Kate, with her prince, at the War Horse premiere. It's good to be the birthday girl. (Ben Pruchnie/Getty Image …Marry a prince, travel the world, become a fashion icon, do more charity work. If this was Kate Middleton's to-do list before she turned thirty, she can consider it done. On Monday, the Duchess celebrated the big three-oh without any of the sloppy, liquid-courage fanfare that usually comes with crossing the milestone.
Instead she toasted her accomplishments at a low-key dinner with her nearest and dearest.
"[She] had a quiet gathering with family and friends on Monday evening," a Palace aide told Us Weekly. "The dinner was held within private quarters at one of the properties situated by their home at Kensington Palace."
Sister Pippa and brother-in-law Harry were both rumored to be planning an all out rager for Kate, but according to The Daily Mirror, it was Guy Pelly, the nightclub owner and close friend of the royal couple, who arranged a more subdued evening centered on a multi-course meal prepared by one of Kate's favorite chefs.
So the party wasn't exactly a three-day marathon as is custom for Middleton's fellow countrymen ('ello Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell). As a future Queen, Kate's grown up faster than most in the final chapter of her '20s. Now she's poised to begin philanthropic work for a number of charities, in addition to playing unofficial ambassador for her native land.
It wouldn't be proper to wave around the spoils of her birthday, but rest assured there were spoils.
While palace officials won't release details on her personal presents, they have provided a detailed listing the gifts the Duke and Duchess received during their world travels in 2011.
Check out the honeymooners getting cozy on their North American trip.
Suffice it to say, they came home with a stocked bar. Champagne and whiskey were handed out to the couple in Canada. Port was par for the course in Portugal. In Morocco, the Prince received a dagger and an animal horn. In Kuwait he was gifted with a sword. Kate, who rarely accepts clothes or accessories, got her share of bracelets and earrings along with a gift shop worth of recipe books, soaps and scented candles. In California, Kate and Will were treated to iPads from the state's governor and a framed film still from the head of Sony Pictures.
All in all, there wasn't much left to get Kate that she didn't already have when her birthday came around. Still some fellow celebrities tried their best. Kim Kardashian sent a video birthday card, announcing a special edition line of heels in honor of the Duchess. An unconfirmed rumor earlier this week had Victoria Beckham designing an exclusive line of dresses and accessories for Kate. Neither can be considered selfless acts: everyone wants their fashion brand associated with the Middleton money machine.
More about The Kate Middleton Effect and how companies bank on her fashion choices.
Perhaps the most genuine birthday token Kate received from a celebrity came from another Kate. Ms. Capshaw, Steven Spielberg's wife was sitting next to her highness at the premiere of War Horse, only hours before her 30th birthday. According to Spielberg, Middleton welled up in the middle of the film and Capshaw sensed an impending make-up crisis. "I was sitting next to [Middleton] and all I know is at one point my wife, who was sitting to my right...passed [her] a Kleenex," Spielberg told BBC News. A handkerchief might have been better suited for royalty, but it's the thought the counts.
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