Royals

Prince William’s romantic surprise on Kate Middleton’s birthday

''Wills is just so grateful to Kate and how incredible she is.''

By Karleigh Smith
In breathtaking new pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge at 40, she looks every bit the regal future queen.
And after a tumultuous year spent proving her mettle as one of the monarchy's true leaders, her husband, Prince William, was determined she should be treated as such during the top-secret photoshoot in November at London's Kew Gardens.
As royal fans around the world praise the three magnificent images, featuring the duchess in two dresses by her couture go-to, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, we can reveal no one was more impressed than her husband.
Photographer Paolo Roversi captured Kate for her 40th birthday. Paolo Roversi
"William, along with the kids, helped her select the final images that would go out to the public," says a source.
"He's so proud of Kate... He's rather cheekily told his mates that she looks like a 'total smokeshow'."
Photographer Paolo Roversi said they "danced to waltz and rock'n'roll" to get his subject ready for her moment in front of the camera.
Indeed, a palace insider tells Woman's Day exclusively that William, 39, encouraged Kate to pose for the historic portraits, and "made it as romantic as possible".
"Wills is just so grateful to Kate and how incredible she is as a royal, a wife and a mother," says the source.
"He's so proud of Kate... He's rather cheekily told his mates that she looks like a 'total smokeshow'." Getty
"She was reticent to make such a fuss but he pushed her into it, and made it a fairytale day from start to finish.
"He personally asked the Queen to loan her a favourite pair of earrings, and also presented Kate with Diana's pearl earrings on the day.
"Kate was truly touched and wore them both. Wills was determined for her to have her time in the sun, on her own and not just as his plus one, or surrounded by their children."
"He personally asked the Queen to loan her a favourite pair of earrings." Getty
Sources say the images pay tribute to Kate's "calm and steadfast manner, combined with her effortless glamour", and hint at what's to come.
"In recent years, the Queen has remarked to William that Catherine reminds her so much of the Queen Mother in the way that she's reliable with little fuss," says one courtier.