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Here's why Kate Middleton didn't wear a tiara for her 40th birthday portraits

Happy birthday to the Duchess of Cambridge!

Happy birthday to the Duchess of Cambridgewho is celebrating her 40th birthday on Sunday. But unlike other formal occasions the royal wasn't wearing a tiara.

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Although it might initially seem unusual, the occasion wasn't a formal one for the Duchess, and was more akin to a fashion photoshoot. HELLO! understands that Kate, who studied art history at university, had a distinct style in mind and the photoshoot was very much a collaboration between herself and acclaimed photographer Paolo Roversi. She is said to be "delighted" with the results.

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And the gorgeous photos certainly captured that feel, as the mum-of-three looked every inch a glamorous fashion model.

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The 40th birthday portraits will form part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery which re-opens in 2023 following re-development work.

In the meantime, they will feature as part of the NPG's UK-wide Coming Home project, which sees portraits of public figures on display in places they are closely associated with.

The last time royal fans got to see the Duchess of Cambridge in a tiara was at the Queen's Diplomatic Corps reception in December 2019.

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The Duchess always looks stunning when she wears a tiara

Kate looked stunning in a velvet Alexander McQueen gown with the diamond and pearl Lover's Knot tiara – which has become her signature headpiece. The jewels were originally given to Princess Diana as a wedding gift from the Queen in 1981.

As tiaras are only reserved for special occasions, it may be a while before we see the Duchess in one again, but there is an upcoming state visit with a date yet to be confirmed.

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The Emperor and Empress of Japan were due to make a state visit back in spring 2020, but this was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The royal has worn a stunning array of tiaras since she first donned one for her wedding to Prince William back in 2011. The royal bride was loaned the Cartier Halo tiara, which dates back to 1936, from Her Majesty.

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