British Royal Family

Palace drops unseen picture of Kate Middleton in the aftermath of Harry and Meghan's shock announcement

The brand new image was released in the wake of one of the most eventful days in royal history.

By Jess Pullar
Kensington Palace have celebrated Kate Middleton's 38th birthday in a way that's left royal watchers excitedly ogling... while scratching their heads at the same time.
Indeed the Palace, which usually posts tributes to various members of the royal family for their birthdays, took a slightly different turn on January 9 when they shared a gorgeous new image of Kate in celebration of her 38th lap around the sun.
The Palace shared a brand new image of Kate for her 38th birthday. (Getty)
In the beautiful unseen image taken by favourite royal photographer Matt Porteous, Kate is seen smiling in a winter-chic ensemble consisting a grey knit and casual jeans.
"Thank you everyone for all your lovely messages on The Duchess of Cambridge's birthday!" Kensington Palace captioned the image.

While the birthday wish itself is nothing new, it's rare for the Palace to share a brand new unseen image of Kate or William for their birthdays.
Which certainly makes one stop and think - was this a way to refocus the attention in the aftermath of Harry and Meghan's explosive statement explaining they were stepping down as senior members of the royal family?
Could the move from Kensington Palace have anything to do with Harry and Meghan's shock announcement? (Getty)
What's more, Harry and Meghan themselves even wished Kate a public Happy Birthday, writing in the comments section of the post: Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duchess of Cambridge today! 🎂❤️"
The Sussexes comment was met with thousands of replies from fans, many of whom jumped to the Cambridge's defence.
"How we adore you! 💖 in all the sadness of the news how your family shine a light! Have the happiest of days today 🎉 your a huge inspiration to us all! X," wrote one avid fan.
Kate was also pictured arriving at Kensington Palace by car earlier this morning (Australia time) with Prince Louis in the back seat.
It is understood the Duchess would be spending her birthday quietly with Prince William and their three young children, Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte and of course Louis, one.
Kate was pictured entering Kensington Palace on her birthday on January 9. (Getty)
The Duchess travelled with her young son Prince Louis in the back seat. (Getty)
Other members of the royal family also posted their own tributes to Kate for her birthday.
Buckingham Palace shared a series of sweet images featuring Kate and the Queen alongside the caption: "Wishing The Duchess of Cambridge a very Happy Birthday!"
Meanwhile, Clarence House also shared several images of the Duchess of Cambridge standing alongside Duchess Camilla and Prince Charles.
While there's no denying this is a turbulent time for the royals, we hope that Kate had a spectacular birthday celebrating with those nearest and dearest to her.