Entertainment

Kate Middleton’s Birthday Photos Show Future Queen Role

  • Kate Middleton celebrated her 40th birthday with a series of regal photos.
  • The photos, by Paolo Roversi, show the duchess stepping into her role as future queen.
  • Meanwhile, Meghan Markle used her 40th birthday to highlight a mentorship project.

The Duchess of Cambridge posed for three professional photos in celebration of her 40th birthday on Sunday.

The photos, taken by Paolo Roversi, showed the duchess posing in London’s Kew Gardens and wearing a range of Alexandra McQueen ball gowns. The images portraying a regal duchess, who has previously taken a more casual approach to photoshoots.

Portraits show Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who celebrates her 40th birthday on January 9, in Kew Gardens, London, Britain, taken in November 2021.

Portraits show Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who celebrates her 40th birthday on January 9, in Kew Gardens, London, Britain, taken in November 2021.

Paolo Roversi/Handout via REUTERS


It was a complete contrast to the Duchess of Sussex’s 40th birthday celebrations. In August 2020, Meghan Markle used her birthday to promote 40×40, an initiative that encouraged the public to give 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work.

For the project, Markle shared a comedic video on her website featuring Melissa McCarthy, in which the pair joked about getting matching tattoos.

Meghan Markle and Melissa McCarthy

The Duchess of Sussex and Melissa McCarthy promoting the 40×40 project.

Archewell


Both Kate Middleton and Markle used their milestone birthdays to redefine their royal roles — and it shows just how differently their paths are headed.

Middleton is stepping into her role as future queen, while Markle is using her celebrity status

As Insider’s Bethany Dawson reported, Middleton’s photos are considered more formal than her first royal portrait, a painting by Paul Emsley in 2012.

Roversi’s photos were inspired by old photos of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth and showed Middleton’s “regal side,” The Sun’s Matt Wilkinson reported.

“The photographer has clearly been inspired by Cecil Beaton’s portraits of the Queen and the Queen Mother,” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliam told Insider.

“Catherine’s interest in photography and her patronage of the National Portrait Gallery were highly significant in choosing these poses. Above all, these photographs are those of a future queen,” he added.

Kinsey Schofield, founder of the royal blog To Di For Daily, told Insider that the photos reflected the “comfort and confidence” Middleton has developed in recent years.

For Markle, who left royal life behind in 2020, there were few traces of her royal roots in her 40th birthday video, other than McCarthy jokingly wearing a fascinator and sipping tea.

Instead, the focus was on the duchess’ newfound celebrity status, as she announced that stars such as Adele, Amanda Gorman, and Stella McCartney had agreed to join her initiative.

“These are two very different women with totally different futures,” Fitzwilliam told Insider. “It would be a wonderful step in their 40th year if the rift in the royal family could be healed and, despite their differences, that they could both be friends.”

Representatives for Kensington Palace and the Duchess of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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