A low-key 40th for Kate as Covid sees her birthday plans scaled down

How Kate Middleton will celebrate her big birthday: Duchess of Cambridge is spending her 40th enjoying a small gathering at Anmer Hall in Norfolk – as it’s revealed the bells of Westminster Abbey WON’T ring because of Covid

  • The celebrations for Kate’s 40th birthday will be muted due to the Covid risk
  • She is expected to have a smaller do in Norfolk with just family and close friends 
  • As a result of Covid, Westminster Abbey bells will not chime for Kate’s 40th 
  • But her birthday has been marked by the release of three new portraits 

Today marks a landmark birthday for the Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 40 – but she’ll be enjoying it in the Norfolk countryside, as the ongoing pandemic keeps a bigger bash off the cards. 

The Duchess is reportedly have a more intimate affair with just friends and family at the Cambridges’ home, Amner Hall, due to the ongoing risk from the Omicron variant.   

However, Kate is unlikely to be upset about the smaller celebrations this year, according to a source, who claimed the Duchess is not ‘flashy’.

They said: ‘There are likely to be low-key celebrations for the Duchess. She didn’t want anything flashy anyway – that’s not exactly her thing – but particularly given the current climate anything is likely to be scaled down.’  

Kensington Palace has released three striking new portraits of Kate to celebrate her landmark birthday, taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi in Kew Gardens. In the images, she wears dresses by Alexander McQueen

Kate Middleton, who turns 40 today, is reportedly set to mark the occasion with a small party attended by friends and family. She is pictured here with husband Prince William, and their three children Charlotte, Louis, and George

The Cambridge family residence, Anmer Hall in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, will reportedly host Kate’s birthday bash

In addition to the smaller gathering, the Duchess is set to miss out on a royal birthday tradition. 

Birthdays of senior royals used to be marked by the ringing of the bells at Westminster Abbey, but the practice was stopped in April 2020 due to the pandemic, and changes implemented when the bells restarted last September. 

In a bid to save money, the bells will now only ring on the birthdays of the Queen and the Prince of Wales.

After the decision was made, a Westminster Abbey spokesperson told Hello: ‘The Abbey bells can be heard ringing out before services and in celebration of church festivals. The bells have also traditionally been rung to mark the birthdays of senior members of the Royal Family.

‘Due to the financial challenges posed to the Abbey by the Covid-19 pandemic, and in consultation with Buckingham Palace, the bells will now ring only for the birthdays of HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales.’

However, the Duchess’ birthday has been celebrated in style by Kensington Palace, which has released three striking new portraits of Kate, taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi in Kew Gardens.

The images are to be added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of which the Duchess – a keen photographer herself – is patron

The black and white images of Kate show the Duchess wearing white gowns by  Alexander McQueen, accessorised with Princess Diana’s Collingwood pearl and diamond earrings, and in this shot, she also displays her famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring

The set features two shots in black and white, and one colour photo. In all the images, Kate wears dresses by Alexander McQueen, the same design house that created her wedding dress in 2011.

The colour photo shows her posing in a one-shoulder red gown, wearing diamond earrings borrowed from the Queen’s private collection. 

In the black and white snaps, she wears white dresses, accessorised with Princess Diana’s Collingwood pearl and diamond earrings. 

Speaking about the images, a Palace source said: ‘From the three photographs, you can see the three aspects of personality.

‘There is the regal side to her – as you can see in the classic shot where she is looking off into the distance; there is the more informal image in the red dress as a modern woman at 40; and then there is the close-up, which offers a more intimate perspective.’ 

The images are to be added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of which the Duchess – a keen photographer herself – is patron. 

KATE AT 40: HOW SHE GROWN INTO HER ROYAL CAREER

From appearing at her first solo engagement…to hosting Christmas carol service   


The Duchess gave her first ever public speech at The Treehouse Hospice, Ipswich, in 2012 (pictured left during the visit) and was a lot more reserved, compare to how she is today (right) 

Days ahead of Kate’s 30th birthday, St James’s Palace finally announced details of the first clutch of lifelong royal patronages the Duchess agreed to take on.

The announcement was a long time in the coming — eight months after her wedding — thanks to the royal household’s cautious approach to her duties. 

The Duchess was aware of such criticism, but with the support of William and the Queen, she stuck to her guns and refused to commit to a full-time public role. 

The monarch believes quite firmly that the Royal Family should let Kate — of whom she has already grown extremely fond — enjoy some time as an ‘ordinary’ military wife before a lifetime of public service calls.

The Duchess spent the four months working her way through applications from the hundreds of charities that contacted the Palace begging for her backing after the Royal Wedding and asking her staff to approach organisations on her behalf.

Initially, Kate chose to just be patron of four relatively small charities — Action On Addiction, the National Portrait Gallery, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and The Art Room

The fact that she only chose to become, initially, patron of four relatively small charities — Action On Addiction, the National Portrait Gallery, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and The Art Room — plus taking on an ad-hoc role with the Scouts, was part of her determination to become intimately involved with causes close to her heart, rather than spread her largesse too thinly. 

However Kate has now transformed and according to Judi, she has gone from a ‘nervous, self-effacing royal newbie’ on the day her engagement to Prince William was made public in November 2010, to a ‘pillar member of the royal family who echoes the Queen’s resilience and radiates confidence.’ 

And ten years after her engagement, Kate, now an established member of the royal family, ‘stands her own’ during royal engagements. 

Judi went on to explain how Kate has developed her own independent public persona, but was always part of a ‘double-act’ with William.

‘Kate’s strong use of eye contact with their hosts on visits and virtual meetings show Kate is comfortable leading or even hosting the conversations, although the way she and William take it in turns to lead shows,’ she explained.

She added it was ‘a skill of seamless ‘swapping’ that never once features the kind of eye-rolling or micro-grimacing that might suggest competitiveness or jealousies.

‘Kate and William have always shown strong mirroring to suggest a like-minded team dynamic but recently that mirroring has become even more intense and subliminal, showing those qualities have increased throughout their marriage.’


And ten years after her engagement, Kate, now an established member of the royal family, ‘stands her own’ during royal engagements. In the final years of her thirties, Kate launched several huge landmark projects, including her Early Years survey (pictured) 

The launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood was a landmark step in Her Royal Highness’ work and signals her lifelong commitment to improving outcomes across society  

In the final years of her thirties, Kate launched several huge landmark projects, including her Early Years survey. 

The launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood was a landmark step in Her Royal Highness’ work and signals her lifelong commitment to improving outcomes across society. 

In June, speaking during the roundtable discussion at LSE, she stressed she was ‘really excited’ to launch the The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which will drive focus on bringing to light the extraordinary impact of the early years in order to transform society for generations to come. 

The establishment of the centre signals a lifetime commitment from the duchess to transforming society. The mother-of-three, who has championed the cause since she joined the Royal Family, stressed our first five years ‘lay important foundations for our future selves’ and ultimately ‘shapes the adults and the parents we become’ in a video released this morning. 

The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will focus on three key areas of activity in the years to come, which include promoting and commissioning high-quality research to increase knowledge and share best practice. It will also work with people from across the private, public and voluntary sectors to collaborate on new solutions, and develop creative campaigns to raise awareness and inspire action – driving real, positive change on the early years. 


Meanwhile body language expert Judi James said Kate has now transformed from a ‘nervous, self-effacing royal newbie’ on the day her engagement to Prince William was made public in November 2010, to a ‘pillar member of the royal family who echoes the Queen’s resilience and radiates confidence’

 And last month, she hosted her family for a Christmas carol service in London, recorded for a one-hour festive special, Royal Carols: Together at Christmas, which aired on Christmas Eve.

As well as filming an introduction message which was seen at the start of the broadcast, the mother-of-three also delighted viewers with a surprise piano performance.

The Together At Christmas carol service was attended by ‘unsung heroes’ from across the UK in recognition of their ‘inspirational’ efforts to protect and care for those around them.

Individuals who The Duke and Duchess met and spent time with during their recent engagements and project work were also present, alongside armed forces personnel who were involved in Operation Pitting – airlifting families out of Kabul – young carers and faith leaders. 

 

ROYAL CAREER

From appearing at her first solo engagement…to hosting Christmas carol service   


The Duchess gave her first ever public speech at The Treehouse Hospice, Ipswich, in 2012 (pictured left during the visit) and was a lot more reserved, compare to how she is today (right) 

Days ahead of Kate’s 30th birthday, St James’s Palace finally announced details of the first clutch of lifelong royal patronages the Duchess agreed to take on.

The announcement was a long time in the coming — eight months after her wedding — thanks to the royal household’s cautious approach to her duties. 

The Duchess was aware of such criticism, but with the support of William and the Queen, she stuck to her guns and refused to commit to a full-time public role. 

The monarch believes quite firmly that the Royal Family should let Kate — of whom she has already grown extremely fond — enjoy some time as an ‘ordinary’ military wife before a lifetime of public service calls.

The Duchess spent the four months working her way through applications from the hundreds of charities that contacted the Palace begging for her backing after the Royal Wedding and asking her staff to approach organisations on her behalf.

Initially, Kate chose to just be patron of four relatively small charities — Action On Addiction, the National Portrait Gallery, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and The Art Room

The fact that she only chose to become, initially, patron of four relatively small charities — Action On Addiction, the National Portrait Gallery, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and The Art Room — plus taking on an ad-hoc role with the Scouts, was part of her determination to become intimately involved with causes close to her heart, rather than spread her largesse too thinly. 

However Kate has now transformed and according to Judi, she has gone from a ‘nervous, self-effacing royal newbie’ on the day her engagement to Prince William was made public in November 2010, to a ‘pillar member of the royal family who echoes the Queen’s resilience and radiates confidence.’ 

And ten years after her engagement, Kate, now an established member of the royal family, ‘stands her own’ during royal engagements. 

Judi went on to explain how Kate has developed her own independent public persona, but was always part of a ‘double-act’ with William.

‘Kate’s strong use of eye contact with their hosts on visits and virtual meetings show Kate is comfortable leading or even hosting the conversations, although the way she and William take it in turns to lead shows,’ she explained.

She added it was ‘a skill of seamless ‘swapping’ that never once features the kind of eye-rolling or micro-grimacing that might suggest competitiveness or jealousies.

‘Kate and William have always shown strong mirroring to suggest a like-minded team dynamic but recently that mirroring has become even more intense and subliminal, showing those qualities have increased throughout their marriage.’


And ten years after her engagement, Kate, now an established member of the royal family, ‘stands her own’ during royal engagements. In the final years of her thirties, Kate launched several huge landmark projects, including her Early Years survey (pictured) 

The launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood was a landmark step in Her Royal Highness’ work and signals her lifelong commitment to improving outcomes across society  

In the final years of her thirties, Kate launched several huge landmark projects, including her Early Years survey. 

The launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood was a landmark step in Her Royal Highness’ work and signals her lifelong commitment to improving outcomes across society. 

In June, speaking during the roundtable discussion at LSE, she stressed she was ‘really excited’ to launch the The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which will drive focus on bringing to light the extraordinary impact of the early years in order to transform society for generations to come. 

The establishment of the centre signals a lifetime commitment from the duchess to transforming society. The mother-of-three, who has championed the cause since she joined the Royal Family, stressed our first five years ‘lay important foundations for our future selves’ and ultimately ‘shapes the adults and the parents we become’ in a video released this morning. 

The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will focus on three key areas of activity in the years to come, which include promoting and commissioning high-quality research to increase knowledge and share best practice. It will also work with people from across the private, public and voluntary sectors to collaborate on new solutions, and develop creative campaigns to raise awareness and inspire action – driving real, positive change on the early years. 


Meanwhile body language expert Judi James said Kate has now transformed from a ‘nervous, self-effacing royal newbie’ on the day her engagement to Prince William was made public in November 2010, to a ‘pillar member of the royal family who echoes the Queen’s resilience and radiates confidence’

 And last month, she hosted her family for a Christmas carol service in London, recorded for a one-hour festive special, Royal Carols: Together at Christmas, which aired on Christmas Eve.

As well as filming an introduction message which was seen at the start of the broadcast, the mother-of-three also delighted viewers with a surprise piano performance.

The Together At Christmas carol service was attended by ‘unsung heroes’ from across the UK in recognition of their ‘inspirational’ efforts to protect and care for those around them.

Individuals who The Duke and Duchess met and spent time with during their recent engagements and project work were also present, alongside armed forces personnel who were involved in Operation Pitting – airlifting families out of Kabul – young carers and faith leaders. 

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