The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took to Instagram to post the image, likely taken by keen amateur photographer Kate, showing their six-year-old daughter delicately holding a Red Admiral in her cupped hands.
The young royal was dressed in a pale blue £4 T-shirt from John Lewis with lace detailing around the sleeves and pocket, teamed with pink floral shorts.
Stood amongst a mass of lavender plants in an unknown location, she wore her sun-kissed locks loose as she focused her attention on the striking insect.
Prince William and Kate Middleton shared a stunning new photograph of Princess Charlotte today to encourage people to take part in the Big Butterfly Count
The Cambridges captioned their post, which also featured further images of butterflies feasting on a lilac bush: ‘We wanted to share these beautiful Peacock and Red Admiral butterflies as part of Big #ButterflyCount initiative taking place across the UK.
‘@savebutterflies are encouraging us all to count these incredible creatures because not only are they beautiful creatures to be around but they are also extremely important.
‘Butterflies are vital parts of the ecosystem as both pollinators and components of the food chain. Hopefully you can beat last year’s total, @savebutterflies,’ followed by a butterfly emoji.
The Big Butterfly Count is a UK-wide survey aimed at helping conservationists assess the health of the environment by counting the amount and type of butterflies – and some day-flying moths – we see.
The Cambridges captioned their post, which also featured further images of butterflies feasting on a lilac bush: ‘We wanted to share these beautiful Peacock and Red Admiral butterflies as part of Big #ButterflyCount initiative taking place across the UK’
It could be the images were taken during the Cambridges’ recent family holiday on the Isles of Scilly.
Kate and William, both 39, are believed to have travelled to the Cornish islands for a staycation with their children Prince George, who turned eight on July 22, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, three, according to Hello!.
Like many Britons put off travelling further afield by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the royals decided to remain in the UK for their summer break.
The Cambridges may have opted to return to Tresco Island – the only one of the five inhabited islands that is privately-owned – after the family were spotted cycling around it last year.
Last month a royal expert claimed the Duchess of Cambridge has ‘taken ownership of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis’ public image’.
Kate has become known for releasing candid snaps of her children for special events, including their birthdays each year.
Last month a royal expert claimed the Duchess of Cambridge has ‘taken ownership of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis’ public image’ (pictured in a video they shared to mark their 10th wedding anniversary earlier this year)
Camilla Tominey said the model is ‘unique’ for the Cambridges and helps the family maintain a level of privacy for their children.
Writing in The Telegraph, she said: ‘The paparazzi – there’s no market anymore because the Duchess comes out with her own family photos and they’re far more valuable to the press than images taken at a long lense.
‘That’s how The Cambridges are going to strike the balance, they’re going to give in order to receive a degree of privacy back.’
Camilla added that she thought Prince George’s recent appearance at Wembley Stadium at the Euros final was because the little royal is ‘genuinely’ a football fan, but added: ‘Equally the Cambridges do want the public to see their children and have some degree of access to them.
The family, who stayed at Anmer Hall in Norfolk during the coronavirus lockdown last year (pictured), enjoyed a summer break in Cornwall
‘You’ve got balance the private and the public of their lives and there’s an expectation of seeing George grow up because he will one day be King.
‘I think Prince George will have to be quite careful to preserve his own privacy as he becomes a teenager and his parents will be acutely aware he’s vulnerable.’
However she added that Kate had ‘taken ownership’ of her children’s image in the press by releasing photographs of them each year, adding: ‘The interesting thing about the Cambridge’s model, and it’s kind of unique for the royals, is that the Duchess in particular has almost taken ownership of the children’s image.
‘We had a situation when the children were first born when the couple were worried about pap shots… Kate now saturates the market with her own imagery of the children. And I think we’ll see that continue.’
Just like Gan-Gan! How Princess Charlotte has looked the spitting image of her great-grandmother the Queen in every one of her six years
By Jessica Green for MailOnline
In May royal enthusiasts went wild over Princess Charlotte’s striking resemblance to her great-grandmother The Queen in a a photograph released by Kensington Palace to mark her sixth birthday.
The young royal appeared happy and relaxed in a floral summer dress, with her long hair loose and tousled in the picture, taken in Norfolk by her mother Kate.
Fans rushed to point out the family resemblances, noting how similar Princess Charlotte often looks to her great-grandmother, the Queen.
Royal enthusiasts have gone wild over Princess Charlotte’s (pictured left, aged six) striking resemblance to her great-grandmother, the Queen (pictured right, aged six)
Delighted royal fans rushed to point out the family resemblances in Princess Charlotte’s new portrait, noting how similar the young royal (pictured left, in a photo released to mark her first birthday) often looks to her great-grandmother, the Queen (pictured right, when eight-months-old)
One person wrote on Twitter: ‘I’ve always said I see so much of Her Majesty, The Queen, in little Princess Charlotte. She’s got the Queen’s eyes!’
Another wrote: ‘She really is a Windsor! Such a gorgeous girl!’, while a third added: ‘I’ve always thought Princess Charlotte was a mix of the Queen and Prince William.’
The photo showed the smiling princess pictured outdoors while wearing a dark blue short sleeved £59 dress with a pink floral design from British children’s clothing brand Rachel Riley.
Royal fans compared the portrait to one of the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, when aged six, showcasing Princess Charlotte’s uncanny resemblance to her great-grandmother.
In a portrait released of the Queen when at the same age of her great-granddaughter, Her Majesty can be seen sporting the same charming smile.
Princess Charlotte, aged two, pictured left, while pictured right, is her great-grandmother the Queen at the same age in 1928
Princess Charlotte, aged three, at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, pictured left. Pictured right, The Queen aged three or four
When aged four, a picture of Princess Charlotte (seen left) showed the young royal holding a flower as she ran through a field, similar to a snap of her great-grandmother at that age (seen right)
Princess Charlotte, aged five, pictured left. Pictured right: The then Princess Elizabeth in 1931
Princess Charlotte on December 11, 2020, at a special pantomime performance of The National Lottery’s Pantoland at London’s Palladium Theatre, pictured left. Pictured right: The Queen in 1931, in London
The young Princess Elizabeth wore a stylish headband and ruffled ballet dress in the photograph.
But it’s not just this year’s portrait where the similar features can be spotted, with photographs of Princess Charlotte and the Queen when at the same age repeatedly showing their likeness.
For instance, when aged four, a picture of Princess Charlotte showed the young royal holding a flower as she ran through a field, similar to a snap of her great-grandmother at that age.
A young Princess Elizabeth was photographed playing in a field of flowers on June 3, 1930, when also aged four.
One-year-old Princess Charlotte with the Duchess of Cambridge in Canada, pictured left, and the then Princess Elizabeth as a baby with the Queen Mother, pictured right
Princess Charlotte, aged two, in 2017 in Berlin, Germany, pictured left, and the Queen as a toddler, pictured right
Princess Charlotte, aged five, left, and right, Princess Elizabeth playing with a doll in a toy pram in 1933, outside the Welsh House, a miniature house presented to Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret by the people of Wales in the grounds of the Royal Lodge, Windsor
Although Princess Charlotte’s parents have always fiercely protected their children’s privacy, restricting the number of photocalls they take part in each year for instance, they have been more relaxed of late.
During lockdown, they shared their experiences of homeschooling, with Prince William admitting it was ‘a bit of a nightmare’ and joking that he struggled with Year 2 maths.
Along with her brothers, Princess Charlotte was pictured clapping for carers during the first lockdown and delivering packages of homemade pasta to isolated pensioners on the Sandringham Estate.
The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, pictured around the age of six. Although Princess Charlotte’s parents have always fiercely protected their children’s privacy, restricting the number of photocalls they take part in each year for instance, they have been more relaxed of late
Princess Elizabeth (to become Queen Elizabeth II) with her mother and father in the late 1930s (left) and with her sister Princess Margaret as children in the ‘grounds’ of the model house – Y Bwthyn Bach – presented to them on Elizabeth’s sixth birthday by the people of Wales in 1933
Reaction: Royal enthusiasts took to Twitter today to comment on how much Princess Charlotte looks like her great-grandmother the Queen
In a video with David Attenborough, Princess Charlotte was heard declaring: ‘I like spiders. Do you like spiders too?’
The sixth birthday photograph followed the release of a video of Princess Charlotte with her brothers, Prince George and Prince Louis, and their parents to mark the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 10th wedding anniversary.
It showed the family enjoying time outdoors at their Norfolk residence Anmer Hall and on sand dunes at a nearby beach.
In the video, Princess Charlotte was seen playing and toasting a marshmallow on a camp fire.