Kate's tribute to Princess Diana in stunning 40th birthday photos

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·Features and Health Editor
·3-min read
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  • Diana, Princess of Wales
    Diana, Princess of Wales
    First wife of Charles, Prince of Wales (1961-1997)
  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
    Wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
    Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
    Duke of Cambridge
  • Paolo Roversi
    Italian photographer
  • Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
    Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
    Daughter of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Kate Middleton has included a subtle tribute to the late Princess Diana in one of the three stunning portraits released to make her milestone 40th birthday.

The Duchess of Cambridge and her husband Prince William - who have children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis together - shared a selection of new portraits of the royal online to mark her big day.

kate middleton new portrait
Three new portraits of Kate were released for her 40th Birthday. Photo: Paolo Roversi/via Kensington Palace

They were taken by photographer Paolo Roversi and were inspired by past royal portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria.

In one of the black and white portraits, Kate can also be seen wearing a set of pearl earrings, which originally belonged to the Princess of Wales.

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The late royal’s Collingwood pearl and diamond earrings take their name from Collingwood Jewellers, and were gifted to Diana on her wedding day.

The earrings went on to become one of Diana's most frequently worn pairs, seen here in 1990 during a visit to Cameroon.

Diana, Princess of Wales attends a banquet in Cameroon
Diana, Princess of Wales, received the pearl earrings on her wedding day. Photo: Getty

The new portraits of Kate will eventually be permanently displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in London, of which she is a patron. But first they will go on tour as part of the gallery’s 'Coming Home' project.

"These new portraits which have been released to mark the 40th will be shown in the community in three meaningful places: Berkshire, St Andrews, and Anglesey, as part of the @NPGLondon nationwide ‘Coming Home’ exhibition, ahead of the Gallery reopening in 2023," Kensington Palace said.

Kate's parents live in Berkshire, she met Prince William at St Andrews and they couple spent the first years of their married life together in Anglesey, North Wales.

Paolo Roversi image of kate middleton
The images were inspired by past portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria. Photo: Paolo Roversi/via Kensington Palace

Speaking about the portraits, which were taken at Kew Gardens in London, a royal source told The Mail On Sunday newspaper: "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."  

In all three pictures, she is wearing Alexander McQueen, the same design house that created her wedding dress in 2011.

Photographer Paolo Roversi also said of the portraits he "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".

kate middleton
Kate celebrated her 40th birthday on January 9, 2022. Photo: Getty

The Queen led the public tributes to the Duchess of Cambridge on her 40th birthday on January 9, sharing a message on the Royal Family's Twitter account.

"Wishing The Duchess of Cambridge a very happy 40th birthday today!" it read.

Her father-in-law Prince Charles and wife Camilla also posted a selection of pictures on their Twitter account and wrote: "Wishing The Duchess of Cambridge a very happy 40th birthday today!"

Additional reporting by Bang Showbiz.

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