New Photos Of Kate Middleton Celebrate Her 40th Birthday

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The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, turned 40 on Jan. 9. In honor of her milestone birthday, Kensington Palace released a series of three stunning portraits of the future queen consort that capture her beauty and personality.

The high-glam pictures were taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, who told The Guardian it was a “true honor” to work with Middleton.

“I 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,” the photographer said.

The photos were shared on social media through Prince William and Middleton’s official Twitter account in a post explaining that the three portraits are bound for the national gallery.

“Delighted to share a new portrait of The Duchess ahead of her 40th birthday tomorrow,” The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge account posted on Jan. 8. “This is one of three new portraits which will enter the permanent collection of the @NPGLondon [National Portrait Gallery of London], of which The Duchess is Patron.”

Roversi talked to the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera about his vision for the Nov. 2021 photo shoot with Middleton in London’s Kew Gardens. He said he knew she loved photography, but also had some reservations about the photo session because she “is machine-gunned by photographers, but not used to posing” as his typical models are. He wanted to reassure her by making the process as easy as possible.

“All in natural light,” he told Corriere Della Sera. “Her with little make-up, no hairstyle, simple pearl earrings, a ring. The focal point of Kate’s face is her gaze and smile. I didn’t want her too lady duchess, too establishment, but purer and more contemporary as possible, even more timeless.”

Two of the three photos are in black and white to capture a timeless feel. Middleton one of them to send a personal thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes on Twitter.

The final photo in the trio that will hang in the gallery (when it reopens in 2023) is a vibrant color shot of Kate wearing a dramatic red gown, an intentional move to show her more glamorous side.

Roversi told Corriere there are other photos from the shoot that will remain private for now, including a picture of her in motion, dancing.

“In the end, I wanted to take pictures in motion, so with that wonderful wide skirt I made her dance in front of my camera, a kind of accelerated waltz mixed with a pinch of rock ‘n’ roll,” he said. “And it’s a secret image for now.”