The Duchess of Cambridge usually hosts a party weekend with friends and family, but due to the COVID-19 crisis, her plans have changed

By Simon Perry
January 09, 2021 08:00 AM
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Kate Middleton
| Credit: AARON CHOWN/AFP/Getty

Kate Middleton is spending her 39th birthday on Saturday surrounded by the most special people in her life — her three children and husband Prince William.

The royal family of five is currently isolating at their country home, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk as the U.K. is under its third major lockdown amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions mean it'll be a very different birthday weekend for Kate. Whereas she regularly celebrates on the weekend closest to her birthday by hosting some of her best friends and family — like her parents Carole and Michael — to a house party, that won't be possible this year.

This weekend, it will fall to William, 38, to lead the celebrations – meaning he'll likely get the couple's children, Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, to help him with the cake-making before mom's big day. And that could get messy!

He recently said that he's been trying his hand at baking during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and joked about the mayhem that can take place in the kitchen, revealing there's usually an "explosion of flour and chocolate everywhere" when the children are let loose.

Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

But amid the fun, Kate will miss having her friends close by. Last year, she and William entertained pals like William's lifelong friend Tom van Straubenzee and his wife Lucy Lanigan-O'Keeffe, James Meade and his wife Laura, neighbor and longtime pal Sophie Snuggs – who is one of Charlotte's godparents – and her husband Robert.

William 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, Queen Elizabeth has hosted them at Sandringham House for dinner, too.

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This is a year of big anniversaries for the royal family, as the couple marks their 10th wedding anniversary in April, and look ahead to Queen Elizabeeth's 95th birthday and Prince Philip's 100th in June.

In July, they will mark what would have been the 60th birthday of William's late mother Princess Diana and later that month it will be 40 years since her marriage to Prince Charles.

William and Kate headed to Anmer Hall, which is on the Queen's Sandringham estate, just before Christmas after George and Charlotte left school for the holidays. But with a new national lockdown announced recently, they have not returned to London and the children will not be going back to school, which has been closed, along with most others in the capital city.