The Queen bends royal protocol in Kate Middleton birthday tribute—but did you spot it?

The 95-year-old Monarch joined the royal family in sending Kate Middleton her well wishes

The Queen
(Image credit: Getty)

Her Majesty the Queen raised eyebrows by using an emoji in her birthday tribute to the Duchess of Cambridge. 

Her Majesty the Queen was among royals wishing Kate Middleton a happy 40th birthday today.

The 95-year-old Monarch shared her tribute to the Duchess of Cambridge via The Royal Family's official Instagram account. It read, "Wishing The Duchess of Cambridge a very happy 40th birthday today!"

And it wasn't the Queen's sentiment that raised eyebrows with royal fans, but her use of an emoji—the balloon emoji to be exact. 

While it is obviously the Queen's team behind her social media accounts, she no doubt has to approve every word and we're obsessed with her rare use of an emoji. 

Three new portraits of Kate Middleton were released to mark the Duchess of Cambridge’s 40th birthday. 

And while it's not clear exactly how the Duchess of Cambridge will celebrate today, it is thought it will be a low-key affair. 

Royal expert, Duncan Larcombe, told the Mail on Sunday, "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."

Instead, it is expected she'll spend time with her family. "Kate and William are not the sort to go away to celebrate on their own and leave the kids at home," he told OK! Magazine.

"I think the same will apply to Kate’s birthday as it does to Christmas – it will be low-key and it will be focused entirely on the family."

Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."