Duchess Kate is welcoming her 40s with a glamorous new photo shoot.
Kensington Palace released three new portraits of Kate the evening before her 40th birthday on Sunday, taken by photographer Paolo Roversi at Kew Gardens last November.
One sepia-tinted photo depicts her wearing a sheer off-the-shoulder gown, tied to each arm with bows with trailing ribbons. Her hair is worn in loose waves, and Princess Diana’s famous sapphire engagement ring is visible on her left hand. She dons a white dress with a ruffled neckline for a close-up.
In the third color portrait, Kate wears a deep red, one-shouldered gown with pockets and a dramatic poufy sleeve, worn with dangling diamond earrings.
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The photos are a departure from the more casual images that have typically been released by Prince William, 39, and Kate to commemorate special occasions in the royal family. The couple marked their 10th anniversary last April with informal photos that showed them dressed in coordinating blue outfits and embracing outside Kensington Palace.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official social media accounts note that the new portraits of Kate will enter the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London, of which the duchess has been the royal patron since 2012.
The photos will be featured in the gallery’s “Coming Home” project, an initiative in which portraits of individuals are sent to locations they’re closely associated with. Kate’s portraits will be displayed in three places where she’s lived: Berkshire, where she grew up; St. Andrews, where she went to university and met William; and Anglesey, where the couple lived early in their marriage, before moving into Kensington Palace.
Kate wowed royal watchers over the holidays by playing piano to accompany Scottish singer/songwriter Tom Walker on his holiday ballad “For Those Who Can’t Be Here” for “Royal Carols: Together at Christmas,” a holiday concert recorded at Westminster Abbey.
Contributing: Maria Puente, Brian Truitt