'He was as good as gold': adorable Prince George takes centre stage in the Queen's 90th birthday photo

By Kirstin Buick
20 April 2016

The young prince may have needed a step up, but there's nothing little about the enormous grin on his face.

Prince George (2) took pride of place in Queen Elizabeth's official 90th birthday photo. The beautiful snap, taken in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, was taken to feature in a series of stamps to commemorate the monarch's milestone birthday on 21 April. The photo features four generations of royals from the House of Windsor -- third-in-line-to-the-throne George beams as he hold's dad Prince William's hand, who's sitting on a plush living chair beside him. To George's right is the Queen herself, looking regal in a pale blue dress and black court shoes, with her eldest son Prince Charles at her side.

The Royal Mail celebrates #Queenat90 with a specially commissioned Stamp Sheet, featuring four generations of the Royal Family.

A photo posted by The British Monarchy (@the_british_monarchy) on

When Royal Mail photographer Ranald Mackechnie, who shot the commemorative snap a few months ago, told The Daily Mail he was surprised by how easy the shoot was.

"It was an amazingly relaxing and light-hearted sitting. They were comfortable with one another and behaved like any family with their conversation and jokes. It was much more relaxed than when I've tried to take pictures with my family."

Naturally royal aides said Prince Geogre was "as good as gold during the 25-minutue shoot, but Mackechnie confirmed it.

“He was absolutely charming, as you can see from the picture. You only have a short window of opportunity with small children, but Prince George was on good form and everyone seemed to enjoy seeing him enjoy the day," the photographer told the Telegraph.

“He was fascinated by my lights and all the kit, and he was quite happy standing on the blocks. I took maybe 80 or 100 shots, but when I saw this one I knew straight away that was it.”

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The veteran photographer revealed that the toughest part was ensuring that the whole family were at roughly the same height and spaced evenly apart, so that their faces could be used for individual stamps.

Six more stamps have been released for the occasion -- one of which even features former SA president Nelson Mandela.

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Also part of the set are a photo taken of the Queen (then young Princess Elizabeth) with her father then the Duke of York in around 1930; attending the State Opening of Parliament in 2012; with her children Princess Anne and Prince Charles in 1952; visiting New Zealand in 1977; with the Duke of Edinburgh in 1957.

Sources: MailOnline, BBC, Vanity Fair, Hello, The Telegraph

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