Prince William and Kate go on secret skiing holiday with two kids

Kate and William frolic in the snow with Princess Charlotte and Prince George on holiday in the French Alps. (Kensington Palace)

Kensington Palace has released photos of Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and their children George and Charlotte on a ski holiday in the French Alps.

The six images published Monday show William, Kate, 2 1/2-year-old George and 10-month-old Charlotte on the snowy slopes last week.

Twitter/Kensington Palace

The royal couple flew with Prince George, two, and 10-month-old Princess Charlotte to a secret location in the French Alps last Wednesday.

Unlike royal ski holidays of old - when a group of photographers was invited to capture the family relaxing on the slopes - the Cambridges chose to escape the country without telling the media of their plans.

Twitter/Kensington Palace

Instead of arranging a photo-call to mark the trip, William and Kate invited only a single Press Association photographer, who took a small number of posed portraits. It is only now they have returned to Britain that details have emerged - but they still refuse to reveal the destination of their winter break.

The palace says it was "their first holiday as a family of four and the first time either of the children had played in the snow."

Twitter/Kensington Palace

One picture captures the moment the Duchess threw a handful of snow at her husband's chest. But the second-in-line to the throne was not going to be caught out again and a few moments later an image shows him playfully grappling with his wife as he manages to knock a snowball from her hand.

Twitter/Kensington Palace

The release of the pictures follows a media policy established when William and his brother Prince Harry were children: privacy in exchange for agreed-upon photo opportunities at birthdays and during school holidays.

That allowed the princes to have — by royal standards — a relatively normal upbringing, something Kate and William are keen to give their own children.

Twitter/Kensington Palace

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