The Royal Family on Sunday released three new official portraits of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton), to mark her 40th birthday.
The photos, taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, were captured in London’s Kew Gardens in November. The future Queen Consort is wearing custom-made gowns from British fashion house Alexander McQueen, which also designed her 2011 wedding dress.
According to the BBC, the three portraits will at first go on display in locations across the UK “with special meaning” to the duchess before being permanently housed at the National Portrait Gallery, of which Kate is patron. One image will hang in Berkshire, where the duchess was born and spent her childhood. The other will go to St. Andrews in Scotland, where Kate and William attended college and first met. The third will go to Anglesey, where the royal couple lived immediately after their wedding.
Roversi, who is based in Paris, told the Guardian that working with Kate was a “true honor” and “a moment of pure joy.”
“I was moved by her warmth and friendly welcome and enchanted by her shining eyes that reflected the loveliness of her soul and her smile showing the generosity of her heart.
“It was a profound and rich experience for me, an unforgettable moment. I have met a wonderful person, a person who, with her positive energy, can bring hope to the whole world.”
Four other portraits by Roversi are already on display in the National Portrait Gallery.
The pictures — two monochrome and one in color — show Kate in both casual and formal poses. The Queen loaned the duchess a pair of diamond earrings for the color portrait; she wears earrings that belonged to her mother-in-law, Princess Diana, in the others.
In a tweet Sunday, Kate thanked the photographer and the National Portrait Gallery for the images and expressed her appreciation for the birthday wishes. The duchess was born Jan. 9, 1982.