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Holly Willoughby paid an emotional tribute with her 40th birthday dress

It sparked a sweet reaction from her friends, fans and even her sister Kelly!

Fiona Ward

Holly Willoughby made a moving change to her usual #HWStyle post on her 40th birthday on Tuesday, choosing to pay tribute to her mum with her outfit.

The This Morning star wore the dress that her mother Linda had worn at her own 40th birthday party, and it looked ultra fabulous!

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In a sweet Instagram caption, Holly wrote: "This photo of my Mum was taken on her 40th birthday at the party she had in the garden. I remember this day so clearly. It's a strange thing to reach the age you remember your Mum being!"

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Holly wore her mum's special dress on her 40th birthday

She continued: "I asked her if she'd kept the dress and of course she had... Strange moment zipping it up this morning, wondering how she felt on her big day... I can't be with my Mum or Dad today but wearing this in her honour makes me feel closer to them... love you Mumma!"

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WATCH: Holly in tears at This Morning birthday surprise

How lovely is that? Unsurprisingly, Holly's friends, family and fans were quick to react and send their sweet messages on the post - with her sister Kelly even suggesting that the tribute was a surprise.

MORE: Holly Willoughby confesses what she regrets most about her wedding

"So special! Mum won't believe you are wearing that today!" she wrote.

The presenter's makeup artist Patsy O'Neill added: "Ahhh love this dress and the deeper meaning. Love Mumma Willoughby and her amazing style," while Rochelle Humes commented: "This is incredible."

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One fan joked: "I've just spent five mins googling your dress, now it all makes sense! Fabulous! Happy Birthday, you and your mum both rock that dress!"

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Holly shared another gorgeous shot of her mum in the dress

Wednesday's This Morning saw the show celebrate Holly's special day with lots of fun segments, and the star also revealed that her dressing room had been decorated with balloons and a light-up '40' sign.

The sweet surprise was shared by co-host Phillip Schofield on his own Instagram Story, which saw Holly get teary as she arrived at work. She could be heard telling her colleagues: "Aww thank you. I'm just going to go in here and cry!"

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