Prince William Receives Rare Honor on His 42nd Birthday at His Royal Wedding Venue

The Prince of Wales also starred in a newly released portrait with his kids, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis

<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Prince William attends Royal Ascot on June 19, 2024

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince William attends Royal Ascot on June 19, 2024

Westminster Abbey is ringing in Prince William's 42nd birthday — literally!

The Prince of Wales turned 42 on June 21, and the milestone was marked with the ringing of the bells at Westminster Abbey, where the future monarch married Kate Middleton in 2011.

"Wishing the Prince of Wales a very happy birthday today!" the London landmark wrote on social media with a photo of Prince William attending the Commonwealth Day service in March. "We'll be ringing the Abbey bells at 1 pm to celebrate."

Westminster Abbey was known for ringing its bells to celebrate the birthdays of numerous members of the royal family. However, the tradition changed amid financial issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, significantly reducing the number of royals who receive the honor.

Related: Prince William Helps Mother-in-Law Carole When Her Shoe Gets Stuck, Just Like He's Done with Kate Middleton!

Before 2020, the bells marked 12 royal birthdays. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and their four children — then now-King CharlesPrincess AnnePrince Andrew and Prince Edward— all received the honor, as did Charles' wife, Camilla. Prince William, Princess Kate and their three kids — Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte and Prince Louis — completed the list.

When Westminster Abbey announced their bell-ringing schedule for 2022, it was revealed that the bells would only mark the birthdays of Queen Elizabeth and Charles.

Following Queen Elizabeth's death in September 2022, Westminster Abbey again changed whose birthdays would be marked with the bells, and the list now consists of just King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William and Princess Kate.

The London church also rings its bells for other royal occasions, including the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's death and King Charles' accession in September.

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> From left: Prince George, Prince William, Prince Louis, Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte attend Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

From left: Prince George, Prince William, Prince Louis, Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte attend Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024

Related: Kate Middleton and Prince William's Privacy Needs Are Stronger Than Ever: 'Impressive How They Command Secrecy' (Exclusive)

Prince William received many birthday wishes, including social media tributes from the many charities he works with. His family was also sure to mark the occasion, including the royal family's official Instagram and X pages sharing a throwback photo of Charles and William.

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The Prince and Princess of Wales also shared a brand new photo of William with his three children. Snapped by Kate, 42, the image showed Charlotte, William, Louis and George holding hands as they jumped in the air.

"Happy birthday Papa, we all love you so much! Cx," the Princess of Wales captioned the post. The couple indicates that a social media message came straight from them by signing with their first initial. In addition to the "C" for "Catherine," the note was signed with an "x," likely representing a kiss.

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