The royal family has marked the Princess of Wales’ birthday by releasing a never-before-seen photo.
King Charles and Camilla led tributes to Catherine, who turned 42 on January 9.
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“Wishing The Princess of Wales a very happy birthday today! 🎈🎊” a post shared to the royal family’s official Instagram account read.
The picture shows Kate grinning as she stands between Charles, Prince Edward and Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, on the King’s coronation day last year.
Kate is dressed in full regalia including her heavily adorned red and blue cloak and massive diamond tiara.
It is understood the Princess planned to spend her birthday quietly with Prince William and their children at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor.
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Kate fans flocked to the birthday post to wish the princess a happy day.
“Happy Birthday to our wonderful Princess! 🎈” one follower wrote.
“A very happy birthday to the jewel of the BRF (British Royal Family),” enthused another.
“An amazing woman. A stunning Princess … the monarchy is in safe hands,” gushed another.
The royal family released this unseen picture of Catherine, the Princess of Wales to mark her 42nd birthday. Credit: @theroyalfamily/Instagram
Reports have emerged that King Charles planned to appoint Catherine as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter on her 42nd birthday, but that news has not yet been confirmed.
Founded in 1348 by King Edward III, The Order of the Garter is the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system, outranked in precedence only by the Victoria Cross and the George Cross.
The appointment can only be bestowed by the reigning monarch.
What does a Lady of the Order of the Garter do?
Each June, on Garter Day, members of the order don their habits and insignia and meet at Windsor Castle.
A ceremony is traditionally held in the Throne Room on the morning of Garter Day when any new Knights and/or Ladies of the Garter are due for investiture.
New members swear an oath and receive their garter insignia.
At this ceremony, two senior knights or ladies of the order assist in the ceremony by placing the garter around the left leg of the new knight, or left arm of the new lady.
Catherine and Prince William attend The Order of The Garter service on June 19, 2023. Credit: Getty Images
They will also fasten a ribbon and insignia around the body of the new knight or lady, and make any adjustments needed to the incumbent’s habit’s mantle and collar.
The Princess of Wales has watched numerous Garter Day processions over the years but if she were appointed as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter she would be actively participating in it.
Catherine, Princess of Wales chats launching her Shaping Us campaign. Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Catherine and Prince William are set to have a busy 2024, with the couple expected to undertake an official visit to Italy later this year.
The Princess of Wales is also expected to continue working on her passion project, the Shaping Us program, which focuses on early childhood development.
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