This time last year, Kate Middleton celebrated her birthday the way she typically does; by inviting a group of friends for a country weekend of shooting at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Norfolk home, Anmer Hall. But this year, things are different.
With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to sweep the globe, and the United Kingdom suffering particularly badly with high infection rates and deaths, we're back in lockdown. Which means birthday plans are... limited. But that didn't stop Kate's family - husband Prince William and children, seven-year-old Prince George, five-year-old Princess Charlotte, and two-year-old Prince Louis - doing all they could to mark the occasion.
The Mail on Sunday reports the mum-of-three spent a "quiet birthday" at home in Norfolk with her family (where else?!) where she was thrown a "tea party." Adorable! I can just imagine the vintage plates and French Fancies now.
There might well have been some bubbles thrown in the mix for the adults to celebrate the start of Kate's final year in her thirties, but it seems the main ingredient for the Duchess' lockdown birthday party was the good old British favourite - a cup of tea.
Everyone who's spent a birthday in lockdown (which is most people, at this point) will understand how frustrating it is to be unable to share the day with an extended circle of loved ones. And in the Kate's official birthday Instagram post, the @KensingtonRoyal account acknowledged that.
"Birthdays have been very different in recent months, and our thoughts continue to be with all those working on the front line at this hugely challenging time," read the caption. The post went on to thank the public for all the "kind" well wishes on the future Queen's 39th birthday.
It might not have been the big fanfare the Duchess of Cambridge is used to for her January 9th birthday, but as long as she can have a big knees up for her 40th next year, that's the main thing. Onwards and upwards, right?!
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