Royal Family Shares Birthday Message to Prince William
Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Shutterstock

Protocol or not, Prince William received a special birthday shout-out from members of the royal family.

“Wishing The Prince of Wales a very happy birthday today! 🎈,” the official royal family Instagram account wrote alongside a photo of William, 41, and father King Charles III on Wednesday, June 21.

The portrait, taken by royal photographer Chris Jackson, features a previously unseen snap of the Prince of Wales and the king, 74, preparing for Charles’ coronation last month. The father-son duo were all smiles as William buttoned Charles’ regal robe.

His Majesty was officially crowned as England’s monarch last month, in which he succeeded his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, after her death in September 2022. During the ceremony, William performed the traditional homage.

The celebratory birthday message from Charles’ camp comes weeks after a source close to Buckingham Palace denied snubbing his second son Prince Harry’s daughter’s birthday.

When the 38-year-old Duke of Sussex’s little girl with wife Meghan Markle turned 2 earlier this month, the palace did not publicly wish her a happy birthday as they had in years past and frequently do with William’s three kids. (The Duke of Cambridge and his wife, Princess Kate, are parents to Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.)

However, a source told Us at the time that The Firm was not purposefully snubbing Princess Lilibet by not sharing a special message on social media. “There is no and has never been protocol for wishing happy birthdays to non-working members of the royal family,” the insider explained.

Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, 41, stepped down from their duties as senior working royals in 2020 before relocating from London to Montecito, California, with Lili and her 4-year-old big brother, Prince Archie.

Since the Archewell cofounders’ move, they have remained estranged from Charles, William and many members of the royal family over privacy and security challenges. Neither Charles — who shared his sons with the late Princess Diana — nor William have publicly addressed the falling-out, though a second insider told Us that their relationship with Harry remains strained.

“There’s no doubt [that Charles] wishes to avoid Harry and Meghan until he sees some positive change on their end,” the source revealed in the latest issue of Us, noting that the king’s “trust has been compromised” since the January publication of Harry’s memoir, Spare.

Harry attended his father’s coronation last month, sitting in the third row alongside his cousins. The Invictus Games cofounder ultimately left the crowning ceremony shortly after it concluded in order to make it home to celebrate Archie’s 4th birthday with Meghan and Lili.

Charles and the royals did not publicly mark Archie’s big day, which fell on the same day as the coronation, though royal expert Nick Bullen later told Us that the king offered a sweet toast to his youngest grandson during a private reception.