Apparently, birthday parties aren't the Duchess of Cambridge's cup of tea. With that in mind, Kate Middleton celebrated her 37th birthday "privately" on Jan. 9 with a super-intimate tea party — and just a few mini VIPs on the guest list, according to Vanity Fair. “Kate’s not into big birthday celebrations, but [Prince] George and [Princess] Charlotte adore birthday cake, so there will be a special tea party at the Palace with candles and presents,” the magazine reported, quoting an unnamed source, who, well, spilled the tea.
In fact, the duchess' special day was spent with one (if not all) of her and Prince William's three children: George, 5, Charlotte, 3, and 8-month-old Prince Louis. Also per VF, "Kate is believed to have spent the day at Kensington Palace with little Prince Louis and Charlotte." (George, of course, had his nose in the books at school during the day, but obviously made it home in time to see his mom blow out the candles atop that birthday cake he and his sister so adore.)
So what about Prince William? While many speculated that an official engagement for London's Air Ambulance service at Royal London Hospital would preclude him from attending any birthday festivities, VF also happily reported that he would also be home in time for the tea party.
Despite having to be away from his wife for the appearance — during which he was named the new patron of the lifesaving organization’s 30th anniversary campaign — William had his wife's birthday very much on the brain. During the series of events, which also involved the royal (and former search-and-rescue pilot) taking a brief helicopter flight over London, two children gave him an oversized homemade birthday card for the duchess. "To Princess Kate I hope you've had the best birthday you could ever imagine," read the handwritten note.
“Well done for remembering,” he told the youngsters, as seen in a Twitter video posted Daily Mail's Royal Correspondent Rebecca English, who covered the event. “I did remember this morning, so that was okay!” (He also paid a royal compliment to the giggling children's penmanship.)
In another video posted by English, he later expressed his appreciation for some toys he was also gifted during the same visit. One such item was what looked like a plush helicopter which William said "will go down very well" with his kids, also noting that "Louis will be chewing that before long.” He seemed to predict that George would be most excited, however, as William said his eldest "would never forgive" him if he returned home without a toy helicopter.
Back at the Palace, other royals were sharing photo-filled birthday messages for Kate on their official social media accounts. "Happy Birthday to HRH The Duchess of Cambridge!" read a post on the Royal Family’s Twitter page. In a second tweet from the same account Kate's commitment to children:
"The Duchess undertakes royal duties in support of The Queen, both in the UK & overseas — and devotes her time to supporting charitable causes & [organizations], several of which are [centered] around providing children with the best possible start in life."
The official account for Clarence House (AKA the home of Kate's in-laws Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall) retweeted both posts and also shared more photos of the duchess on Instagram.
"Wishing HRH The Duchess of Cambridge a very Happy Birthday 🎂 ," read the Clarence House Instagram post's caption — cake emoji and all.
While Duchess Kate has yet to make any public statements of thanks herself, Kensington Palace did tweet a message of appreciation for the outpouring of well wishes. "Thank you everyone for all your lovely messages on The Duchess of Cambridge’s birthday," KP tweeted. (This one included a red balloon emoji, by the way.)
It sounds like Kate's 37th's birthday was truly fit for a low-key princess.