Princess Kate Turns 42 on Tuesday, and for the Occasion Could Be Getting a Big Promotion Within the Firm

Even to someone with the prestigious Princess of Wales title, this would be a huge honor.

Kate Middleton in a tiara
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After an at times very tumultuous 41st year of life, the Princess of Wales turns 42 on Tuesday and is apparently set to be “spoiled rotten” by her husband, Prince William, after a challenging year. If you’ll remember, just one day after Kate’s birthday last year, Prince Harry’s Spare was released, and drama ensued—with the fallout felt right down to the close of the year, including damaging allegations from Omid Scobie’s book Endgame about the future queen.

But this weekend isn’t about tumult—it’s about celebration, royal expert Jennie Bond said, per The Daily Express. “William will spoil [Kate] rotten this year, because it’s been a really tough time for her,” Bond said. “He’s probably got a little bit of romance in him somewhere, and even though he says he’s not a very good cook, Kate did tell Mary Berry that he’s quite good at breakfasts, so a special tray complete with a rose could arrive early for Kate. I imagine they will spend some quality time with their children, as it’s the last day of their Christmas holiday before they return to school, but perhaps a candlelit champagne dinner will be on the cards.” 

Prince William and Kate Middleton on a royal tour

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As to what gift William will give his wife, maybe he should consider employing some help, as he has admitted himself that he has struggled with giving Kate gifts in the past—including one so awful she never let him forget it. “I did get my wife a pair of binoculars once,” he said in an appearance on BBC’s “That Peter Crouch Podcast.” “She’s never let me forget that. That was early on in the courtship, that was. I tell you what, I think that sealed the deal. She fell for me at that point.”

Obviously playing the sarcasm card heavily, William added “I think I was convincing myself about it. I was like, ‘These are really amazing! Look how far you can see!’ And she started looking at me going, ‘They’re binoculars. What’s going on?’” He concluded that “It didn’t go well. Honestly, I have no idea why I bought her a pair of binoculars.”

Though Kate’s 42nd birthday is reportedly going to be “low-key,” she might be getting a gift that she will enjoy: a bit of a promotion, if you will, inside the U.K. chivalry stratosphere, a big honor that could be given to her by her father-in-law, King Charles.  

King Charles and Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Daily Express reports that Charles—with whom Kate is close—could give Kate the appointment as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter this year, a title that is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain and was first established almost 700 years ago by Edward III. “The new appointment would cement her seniority in the Firm and is personally chosen by the monarch,” The Daily Express reports.

Queen Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and her husband William are already members.

“After being an official member of the royal family for more than a decade, many senior figures reportedly feel that Princess Kate is ready for the new honor,” The Daily Express writes. Kate is very familiar with the Order of the Garter, as it is an annual staple in her diary to attend the Garter Day procession, when Knights and Ladies walk from Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel. 

King Charles and Prince William at the Order of the Garter

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This weekend, Kate and her family—William and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—are set to mark her birthday quietly in Windsor as “the children are just about to start back at school,” a source speaking to The Daily Express said. Her birthday will be “just the family” alongside her, and they added that this is “the way she likes it.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.