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Kate at the premiere of 'War Horse' last night. (Rex Features/AP Images)
Kate at the premiere of 'War Horse' last night. (Rex Features/AP Images)

We’ll know in a short time, but it now appears that Kate’s 30th birthday celebrations will be reserved and low-key – not much of a surprise, really, and quite in keeping with the Duchess of Cambridge’s own public persona.

There have been conflicting reports over the past week about how Kate’s old and new families would mark her birthday, which is today (Monday, Jan. 9).

Regardless of how she observes the big day, the Duchess appeared to enjoy herself last night at her first royal movie premiere, after which some Windsor watchers speculated that her own celebrations might have begun.

Grazia magazine reported that Kate’s 30th birthday party would be “a party to end all parties” thrown by sister Pippa and brother-in-law Prince Harry, complete with celeb guests like the Beckhams and topped off by karaoke. The magazine suggested that it would be a well-coordinated “pop-up” style event.

To the Daily Beast’s Sexy Beast columnist Charlotte Edwardes the story made perfect sense.

“What Prince Harry, dubbed the Playboy Prince, doesn’t know about enjoying himself probably isn’t worth knowing,” Edwardes wrote. “Pippa, on the other hand, brings professional expertise as a party organizer.”

And then there was the royal “mole” cited by Grazia, who reportedly said, “In many ways, this is going to be Kate’s last chance to let go like she did back in the old days when she and William first met.”

The “mole” sounded authoritative about the plans.

“The party has been months in the planning,” said the source. “Pippa and Harry have been in the thick of it, and have recruited a bunch of friends to help. The guests have been sent ‘save the date’ cards, and told that it will probably be in London. Given the people organizing it, you can be sure it will be brilliant.”

Official sources, however, countered that there would be no big bash but instead a small and intimate gathering.

“Whatever is planned will be low-key and private,” a St. James’s Palace spokesman told The Daily Mail.

“Fans expecting a lavish birthday bash to mark the milestone will be disappointed,” wrote the Associated Press on Sunday.

ABC News had this report:




In other news related to Kate Middleton’s 30th birthday:

• War Horse author Michael Morpurgo said he had a special birthday present for the Duchess of Cambridge, and director Steven Spielberg gushed at being at a royal premiere of the movie with Kate and William.

“It’s a very prestigious honor because they represent an entirely new era of British royalty that has the entire world excited,” Spielberg told BBC News.

“This is a wonderful occasion tonight,” he said. “This is so exciting. I get a buzz.”

The red carpet event was held in London’s Leicester Square and was a benefit for the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. Some 600 servicemen and women from the Duke of Cambridge’s regiments were invited.

Spielberg praised the William and Kate for giving their time and the attention of their charities.

“It’s wonderful because it was their idea to bring the veterans here, so they could share this evening,” the director told AFP.

Also attending the premiere were several actors from the film, all upstaged by the movie’s star: a thoroughbred named Joey.

“When Kate spotted the horse she grinned broadly,” wrote The Press Association.

Author Morpurgo said he was “thrilled” that the Duchess had chosen War Horse as her first royal film premiere.

“It is a wonderful honor that she has chosen this film to do that,” the writer said. “I will send her a copy of War Horse for her birthday. She is a wonderful example of dignity and calm, and I like that in her.”

• AFP had this video report about the Duchess on the occasion of her 30th birthday:

• The Daily Beast and ABC News say there are rumors that, for his birthday present to his wife, William has commissioned a portrait and that the Queen is going to give Kate a tiara – “but private gifts from the queen are not made public, according to Buckingham Palace,” writes The Daily Beast’s Edwardes. She also writes that Kate has asked her friends to donate to charity instead of giving her presents.

• We don’t know whether Kim Kardashian got the message about charity, but she’s got her own present for Kate, reports Digital Spy. The reality TV personality created a pair of shoes that she says are meant to celebrate the Duchess of Cambridge’s birthday. ShoeDazzleUK, for which Kardashian is chief designer, says the shoe, called “The Duchess,” has been made in a “style often graced at the hottest events by Kate.”

'The Duchess,' designed by Kim Kardashian.

“The shoe delivers an understated air of opulent elegance, looking both high fashion and high society,” the company says.

Kardashian recorded a video about the shoe, in which she wishes Kate a happy birthday:

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By Paul Hechinger