The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son Prince Louis has been photographed to mark his second birthday - making a rainbow tribute poster.

Children across the UK have been creating rainbow pictures as a symbol of hope during the coronavirus lockdown to put in their windows.

Now Louis has joined the popular trend and was photographed by proud mother Kate at their Norfolk home earlier this month - with his rainbow-coloured hands on show.

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The young prince will celebrate his second birthday on Thursday, and the fruits of his labour - a rainbow handprint picture - is one of five photographs released to mark the milestone.

Louis looks like he is growing up fast in the pictures, with his hair neatly cut and combed and wearing a smart blue gingham-style shirt.

In a series of images, Kate has captured her son as he grins at the camera while holding up his painted palms and fingers, in another his coloured digits are raised to his cheeks, and in the fourth photograph his face is almost hidden behind his outstretched hands.

The final image is a portrait of the young prince as he looks past his mother at something just behind her.

The duke and duchess also shared an informal photo that didn't make it into the official release on their Kensington Royal Twitter account.

Louis was photographed by his mother, Kate, while painting a rainbow tribute poster (AP)

The post featured a side-by-side comparison of one of the official photos of Prince Louis holding up his hands covered in rainbow paint with another of him spreading the colours onto his face.

"Instagram Vs Reality," the caption read. "Thank you for your lovely messages on Prince Louis’s second birthday."

Kate is a keen amateur photographer and patron of the Royal Photographic Society who has regularly released pictures she has taken of her other children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, to mark their birthdays.

Louis' artwork is likely to be part of William and Kate's home-schooling lessons, with the duchess guiltily admitting she kept the make-shift classroom up and running during the Easter holidays.

In a recent interview, she said she found teaching her children at home "challenging", and added with a laugh "don't tell the children we've actually kept it going through the holidays I feel very mean".

Kate captured her son as he grins at the camera while holding up his painted palms and fingers (AP)

"It's just having that bit of structure, actually. It's great, there are so many great tips online and fun activities that you can do with the children so it hasn't been all hardcore," she added.

Kate also revealed her surprise at her children's awareness about the coronavirus outbreak, and she has tackled the subject with them in "age appropriate" ways.

The final image is a portrait of the young prince as he looks past his mother at something just behind her (AP)

Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge, fifth in line to the throne, was born on St George's Day, April 23, 2018, at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, weighing 8lb 7oz.

He was christened at 11 weeks old, by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace in front of friends and family.

Louis' artwork is likely to be part of William and Kate's home-schooling lessons (AP)

Louis has rarely been seen in public - his most prominent outing was his first appearance on Buckingham Palace's balcony, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony last summer, with his parents, siblings and other members of the royal family.

But he has featured in a number of images released by William and Kate and was even in a video with his older brother and sister applauding the nation's health workers and carers.

Press Association.

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