There was a time when royal watchers bemoaned the fact that Windsor birthdays were rarely mentioned by the family themselves. Not this year, though. The 37th birthday of the Duchess of Cambridge has been celebrated with a series of royal wellwishes in a move that has all the echoes of European ruling houses. Although perhaps not enough for some regal fans.
Let's start with the celebrations. All three official social media accounts of the British Royal Family have posted messages and images to mark Kate's big day. Let's start with Kensington Royal which shared a smiling photo of Kate on its Instagram and Twitter accounts along with a rather sweet message offering thanks for all the birthday greetings the duchess had received.
Happy Birthday to HRH The Duchess of Cambridge! pic.twitter.com/qFgDXyL1WD— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 9, 2019
Things got really serious over on the Royal Family accounts where a series of images of the duchess were added to their sites along with information about the work that Kate carries out and the charities and organisations she supports. This wasn't just a birthday message, it was an underlining of Kate's role.
Clarence House retweeted the Royal Family's message marking the day but over on Instagram, added its own photo gallery which included snaps of Kate with both Charles and Camilla. Again, perhaps another reminder of the duchess' role in the Royal Family rather than just a plain and simple birthday wish.
It's a much more public set of celebrations than we're used to from the Windsors and part, perhaps, of a subtle change in the way they will be using social media in the future. There will still be plenty clamouring for special birthday snaps of all the royals on their big days, as we see so often in Europe. In fact, just yesterday, new images of Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine of Denmark were released to mark their 8th birthdays. The photos were taken by their mum, Crown Princess Mary, and - let's face it - they're an easy win. Lovely pics of lovely children and an update on their progress meaning there's less appetite for pap snaps of the pair. Maybe we'll see it in the future from the Windsors. And as Kate is the keenest snapper in KP, maybe 2020 will be the year she treats us to a birthday selfie. That really would mark a sea change and then some.
Photo credit: Kensington Royal Instagram.