The Duchess of Cambridge’s big birthday celebrations have continued into spring, with news that her iconic birthday portraits will be displayed in public for the first time as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Coming Home project.Kate, who turned 40 in January, posed for three striking photos taken by photographer Paolo Roversi and these images will now be heading to locations across the UK – Berkshire, St Andrews and Anglesey – for everyone to admire and see free of charge.
The Duchess personally chose the venues because they hold a special place in her heart, either being linked to her childhood or her relationship with her husband Prince William.The regal image that shows Kate gazing to the left will be displayed firstly at St James the Less Church from 22 March to 5 April, then at Reading Museum from 7 April to 4 June. The church, situated in the village of Pangbourne, is the Middleton family’s place of worship, while the museum was chosen due to its proximity to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where Kate was born.
The second glamorous photo of Kate posing in a red dress will be displayed at the Wardlaw Museum, University of St Andrews from 13 June and 30 September. William and Kate’s love story famously began at the Scottish university where they met as Freshers.The third and final portrait, showing the Duchess smiling straight at the camera, will be unveiled at Anglesey’s Oriel Môn between 16 July and 2 October, where the couple first lived together in their early years of marriage. William worked as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot in north Wales before the royals relocated to London with their newborn Prince George.
Paolo Roversi took the portraits back in November 2021 ahead of Kate’s milestone birthday. The secret photoshoot took place at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with Kate wearing three exquisite gowns by Alexander McQueen, the British label that created her historic wedding dress.
In January, the royal photographer said: “Taking the portrait of Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, was a true honour for me, and a moment of pure joy. I was moved by her warmth and friendly welcome and enchanted by her shining eyes that reflected the loveliness of her soul and her smile showing the generosity of her heart.”It was a profound and rich experience for me, an unforgettable moment. I have met a wonderful person, a person who, with her positive energy, can bring hope to the whole world.”