The Duchess of Cambridge turns 31 years old today (Wednesday) and her birthday kicks off an exciting year. While the Mirror reports Kate Middleton is celebrating her birthday in low-key fashion, the year ahead will be anything but. It will likely be the biggest year of Princess Kate's (as she often incorrectly called) life as she becomes mother to a future heir and moves full-time into Kensington Palace.
But Kate Middleton's 31st birthday is also a perfect time to look back at the exciting year she's leaving behind -- one which included 111 official royal duties, overseas travel, some stunning fashion statements, and one incident she's likely hoping not to repeat at 31...or ever.
Here are our picks for the biggest stories of Kate Middleton's 30th year.
- Kate and William announce they're expecting a royal baby.
- Kate Middleton is photographed topless while on a private vacation in France.
- A royal prank phone call to the hospital, where the Duchess received treatment for acute morning sickness, ends with the suicide of a King Edward VII Hospital nurse.
- Kate and Prince William represent the royal family on a multi-country Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East.
- The Duchess of Cambridge becomes the face of the 2012 London Olympics. The highlight may very well be her and Will's adorable PDA at the cycling event.
- Kate cuts fringe and her new hairdo sends women around the world flocking to salons seeking bangs.
- Kate Middleton's sister, Pippa, was involved in an embarrassing gun saga. It later turned out the gun waved at a photographer was a fake.
- Four wax likenesses of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge debut at wax museums around the world
- Prince William spends six weeks training in the Falkland Islands, leaving Kate for an extended period.
- Pippa Middleton cancels a book tour for "Celebrate" after Kate Middleton's topless photos are published.
It's expected the Duchess will not fulfill many, if any, royal duties in the second part of her 31st year, but that's not to say it won't be one filled with lots of Kate Middleton news. The birth of the royal baby, the couple's move to London, and Prince William's military career decision are sure to define Kate Middleton's 31st year.