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England reported a record high of 162,572 new infections on Saturday, amid a horror week of soaring cases driven by the Omicron variant.
The arrival of the new strain, first detected in South Africa, has already dampened the royals’ Christmas plans with William and Kate opting to celebrate at Anmer Hall instead of their annual trip to Sandringham.
But now Kate has taken the sensible decision to celebrate her milestone birthday in a more muted fashion so as not to expose guests to any risk of catching coronavirus, the Mail on Sunday reports.
Instead of a big party when she turns 40 next Sunday, the duchess is expected to enjoy a much smaller affair with just family and close friends.
A source said: “There are likely to be low-key celebrations for the duchess. She didn’t want anything flashy anyway – that’s not exactly her thing – but particularly given the current climate anything is likely to be scaled down.”
Before Christmas the duchess won high praise after playing the piano at a community carol service at Westminster Abbey.
Pop star Tom Walker, who performed alongside Kate for the ITV show Royal Carols: Together At Christmas, described her as an “amazing musician”.
The service was recorded on December 8 but full details of the programme were kept secret until the show aired on Christmas Eve.
Kate hosted the event to thank people who have supported their communities during the pandemic.