The Duchess of Cambridge turns 38 on Thursday

By Simon Perry
January 05, 2020 09:24 AM

Kate Middleton is kicking off her birthday week!

The royal mom of three and Prince William are hosting some of their closest friends at their country home at Anmer Hall in Norfolk this weekend as they mark Kate’s 38th birthday, which is on Thursday.

On Sunday, the partygoers joined Queen Elizabeth at St. Mary Magdalene church on her Sandringham estate for Sunday morning service. Kate’s friends and family were seen walking up the familiar path where Prince George, 6, and Princess Charlotte, 4, made their Christmas Day debut just days ago.

Among the guests included Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton, as well as the Duke of Cambridge’s lifelong friend Tom van Straubenzee and fiancée Lucy Lanigan-O’Keeffe — who is a teacher at Thomas’s Battersea, the school attended by George and Charlotte — and friends James Meade and his wife Laura. Also in attendance were David and Rose, Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

Kate wore a multi-colored coat and a blue fedora hat by Hicks & Brown for the outing, while the Queen opted for a purple coat and hat.  

Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth
Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Prince William and Kate Middleton
Joe Giddens/PA Wire

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William, 37, and Kate traditionally set aside a weekend at the start of the year to entertain their friends for a few days of shooting and other country pursuits. In the past, the Queen has hosted them at Sandringham House for dinner, too

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

In the last eight years since marrying William, Kate has impressed royal insiders with her ability to support the work of her husband while continuing to build on her own charitable portfolio in early-childhood education and development.

“Kate is in her element right now, she’s really stuck at it and persevered with what she believes in,” a friend told PEOPLE.

She is also committed to giving the couple’s three children — Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and 1-year-old Prince Louis — “as normal a start as possible,” an aide says.

“That’s just how they are. They know what’s coming [as they near the throne].”

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