The Royal Family has released photographs of Prince Louis painting rainbows to mark his second birthday.

Several photos taken by his mother Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge earlier this month and shared by Kensington Palace on Instagram and Twitter on Thursday, show the prince with rainbow coloured paint on his hands.

One of the photos shows a painting of a rainbow, with an accompanying caption on Twitter reading: "Sharing a sneak peek of Prince Louis's handiwork ahead of his second birthday."

The palace also thanked people for their birthday wishes, sharing an "Instagram vs reality" post on Twitter of the young prince's face covered in paint.

In Britain, the rainbow has become a symbol of hope during the coronavirus crisis as the country battles to stem the spread of the virus, which to date has claimed 18,100 lives in the country, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Children across the country have been painting rainbows and placing them in windows to display to passersby, or drawing them in chalk on pavements and walls to spread the message of hope and remind people to stay home.

Prince Louis, who is fifth in line to the throne and the youngest of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's three children, was born on April 23 2018 at a hospital in Paddington, west London.

Last year, Kensington Palace released a set of photographs, also taken by Catherine, to mark his first birthday. The images were taken at their family home in Norfolk, in the east of England.

Earlier this month Prince William and Catherine dialed in for a video call to spread some cheer to teachers and pupils at Casterton Primary Academy in Lancashire, northwestern England, which remains open for children of key workers, including National Health Service staff.

The U.K. has been in lockdown since March 24 when Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently recovering after being treated for Covid-19 in intensive care, issued a stay-at-home order, warning people could only leave their homes for shopping, one form of exercise or for work if they have to.