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Kate Middleton's heartfelt tribute to Princess Diana in 40th birthday portraits - did you spot it?

Today is a very special day for the Duchess of Cambridge

kate middleton birthday
Kate Thomas
Kate ThomasLifestyle Managing Editor
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The Duchess of Cambridge looked beautiful in a trio of bespoke Alexander McQueen gowns in new photos to mark her 40th birthday released on Saturday evening - paying tribute to both the Queen and Princess Diana through her iconic looks.

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Celebrating her landmark birthday in style, Duchess Kate turned to her wedding dress designer to transform her look for the gorgeous portraits, taken by royal photographer Paolo Reversi. A vision in red, the royal is pictured in a breathtaking asymmetric satin gown, complete with an off-the-shoulder neckline and dramatic balloon sleeve. A second image sees the Duchess in an elegant bespoke McQueen tulle dress, while Kate dons a beautiful baby pink ruffled gown for a third stunning portrait.

WATCH: Kate Middleton's most iconic outfits over the past 10 years

Prince William's wife paired her statement red gown with a glittering pair of the Queen's diamond drop earrings, lent to her by the 95-year-old monarch.

In a second monochrome image, Kate dons a pair of diamond and pearl drop earrings that belonged to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. The earrings aren't the Duchess' only homage to Diana, as she also displays the royal's iconic sapphire engagement ring, given to her by her husband in 2010. 

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kate middleton 40th birthday portrait 3© Paolo Roversi

The Duchess was a vision in red to mark her 40th birthday

Kate's natural beauty was highlighted with a subtle makeup look consisting of light blush, rosy pink lips and minimal eye makeup. Her flowing brunette hair was teased into loose waves, framing her pretty features. 

Royal fans will no doubt be quick to recreate Kate's iconic 40th birthday looks. Shop our edit of the best statement red dresses on the high street to channel the Duchess of Cambridge's enviable elegance for your next occasion. 

karen millen red dress

Viscose X Back Dress, £148, Karen Millen

net a porter dress

Rebecca Vallance Crepe Dress, £290, Net-a-Porter


my theresa dress© Photo: Custom

Self Portrait Midi Dress, £340, MyTheresa



Forever New Oversized Bow Dress, £100, ASOS


coast dress

Taffeta Skater Dress, £59, Coast


Meanwhile, Kate is expected to have a low-key birthday surrounded by her close family this year.

While Duchess Kate usually marks her birthday privately, there have been revelations about how the royal has celebrated the occasion in the past.

kate middleton 40th birthday portrait 1© Paolo Roversi

The Duchess wearing Princess Diana's pearl drop earrings

It's likely that Kate will be surrounded by her closest friends and family members at their Norfolk abode, Anmer Hall, for her special birthday this year.

RELATED: 5 ways Duchess Kate takes after her mother Carole Middleton

The Cambridge family spent the festive period at Anmer Hall and were pictured leaving a church service in Sandringham on Christmas Day.

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