Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The Birthday Duchess: Kate's year in pictures


The Duchess of Cambridge is 36 today. Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, born on January 9th 1982 in Reading, Berkshire, is celebrating with a busy year ahead of her as she gets ready to welcome baby number three to her family. But the year just gone has been pretty packed, too, so as Kate enjoys her special day, here's a look back at some of her best pictures in the year since she was last a birthday duchess.




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The year got off to a flying start for Kate when she visited the RAF Air Cadets at RAF Wittering in Stamford on Valentine's Day. Kate, who is Royal Patron and Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation hopped into the cockpit during her trip, leading to a spot of wing walking, fortunately while still on the ground.



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March saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge head to Paris for a short visit, one of several European trips undertaken in the past year at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. You can't beat a photo in front of the clock at the Musee d'Orsay so William and Kate made like just about every other tourist there and struck the pose.



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The campaign for better awareness of and support for mental health issues, Heads Together, that Kate, William and Harry started in 2016 continued into 2017. One high point was the London Marathon in April when Heads Together became the race's official charity. The Duchess of Cambridge spent the day at the event with her husband and brother in law, chatting to runners, handing out prizes and dishing out water as the miles clocked up.



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We've seen Kate do the whole feeding the animals thing before and in May 2017 she was at it again during a visit to a farm in Gloucestershire. She was there to see the work of a project called Farms for City Children which gives kids who live in urban areas the chance to learn about rural life. Kate waded in with a spot of bottle feeding for a lamb.




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June is jam packed with traditional royal events and Kate was a presence at several of them. For the second year in row she was at Ascot, arriving in the carriage procession with William and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. And it was the second time we've seen her on the balcony at Trooping the Colour with Princess Charlotte in her arms. The Cambridges were their usual colour co-ordinated selves as William and Kate tried, and failed, to get the kids to look interested in what was going on.




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The Cambridges were out in force just weeks later as William and Kate took George and Charlotte along on their five day visit to Poland and Germany. The kids were seen as the family arrived and departed all their different destinations. Charlotte got her first bouquet, had her first public hissy fit and refused to walk down the stairs of one plane while George showed just how much he loved helicopters by beaming from ear to ear when he finally got to have a play on one at the end of the visit. 





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August saw Kate join William and Harry as they paid public tribute to their late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of her death, the Duchess of Cambridge was with her husband and brother in law to tour the White Garden at Kensington Palace which had been planted out with white flowers especially in memory of Diana. 


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Just days later, it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a third baby. The news, at the start of September, was followed by confirmation that Kate would have to miss planned engagements after suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarm, as she had in her two previous pregnancies. She made her first appearance since the baby announcement in October 2017 and immediately got everyone talking by wearing blue for a boy.




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Not long afterwards, it was pink for a girl as she joined William and Harry at Paddington station for a Charities Forum event and ended up dancing with the bear himself. 



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The last appearances of this birthday year for Kate have come at Sandringham where the Royal Family spent Christmas. The Duchess of Cambridge was among the royals walking to church on Christmas morning where she was joined, for the first time, by her future sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, who spent the holidays with her soon to be family. It brought to an end a year of appearances between Kate's last birthday and her next and by the time she turns 37, she'll have Meghan and Harry's wedding to add to the album as well as the arrival of her very own new little royal. Plenty to celebrate on this very happy birthday.

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