With the U.K. in its third lockdown of the pandemic, birthdays can be a hard thing to celebrate. But Prince George, 7, and Prince Louis, 2, along with sister Princess Charlotte, 5, found a fun way to honor their mom Kate Middleton on her 39th birthday on Saturday. The kids and dad Prince William threw their mother a very British celebration by having a tea party at their country home Anmer Hall in Norfolk, People reports, and party prep was strictly in the hands of William and the kids.
In a normal year, the Duchess of Cambridge would be surrounded by her extended family, including her parents Carole and Michael Middleton and sister Pippa Middleton. This year, things were a little more low-key to honor their country’s strict COVID-19 safety protocols, but the mom-of-three was still in good hands because Prince William knows his way around the kitchen.
“If you go round to her house, you get a cup of tea, and it’s often William, who makes it!” a royal insider told People in December. “It’s a lovely, welcoming house, not a fancy, stuffy palace in any way. It’s a normal, busy family home with kids running around and knocking things over. There’s no airs and graces.”
Even though the royal family couldn’t get together for Kate’s birthday, the social media accounts for the senior royals recognized her special day. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s Royal Family account posted two photos of Kate — a solo shot and one with the Queen at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2019 — with a celebratory caption, “Wishing The Duchess of Cambridge a very happy birthday today! 🎂.”
“Happy Birthday to The Duchess of Cambridge! 🎊,” wrote Clarence House, the official office of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, along with a photo of Kate sporting a huge grin.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Kensington Royal account acknowledged all of the birthday wishes with their own post showing Kate wearing a very pandemic birthday item — a floral mask.
“Thank you for your kind wishes on The Duchess’ birthday,” said the caption, while recognizing the seriousness of the moment as well. “Birthdays have been very different in recent months, and our thoughts continue to be with all those working on the front line at this hugely challenging time.”
Even if Kate’s party was a little quieter this year, it’s a great way to ramp up for her 40th birthday in 2022, when life is hopefully safer for everyone to attend a bigger celebration. Let’s see what the kids — and dad — have up their sleeves for next year’s milestone birthday.
Click here to see the 100 best photos of the royal family from the past 20 years.