The Duchess of Cambridge turns 40

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The Duchess of Cambridge turns 40
Kensington Palace

On Sunday, The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine is marking her 40th birthday. Going beyond the Royal Watching world’s expectations, Kensington Palace marked the milestone birthday with the release of three stunning birthday portraits of The Duchess. The portraits are inspired by 19th-century photography, which was the focus of Catherine’s undergraduate thesis. The first picture in which Catherine is looking into the distance was inspired by the work of Cecil Beaton, the revered photographer who captured historic images of the Queen and Princess Margaret.

The Duchess of Cambridgeth birhtday portraits
Kensington Palace

The pictures will become a part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery – one of Catherine’s Patronage. Ahead of the Portrait Gallery’s re-opening in 2023, the photographs will be part of its Coming Home project, a nationwide initiative that sees portraits of well-known individuals being sent to locations that they are closely associated with. The project has enabled works from the National Portrait Gallery’s national collection to travel to towns and cities across the UK, providing communities with the opportunity to see famous works locally.

The Duchess of Cambridge turns 40
Kensington Palace

All three portraits were taken by Italian Fashion Photographer Paolo Roversi at the Kew Gardens in November 2021. About the portraits, Kensington Palace said, “The Duchess of Cambridge’s new photos will be displayed over the course of 2022 in three places that hold special meaning to The Duchess of Cambridge: Berkshire, St. Andrews, and Anglesey. From the three photographs, you can see the three aspects of The Duchess’ 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.”

  • Born on January 09th in 1982 in Berkshire, Catherine Elizabeth is the eldest daughter of Michael and Carole Middleton.

  • William and Catherine met at St. Andrews University in 2001. She married Prince William on April 29th in 2011.

  • You will remember that the newly married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first home was Anglesey.

I believe the portraits will be released at all three places in summer after William’s 40th birthday in June. Talking about his experience of Photographing The Duchess, Paolo Roversi said, “Taking the photographs of Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, was a true honor for me, and a moment of pure joy. I was moved by her warmth and friendly welcome and enchanted by her shining eyes that reflected the loveliness of her soul and her smile showing the generosity of her heart. It was a profound and rich experience for me, an unforgettable moment. I have met a wonderful person, a person who, with her positive energy, can bring hope to the whole world“.



The portraits are clearly inspired by Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Mother’s birthday portraits. From Telegraph’s report, ” Taking influence from the work of era-defining royal photographers such as Cecil Beaton, the Duchess has also channeled her admiration for Victorian photography for a series of three very different images. 

One, in which the Duchess is captured in profile, is reminiscent of the young Queen Victoria and shows the modern mother-of-three in regal serenity. A second, also in sepia tones, is more intimate, seeing her look directly at the camera with a beaming smile in a pose echoing Diana, Princess of Wales in her Mario Testino photoshoots.

The photographs are the most heavily symbolic of any taken of the Duchess in her royal life so far.  They are intended to capture the family and creative influences in her life, paying tribute to the taste of the young Queen and her mother, Queen Elizabeth, whose image was so often captured by Beaton in a similar style.”

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Royal Collection Trust
Princess Margaret Birthday Portrait
Royal Collection Trust

A look at two portraits of Her Majesty and Princess Margaret taken by Cecil Beaton.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore Princess Diana Collingwood Pearl Earrings
Princess Diana Collingwood Pearl Earrings

Catherine is wearing a white off-shoulder silk jacquard, organza tulle gown repurposed from previous collections to produce a sustainable dress. The Duchess paired the dress with Princess Diana’s Collingwood Pearl earrings and Princess Diana Pearl strands bracelet.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore Alexander McQueen Asymmetric Draped sleeve red dress
Alexander McQueen Asymmetric Draped sleeve Anemone print dress

In the other, she is wearing a red one-shoulder Alexander McQueen Asymmetric Draped sleeve dress. Thanks to Innominate for the id.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore The Queen's Diamond earrings
Kensington Palace

She paired it with The Queen’s Diamond earrings.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore Alexander McQueen One Shoulder Ruffle Dress in her 40th birthday portrait
Alexander McQueen One-Shoulder Ruffle Dress

while in the last one she is wearing a white one-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown with ruffled details. Thanks to UFONoMore for the id.  All three gowns were designed by Catherine’s wedding dress designer Sarah Burton, of Alexander McQueen, especially for the occassion.

In the last decade within the Royal family, The Duchess has welcomed her three children, renovated two homes, and became patron of various charities.  Beginning as the shy Princess bride, today, The Duchess of Cambridge is a strong and key player of the British Monarchy. Look into her life and style in this quick video. I wish the lovely Duchess a very Happy Birthday!!

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