HER ROYAL CUTE­NESS!

Mum’s eye­brows. Grandpa’s ears. Why she’s su­per-clever – and why those eyes may NOT stay blue. What these pic­tures re­veal about...

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Sarah Rainey

AT FIRST glance, they are just or­di­nary pho­tos, the sort any ador­ing mother would snap on the spur of the mo­ment to cap­ture her child’s pre­cious first months. How­ever, a closer look at the two pic­tures taken by the Duchess of Cam­bridge of six-month- old Princess Char­lotte re­veals an aw­ful lot about their young sub­ject — and her proud mother’s bud­ding flair for pho­tog­ra­phy. . .

STRUG­GLING TO SEE

SHE may look as though she’s pos­ing for the cam­era, but lit­tle Char­lotte won’t yet be able to see that it’s her mother be­hind the shut­ter. This is be­cause ba­bies — although born with good hear­ing — have im­per­fect eye­sight that takes around eight months to de­velop.

‘Ba­bies are born short-sighted and find it hard to fo­cus,’ ex­plains Dr Re­becca Chicot, a child de­vel­op­ment ex­pert.

‘They can see black, white and red most eas­ily, but find it dif­fi­cult to fol­low mov­ing ob­jects. Char­lotte will strug­gle to recog­nise peo­ple from a dis­tance.’

THE FAM­ILY LINE

LiT­TLE Char­lotte shares a fam­ily trait with her brother — a tiny yet dis­tinc­tive curve of ex­cess skin un­der­neath her lower eye­lids which cre­ates a small line.

This ap­pears to be a ‘fam­ily fea­ture’ in­her­ited from their fa­ther, says Dr Chicot.

in­deed, since child­hood Prince Wil­liam has had a de­fined cleft of skin un­der his eyes, which could be mis­taken for eye bags but is, in fact, a ge­netic fea­ture.

Char­lotte and Ge­orge also share their fa­ther’s round, deep- set eyes — their mother’s are a nar­rower al­mond shape.

STICK­ING-OUT EARS

ONE fam­ily re­sem­blance goes fur­ther back still — and that’s Princess Char­lotte’s prom­i­nent ears.

While her lobes sit flush against her cheeks, the up­per flaps ap­pear to stick out, bring­ing to mind her pa­ter­nal grand­fa­ther’s un­mis­take­able lugs.

Though they’re far smaller than Prince Charles’s, there’s a clear sim­i­lar­ity in shape, as well as the prom­i­nent bulge of skin on the in­ner lobe.

‘Not all ba­bies’ ears stick out, so it is pos­si­ble to see dif­fer­ences at this age,’ says Dr Chicot, co-founder of The Es­sen­tial Par­ent Com­pany, which pro­vides on­line baby-care cour­ses for par­ents.

At this age, how­ever, Char­lotte’s ears will be made from soft, mal­leable tis­sue rather than the harder car­ti­lage of adults’ ears — so as she grows they may be­come less no­tice­able.

BEAU­TI­FUL BROWS

HER mother is praised for her im­pec­ca­ble eye­brows, and Princess Char­lotte seems to have taken af­ter the Duchess in this re­spect.

‘She may well in­herit those beau­ti­ful dark, arched eye­brows,’ says Dr Chicot. ‘Ba­bies of­ten have quite prom­i­nent eye­brows — they look rel­a­tively big­ger than adults’ brows as their heads are rel­a­tively smaller.’

Princess Char­lotte’s are par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive and give a real sense of char­ac­ter to her face.

GUMMY SMILE

CHAR­LOTTE is likely al­ready to have one or two milk teeth, which nor­mally start de­vel­op­ing be­tween four and seven months.

Her gummy grin in one pho­to­graph sug­gests the teeth are on the up­per half, which par­ent­ing ex­perts say tend to be more painful dur­ing teething than the lower half.

Yet royal in­sid­ers say she hasn’t been howl­ing through the night, as many teething ba­bies do, and is ‘a bril­liant sleeper; calm and smi­ley’.

SIT­TING PRETTY

BY NOW, Char­lotte will be ca­pa­ble of sit­ting up on her own, sup­port­ing her head and body.

‘ From around five months, ba­bies born full term — or not pre­ma­ture — can sit up with sup­port, and be­tween six to eight months they can sit un­aided,’ says Dr Chicot. ‘Char­lotte can prob­a­bly sit up on the floor for short pe­ri­ods, but will still oc­ca­sion­ally top­ple if she reaches for some­thing.’

WHY FEET ARE FUN

LIKE all ba­bies, Princess Char­lotte will love clutch­ing her feet, wrig­gling her toes and even putting them in her mouth.

This will be one of Char­lotte’s favourite ac­tiv­i­ties at this age, says Dr Chicot. ‘Ba­bies’ gross mo­tor skills — con­trol­ling their arms and legs — re­ally take off around four months,’ she says. ‘ For sev­eral months, Char­lotte will have been able to bring her feet to her mouth when ly­ing on her back, and hold them for sup­port when sit­ting up.’

But why do ba­bies find their feet so fas­ci­nat­ing?

‘They can feel shapes and tex­tures — and, when they put them in their mouth, which has lots of nerves, they can feel tastes and tem­per­a­tures,’ says Dr Chicot. All of which is far more ex­cit­ing than sit­ting still.

SNAP­PER KATE

THE Duchess broke new ground for the Royal Fam­ily when she first re­leased home pho­to­graphs of Prince Ge­orge. And ex­perts say that from the light­ing to the an­gle of the lens, kate is be­com­ing more skilled as a pho­tog­ra­pher.

She ap­pears to have used a Canon EOS 5D Mark ii cam­era (from £620) and taken the pho­to­graphs in nat­u­ral light with­out us­ing a flash. The two tiny white squares in Char­lotte’s eyes sug­gest kate also used a ‘soft­box’, a hol­low can­vas cube that is used by pro­fes­sion­als to dif­fuse harsh light.

‘The shad­ows on the left of the frame are filled in by what i’d guess is a re­flec­tor, turned at a 30-45 de­gree an­gle to en­hance the re­flec­tion across Char­lotte’s face,’ says Lon­don snap­per John God­win.

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