How will Prince George celebrate his third birthday?

Can any present possibly outdo the very special surprise gift that his parents, William and Kate, have planned for their little prince? Photo / Getty Images
Can any present possibly outdo the very special surprise gift that his parents, William and Kate, have planned for their little prince? Photo / Getty Images

By all accounts, it is set to be a party fit for a prince. Indeed, bearing in mind his grandparents own a party-planning business, it should come as no surprise that Prince George's third birthday, which is next Friday, will be everything a chubby-cheeked little toddler could dream of.

George, a lively little boy who is full of enthusiasm for everything from tractors to tigers, will, no doubt, be in his element.

So will this year's party surpass the Beatrix Potter extravaganza that marked his first birthday? What will little George make of his new train set worth £300?

And can any present possibly outdo the very special surprise gift that his parents, William and Kate, have planned for their little prince?

FROM MUMMY AND DADDY, A NEW PUPPY

William and Kate are said to be buying Prince George a Bolonka Zwetnas puppy for his third birthday. The dogs can cost up to £1,800

Well-placed sources say Kate and William are buying lucky Prince George a teeny weeny Bolonka Zwetna puppy all of his own. The pooches can cost up to £1,800.

Bolonka Zwetnas are small, lively and comically cute, similar to a Bichon Frise, though they are darker in colour - more caramel than white.

Happily, the Russian dog breed is suitable for allergy sufferers like Kate, who is allergic to horses, as they have hair not fur.

And this new pup is set to spend many contented years with the third in line to the throne, as they can live to around 15 years.

Further explaining the Cambridges' choice of dog, an insider tells me: "Bolonka Zwetnas are energetic, sturdy and playful - perfect for George. And while they have a tendency to suffer hip dysplasia, they also have a love of sitting on laps for warmth."

It brings the pets owned by the Cambridges to three. They have Lupo, a black cocker spaniel, and Marvin 'the long whiskered escapologist hamster of [the Cambridges' home] Anmer Hall', as one source described him.

It's also said that, next year, the family will be leaving Norfolk during the week and moving back to London most of the time. This is reportedly to allow George to attend William's old pre-prep school, Wetherby (£6,540 a term), near Kensington Palace, in September 2017. Hence the good sense of choosing a small dog that needs one short walk a day.

...WHAT ABOUT THE FOOTBALL?

Like his father, Prince George is left-handed and, according to a family friend, has "good hand-to-eye co-ordination and has developed a passion for anything ball-related", whether it's swinging mini polo mallets or his tennis racquet or playing rugby or football.

These are George's chosen "outdoor weapons of destruction", adds the source. No surprise, then, that an array of mini rugby and footballs is coming his way, bearing his initials: 'GALC'. The 'C' was, apparently, added as a nod to his Cambridge surname because it was thought that just George Alexander Louis - GAL - "might be a tad girly and he wouldn't like it when he was older", says the source.

THE RARE TRAIN SET WORTH £300

And the lucky toddler will apparently be opening another spectacular gift from his parents: a magnificent, rare 'Royal Scot' train set. Photo / iStock
And the lucky toddler will apparently be opening another spectacular gift from his parents: a magnificent, rare 'Royal Scot' train set. Photo / iStock

George, like so many young boys, is train-mad. And the lucky toddler will apparently be opening another spectacular gift from his parents: a magnificent, rare 'Royal Scot' train set from Hornby, complete with a Coronation Class loco, two composite coaches, two brake coaches, two sidings, a station and a large oval track.

Sold out everywhere, just one was left for sale on Amazon at the time of publication, costing a whopping £279.99.

One can see all too clearly how this might be the sort of present that will have all the males in the Royal Family very happily occupied - not just the toddlers ...

AN ASTON FROM GRANDPAPA

Being the first grandchild on both sides, Prince George is doted on by both sets of grandparents. A sense of good-natured competition has set in between Charles and Carole and Michael Middleton, who are keen to show their generosity to their precious grandson.

Prince Charles, a proud Aston Martin owner himself, likes to give Dinky and Corgi toys from the Sixties as birthday gifts.

Aston Martins are something of a Windsor family tradition: Prince Philip had one, and Charles was given one as a 21st birthday present from the Queen. Eco-friendly Charles converted the engine of his current one to run on wine.

Little wonder, then, that a Corgi Vintage Aston Martin 'James Bond Goldfinger' car is on George's birthday list (£49.99 new and a thing of sleek beauty), along with a vintage plane, like the silver comet 'BOAC' jet from The Dinky Garage website.

CAROLE'S £5,000 ROCKING HORSE

While Charles's gifts sound impressive, we should hold back the praise until we see what Granny Carole is giving.

After all, she's the most extravagant of all the grandparents. One of her gifts to George last year was a Stevenson Brothers zebra rocking horse, complete with black real leather saddle, gold initials, bridle, stirrups and a herd of wildebeest running along beneath it. The wood to make it came from the Windsor Great Park estates.

It's not the only Stevenson Brothers treat that's made its way into the Cambridges' household. In the garden at Anmer is an English oak see-saw with carved horse heads to hold on to, and the names George and Charlotte engraved into it.

It cost £1,320 - another reported gift from the Middletons. You can't help but wonder how Carole will manage to outdo all that this year.

Pippa Middleton, too, has a generous streak with her nephew and usually buys him rather sweet clothes in the Cambridges' chosen style: very traditional and all made with natural fibres.

... AND PRESSIES FOR POOCH, TOO!

The new Bolonka Zwetna will be as spoilt for choice for gifts as George himself.

Kate is a fan of the canine designer store Mungo & Maud in London's Belgravia - known locally as 'Paul Smith for Pets'.

Owners Michael and Nicola Sacher stock items such as plaited leather dog collars at £114.50; wooden feeding bowls, cotton beds, and bags of organic doggy granola at £12.50 a pop.

PARTY, PARTY, PARTY!

Anmer Hall is likely to host the celebrations for Prince George again. The property's walled gardens and lawns make it a perfect summer party location. Photo / Getty Images
Anmer Hall is likely to host the celebrations for Prince George again. The property's walled gardens and lawns make it a perfect summer party location. Photo / Getty Images

Last year's birthday celebrations took place at the Cambridges' Norfolk family home, the secluded Anmer Hall, and this year's are set to be much the same. Again, Kate, William and Carole are expected to preside over the festivities, assisted by George's capable Spanish nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo and the family's equally industrious Italian housekeeper Antonella Fresolone. (Both members of staff will also present George with their own gifts, too.)

It's not the only Stevenson Brothers treat that's made its way into the Cambridges' household. In the garden at Anmer is an English oak see-saw with carved horse heads to hold on to, and the names George and Charlotte engraved into it.

It cost £1,320 - another reported gift from the Middletons. You can't help but wonder how Carole will manage to outdo all that this year.

Pippa Middleton, too, has a generous streak with her nephew and usually buys him rather sweet clothes in the Cambridges' chosen style: very traditional and all made with natural fibres.

PARTY PIRATES VS THE GRUFFALO

Will Prince George decide to have a Pirate themed birthday? Photo / iStock
Will Prince George decide to have a Pirate themed birthday? Photo / iStock

As befits a member of the Middletons' Party Pieces empire, Kate likes a properly themed birthday party. Prince George's first birthday bash at Kensington Palace was Beatrix Potter-themed all over, as is his nursery there.

Mini carrots decorated the party room and they even hired someone to dress as a giant rabbit.

But George has moved on in his tastes and now loves trains, planes and animals - presenting his doting parents with a dilemma.

Do they go for pirate treasure chests, swashbuckling costumes and galleon food boxes?

Or will it be a bash based on The Gruffalo - George's favourite audio book, according to William. Another option is planes. Indeed, George recently showed himself to be as much of an aeroplane addict as his pilot father, when he sat in a Red Arrows jet after a tantrum at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

Delightfully, whatever the theme is, Lupo the cocker spaniel always gets dressed up to match it, too.

TURNIP TOFFS ON THE GUEST LIST

The Cambridges' Turnip Toff pals - who live near their home in Norfolk - are on the guest list.

George's most local godparents, William van Cutsem, who lives 40 minutes' drive away with his wife Rosie, at Hilborough (a piffling distance in Norfolk terms), and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the trusty former private secretary who lives just over the border in Suffolk, are certainties.

Farther-flung godparents Emilia Jardine-Paterson and her husband David, and their two-year-old son Leo, and new baby Alexander, four months, are set to attend, as are Zara Tindall, husband Mike and their feisty daughter Mia.

... AND THOSE WHO AREN'T

As etiquette demands (even a toddler's birthday party has certain social rules when you're a royal), Geordie TV presenter and on-off girlfriend of James Middleton, Donna Air, isn't invited.

Nor is Pippa's partner financier James Matthews.

The reason? Neither are yet engaged to the Middleton siblings. But rumours are rife that Pippa is set announce her engagement in September at Matthews' parents' five-star hotel, the Eden Rock in St Barts. A London engagement party to follow with William and Kate is also hotly tipped.

NOT ONE BUT TWO PARTIES!

After George's birthday, the Cambridges and their children will head north to Balmoral to stay with the Queen and other members of the Royal Family - which means there will also be a Scottish party for George.

One source suggests "pony rides will be on offer while Prince Philip is in charge of the royal barbecue to round off the celebrations".

After all this, "Kate is uber-keen to get a hot summer holiday", according to one insider. Surely Prince George will be in need of a rest after all these festivities, too.

- Daily Mail

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