The Queen has spoken about her great-grandson George in her Christmas broadcast, and said the birth of a baby allows people to think about the future with renewed “happiness and hope”.
In her traditional message to the UK, the Queen also made an observation about the future for new parents – “life will never be quite the same again”.
After George’s christening in October, the Royal Family gathered for traditional photos to mark an event the head of state said was “a happy occasion”.
The Queen’s annual broadcast also featured behind-the-scenes footage taken at Clarence House as the royals posed for the christening pictures under the direction of celebrity portrait photographer Jason Bell.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son George was born on July 22 at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s hospital in central London.
When William and Kate left hospital to greet the world’s media waiting outside, they could not contain their happiness as they chatted about their baby.
The Queen saw him a few days later but it is thought this is the first time she has publicly talked at length about the infant who will one day be king.
Delivering her message, which was recorded earlier this month at Buckingham Palace, the Queen said: “Here at home my own family is a little larger this Christmas.
“As so many of you will know, the arrival of a baby gives everyone the chance to contemplate the future with renewed happiness and hope.
“For the new parents, life will never be quite the same again.”
These words were accompanied by footage of William bouncing George up and down in his arms, with Kate by his side, as they chatted to other family members outside the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, ahead of their son’s christening.
Later that day a historic picture of four generations of the Royal Family – the Queen, Prince of Wales, William and George – was taken to mark the baby’s christening.
As the behind-the-scenes footage was shown, a voice, thought to be Mr Bell, could be heard saying “One, two, three” as a group picture was taken of the baby prince, his doting parents, the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Charles and Camilla and Prince Harry.
The Queen said in her broadcast: “As with all who are christened, George was baptised into a joyful faith of Christian duty and service. After the christening, we gathered for the traditional photograph.
“It was a happy occasion, bringing together four generations.”
The main theme of the Queen’s seasonal message to the nation was reflection and she looked back over the past 12 months to the 60th anniversary of her coronation, celebrated with a national service in June.
She also looked forward to the Commonwealth Games being staged in Glasgow next year.
Her broadcast began with the Queen telling her audience how a man she once knew gained a clearer insight into the world after spending a year in a plaster cast recovering from a back operation.
She said: “He read a lot, and thought a lot, and felt miserable. Later, he realised this time of forced retreat from the world had helped him to understand the world more clearly.
“We all need to get the balance right between action and reflection. With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock.”
The Queen’s traditional message was produced this year by the BBC and recorded in Buckingham Palace’s blue drawing room.
The room featured a large Christmas tree decorated with coloured baubles and next to the Queen, who delivered her message seated, was a table that featured pictures of her immediate family.
The historic picture showing four generations of the Royal Family was flanked on one side by a black and white image of her father George VI, and on the other by a similar photograph of her mother, the Queen Mother.