Royal tradition Kate Middleton will miss out on when she turns 40

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The Duchess of Cambridge is gearing up to celebrate her milestone 40th birthday on January 9.

But there is one royal tradition that she is set to miss out on, after the Covid-19 pandemic first put a stop to it in April 2020.

The Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge celebrates her milestone 40th birthday on January 9. Photo: Getty

The bells of Westminster Abbey were a unique and special way to mark a royal's birthday in London, but the need to cut costs during the ongoing pandemic saw that tradition scrapped.

"The Abbey bells can be heard ringing out before services and in celebration of church festivals. The bells have also traditionally been rung to mark the birthdays of senior members of the Royal Family," a spokesperson from Westminster Abbey said in a statement to 9Honey.

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After consultation with Buckingham Palace, the bells will now only be rung for The Queen and Prince Charles, which sees Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as Kate and husband Prince William miss out.

Westminster Abbey
The bells of Westminster Abbey stopped ringing for royal birthdays in April 2020. Photo: Getty

Kate's quiet birthday

Kate was already planning a relatively small 40th birthday celebration. 

"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," a source told The Mail On Sunday newspaper.

The celebrations will be small and will include only close friends and family. 

This comes after Kate, her husband Prince William, 39, and their children Princes George and Louis, eight and three, and six-year-old Princess Charlotte, spent Christmas with her family at Anmer Hall in Norfolk.

kate middleton
Kate decided to have a quiet birthday due to the ongoing pandemic. Photo: Getty

Their decision to remain in Norfolk came after it was revealed that Queen Elizabeth, 95, had decided to remain at Windsor Castle for the festive period, rather than make her traditional trip to her Sandringham Estate.

The Queen had intended to follow tradition by spending Christmas at her royal residence in Norfolk, but she cancelled those plans amid rising levels of the Omicron variant in the UK.

The decision "reflects a precautionary approach", according to Buckingham Palace aides, who confirmed that it was a personal decision taken by the monarch.

Additional reporting by Bang Showbiz.

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