12 JANUARY 2009

Not a week passes without some small gesture from Prince William underscoring the depth of his feelings for Kate Middleton. A romantic interlude in the Scottish Highlands, organised down to every detail by the handsome royal, was followed this weekend by another special occasion – his sweetheart's 27th birthday.

In Scotland the couple made use of his father's Birkhall estate for a relaxing break. So this time it was Wills' turn to join his love of six years on her territory at an intimate family party, made up of her parents Michael and Carole, and younger siblings Pippa and James.

Kate's Prince has visited her home in Berkshire discreetly before, but this was the first time he was seen staying overnight. His Audi was parked in the driveway from 9pm on Friday until midday the following day.

The celebrations preceded the start of William's intensive 18-month training course to become an RAF search and rescue pilot, which start on Monday.

From then Training Flight Lieutenant Wales – as he will be known – will based at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire giving him little spare time for his girl, which will have made their last few weeks together even more precious.

Photo: Rex
Kate and Wills have been inseparable in the weeks leading up to the start of his pilot training course on Monday. This weekend, the couple celebrated her birthday with a private party at Kate's family home, hosted by her parents Michael and Carole
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