Kate sees royal tradition scrapped for birthday after ‘financial difficulties’

In a royal tradition dating back decades, Westminster Abbey's bells usually ring to out to commemorate a birthday.

But for Kate Middleton's 40th birthday on January 9, the bells will not be tolling because of the "financial challenges" caused by Covid.

They will also not chime to coincide with the birthdays of Prince Andrew, Prince William, Princess Anne, Prince Edward or Camilla.

Nor to mark the birthdays of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

But, The Queen's 96th birthday and Prince Charles' 73rd will be marked by the famous bells.

A representative from Westminster Abbey told Hello!: "The Abbey bells can be heard ringing out before services and in celebration of church festivals.

"The bells have also traditionally been rung to mark the birthdays of senior members of the Royal Family.

“Due to the financial challenges posed to the Abbey by the Covid-19 pandemic, and in consultation with Buckingham Palace, the bells will now ring only for the birthdays of HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales."

The Abbey was constructed in 1065 by Edward the Confessor and was likely fitted with its first bells then, though they have changed over the years.

In 1250, King Henry III instructed a bigger bell to be constructed that those that were used previously.

In 1919, King George V and Queen Mary saw that two Westminster Abbey bells were newly cast to form a ring of eight.

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These were used to mark the coronation of King George IV in 1937, for VE Day on May 8, 1945 and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

in 1971, a ring of 10 bells were cast and unveiled in a ceremony attended by the Queen.

After the Duke of Edinburgh passed in April, they rang 99 times to pay respect to each year of his life.

Prince Charles will be the next royal to receive the bells ringing for his birthday in November.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had their wedding at Westminster Abbey in 1947.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also got married there in 2011.

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