Duchess of Cambridge releases striking portraits to mark 40th birthday
- Credit: PA
The sophistication and glamour of the future queen have been showcased in new portraits made to mark her 40th birthday.
The Duchess of Cambridge, who reaches the milestone on Sunday, had the portraits taken at Kew Gardens in 2021 by celebrated Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi.
Kate, pictured in relaxed poses, is wearing dresses made by Alexander McQueen with her hair flowing.
Mr Roversi, who has worked with industry stars like Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, described photographing The Duchess as "a moment of pure joy" and said with her "positive energy" she can "bring hope to the whole world".
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are celebrating the milestone birthday in Norfolk this weekend at their home in Sandringham.
It is likely they will celebrate at Anmer Hall on Sunday with a private family event.
The birthday marks the start of an important decade for the monarchy and the future queen, who will be at her husband's side during a period of change as events progress, watching her young family grow up and pursuing her own charitable interests.
Roversi added: "Taking the portrait of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge was a true honour for me.
"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.
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"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."
In one image Kate wears a striking red McQueen dress, earrings loaned by the Queen and beams at the camera as she appears to have her hands casually in the gown's pockets.
Roversi is known for his adventurous film and printing techniques and the remaining images have been produced in monochrome that give them an ethereal quality.
In one, a head and shoulders image, the duchess smiles broadly and in the other, with her engagement ring prominently on display, Kate is shown in profile and expressionless looking left.
She wears earrings that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales, in both photographs.
The portraits will later enter the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens in 2023, of which The Duchess is patron.
This year, the photographs will feature as part of the nationwide Coming Home project, which saw portraits of well-known individuals visiting towns and cities across the UK that the subjects have a close association with.
The images will be displayed over the course of 2022 in three places which have special meaning to Her Royal Highness, including Berkshire, St Andrews and Anglesey.
Ahead of her birthday the duchess was praised for her "vision and commitment" in establishing her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood to support the development of children.
Kate's work championing research into a child's formative years is the cornerstone of her public life and has been highlighted by a senior figure from of one of the country's leading mental health charities for children and young people.
Michael Samuel, chairman of trustees at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, said Kate had shown "passion and compassion" in her role as the organisation's patron.