Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge celebrates her 40th birthday on Sunday, 9 January 2022.

Photo: © Paolo Roversi.

Kensington Palace has released three new portraits taken by Paolo Roversi of the Duchess at Kew Gardens in November 2021.

These portraits will enter the permanent collection at one of the Duchess’s patronages, the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Catherine ‘Kate’ Elizabeth Middleton was born on 9 January 1982 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, the eldest daughter of Michael and Carole Middleton. She has two younger siblings, Pippa and James.

She attended St Andrew’s School and Marlborough College before studying art history at St Andrew’s University where she met her future husband.

According to reports, they began dating in 2003 during their second year at university although they broke up for a short time during 2007, before getting back together.

Photo: © Paolo Roversi

Engagement and Wedding

Prince William proposed during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya in October 2010, giving Kate the engagement ring which had belonged to his mother, Diana Princess of Wales.

Clarence House made the official announcement of their engagement on 16 November.

She married Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011 (St Catherine’s Day) with a global audience of more than 300 million, including Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The bride wore a gown designed by English designer Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen – a dress that combined tradition and modernity – with floral motifs, the Tudor Rose, Shamrock, Scottish Thistle and Daffodil, sewn at the Royal School of Needlework.

Following the wedding, Catherine became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge as Queen Elizabeth had granted Prince William the titles of Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.

Queen Elizabeth gave the newlyweds a country home, Anmer Hall, on the Sandringham Estate where The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live when they’re not at their official London residence at Kensington Palace.

Photo: © Paolo Roversi.

Family Life

They now have three children, George, Charlotte and Louis – all born at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington – who are second, third and fourth in the line of succession.

Thanks to a change in the rules of succession, known as the Perth Agreement in 2011 which replaced male primogeniture with absolute primogeniture so Princess Charlotte did not move down the line when her younger brother Prince Louis was born in 2018.

Official Duties

The Duchess of Cambridge carries out official duties on behalf of Queen Elizabeth and supports numerous charities and organisations, where many focus on providing children with the best possible start in life, mental health advocacy, sport and the outdoors and the visual arts.

So far, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have represented Queen Elizabeth during the following overseas visits, including The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Tour in 2012 and their trip to Australia in 2014.

The Duke and Duchess, and Prince George, visited Australia from 16 to 25 April including the Sydney Opera House, where they met young leaders of the arts and sports.

They also attended the Royal Easter Show, met survivors of bushfires in the Blue Mountains and attended an Easter service at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney. The royal couple also visited RAAF Base Amberley, met indigenous artists and students in Yulara in the Northern Territory and attended ANZAC Day commemorations at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

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