Kate Middleton celebrated her 42nd birthday earlier this week. The Princess of Wales is said to have had a small celebration with friends at the family’s countryside home, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk. It might be one of the few chances to spend time with friends and family, as she and Prince William are moving into a very hectic year.

Kate has celebrated many birthdays as a royal and has been through a lot since 2006, when she made her first royal appearance. Last year was full of ups and downs, predominantly because of the explosive claims about her in Harry’s book Spare

One’s birthday is supposed to be a day filled with joy, but that has not always been the case for Kate. In fact, years ago, William reportedly gave her some shocking news on her big day – which turned Kate’s life upside down.

On January 9, Kate Middleton celebrated her 42nd birthday. The princess was congratulated by many, but of course, foremost by her family.

King Charles and Queen Camilla posted a picture of the Princess of Wales from the coronation with the caption, “Wishing The Princess of Wales a very happy birthday today!”

Kate Middleton celebrates 42nd birthday

Royal fans all said the same thing about the picture of Kate, who wore formal red and blue robes of the Royal Victorian Order at the coronation. Underneath, the princess had an ivory Alexander McQueen gown embroidered with rose, thistle, daffodil, and shamrock motifs, which represent the four countries of the United Kingdom. Moreover, Kate wore a custom headpiece designed by Jess Collett and Alexander McQueen.

A stunning Princess Her Royal Highness Understands. HonourDuty. Loyalty. The Monarchy is in safe hands,” one user wrote on Instagram.

Aww what a beautiful picture! I love it. Happy birthday to our amazing Princess of Wales! I hope she will have a great day and a wonderful new year! We all love you, Catherine,” a second added.

A third commented, “I wish Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales Catherine a happy and wonderful birthday, and despite the years passing, her beauty, elegance and solidarity remain unchanged, unchanged over time.”

Royal birthdays aren’t usually celebrated in public besides the king’s “second birthday” with the Trooping the Color, also known as the King’s Birthday Parade.

So what did Kate Middleton do for her birthday?

Prince William, Princess Catherine
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

According to Vanity Fair, she did not spend the day with either King Charles or Queen Camilla. Charles wanted to begin 2024 at his Birkhall estate in Scotland rather than at Sandringham, where they celebrated Christmas.

“Charles and Camilla are in Scotland but there will be phone calls and presents sent,” a family friend told Vanity Fair.

Kate ‘not into flashy celebrations’

Speculations surrounding William and Kate possibly being gifted Birkhall, said to be King Charles’ favorite place, will likely not be the case.

“While there is a shuffle of royal houses currently ongoing and speculation that William and Catherine might be getting Birkhall, now they are the Prince and Princess of Wales, I am told that the King plans to keep the residence because he loves it so much as does Camilla,” the friend added.

Kate stayed at Windsor with Prince William and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, to celebrate her birthday. They reportedly celebrated with their friends at their countryside house, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk.

The family spent the extended Christmas and New Year’s Break at Anmer Hall. Because the children didn’t return to school until January 10, Kate had to spend plenty of time with her husband and children to relax and prepare for the hectic year ahead.

Previously, Princess Kate has decided to share memorable new photographs of her marking milestones, for example, on her 40th birthday. However, she’s never been much about grand celebrations. However, as for every senior royal family member, the bells at Westminster Abbey rang in honor of Kate’s birthday.

“Catherine isn’t into big flashy occasions and really just likes to spend her birthday quietly with her family and close friends,” a friend told Vanity Fair.

Kate Middleton
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

As mentioned, Kate Middleton, together with William, will have a hectic year ahead. They are expected to carry out more royal engagements to support King Charles and Queen Camilla, not least because of the king and queen’s overseas trips.

Kate Middleton rumored to carry out solo tour overseas

In October, they will visit Samoa for the Commonwealth’s Heads of Government Meeting and later stop at Australia and possibly New Zealand. The visit to Australia will be the first trip by a reigning monarch since 2011.

Still, with the increasing number of engagements, there have been rumors about Princess Kate possibly carrying out a solo tour overseas.

Kate Middleton has become one of the most popular royals, and it appears the same goes for what her family members think of her. She has carried out royal duties for over a decade, and King Charles is said to “adore” his daughter-in-law. Therefore, he is said to be keen on recognizing her contribution in public, and according to the Daily Mail, the king could give Kate the greatest of honors to show his appreciation.

There is much chatter in royal circles that King Charles might even seal his daughter-in-law’s new position in the near future by appointing her as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter,” the Daily Mail reported.

Few accolades are more prestigious than the Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter. As of today, Queen Camilla, Anne, Princess Royal, and Princess Alexandra are all Royal Ladies of the Order of the Garter. Meanwhile, Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, Prince William, and the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester hold the ranks of Royal Knight.

Her 42nd birthday was indeed a great start to the year for Kate Middleton. However, not every birthday has ended with a smile on her face. In fact, in 2008, the Princess of Wales was said to have been left “crushed.”

Kate Middleton, Prince William
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

In her book Kate: The Future Queen, royal correspondent Katie Nicholl wrote that William, who at the time had completed his assignments with the Armed Forces, had to decide if he wanted to return to the Household Cavalry.

Kate said to have been “crushed” by William’s decision on her birthday

In the end, Nicholl wrote, William decided to join the Royal Air Force (RAF), which not only was a big surprise for his family. Kate, his girlfriend at the time, was shocked about his decision.

“With that single decision, Kate’s life was turned upside down. She had expected a proposal once William had completed his military training. But instead, she was forced to accept that there would be no engagement any time soon. Kate would have to wait even longer,” Nicholl wrote in Kate: The Future Queen.

“Kate supported his desires and ambitions, but privately, she was crushed. William was asking her to be an army wife — without the nuptials. Her frustration was understandable.

Katie Nicholl continued, “For Kate, it was a step backward. It seemed that everyone was getting married except for her. As she neared her 27th birthday, Kate’s plan to be married with children by the time she was thirty was looking increasingly unlikely.”

It had been less than a year since William and Kate Middleton made amends and reunited following their short split, which could’ve changed royal history for good.

However, two years later, in 2008, he popped the question to the love of his life.

During a holiday in Kenya, William proposed. The prince had reportedly been carrying a ring in a bag for three weeks and never let it go. Kate Middleton had considered the idea that William might propose, but it came as a “total shock” even so.

“It was very romantic, Kate said. “There’s a true romantic in there.”


In their engagement interview, William said, “Everywhere I went, I was keeping hold of it because I knew this thing, if it disappeared, I would be in a lot of trouble, and because I’d planned it, it went fine.”

Kate’s engagement ring belonged to Diana

“You hear a lot of horror stories about proposing and things going horribly wrong – it went really, really well, and I was really pleased she said yes.”

The ring was exceptional and, of course, very proper for a future Queen or Queen Consort. It belonged to William’s mother, Princess Diana.

“So I thought it was quite nice because obviously she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all – this was my way of keeping her sort of close to it all,” the prince added.

On April 29, 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot at Westminster Abbey in London. Around 2,000 guests gathered to see the future king marry the now-Princess of Wales.

Planning a royal wedding is a big project, and William and Kate knew that millions would be watching worldwide.

At the same time, there were certain things Kate needed to do before she could ever tie the knot with her true love. According to royal expert Tom Quinn, one of those things could be considered essential to the Royal family’s future.

In his book Gilded Youth: A History of Growing Up in the Royal Family, the author dropped several bombshells about the royals, and one included details about Kate having to take a fertility test.

Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Before their wedding, Tom Quinn wrote, William and Kate had to follow several rules since she was a bride from outside the royal sphere (and so pretty much regarded, as one might call, a “commoner.”)

Kate Middleton had to take a fertility test before marrying William

As per the line of succession, William’s first child will be next to inherit the throne after him. Therefore, Kate needed to be able to bear children, and according to Tom Quinn, this was something of vital importance. As a result, she had to take a fertility test before marrying her beloved William.

“These are always carried out to ensure a future queen is able to have children,” Quinn wrote in Gilded Youth: A History of Growing Up in the Royal Family, as reported by Yahoo.

“If Kate had not been fertile, there is little doubt the marriage would have been off.”

Quin added that Kate Middleton “must have known precisely what was going on, but she is not, nor has she ever been a rebel.”

Kate Middleton was actually not the first royal to undergo a fertility test. The same went for the previous generation, more specifically Princess Diana. Before she married then-Prince Charles in 1981, Diana had to take a similar test, Hello reported.

Quinn mentioned Diana’s test in his book as well.

“Diana complained in a brief encounter with the present author that she had in all innocence thought her premarital check-ups had to do with general health, only realizing later on that she had actually been tested for fertility. ‘I was so innocent I just went along with everything at that stage,’ she said,” the author wrote.

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