Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge, William And Kate, Share Adorable Family Ski Vacation Photos

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — otherwise known as Prince William and Princess Kate — are hitting the slopes in the French Alps with their two small children this week, and are sharing adorable photos of the family with the rest of the world.

As Yahoo News reports, the Duke and Duchess are squeezing in some snowy vacation time into their busy schedules, visiting the famed ski resorts of the French Alps between appearances. Currently, the pair are focusing on children’s mental health, with an event slated for later this week to talk about preventing children’s suicide.

While frolicking about in the snow, the Duke and Duchess allowed themselves, and their adorable kids, to be photographed by their favorite documentarian, Associated Press photographer John Stillwell.

The Royal Family loves Stillwell — the AP journalist has a way of catching Royal Family members, the Duke and Duchess and their family in particular, at tender moments. More importantly, Stillwell is known for his discretion — an important trait for a family who tightly controls its image in the media.

In the photos, released via the Kensington Palace official Twitter feed, you can see the Duke and Duchess playful throwing snowballs at each other. The couple, described by Yahoo News writer Carolyn Durand as “athletic,” love to compete against each other in athletic activities such as tennis and skiing — and the Duchess seems to win more often.

As the Palace notes, this is the royal kids’ fist time playing in the snow; snow is uncommon in London, and when it does snow, it usually doesn’t stick.

The Duke and Duchess’ kids appear to have grown up a bit since the last time they were photographed. George, who has always been a fan favorite of Royal Family watchers, appears to have put on a few inches. And Charlotte, a few months shy of her first birthday, appears to have sprouted a couple of teeth.

For a generation, the Royal Family has been steadily allowing itself — and in particular, the young children within the family — to have more of a presence in the public eye. You can thank William’s late mother, Princess Diana, for that: as ABC News notes, prior to Diana’s intervention, William and his brother, Harry, were only photographed in tightly-controlled photo ops approved by the Crown. Diana, however, tried to give the boys more of a normal life — taking them to theme parks, for example, or bringing them along on her press events.

It’s a tradition continued by the Duke and Duchess — ditching royal trappings, whenever possible, in favor of an approach to life that resonates with regular Britons. Prince William, for example, though second in line to the throne behind his father, Prince Charles, still has his day job as a rescue helicopter pilot, according to this Inquisitr report. He donates his salary to charity.

Princess Kate, meanwhile, as taken an approach to mothering that is decidedly un-royal. Rather than letting nannies take care of her kids, is known to get down and dirty with the young royal heirs. And when the Duchess gets exhausted from minding the kids, her own mother, Carole Middleton, has been known to pitch in. (To be fair, the Duke and Duchess still employ a nanny.)

[Photo via John Stillwell/Pool/AP Photo]