Prince William Was Honored With a Very Exclusive Tradition for His Birthday

Very few royals receive this honor.

Prince William
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince William turned 41 on June 21, ringing in Cancer season (significant because this was his mom Princess Diana's star sign, and is also his stepmom Camilla's—so it's kind of a royal "thing").

To mark the occasion, the Westminster Abbey bells chimed. The official Twitter account for the Abbey shared a video of the musical celebration with the words, "Wishing HRH The Prince of Wales a very happy birthday today!

"The Abbey bell ringers are ringing 541 changes of Stedman Caters followed by a course of London Surprise Royal in celebration."

See more

While this may sound like a normal royal thing (just like them all having Cancer for a star sign), the Westminster Abbey bell-ringing is actually a lot rarer these days, due to post-pandemic financial strain.

A stark illustration of this was that Princess Kate (then Duchess Kate) wasn't honored with the bell-ringing in 2022, because of budget cuts, and neither was her husband. That year, only Queen Elizabeth and then-Prince Charles received the honor, per People.

However, this hiatus didn't last long, because it was subsequently decided that William and Kate's birthdays would be marked with the bell-ringing again in 2023 now that they're Prince and Princess of Wales, and Queen Camilla's birthday will also feature the traditional music on July 17, when she turns 76.

See more

On the occasion of William's birthday, body language expert Darren Stanton shared some thoughts on how the prince has evolved in recent years. He said, "We don’t see any of the old gestures from him that he previously displayed, which denoted a lack of confidence or feeling like a fish out of water. He’s a completely different person from when he first started public appearances as a youngster."

For Stanton, this change can largely be put down to his wife Kate's influence. "In terms of his development as a person, I think Kate has played a large part in his development," he said. "When they met, the two of them were not that particularly confident people. However, they’ve both developed over the years."

Here's to growth!

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.