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9 January is a special day for the Royal Family, as the Duchess of Cambridge celebrates her 40th birthday. Kensington Palace has marked the occasion with the release of three glamorous new portraits of Kate, unveiled on the eve of the significant milestone. 

An announcement from Kensington Palace explained: ‘Taken at Kew Gardens in November 2021 by photographer Paolo Roversi, the portraits will enter the permanent Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, of which The Duchess is Patron.

‘Ahead of the Gallery’s re-opening in 2023, the photographs will feature as part of its Coming Home project, a nationwide initiative which sees portraits of well-known individuals being sent to locations which they are closely associated with. The project has enabled works from the National Portrait Gallery’s national Collection to travel to towns and cities across the UK, providing communities with the opportunity to see famous works locally.

‘The new images of The Duchess will be displayed over the course of 2022 in three places which have a special meaning to Her Royal Highness: Berkshire, St Andrews and Anglesey. Details on where and when each portrait will be shown as part of the Coming Home project will be announced by the National Portrait Gallery in due course.’

Kate dons two dramatic gowns in the photographs, both by Alexander McQueen, while her jewellery bears potent sentimental meaning: the pair of earrings teamed with the one-shouldered red dress were lent to her by the Queen; while the pair worn with the ethereal white, off-the-shoulder gown formerly belonged to her late mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales. 

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Samir Hussein / WireImage via Getty Images

Wearing Catherine Walker at the Together at Christmas community carol service in London, December 2021

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