The Duchess of Cambridge paid tribute to the history of royal photography in her birthday portraits by drawing on the work of Cecil Beaton, famous for capturing the Queen, Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.
To mark Kate’s 40th birthday yesterday, Kensington Palace released three portraits revealing sides of the Duchess of Cambridge, rarely seen by the public. The pictures were taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi in Kew Gardens.
A Palace source said: ‘From the three photographs, you can see the three aspects of Kate’s 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.’
The Duchess of Cambridge, who studied the History of Art at St Andrews University, was specifically inspired by Beaton’s work for the ‘classic shot’, the palace revealed.
The similarities between the photo and the ones taken by Beaton are evident, with royal commenters noting the styling, posing and colour all have echoes of the famous photographer.
A Palace source said that for this side-on shot, Kate, who studied art history at St Andrews University, was inspired by the work of Cecil Beaton, the revered photographer who captured historic images of the Queen and Princess Margaret
The similarities between the Duchess of Cambridge’s portrait and Beaton’s photographs of the Royal Family are evident. Above, Beaton’s portrait of the Queen Mother in 1939 (left) and Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in 1945
Princess Margaret, then 19, photographed by Cecil Beaton in a stunning evening dress for British Vogue in 1944. The posing in the photograph is similar to the one of the Duchess of Cambridge, although Margaret’s gaze is slightly different
Fashion photographer and designer Beaton had a working relationship with the Royal Family that lasted over 40 years.
He photographed the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, a teenage Princess Margaret for British Vogue, and was chosen as the official photographer at Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953.
Beaton, known for his acerbic wit, was a particular favourite of the Queen Mother, who gave him his introduction to the royal circles.
As in many of Beaton’s portraits, the Duchess of Cambridge was photographed in profile, in a dramatic, flowing dress and with an expression that portrays a sense of regal determination. Even the colour and styling is similar to Beaton’s, with a sepia tone and soft edges.
Lisa Armstrong, fashion director of the Daily Telegraph, noted: ‘Fascinating how much the portrait… echoes the Cecil Beaton one of the Queen Mother in 1939. Both women were a similar age (the QM 39), both had been quite shy, private; both had found their go/to designers for official occasions (Kate has Sarah Burton; QM Norman Hartnell) and for her official 40th bday ones at least, both favour a romantic, fairy tale school of photography (Kate has gone for Paolo Roversi, in itself a departure, with shades of Julia Margaret Cameron). Message seems very much to be: Queen In Waiting.’
In the black-and-white pictures, Kate wears Princess Diana’s Collingwood pearl and diamond earrings, while in the side-on portrait her engagement ring, also previously belonging to Prince William’s late mother, is prominent.
In the eye-catching colour shot, Kate looks into the camera, her hand elegantly resting in the pocket of a one-shoulder red dress while her hair billows out over her shoulder.
Royal insider Beaton was trusted as the official photographer for the Queen’s Coronation in June 1953 (pictured)
Princess Margaret photographed by Beaton in 1958 (left) and in 1956 (right), gazing off into the distance like Kate
How timber merchant’s son Cecil Beaton became the royals’ go-to photographer
Sir Cecil Beaton, that late polymath of artistic talent, has many claims to the fame he still enjoys. Artist, writer, Oscar-winning designer for the screen, acclaimed designer for the stage, the man who transformed the art of royal and society photography, and — above all else — the most devastating diarist of his age.
Beaton’s father was a timber merchant who made a good enough living to send his son to Harrow.
A snob on the grand scale, Cecil was unaware that his grandfather was a blacksmith. When, later in life, he discovered this, he was anything but pleased. It did not accord with his view of his gilded place in international society.
He made a name photographing high society and his work appeared in Vogue, before he was fired over an anti-Semitic remark.
The turning point in his career came when the Queen, later the Queen Mother, invited him to Buckingham Palace in 1939 to photograph her. That photoshoot, showing Her Majesty in filmy and sparkling Norman Hartnell-designed Winterhalter crinolines, established her personal style for decades to come, and secured Beaton’s reputation worldwide.
Beaton would go on to photograph all the present Queen’s children, from Prince Charles to Prince Edward, and to be chosen as the official photographer at Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953.
Beaton died in 1980, at the age of 76.
As in all the images, her jewellery is limited to just one pair of earrings – in this case diamonds borrowed from the Queen’s private collection – so her expression is the focus.
The dresses are all by Alexander McQueen, the same design house that created Kate’s wedding dress in 2011.
The images are to be added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of which the Duchess – a keen photographer herself – is patron.
They will join other photographs of Kate such as the Mario Testino engagement portrait with William and her 2016 photoshoot for Vogue magazine.
Kate’s photographer, Mr Roversi, is better known for his high-fashion and celebrity work. His previous accolades include photographing a topless Kate Moss, campaigns for designers Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, and transforming the Pirelli calendar from sleazy bikini shots to a more artistic product.
The Italian has said of his approach: ‘My photography is more subtraction than addition.
‘We all have a sort of mask of expression. You say goodbye, you smile, you are scared. I try to take all these masks away and little by little subtract until you have something pure left.’
The Paris-based photographer was last night effusive in his praise for the Duchess, describing the Royal photoshoot ‘a true honour’ and ‘a moment of pure joy’.
He said: ‘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. I have met a wonderful person, a person who, with her positive energy, can bring hope to the whole world.’
The Duchess selected Mr Roversi, 74, in consultation with the National Portrait Gallery and the pair held video calls to get to know one another before meeting at an indoor studio at Kew Gardens.
Kate also helped pick the three images which will go on display at the London gallery when it reopens next year.
They will also form part of a roving Coming Home exhibition this year in which portraits of famous people will be displayed in their home towns.
Kate’s photographs will be displayed in Berkshire, where her parents live, St Andrews, where she met Prince William as a student, and Anglesey, North Wales, where the couple spent the first years of their married life.
A Palace source said it was fitting that Kate’s portrait would be part of the exhibition as the Duchess ‘very much sees her role as bringing the nation and communities together’.
The Palace said that Kate would spend her birthday today ‘privately’ while it is thought there might be a bigger joint party to coincide with William’s 40th birthday in June.
Released to mark Kate’s 40th birthday today, this is one of three new portraits released to mark Kate’s birthday yesterday
The stylish photographs mark a dramatic departure from images we are more used to seeing of the Duchess in formal poses or surrounded by her family
What a difference a decade makes! As Kate Middleton turns 40, how she went from a ‘nervous’ royal newlywed at 30 to a stylish and ‘confident’ queen-in-waiting 10 years later – and experts say the ‘best is yet to come’
By Harriet Johnston for MailOnline
As Kate Middleton wakes up on her 40th birthday on Sunday, she might well take time to reflect on just how much her life has changed since she celebrated her 30th a decade ago.
The Duchess of Cambridge was just six months into her new life as an official member of the royal family, having stepped into the spotlight after 6.7 million people worldwide watched her walk down the hallowed aisle of Westminster Abbey, where she said ‘I do’ in front of 2,000 guests.
The year would bring a series of events at which Kate was catapulted into the limelight, from the London Olympics to the Queen’s jubilee and her announcement she and Prince William were expecting their first child.
Meanwhile she was also beginning her career within The Firm, and set about finding philanthropic causes she could champion as impactfully as Princess Diana’s landmine campaign.
Focusing on early years development was born out of her first royal engagements in her role as patron of the charity Action on Addiction, which works with people battling drug and alcohol problems.
But while many considered Kate to be shy on early engagements during her first year of royal life, she has since blossomed into a confident senior member of the Firm.
Royal expert Phil Dampier noted she has gone from a ‘nervous’ royal newbie to a confident speaker, and says the best is yet to come.
As Kate Middleton wakes up on her 40th birthday tomorrow, she might well take time to reflect on just how much her life has changed since she celebrated her 30th a decade ago
Kate’s 30th birthday year saw a series of events at which catapulted her into the limelight, from the London Olympics to the Queen’s jubilee and her announcement she and Prince William were expecting their first child
While many considered Kate to be shy on early engagements during her first year of royal life, she has since blossomed into a confident senior member of the Firm (left, in 2012, and right, in December)
She also made early years development one of the main pillars of her public role, launching her Early Years survey, the biggest of it’s kind, to investigate the link between childhood experiences and adult behaviour.
And it’s been all-change in her personal life too, with the arrival of her three children – Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, two.
In recent years she has taken the lead in the Royal Family to support the Queen after Megxit, Prince Philip’s death and Prince Andrew’s sex abuse scandal.
In 2021, she played peacemaker to Prince William and Harry as the brothers appeared in public together for the first time in a year to speak to each other while leaving their grandfather Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle.
Reports have suggested celebrations for Kate’s 40th birthday will be muted – like her Christmas – due to the Covid risk.
Instead of a big party, the Duchess is expected to have a much smaller affair with just family and close friends.
A source said: ‘There are likely to be low-key celebrations for the Duchess. She didn’t want anything flashy anyway – that’s not exactly her thing – but particularly given the current climate anything is likely to be scaled down.’
Meanwhile royal author and commentator Phil Dampier said: It’s incredible to think Kate is reaching 40 – her wedding to William seems like yesterday to me!
Meanwhile the Duchess has gone from a reluctant fashion icon (left) to a fully-fletched British style hero who often champions the High Street and rewears her outfits (right)
‘But we must remember that they dated for eight years before marrying and she became known as Waity Katie.
‘She has done everything at her own pace and William has supported her throughout. He made a vow to her parents when they got engaged that he would protect her and make sure that she never suffered like his mother did.
‘When Kate first became a royal she was incredibly nervous. I remember talking to her at a reception on a tour of Canada in 2012 and she just gabbled and didn’t make any sense at all.
‘Ten years on she has become an accomplished public speaker and is full of confidence. She comes from a stable family background and I think that is key – her mother and family have always been there for her.
‘Being a mum of three children has given her a good insight into normal everyday life and she has made the happiness of children in their first five years a priority in her work, with very much a Freudian approach.
‘She and William have played a blinder during the pandemic and haven’t put a foot wrong. They have sympathised and empathised with everyone suffering during the last two years and I would say they are now more popular that ever.
‘There is of course a tendency for people to compare them to Harry and Meghan, and it’s sad that the Sussexes are now so unpopular in this country, but they have brought it upon themselves.
‘Kate has focused on a small number of causes and done them well. But inevitably she will now be asked to do more.
‘With her children growing up rapidly and going to school I’m sure she will find the time to increase her duties – and how the royals need her!
‘With Harry and Meghan off the scene and Andrew out in the cold, as well as Charles and Camilla and Anne in they seventies, the whole future rests with William and Kate. Fortunately they look up to the task and I’m sure her best is yet to come.’
LOVE LIFE AND FAMILY
From stepping into royal life as a newly-wed… to raising three children with Prince William
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on April 29 2011 in a ceremony that was watched by 17.6million worldwide (left) Fast forward ten years and the couple marked their anniversary by releasing two stunning new portraits taken this week at Kensington Palace which offered an insight into their marriage (right)
A BLOSSOMING WIDER FAMILY
From a close relationship with her parents to an ever-expanding family
Kate has long been close to her parents Carole and Michael, as well as her siblings Pippa and James
The Duchess’s early life was far removed from the one she married into. Born in the distinctly unglamorous Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, home was a small semi-detached house in the village of Bradfield Southend.
Kate has long been close to her parents Carole and Michael, as well as her siblings Pippa and James.
However in recent years, its been reported that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had been leaning on ‘immensely influential’ Carole since Prince Harry and Meghan left the royal family.
Prince William and Kate looked to the businesswoman, of Berkshire, as a ‘stabilising and supportive force’, royal author Phil Dampier told The Sun.
Meanwhile, another source told the publication that Prince William views his mother-in-law as his ‘second mum’ in the absence of Princess Diana.
And while Prince William and Kate’s family has bloomed with three children, the extended Middleton clan has also grown over the past 10 years.
Her sister Pippa began dating James Matthews in 2016 and the two tied the knot in May 2017. The racing driver-turned city trader, who was privately educated at Uppingham School, is set to inherit the Scottish courtesy title of ‘Laird of Glen Affric’ which came with the 10,000-acre estate of the same name near Inverness that his father bought in 2008.
James is listed as managing director of Beaufort Glen Affric. He owns a £3m private jet and bought a six-bedroomed, £17m house in 2014, which boasts a car-stacking garage in the basement, along with an underground home cinema and a lift.
In 2018, Pippa welcomed baby Arthur in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, the same place where sister Kate gave birth to all three of her children.
While Prince William and Kate’s family has bloomed with three children, the extended Middleton clan has also grown over the past 10 years (pictured in December)
Meanwhile she welcomed a second child, Grace in the early hours of 15 March last year, weighing 6lbs 7oz.
Grace’s middle names – Elizabeth Jane – are a nod to her grandmothers, Carole Elizabeth Middleton and Jane Matthews, while Elizabeth might also be a subtle acknowledgement of the family’s royal ties.
And it’s not just Pippa’s family that has expanded over the years, with Kate also welcoming a new sister-in-law Alizee Thevent last year.
James Middleton revealed he had wed the 32-year-old French finance expert in September ‘surrounded by family and friends’.
Alizée, who has lived and worked in London for several years, is currently a director at TreasurySpring, a fin tech firm that uses digital pipelines to connect cash rich firms to institutional borrowers.
She’s the daughter of retired diplomat Jean-Gabriel Thevenet, who lives in Paris and is currently pursuing a career as a writer and poet, and shared a close relationship with both parents.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on April 29 2011 in a ceremony that was watched by 17.6million worldwide.
Judi James previously revealed how Kate showed signs of ‘calm enjoyment’ throughout the day, and embraced her role as a ‘Disney Princess.’
She commented: ‘Kate’s signals of calm enjoyment made the wedding a pleasure from start to finish with no heart-stopping moments or emotional incontinence.’
Judi noted how Kate showed signs of ‘calm enjoyment’ throughout the day, and embraced her role as a ‘Disney Princess.’
She commented: ‘Kate’s signals of calm enjoyment made the wedding a pleasure from start to finish with no heart-stopping moments or emotional incontinence,’ she commented.
It was six months later that Kate celebrated turning 30, with the couple announcing she was pregnant almost exactly six months later.
Fast forward ten years and the couple marked their anniversary by releasing two stunning new portraits taken this week at Kensington Palace which offered an insight into their marriage.
The photographs were glamorous and glossy, but nonetheless natural. Kate and William were pictured standing in the courtyard at their official London residence as well as sitting in the garden.
In each, it is clear the couple have an easy, affectionate confidence with each other.
A youthful Kate is wearing a bohemian-style blue patterned Avery wrap dress by Ghost costing £195. William is smart casual in a blue jumper and shirt.
Judi said: ‘Their body language signals of love were always visible from the outset of their relationship and it’s clear from these photos taken ten years down the line from their wedding that those emotional ties still bind these two as tightly as they ever did.
‘But there are some subtle changes here that give hints to how William and Kate have grown as a royal team as well as a loving couple and parents to three adorable children.
‘These anniversary photos show not only Kate’s love for her Prince, nestling under his chin and performing a dimpled smile as he stares direct into camera, but also his respect and adoration of her, as William sits gazing in awe at his wife’s face while she smiles out of camera.
‘As well as the signals of mutual love, shared fun and deep respect, we can also see a hint of how the couple provide a mutual support system.
‘As William places two very possessive hands on his wife’s hips, Kate responds with a very sweet reciprocal gesture, clutching at William’s fingers.
‘The gesture from both suggests that, in terms of confidence, loyalty and support the couple have learned to rely on each other as well as enjoying the moments of playful fun.’
Meanwhile they have also welcomed three children to their brood – Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, two.
Kate suffered from severe morning sickness during all three of her pregnancies.
The Duchess was forced to spent three days in hospital in December 2012 while expecting her eldest Prince George.
She was also too ill to be present for his first day at school while pregnant with Prince Louis.
However despite her rather unsettled start to life as a mother, the Duchess has blossomed into motherhood.
The Duchess now shares photographs of her children for each of their birthdays and larger family events, such as anniversaries, in an effort to include the public in their life within maintaining their privacy.
A candid video released on their tenth wedding anniversary saw Kate, Prince William, and their three children enjoying some downtime in the great outdoors.
It showed the future king’s family running free climbing the sand dunes on the beach in Norfolk, sitting around the campfire toasting marshmallows in the countryside and playing the garden of their Anmer Hall residence.
Speaking to FEMAIL, body language expert Judi James explained that it shows future king George as more serious and the most grown up, while second-born Charlotte is more adventurous, noisy and cheeky.
She said: ‘The Cambridge’s appear to share their enjoyment of the outdoors and there’s no rigid posing or quizzical looks from the children to suggest any over-staging as they romp about together or sit toasting marshmallows.’
Kate has spoken enthusiastically and openly about motherhood, most candidly while appearing on Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast in February 2020.
The Duchess gave an unprecedented insight into her personal life, revealing that she suffers constant guilt as she juggles motherhood and work.
In an extraordinary interview – one of the most intimate ever given by a senior Royal – she shared her anxieties and doubts about parenting including battling ‘mummy guilt’ and worrying about falling short in her parenting to George, Charlotte and Louis.
The 38-year-old described herself as a ‘hands-on-mum’, but believes any mother who does not admit to feeling like a failure from time to time is ‘lying’.
She spoke of her dismay at how royal duties sometimes force her to abandon parenting tasks such as doing the school run – and joked that her children berate her it.
In the deeply personal interview, Kate also revealed she tried hypnobirthing – a form of meditation – to banish fears of childbirth following horrendous morning sickness during her pregnancies.
The duchess told all to the Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast hosted by Giovanna Fletcher, who has also written about being a mother to three children with her husband Tom Fletcher, a member of the band McFly.
Asked if she struggled from ‘mum guilt’, the duchess replied: ‘Yes absolutely – and anyone who doesn’t as a mother is actually lying. Yes – all the time.’
Kate who has a nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, said during the podcast: ‘There’s such a pull, but I am such a hands-on mum, and whatever you’re doing you want to make sure you’re doing the uttermost best job you can for your children.’
Meanwhile Kate has also emerged as a matriarchal figure within the royal family in more recent years.
The funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh was a solemn occasion for the royal family to reunite amid the coronavirus pandemic, with all senior royals rallying around the Queen in her moment of need.
She brought estranged brothers William and Harry together, with body lanuage expert Judi James commented: ‘After some seismic dramas, rifts and scandal in the Firm and now the loss of the man who everyone said they turned to with their problems, Kate is gently emerging as a matriarchal figure in the royal family in the style of The Queen Mother and The Queen herself.’
Kate has spoken enthusiastically and openly about motherhood, most candidly while appearing on Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast in February 2020. In the deeply personal interview, Kate also revealed she tried hypnobirthing – a form of meditation – to banish fears of childbirth following horrendous morning sickness during her pregnancies
The Duchess now shares photographs of her children for each of their birthdays and larger family events, such as anniversaries, in an effort to include the public in their life within maintaining their privacy (pictured left and right)
Meanwhile Kate has also emerged as a matriarchal figure within the royal family in more recent years. She brought estranged brothers William and Harry together at the funeral of Prince Philip. (pictured, Kate, William and Harry speak together as they left St George’s Chapel following the funeral service
‘It’s a role she is presently sharing with Sophie Wessex and, with Camilla appearing less keen to take a firm hand in terms of family dynamics and problems, Kate has stepped up with confidence and ease.’
Judi explained the way Kate placed a comforting arm around her father-in-law Charles as he teared up, and how she herded William and Harry together placed her in an important role in the dynamics of the royal family.’
She continued: ‘Neither were performed tentatively. Her support and compassion for her father-in-law looked spontaneous and her herding of William and Harry suggested a firm sense of courage and an expectation of being obeyed.’
From appearing at her first solo engagement…to hosting Christmas carol service
The Duchess gave her first ever public speech at The Treehouse Hospice, Ipswich, in 2012 (pictured left during the visit) and was a lot more reserved, compare to how she is today (right)
Days ahead of Kate’s 30th birthday, St James’s Palace finally announced details of the first clutch of lifelong royal patronages the Duchess agreed to take on.
The announcement was a long time in the coming — eight months after her wedding — thanks to the royal household’s cautious approach to her duties.
The Duchess was aware of such criticism, but with the support of William and the Queen, she stuck to her guns and refused to commit to a full-time public role.
The monarch believes quite firmly that the Royal Family should let Kate — of whom she has already grown extremely fond — enjoy some time as an ‘ordinary’ military wife before a lifetime of public service calls.
The Duchess spent the four months working her way through applications from the hundreds of charities that contacted the Palace begging for her backing after the Royal Wedding and asking her staff to approach organisations on her behalf.
Initially, Kate chose to just be patron of four relatively small charities — Action On Addiction, the National Portrait Gallery, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and The Art Room
The fact that she only chose to become, initially, patron of four relatively small charities — Action On Addiction, the National Portrait Gallery, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and The Art Room — plus taking on an ad-hoc role with the Scouts, was part of her determination to become intimately involved with causes close to her heart, rather than spread her largesse too thinly.
However Kate has now transformed and according to Judi, she has gone from a ‘nervous, self-effacing royal newbie’ on the day her engagement to Prince William was made public in November 2010, to a ‘pillar member of the royal family who echoes the Queen’s resilience and radiates confidence.’
And ten years after her engagement, Kate, now an established member of the royal family, ‘stands her own’ during royal engagements.
Judi went on to explain how Kate has developed her own independent public persona, but was always part of a ‘double-act’ with William.
‘Kate’s strong use of eye contact with their hosts on visits and virtual meetings show Kate is comfortable leading or even hosting the conversations, although the way she and William take it in turns to lead shows,’ she explained.
She added it was ‘a skill of seamless ‘swapping’ that never once features the kind of eye-rolling or micro-grimacing that might suggest competitiveness or jealousies.
‘Kate and William have always shown strong mirroring to suggest a like-minded team dynamic but recently that mirroring has become even more intense and subliminal, showing those qualities have increased throughout their marriage.’
And ten years after her engagement, Kate, now an established member of the royal family, ‘stands her own’ during royal engagements. In the final years of her thirties, Kate launched several huge landmark projects, including her Early Years survey (pictured)
The launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood was a landmark step in Her Royal Highness’ work and signals her lifelong commitment to improving outcomes across society
In the final years of her thirties, Kate launched several huge landmark projects, including her Early Years survey.
The launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood was a landmark step in Her Royal Highness’ work and signals her lifelong commitment to improving outcomes across society.
In June, speaking during the roundtable discussion at LSE, she stressed she was ‘really excited’ to launch the The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which will drive focus on bringing to light the extraordinary impact of the early years in order to transform society for generations to come.
The establishment of the centre signals a lifetime commitment from the duchess to transforming society. The mother-of-three, who has championed the cause since she joined the Royal Family, stressed our first five years ‘lay important foundations for our future selves’ and ultimately ‘shapes the adults and the parents we become’ in a video released this morning.
The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will focus on three key areas of activity in the years to come, which include promoting and commissioning high-quality research to increase knowledge and share best practice. It will also work with people from across the private, public and voluntary sectors to collaborate on new solutions, and develop creative campaigns to raise awareness and inspire action – driving real, positive change on the early years.
Meanwhile body language expert Judi James said Kate has now transformed from a ‘nervous, self-effacing royal newbie’ on the day her engagement to Prince William was made public in November 2010, to a ‘pillar member of the royal family who echoes the Queen’s resilience and radiates confidence’
And last month, she hosted her family for a Christmas carol service in London, recorded for a one-hour festive special, Royal Carols: Together at Christmas, which aired on Christmas Eve.
As well as filming an introduction message which was seen at the start of the broadcast, the mother-of-three also delighted viewers with a surprise piano performance.
The Together At Christmas carol service was attended by ‘unsung heroes’ from across the UK in recognition of their ‘inspirational’ efforts to protect and care for those around them.
Individuals who The Duke and Duchess met and spent time with during their recent engagements and project work were also present, alongside armed forces personnel who were involved in Operation Pitting – airlifting families out of Kabul – young carers and faith leaders.
From reluctant fashion icon to British High-Street hero
When the Duchess turned 30, Kate was a reluctant style icon, who was ‘frustrated’ her appearance was so heavily analysed (left). Ten years on, and the mother-of-three uses her outfits to highlight British brands, the High Street and sustainable labels (right)
When the Duchess turned 30, Kate continued to refuse the offer of either a dresser to help with her working wardrobe (which most senior female royals have) or even a lady-in-waiting (Diana appointed eight in the first six years of marriage), a position with which many had linked her sister, Pippa.
At the time, sources told DailyMail it was of enormous ‘frustration’ to Kate that her appearance is so heavily analysed.
‘She is happy and healthy and has never set out to present herself as a style icon, so gets hugely frustrated that is all anyone wants to talk about,’ said one.
‘Like any young woman, she wants to look nice and has more than a passing interest in fashion — but that is it.’
However in more recent years, it seems Kate has accepted her role as a fashion inspiration to women across the world – and has been using her style influence for good.
Having maintained her slender frame over the past decade, the Duchess has often opted for pieces which she first wore before becoming a mother.
Many of her favourite pieces come from before she gave birth to each of her children, Prince George, born in 2013, Princess Charlotte, born in 2015 and Prince Louis, born in 2018.
Meanwhile, with a keen eye for detail, Kate has often referenced Princess Diana with her style choices. (pictured, photos from 1992 show Diana, pictured with her sister and lady-in-waiting Sarah McCorquodale, in a monochrome blue number. Diana sported blue patent court shoes, a pleated deep blue midi skirt with drop-waist double breasted blazer with brass buttons, which she complemented with oversized golden earrings; right, The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, sported a £59.99 Zara blazer and £95.00 pleated midi skirt by Hope Fashion in the colour of the Scottish flag which drew a striking similarity to a look the Princess of Wales donned nearly three decades ago for a day of royal duties in Nottingham)
And Kate is unafraid to rewear older pieces in her wardrobe, regularly recycling dresses, coats and blouses xxxx.
The Duchess is also known for her love of quintessentially British brands, as well as those with credentials in sustainability.
Throughout the pandemic, the Duchess has been flying the flag for British brands by opting for High Street stalwarts and independent labels.
Last year, stylists told FEMAIL Kate’s wardrobe is not only impeccably stylish and practical, but as a way of showing her dedication to her royal duties.
Meanwhile, with a keen eye for detail, Kate has often referenced Princess Diana with her style choices.
Kate dazzled at the premiere for the new James Bond film No Time To Die as she paid a touching tribute to Princess Diana.
And it’s not just tailored suits! In 2012, the Duchess wore a teal Jenny Packham gown for the Olympic Concert (left), which she rewore in 2018 to the Tusk Conservation awards
She wowed at the event in a custom Jenny Packham embellished gown – which is usually priced at £2,800. Featuring cape sleeve detailing and structured shoulders, she teamed her dress with bespoke £290 Onitaa earrings – which were made in Pakistan by the South Asian luxury couture label.
Kate’s choice of dress was extremely reminiscent of a similar outfit worn by Princess Diana in 1985 for the premiere of the James Bond film A View to Kill.
In May last year, the Duchess sported a £59.99 Zara blazer and £95.00 pleated midi skirt by Hope Fashion in the colour of the Scottish flag which drew a striking similarity to a look the Princess of Wales donned nearly three decades ago for a day of royal duties in Nottingham.
And in July 2020, Kate donned a deep blue £525 Beulah London gown as she paid a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.
With it’s striking white collar and blue polkadot pattern, the Duchess’ bold shirt dress was reminiscent of a similar outfit worn by Princess Diana in 1985.
Kate also regularly wears jewellery that honours her mother-in-law, including her sapphire engagement ring, which once belonged to Diana.
HOME SWEET HOME
From a modest rented farmhouse in Anglesey to their Norfolk mansion
In the January of 2012, the Duke and Duchess had two homes — their rented farmhouse close to William’s base at RAF Valley on Anglesey and two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, which they use as their London base (left). Ten years on, and the couple still live in partially in Kensington Palace but spent most of the pandemic in Anmer Hall (right)
In the January of 2012, the Duke and Duchess had two homes — their rented farmhouse close to William’s base at RAF Valley on Anglesey and two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, which they use as their London base.
Both residences were deliberately unstuffy. In North Wales, the couple had a part-time cleaner who comes in for a couple of hours a week, but no formal domestic staff, while in London they employed a housekeeper.
The new member of staff’s duties included cleaning, running domestic errands and basic grocery shopping — although Kate insisted she would still do the bulk of it herself in her local Waitrose on Kensington High Street. The Duchess also does all the couple’s cooking herself (with occasional help from William).
Ten years on, and the couple still live in partially in Kensington Palace – however they have moved from their old home of Nottingham Cottage.
William and Kate officially moved to Apartment 1A in the palace in October 2013 after George was born, but the public rarely get the opportunity to see inside.
Ten years on, and the couple still live in partially in Kensington Palace – however they have moved from their old home of Nottingham Cottage and into Apartment1A
The property was refurbished with £4.5million of taxpayers’ money – although the couple footed the bill for fixtures and furnishing themselves.
Kate had the help of an interior designer, but the look didn’t appear to be particularly grand and far from palatial, more comfortable country home.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Kensington Palace apartment is ‘enormous’ with ’20 rooms from the basement to the attic’, royal experts have claimed.
Speaking on True Royalty’s Royal Beat, British royal author Christopher Warwick said: ‘It has 20 rooms from the basement to the attic, it is not a small house.
A general view of the State Apartments of Kensington Palace and Apartment 1A in 2013, when refurbishment works were being carried out
Prince William, 39, and Kate (pictured in 2016, when the couple hosted US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle at their home), 38, live with their children Prince George, Prince Charlotte, and Prince Louis, in the private home – number 1A – when staying in London
But royal commentators have urged fans not to be fooled into believing the property is a small abode because of its apartment title. Pictured, Prince William sits with Peter Crouch, Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark for a podcast recording at his home
‘If you think of Kensington Place in a way it is built around three courtyards. If you kind of think of them as being these wonderful red brick terrace houses. Because they are all joined, but separate houses,’ he added.
Meanwhile they also split their time with Anmer Hall in Norfolk, where they have spent much of their time during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was reported in August the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were ‘seriously considering’ a move to Windsor.
The mooted relocation, which would bring the family closer to the Queen, is the most significant sign yet that the couple are preparing to take on a far more senior role at the heart of the Royal Family.
A source said William and Kate have been ‘eyeing up’ accommodation options in the area suitable for bringing up their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.