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Video: Kate turns 30 in ‘glittering style’

Image: War Horse - UK Premiere - Inside Arrivals
Dave M. Benett  /  Getty Images
Kate arrives at the UK Premiere of "War Horse" in London Sunday; Monday, she is celebrating her 30th birthday.
updated 1/9/2012 9:50:48 AM ET 2012-01-09T14:50:48

After attending a gala film premiere in a full-length lacy evening gown, Kate Middleton stepped out of the public gaze Monday to celebrate her milestone 30th birthday in private.

She turned heads — and dominated Britain's Monday morning front pages — by attending the London opening of Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" wearing a striking design by Alice Temperley. Her husband, Prince William, used an umbrella to keep her glossy brown hair drizzle-free.

How to dress like (birthday girl) Duchess Kate

It was another star turn for Middleton, who has appeared ever more comfortable in public since joining the royal family in April.

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Palace officials say the Duchess of Cambridge's birthday celebration will be a "low-key and private" affair, appearing to quash press reports that she will see off her 20s with a fun '80s themed party, complete with karaoke, in a throwback to her more carefree bachelorette days.

Video: Kate turns 30 in ‘glittering style’ (on this page)

The choice of a muted event seems appropriate: After all, the duchess is not just starting the fourth decade of her life — she is also embarking on her career as a future queen, charged with renovating a monarchy that has become somewhat creaky with age.

"She's done very well, playing a very good supporting role to Prince William and complementing him as part of a team," commentator Robert Jobson said of her first few months as a royal.

Story: Duchess Kate’s choice of charities echoes Diana’s

"We've not seen much of her, but when she's in public she has performed with aplomb," added Jobson, who is the author of "William and Kate: The Love Story."

The past year has seen momentous changes for Kate, with a fairytale wedding to Prince William, travels around the world and glamorous appearances that marked her transition from commoner to the world's most talked-about princess and style icon. She has won rave reviews for her sparkle, her elegant sense of style, and her common touch with the public. The media, yearning for a young and beautiful royal, documented — and largely admired — her every move.

But now that the excitement around her grand wedding has subsided, she is expected to quietly settle down into her royal duties — and for much of this year, that means helping Queen Elizabeth II celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, without upstaging the monarch in her moment of glory, and also playing a supporting role at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Until recently, palace officials have been quiet about what exactly her role will be, keen to protect her transition into a fully fledged royal from the glare of the media limelight. The newlyweds, who live in a remote corner of north Wales, were said to favor a "quieter life" after the massive global media coverage of their April wedding. Outside of a tour of Canada and California in the summer, the duchess has only taken a handful of official engagements.

Story: Duchess Kate’s choice of charities echoes Diana’s

The former Middleton ventured out on her first solo engagement in October — a private charity dinner for about 30 guests — but is yet to make a public speech on her own.

That is set to change. This week, royal officials finally gave the first insight into her new role when they announced which charities she's supporting, including the Scouts and a group that helps drug addicts. More organizations will follow later, officials said.

The royal family considers patronage of charities an important aspect of their social role, and frequently makes visits and attends events to boost the charities' profiles. William is involved in many diverse nonprofits, while his mother, the late Princess Diana, was well known for her active support for numerous charities including organizations that helped AIDS patients.

Story: Duchess Kate’s choice of charities echoes Diana’s

Even after her separation from Prince Charles, Diana actively campaigned for a ban on land mines, and visited Angola to champion that cause.

The former Middleton is expected to take on a similar role, eventually designating more charities she wants to be involved with as a way for her to carve out her own niche, based on her own priorities and concerns.

She has already taken on an unofficial role as a champion of the British fashion industry, wearing the creations of British designers at home and abroad, showcasing their work in the best possible light.

On top of such duties, the duchess also has a busy year ahead with the queen's jubilee, a major celebration of the monarch's 60 years on the throne that will take see numerous celebrations throughout Britain and the Commonwealth, peaking in a major celebration in London in early June.

Slideshow: The life of Duchess Kate (on this page)
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The royals are expected to play a supporting role by traveling overseas to represent the queen. William and Kate are due to journey to Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific island of Tuvalu as part of the festivities.

The queen and her husband will avoid overseas travel because their advanced years make such trips challenging. The queen's husband, Prince Philip, recently spent time in hospital with a heart problem.

William and his wife have also indicated that they intend to take up residence at an apartment in London's Kensington Palace once his military commitment at an air base in Wales has been met. That will give the likely future king and queen even more visibility in the capital.

Slideshow: Duchess Kate’s royal style (on this page)

Inevitably, much of the speculation about the duchess's future has centered on royal lineage — Is she going to start a family soon? That, however, is anyone's guess, and despite incessant tabloid baby chatter, there doesn't yet appear to be great pressure on the newlyweds to produce an heir.

"It's early days yet, and they're both getting used to their roles," said Jobson, adding that the presence of other young members of the royal household, such as Prince Harry, helps to ease the pressure on William and Kate.

Slideshow: Will and Kate's royal wedding (on this page)

Many of the more senior women in the royal family were mothers in their 20s, but times and expectations have changed — both inside and outside the royal household. By the age of 30, the queen had given birth to two of her four children. Her daughter, Princess Anne, married at 23 and had her first child, Peter Phillips, four years later. Diana also married early and gave birth to William, her first child, at 21.

Leave your birthday wishes for Kate in the comments!

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: The life of Duchess Kate

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  1. Duchess Kate, from regular kid to royal

    Take a look back at how the royal spent a lifetime preparing for her most important title — Duchess of Cambridge and the wife of Prince William.

    On Feb. 11, Duchess Kate stepped out wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad, a diamond necklace Queen Elizabeth II received as a wedding gift for her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. Kate wore the dazzling necklace to a fund-raising gala for the National Portrait Gallery in London. (Max Mumby/indigo / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Celebrating Christmas

    The Duchess of Cambridge arrives to attend a Christmas Day Service with other members of the royal family at St. Mary's church on the grounds of Sandringham Estate, the Queen's royal estate in Norfolk, England, on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (Lefteris Pitarakis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 3D glasses

    Kate tries out 3D glasses at a screening at the Natural History Museum in London on Wednesday, Dec. 11. (Suzanne Plunkett / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Sweet hug

    The Duchess hugs a child at the Shooting Star House Children's hospice in London on Friday, Dec. 6. The Duchess toured the facilities, viewed a music session where she played with a frog hand puppet and a rattle, met with volunteers and had tea with some of the children and their families. (Bradley Page / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Christening

    Prince William and Duchess Kate arrive at St. James's Palace with their 3-month-old son, Prince George, for his christening on Oct. 23. (John Stillwell / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Family photo

    In this photo taken by Duchess Kate's father, the royals pose with their baby, Prince George, as well as their dog Lupo, in the garden of the Middleton family home in August 2013 in Bucklebury, Berkshire. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Welcome to the world!

    Prince William and Duchess Kate show off their newborn son on July 23, 2013 outside St. Mary's Hospital. The baby is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Oli Scarff / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Showing off a baby bump

    Prince William (left) and Duchess Kate arrive at Westminster Abbey in London for a service on June 4 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. (Leon Neal / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Second wedding anniversary

    Duchess Kate visits Naomi House on April 29 in Hampshire, England. (Eamonn M. Mccormack / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Royals in the Far East

    Prince William and Kate travel in a special boat vehicle as they arrive at Honiara International Airport during their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island, on September 16, 2012. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Happy St. Patrick's Day

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, presents a shamrock to the regimental mascot as she takes part in a St Patrick's Day parade while visiting Aldershot Barracks in Aldershot, England, on March 17, 2012. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Kate and the queen

    Duchess Kate and Queen Elizabeth II are pictured as they visit the city of Leicester in central England, on March 8, 2012. (Rui Vieira / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Honoring heroes

    Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry leave after attending "A Night of Heros," the annual Sun Military Awards, to honour members of the British armed forces in London on December 19, 2011. (Arthur Edwards / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Yeehaw!

    Will and Kate watch a rodeo demonstration at a government reception at the BMO Centre on July 7, 2011, in Calgary, Canada. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Gang's all here

    Britain's Prince William and his new wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pose with their page boys and bridesmaids following their wedding on April 29, 2011. Clockwise from bottom right, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Eliza Lopes, Grace van Cutsem, Lady Louise Windsor, Tom Pettifer, and William Lowther-Pinkerton. (Hugo Burnand / Clarence House via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Paying respect

    Prince William, newly minted as the Duke of Cambridge, salutes the Cenotaph as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, bows her head on their way to Buckingham Palace after their wedding at Westminster Abbey. (Gerry Penny / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. You may kiss the bride

    Prince William kissed his new wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, watched by bridemaids Grace van Cutsem, left, and Margarita Armstrong-Jones. (Dylan Martinez / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Royal fans

    Kate Middleton talks to children during a visit to Witton Country Park in Darwen, northern England, on April 11. A large crowd of well-wishers braved a downpour to cheer Prince William and Kate Middleton as they took part in their final official engagement before their wedding. (Darren Staples / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Practice run

    Months before she is set to serve as Kate's maid of honor, Kate’s sister, Philippa “Pippa” Middleton, 27, attends the wedding of a friend. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. A royal doll

    The Limited Edition Princess Catherine Engagement Doll launched at Hamleys toy shop in London on April 7. The doll has been dressed and accessorized by seven award-winning British designers; some proceeds from each purchase go to the Help for Heroes charity. (Luke Macgregor / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Fat Tuesday

    Kate practices her kitchen skills while accompanying William on his first official visit to Northern Ireland. She's flipping pancakes to mark Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, when the British indulge in sugar, fat, eggs and other foods that are not eaten during Lent. As Kate greeted the crowd that gathered in Belfast, one woman gave her a daffodil pin after Kate said she liked it. Kate held the pin in her hand while she flipped flapjacks with the other. (Cathal Mcnaughton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Wedding gift

    St. Andrews established a new scholarship in honor of William and Kate. The university presented the scholarship to the couple as a wedding gift in February. (Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. A return to where the romance began

    In February, Prince William and Kate return to their alma mater, University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where Kate first stole the prince’s heart. They make the trip six years after their graduation to launch a campaign marking the 600th anniversary of the university’s founding. Prince William is the patron of the campaign. (Wpa Pool / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Commoner greets the public

    Smiling Kate meets members of the public – and potential neighbors – as she and Prince William attend a naming ceremony for a new lifeboat in Anglesey. (Phil Noble / Pool via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Anglesey’s new residents

    Kate and Will make a visit to Anglesey in February 2011; the island off the coast of Wales is where they're said to live as husband and wife. (Phil Noble / Pool via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Two royal engagements

    Kate and William's isn't the only royal relationship taking the plunge. Here, Prince William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, attends a rugby match with his cousin, Zara Phillips, who is engaged to rugby player Mike Tindall. (Clive Mason / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Life as a royal is bubbly

    Prince William and Kate make their first official appearance since their engagement. In February 2011, Kate dedicates the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's (RNLI) new lifeboat with a bottle of Champagne. (Phil Noble / Pool via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Charitable Catherine

    Kate has attended charity events on the prince's arm, but royal watchers are waiting to see if she dives into that kind of work like William and his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, did. William is the patron or president of at least 20 organizations, and Diana was the president or patron of more than 100 charities during her marriage to Prince Charles. (Rui Vieira / PA via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Eight years to age 28

    After eight years, Prince William and Kate, now referred to as Catherine, announce they will finally say “I do.” William popped the question at 28 – the youngest age that he said he would marry. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. From countryside to castle

    Kate Middleton was raised in a middle-class family in Bucklebury, 60 miles outside London. Kate’s father, Michael, was an airline pilot and her mother, Carole, was a flight attendant before they started their own party supply business, Party Pieces, and became self-made millionaires. The Middletons made sure their daughters received a good education, sending them to some of the United Kingdom’s best schools. Prince William has described Kate’s parents as loving, caring, fun and welcoming. (Wpa Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Styles and smiles

    Over the years Kate has worn a bright smile to match her many hats. Her style sense is closely watched, and signature pieces include long jackets, boots and the occasional feathered fascinator. While Prince William became a lieutenant in the British Army, Kate worked as an accessories buyer for British clothing chain Jigsaw. (Dylan Martinez / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Kate’s social circle

    Kate attends the Gatcombe Park Festival of British Eventing with friends in August 2005. She has proven herself to be a multitasker over the years, balancing academics, friends, family and her relationship with the heir to the British throne. (Matt Cardy / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Go Wills

    Kate is a familiar face on the sidelines of the polo field, where she has often been seen cheering on Prince William. (Barry Batchelor / PA via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Duty calls

    Kate has supported William in all of his royal duties. Here, she attends the Annual Garter ceremony at Windsor Castle in June 2008 where Prince William was made a Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter by the queen, becoming the 1,000th in history. (Steve Parsons / Pool via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Game changer

    Although Kate is regularly spotted at the prince’s ceremonies and polo matches, her attendance at Prince William’s graduation from The Royal Military Academy was seen as a game changer. This was the first time she attended an important event with the queen and other senior royals. Many saw it as a coming-out for the prince’s girlfriend. (Adrian Dennis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Split but not broken

    Prince William and Kate were said to have split in April 2007. Just a few short months later, she attended the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London, sitting with her brother only feet away from the prince. She was among the 70,000 people who joined Princes William and Harry for the concert in memory of their late mother. (Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Mum’s mishap

    Kate is poised, as usual, at William's Royal Military Academy graduation ceremony. When the cameras focused on the Middletons during the Sandhurst parade, Kate's mother, Carole, was spotted chewing gum -- a major faux pas. (Tim Ockenden / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Rare sight

    Kate Middleton and Prince William embrace after their graduation from St. Andrews University in June 2005. The pair has followed in the queen's footsteps and not shown much affection in public. This Middleton family picture captures a more relaxed and loving couple. (Middleton Family via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Top notch education

    In June 2005, Kate graduated from St Andrews University in Scotland, where she studied art history. She went to high school at boarding school Marlborough College. (Middleton Family via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Sweet scout

    The Duchess of Cambridge was a Brownie in 1990 at St. Peter's Church Hall, wearing a traditional Brownie uniform which included a yellow sweatshirt, brown or tan skirt and a yellow necktie.

    Like Princess Diana, Duchess Kate revealed her first charities for which she will lend her official patronage — and many of them help children in need. One charity in particular seems especially close to the her heart: the Scout Association, for which she will serve as a volunteer leader with the youngest scouts — Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts — near the home she shares with Prince William in north Wales. (MAVRIXONLINE.COM) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Camera ready

    Kate Middleton, 5, smiles for a family photo. Little did she know she was preparing for a life in front of the cameras. (Middleton Family via AFP-Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Reaching the summit

    In this Middleton family photo, 3-year-old Kate scales up a rock on a family vacation in the Lake District in England. The official royal wedding site lists hill-walking as a favorite hobby of Kate's. (- / Middleton family via AFP - Getty) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Cultured Catherine

    Kate began learning about other cultures as a child. At age 2, she moved with her family to Amman, Jordan, for two and a half years. Kate's experiences abroad might help her relate to the many people who circulate through the palace gates. Kate is photographed here with her sister, Pippa, and father in Jerash, Jordan. (Middleton Family via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Mining Middletons

    Kate is not a coal miner's daughter, but she is the great-granddaughter of a miner. Kate's family has deep roots in the coal mines of northern England. Her great-grandfather, Tom, pictured front left, worked in the coal pits. Kate's family connection to coal mining only adds to the commoner-turned-princess mystique. (Scott Heppell / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends The Portrait Gala 2014: Collecting to Inspire
    Max Mumby/indigo / Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (44) The life of Duchess Kate
  2. Image: Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge And Prince Harry Visit Tower Of London's Ceramic Poppy Field
    Oli Scarff / Getty Images
    Slideshow (148) Duchess Kate’s royal style
  3. Image: Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk together in Buckingham Palace in central London
    John Stillwell / PA / Pool via Getty Images
    Slideshow (44) Will and Kate's royal wedding - Ceremony
  4. Image: Royal Wedding - The Newlyweds Greet Wellwishers From The Buckingham Palace Balcony
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    Slideshow (31) Will and Kate's royal wedding - Royal fans
  5. Image: Ex-pats In Kabul Watch Royal Wedding
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    Slideshow (18) Will and Kate's royal wedding - World reaction
  6. Image: Police officers walk down The Mall before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in central London
    Dylan Martinez / Reuters
    Slideshow (9) Will and Kate's royal wedding - Security

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