Kate Middleton missed out on a royal birthday tradition due to financial struggles

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge departs after delivering the keynote speech at an event hosted by the Forward Trust
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Kate Middleton celebrated her 40th birthday in January but despite being the future Queen, she missed out on a major royal birthday tradition due to “financial challenges”. 

Kate Middleton’s 40th birthday saw royal fans delighted with the release of three special new photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge. For one of these rare pictures, Kate Middleton channelled Queen Victoria (opens in new tab) and the Queen and following her birthday, she made a really personal gesture (opens in new tab) to fans as she thanked them for their well wishes. Though it’s not known exactly how Kate might have celebrated with Prince William and their three children, recent reports have suggested her birthday would be kept “low key” (opens in new tab)

And this was certainly the case when it came to one major royal tradition which the Duchess sadly missed out on this year. Not only that, but it’s understood that she will never again get to experience this royal birthday custom, despite other members of The Firm (opens in new tab) getting to.

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Last year Hello! magazine (opens in new tab) reported that a spokesperson for Westminster Abbey, where Kate Middleton and Prince William married (opens in new tab), said that due to “financial challenges” the bells would no longer be rung on the birthdays of all senior royals. The exceptions are, as some might’ve expected, the Queen herself and Prince Charles, who is first in line to the throne (opens in new tab)

The spokesperson explained, “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 went on to reveal the reasoning behind this, disclosing, “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." 

Westminster Abbey in central London on April 16, 2019 ahead of a special toll of the bells

BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images.

Prior to this all four of the Queen’s children would’ve received this honour on their birthdays. As would Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George (opens in new tab), Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and also Duchess Camilla. Sadly for the Duchess of Cambridge this major change was announced many months before her recent 40th birthday, meaning she missed out on the bells being rung.

Whilst Kate Middleton might not receive this royal birthday tradition for the foreseeable future, things could of course change again when she goes on to become Queen in the years to come.

Either way, Kate Middleton likely had a wonderful 40th birthday with her loved ones this year!

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

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.