No one does a birthday quite like a royal. On Sunday, Jan. 9, The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton turned 40-years-old, and in celebration of this milestone, the duchess shared three incredibly stunning portraits on Instagram. Not only did the royal serve three gorgeous looks, but Kate Middleton’s 40th birthday photos also honored Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth with a few subtle details.
All three of the glamorous photos were taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi and beautifully captured Middleton in various gowns. The first photo was a black and white profile photo of the duchess wearing a long, flowy white gown. And at center of it all was a pair of diamond and pearl earrings, which belonged to the late Princess Diana. In addition to the earrings, the royal blue sapphire ring Middleton is wearing the portrait were also Princess Diana’s.
The duchess also paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth in the second portrait. In the only full-color photo of the set, Middleton shines in a bright red off-the-shoulder dress with pockets, paired with shimmering diamond earrings that belong to the Queen herself. Middleton has worn both pieces before and has a history of wearing outfits inspired by both Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth.
The last image shared on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s IG account was a close-up of Middleton smiling into the camera. The remarkable portraits will be entered into the National Portrait Gallery, of which Middleton has been a patron since 2012. The gallery announced on IG that all three images will be part of its new collection, “Coming Home.”
The Coming Home project consists of portraits of well-known individuals, which are sent to locations that are meaningful for the subject. “The images will be shown over the course of this year in three places that have a special meaning to Her Royal Highness: Berkshire, St Andrews, and Anglesey,” the gallery shared.
According to People, Middleton has been taking on more royal duties as Queen Elizabeth has had to step back on recent engagements due to health issues. A royal source told the magazine the duchess “has really come into her own.” And it looks like her birthday photos prove that.