A hand-crafted rocking zebra reportedly tops young Prince George's Christmas list this year, costing a whopping £4,650. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are all set for Christmas 2014, with George looking forward to unwrapping his gifts. Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton have purchased him the pricey rocking chair with zebra stripes, the Daily Mail reports.
A source close to the Royal couple told the paper: "A rocking horse has been on the Christmas list for some time." The toy is crafted by Stevenson Brothers, a family company based in Kent. A retro toy car costing £85 is also due to be on the list, which could see George speeding along the hallways of Buckingham Palace.
The gifts will be joined by illustrated book Happy Hooves Oh! Oh! Oh! by Anna Bogie. Finally, George is set to unwrap a Brio Deluxe Railway Set, which includes trains, and a track, the paper says.
2014 saw royal superstar Prince George charm his way round New Zealand and Australia, while his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced they were expecting their second child. The young Prince was dubbed the "republican slayer" for boosting the monarchy's appeal down under on what was his first ever official overseas tour. He met a bilby named after him, stole another baby's toy on a playdate and, according to his mother, gained an extra fat roll while he was away.
George, who celebrated his first birthday in July, is being prepared for a new royal arrival after it was revealed in September that Kate was pregnant again. The Duchess, who was not seen for several weeks as she struggled with severe pregnancy sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum, emerged at the state visit in October, telling the Singaporean president: "I've been looking forward to getting out of the house, that's for sure." A three day trip to US at the end of the year saw William and five months pregnant Kate charm New Yorkers on their first ever visit to the Big Apple.
William confessed to US president Barack Obama at the Oval Office in Washington DC that in the chaos of the delivery room he forgot to ask if Prince George was a boy or a girl, while Kate surprised youngsters in Harlem who thought they were meeting Princess Elsa from the movie Frozen. The couple paid their respects at the 9/11 memorial and later rubbed shoulders with US elite at a lavish 10,000 US dollar-a-head (£6,400) dinner to mark the 600th anniversary of the University of St Andrews where they first met. Over the last 12 months, the Queen sent her first tweet, hosted the first ever incoming state visit by an Irish president to the UK and marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day with a state visit to France.
2014 also saw the younger generation take on more responsibility to help the monarch, with the Prince of Wales and William carrying out some investitures and William, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cornwall hosting receptions on behalf of the Queen at Buckingham Palace. William, Harry and Kate commemorated the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of First World War in Mons, Belgium in August, while the Queen, who was staying at Balmoral, marked the occasion with a service in the UK at Crathie Kirk Church in Aberdeenshire.
The Queen travelled to Rome to meet Pope Francis for the first time and went to Belfast, visiting the interior set of the hit US TV drama Game of Thrones and touring the notorious Crumlin Road jail. As Scotland prepared to vote in the independence referendum, she took the unusual step of breaking her silence on the issue, telling a well wisher: "Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future." In the end, Scotland voted "no" but David Cameron found himself in trouble after he was caught on camera telling Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, that the Queen had "purred down the line" after he gave her the news by telephone.
An embarrassed Prime Minister apologised and vowed "never again" to discuss his conversations with the Queen. The Queen sent her first tweet in October which ended with the sign off "Elizabeth R" while opening the Information Age gallery at London's Science Museum. Meanwhile, for William, 2014 was a "transitional year" as he attempted to carve out his role after leaving the military. He completed an agricultural management course at Cambridge University - training for when he will inherit the Duchy of Cornwall estate - and also focused on his charity work. He launching the #WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign with David Beckham to help stigmatise the buying of ivory and rhino horn and joined forces with the online game Angry Birds to promote the "Roll with the Pangolins" tournament to highlight the threat of poaching.
It was also revealed that William is to become a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service in the spring of 2015, allowing him to pursue a career rather than full time royal duties and be close to the Cambridges' new family home Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. 2014 was a busy year for Prince Harry who took a military desk job, split from his girlfriend Cressida Bonas, hosted the Invictus Games, turned 30 and inherited the multi-million pound estate left to him by his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
She can charm a group of young beaver scouts with a simple, "My name's Catherine." She can dazzle school children in Harlem so completely that they're convinced she's a Disney princess come to life. Even the wariest of their kind, teenagers, aren't immune to Princess Kate's powers.
"She was so much more down to earth than I thought she would be," says Naehaya Barcelona, 16, who met the Duchess of Cambridge during a performance by The Door center for disadvantaged youth in N.Y.C. last month. But of all the child-charming magic Kate has conjured in recent weeks, perhaps her most astonishing trick was spinning – and spinning and spinning – on a teacup amusement ride at five months pregnant.
Such a queasy-making activity would hardly be at the top of most expectant moms' to-do lists – especially one who spent her first trimester desperately sick to her stomach – but Kate opted to go for a whirl with her 17-month-old son, Prince George, on Dec. 12 at London's Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
All rosy cheeks and toothy grins, "George was smiling and laughing as they went 'round and 'round together," a fairground worker told PEOPLE. "He was really enjoying the ride with his mom. You could see it in his little face."
At just shy of 2 years, Prince George has already proven himself to be a baby genius. When the royal toddler heard that his dad Prince William was visiting China, he immediately went to look for him – inside a china cabinet.
Luxury travel adviser Claudia Gordon had the good fortune of sitting down for lunch with Princess Kate recently, during which the pregnant princess shared the cute tale. "I asked her if Prince George was excited about the new prince or princess that was coming and she said yes and that he is a toddler and is talking and walking," Gordon told the Florida News-Press. "Then she told me that his daddy, Prince William, was visiting China. After hearing this he went to the china cabinet, opened it and proclaimed 'daddy is not here.' "
Added Gordon: "She said they would work on his geography." Kate is expecting her second child with William this month. She plans to take a longer maternity leave after the baby's birth, a source told PEOPLE. "She felt she came back too soon last time," the royal source said. "She wants to have that [family] and enjoy it with George and the new baby."
Just last month, Prince William made his way to China to promote British commerce. During the visit, he visited schoolchildren in Shanghai, showed off his soccer skills and even attended the premiere of Paddington. Putting maps and globes aside, there's a huge life event that will soon occur in Middleton's family. Baby No. 2 is coming sooner rather than later and the anticipation is growing for the entire family.
"I asked her if Prince George was excited about the new prince or princess that was coming," Gordon revealed. "She said yes and that he is a toddler and is talking and walking." As the countdown begins for another royal baby, Middleton has her hands full at home. In addition to shopping for baby clothes, the 33-year-old is spending as much time as possible with her son.
Despite the challenges that must come with growing up in royal spotlight, the British royal family has managed to keep many traditions alive. Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana followed a lot of royal protocol, but also broke the mold when it came to trying to give their sons, Princes William and Harry, a somewhat normal childhood.
Now, Prince William appears to be doing the same as he and Kate Middleton navigate parenting Prince George and Princess Charlotte with the world watching. There was an especially exciting similarity over the weekend when Prince William and Kate Middleton took Prince George to the Trooping the Colour celebration and George wore the same exact outfit William first wore back in 1984!
Katy Perry. Ryan Gosling. And now Prince George: Reddit user TheGGongShow posted an image of a toddler who bears a striking resemblance to the future King of England:
AHHHH! The side part isn't quite there yet, but those chubby cheeks are spot on. It's no surprise this little guy's happy to look like such a royal cutie.