Duchess celebrates her 40th birthday in her beloved Norfolk

The Duchess of Cambridge during her visit to the Natural History Museum, central London.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who celebrates her 40th birthday on Sunday, January 9 - Credit: PA

The Duchess of Cambridge will be celebrating a milestone birthday in her adopted county today.

As she turns 40, the future Queen will be unwrapping her presents at Anmer Hall, the Norfolk retreat she and her husband, Prince William, were given by Queen Elizabeth II after their wedding in 2011.

The couple lived at the 19th Century hall, in a tiny hamlet around two miles from Sandringham, for two years between 2015 and 2017, while the Prince served as a pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who own Anmer Hall. Pic: Archant

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,with their three young children at Anmer Hall in Norfolk - Credit: PA

The secluded property has been where the couple chose to spend much of lockdown with the three young children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Prince William, who has spoken of his fondness for Norfolk, recently said the couple spend as much time as possible at Anmer.

The Duchess has forged strong links with Norfolk since becoming engaged to the Prince  in December 2010.

Prince William and Kate Middleton attending a gala performance at the Thursford Christmas Spectacula

Prince William and Kate Middleton attending a gala performance at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust soon after announcing their engagement - Credit: Ian Burt

Weeks later, they made their first public appearance after announcing their plans to tie the knot at the Thursford  Christmas Spectacular, where they were greeted by cheering well-wishers.

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After their glittering wedding at Westminster Abbey, in 2011, the couple began carrying out work at Anmer Hall to transform the 10-bedroom Georgian mansion into a royal residence.

The Duchess is said to be spending a quiet day with family at the property as she celebrates.

Anmer Hall, Anmer. Picture: Ian Burt

Anmer Hall, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given by the Queen - Credit: Ian Burt

The landmark birthday heralds the start of an important decade for the monarchy and the future Queen who will be at her husband's side as events progress, watch her young family group up and pursue her own charitable interests.

Norfolk was where the couple chose to have one of their three children Princess Charlotte, now aged six, christened in July, 2015.

They pushed her through cheering crowds in an antique pram on their way to the tiny church at Sandringham where Prince Williams mother. the late Diana Princess of Wales, was christened in August, 1961.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte (in pram) as they leave

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte (in pram) as they leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham, Norfolk, after Charlotte's christening. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The younger generation of Royals were always popular with the crowds at Sandringham on Christmas Day.

With Royal appearances curtailed by lockdown, the Prince and Duchess would keep in touch with the outside world, particularly the various charities whose work they support, by hosting virtual online meetings.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take part in a video call from Anmer Hall in Norfolk

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take part in a video call from Anmer Hall in Norfolk during lockdown - Credit: Kensington Palace

One of the Duchess's first patronages  after her marriage was EACH - East Anglia 's Children's Hospices.

Marking the 10th anniversary of her involvement this week, the Norfolk-based charity said: "Her Royal Highness has been immensely supportive – a wonderful patron who has worked so hard to support and champion our cause.

"From shop and hospice openings to meeting children and families, the Duchess’s profile has projected our charity and the importance of children’s hospice services onto a national and international stage."

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge opens the new EACH charity shop in Holt, Norfolk.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge opened the new EACH charity shop in Holt and The Nook at Framingham Earl before the pandemic - Credit: Nick Butcher

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born to parents Michael and Carole Middleton at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on January 9 1982.

She was christened at the parish church of St Andrew's Bradfield in Berkshire on June 20 the same year.

Amman in Jordan was home to Kate and her family for a few years in the mid-1980s, where she attended a nursery school from the age of three, before the family returned to Berkshire.

The Royal Family attend Sandringham Church on Christmas Day 2013 - The Duchess of Cambridge. Picture

The Royal Family attend Sandringham Church on Christmas Day 2013 - The Duchess of Cambridge. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

At 13, she went to the exclusive private Marlborough College in Wiltshire, where she part-boarded.

She graduated in 2005 with a 2:1 in history of art from St Andrews University, where she met and began dating Prince William.

The Duchess joined university friends for a house party at Sandringham  in 2005 at Prince William's invitation, for what may have been her first visit to the corner of Norfolk she now calls home.

The Duchess of Cambridge talks to Martin and Jennie Turner, owners of the Fakenham Garden Centre in

The Duchess of Cambridge talks to Martin Turner at Fakenham Garden Centre during her first public engagement since lockdown - Credit: PA

Since moving into Anmer Hall, she has embraced the Norfolk life and is sometimes seen out and about shopping in King's Lynn, Fakenham or Holt.

The couple are also frequent visitors to some of the gastro pubs tucked away in the villages around Anmer, where there will doubtless be glasses raised to the Duchess of Sunday. 


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