How Did Kate Middleton Celebrate Her 40th Birthday?

Kate Middleton reached her 40th birthday on January 9, and the Duchess of Cambridge has only blossomed with the years. A royal insider told People on December 15, 2021 that Kate has been "flourishing," even given her increased senior royal duties. "She has really come into her own," the source told the outlet, with Kate reportedly taking on new roles at home as well.

With the 3-year-old son Prince Louis joining siblings Prince George and Princess Charlotte in school, per People, Kate remains a hands-on mom. She "runs things at home with the kids and the schedules," a personal friend to the duchess said. "She is hugely involved in every single part of their day." A source close to the royal family even boasted to the same magazine in January that Kate grows "more and more impressive as time goes on," adding, "She is a focused and professional woman."

It's a good thing she is — 2022 is shaping to be a busy year for the royals. Queen Elizabeth is celebrating an accomplishment no other royal has reached — completing 75 years as monarch — with the Platinum Jubilee, but will likely require assistance in duties. Given Elizabeth's 2021 health struggles, royal author Katie Nicholl predicted, per Closer, that "Kate will step up and I know the queen hugely values her support, and will rely on her more than ever." Before she takes on even more responsibilities this year, though, how did the duchess commemorate her milestone birthday?

Kate Middleton had three birthday portraits done for her 40th

Unfortunately, Kate Middleton's 40th birthday was quieter than a duchess probably deserves. Per People, Kate reportedly held her festivities in a private setting, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the U.K. Kensington Palace, however, didn't let the duchess' birthday pass without releasing three commemorative portraits of Kate just for the occasion, a few days ahead. 

The Duchess of Cambridge was showered with a wealth of birthday greetings from an assortment of family members. On Instagram, the royal family's official account posted a carousel of photos of Kate at various public events alongside Queen Elizabeth, husband Prince William, and stepmother-in-law Camilla Parker-Bowles. "Wishing The Duchess of Cambridge a very happy 40th birthday today!" the account captioned. As for Camilla and husband Prince Charles, they shared through their Clarence House Instagram account a trio of images of the three together.

Fans were equally enthusiastic about the occasion, with one commenting on the Clarence House post, "She truly is a wonderful little ray of sunshine in your amazing family! She has proven to be an overall amazing, inspiring and humble woman with an enormous heart filled with Love and compassion!!!!" We couldn't agree more.