New Portraits of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, Released for Her 40th Birthday

Kate Middleton

Stunning new birthday portraits of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pay tribute to both Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana. The photos were taken in Kew Gardens, London, Britain in November 2021. Photo: Paolo Roversi/Handout via 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 by veteran Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi will go on tour around Britain this year before being added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, of which Kate is the patron.

Kate joined the royal family in 2011 when she married Prince William, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson 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 off to the side in a white gown similar to a wedding dress, while her sapphire engagement ring — formerly worn by William’s mother, Princess Diana — is prominently on display.


Kate Middleton
To accessorize her elegant chiffon gown, Kate wears pearl drop earrings which belonged to her late mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales. Her sapphire engagement ring, which also belonged to Diana, is on full display. Photo: Paolo Roversi/Handout via Reuters


Another – the only one of the photographs in colour — shows Kate in a red gown turning towards the camera with a broad smile. The third photograph shows Kate in a frilly white top, again smiling at the camera.


Kate Middleton
In this portrait, Kate wears a stunning red satin dress as well as diamond earrings that belong to the 95-year-old monarch. All clothes for this shoot are from British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who created the duchess’s iconic wedding dress. She has worn the label on several significant occasions in her royal life. Photo: Paolo Roversi/Handout via Reuters


Kate Middleton
In a second black-and-white image, Kate also wears earrings that once belonged to Princess Diana, paying homage to her late mother-in-law. Photo: Paolo Roversi/Handout via Reuters



The three photographs, which have neutral, non-descript backdrops, were all taken in November at the botanical gardens in Kew, west London, Kensington Palace said.

The portraits will go on tour to Berkshire, southern 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.

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 celebrate her landmark birthday on Sunday with just family and close friends because of the current wave of COVID-19 which is spreading across the country fuelled by the Omicron variant.

(Reporting by David Milliken and Michael Holden; Editing by Daniel Wallis)


Kate Middleton at 40: A Poised, Elegant Queen-in-Waiting