Prince William to miss out on royal birthday privilege due to ‘financial challenges’

Prince William has turned 40 years old but he’s set to miss out on a tradition his father and grandmother still get to enjoy…

Prince William to miss out on birthday privilege, seen here attending day 4 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince William is celebrating his 40th birthday but sadly there’s one royal privilege he’s missed out on this year due to “financial challenges”. 


Just a few weeks after The Firm came together to honour the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over the bank holiday weekend in the UK, Prince William has given them reason to celebrate once again. The Duke of Cambridge turned 40 on June 21st and reports have suggested the Queen is helping Kate Middleton and William celebrate both their 40th birthdays with a joint celebration reportedly planned. As the future King and second in the royal line of succession William is one of the most prominent members of the Royal Family.

But despite being a senior royal and celebrating such a milestone birthday, sadly it’s thought that there’s one royal privilege William won’t enjoy this year. 

Interior of Westminster Abbey in London

(Image credit: DEA / G. WRIGHT via Getty)

It’s understood that the Duke of Cambridge won’t get to enjoy the ringing of the Westminster Abbey bells in honour of his 40th birthday. Traditionally this significant tribute is believed to have been paid to all of the Queen’s children, as well as the Duchess of Cornwall, the Cambridges and their three kids.

However, last year it was reported by Hello! (opens in new tab) that a spokesperson for Westminster Abbey explained that due to “financial challenges” posed by the Covid-19 pandemic this would no longer be the case going forwards. Instead, the bells would only be rung for the birthdays of a very select number of royals indeed.

"The Abbey bells can be heard ringing out before services and in celebration of church festivals. The bells have also traditionally been rung to mark the birthdays of senior members of the Royal Family,” they stated before adding, "Due to the financial challenges posed to the Abbey by the Covid-19 pandemic, and in consultation with Buckingham Palace, the bells will now ring only for the birthdays of HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales." 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

This means that whilst Prince Charles and the Queen still get this birthday privilege, William’s milestone birthday will pass without it. Though as the future Prince of Wales, it’s perhaps possible that if this decision regarding the bells only being rung for the Prince of Wales and the monarch remains in place, he could potentially receive this tribute again when he takes on his future role. 

Either way, William has experienced this exciting privilege in the past and even got to enjoy it on his wedding day. When William and Kate married the bells were rung and despite not having this tradition for his 40th, with sweet social media tributes from Charles and the Queen, he’s likely found his own wonderful way to celebrate with his nearest and dearest. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.