New portraits of Kate Middleton released to mark her 40th birthday

A handout photo released by Kensington Palace shows Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, celebrating her 40th birthday on January 9 in Kew Gardens, London, taken in November 2021.PAOLO ROVERSI / Reuters

Three new photographs of the British Royal Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, were released by Kensington Palace on Saturday to mark her 40th birthday.

The soft-focus portraits of veteran Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi are touring around the UK this year before being added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, which Kate is patron of.

Kate joined the royal family in 2011 when she married Prince William, Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter and the second in line to the throne, in a glittering ceremony believed to have been watched by hundreds of millions across the globe.

One of the photographs shows a profile of Kate looking sideways in a white dress resembling a wedding dress, while her sapphire engagement ring – formerly worn by Williams’ mother, Princess Diana – is prominently displayed.

Another – the only one of the photographs in color – shows Kate in a red dress facing the camera with a wide smile. The third photograph shows Kate in a wrinkled white top, again smiling at the camera.

The three photographs, which have neutral, non-descriptive backgrounds, were all taken in November at the Kew Botanical Gardens in west London, Kensington Palace said.

The portraits are touring Berkshire in the south of England, where Kate grew up; St Andrews, Scotland, where Kate met William at university; and Anglesey in Wales, where the couple lived while William served as a helicopter search and rescue pilot at a Royal Air Force base on the island.

Opinion polls suggest that the future king and queen, who have three children of their own, are now the most popular royals behind the 95-year-old monarch.

According to media reports, Kate will be celebrating her landmark birthday on Sunday with only family and close friends due to the current wave of COVID-19s spreading across the country, powered by the Omicron variant.


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