The coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of things, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Kate Middleton's birthday was "different" this year given the circumstances.
The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated her 39th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 9, and was showered with sweet messages from the official Instagram accounts belonging to the royal family. But the most poignant birthday message came from Middleton and husband, Prince William's official Instagram account, which acknowledged how out of the ordinary this birthday was for her. "Thank you for your kind wishes on The Duchess' birthday," the couple wrote in the caption of the post underneath a photo of Middleton wearing a mask.
"Birthdays have been very different in recent months, and our thoughts continue to be with all those working on the front line at this hugely challenging time."
Middleton reportedly spent her big day at their country home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk County with Prince William and their three kids — 7-year-old son, Prince George, 5-year-old daughter, Princess Charlotte, and 2-year-old son Prince Louis, according to Hello!. The celebration was reportedly very low key, according to the Daily Mail, with Prince William and the kids organizing a "quiet tea party" for Middleton on Saturday. How fun and cute is that?
A friend of Middleton's told Vanity Fair that she was very pleased with these arrangements. "Catherine isn't one for lots of fuss or big parties — being with William and the children is her favorite way of spending her birthday," they said.
This year's birthday party is a far cry from her past birthday celebration. When Middleton turned 38 in Jan. 2020, she celebrated it just a few days early, partying with her friends and family members at Anmer Hall before her kids returned to school after the holidays. The year before, Middleton reportedly had a "quiet celebration" with her kids and husband, who made sure to not reveal any specific details surrounding their plans.
2021 will be a big year for Middleton, because she will turn 40. But who knows what next year's celebration will be like. Whether she spends it quietly with her kids, or has fun with her family and friends, it won't be any more "different" than this year's birthday, which was celebrated amid the global pandemic.