Saturday 7 January 2012

Duchess of Cambridge's 30th birthday plans revealed

As the Duchess of Cambridge approaches her 30th birthday on Monday, she has opted for a low-key celebration with family and friends.

The duchess, formerly known as Kate Middleton, is spending a quiet weekend with the people she loves ahead of her milestone 30th birthday, royal watcher Rafal Heydel-Mankoo told CTV News Channel in an interview Saturday.

According to the editor of Burke's World Orders of Knighthood, the new royal's every move has been scrutinized since she married Prince William in a lavish ceremony last April.

With the eyes of the world following her every move, Heydel-Mankoo said the duchess has decided on a modest birthday celebration after a big New Year's Eve bash at the couple's estate.

Royal watchers and the public are also analyzing Kate's recent charity patronage picks. She has taken on honorary positions with four charities that deal with a range of causes, including drug addictions and disadvantaged youth.
Kate is now a royal patron of Action on Addiction, East Anglia's Children's Hospice, The Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery. She will also volunteer with the Scout Association.

Heydel-Mankoo said that's just "the first step of a long road."

Kate's father-in-law, Prince Charles, is involved with 400 charities. And in his day, Queen Elizabeth II's husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was involved with a whopping 700 charities

The duchess "took a lot of time to research her charities" and make sure they align with her interests, Heydel-Mankoo said.

But some have criticized her picks as being "too safe" in comparison to the late Princess Diana's work with AIDS victims and her efforts to clear land mines in conflict zones.

Heydel-Mankoo said while comparisons to the legendary princess are inevitable, it makes sense for Kate to start off with some "sensible" charities and progress from there.

The British monarchy is trying to lead by example in charitable giving, Heydel-Mankoo said, and the duchess will elevate the profiles of the charities she has chosen to support.

It's a good way to step into her royal role as the family prepares for a busy year ahead, including the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, he added.


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