-in-line to the British throne will likely enter a nursery school in either September or January.

William and Kate recently announced that George will attend Thomas's Battersea School in London in the fall. The coeducational school gives William and Kate the opportunity to have Charlotte follow in George's footsteps in attending Thomas's Battersea.

William and Kate have described their daughter as "feisty" and a "little joy in heaven." Kate has also described her daughter as "the one in charge" in their family.

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