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Kate to have 'low-key' 30th birthday

The former Kate Middleton turns 30 Monday -- but royal fans expecting a lavish birthday bash to mark the milestone will be disappointed, according to The Associated Press.

Palace officials said the Duchess of Cambridge's birthday celebration will be a "low-key and private" affair, appearing to quash press reports that she will see off her 20s with a fun '80s-themed party complete with karaoke.

The choice of a muted event seems appropriate: After all, the duchess is not just starting another decade of her life. She is also embarking on her career as a future queen, charged with rejuvenating a monarchy.

"She's done very well, playing a very good supporting role to Prince William and complementing him as part of a team," commentator Robert Jobson said of her first few months as a royal.

"We've not seen much of her, but when she's in public she has performed with aplomb," said Jobson, author of "William and Kate: The Love Story."

The past year has seen momentous changes for Kate, with a fairy-tale wedding to Prince William, travels around the world and glamorous appearances that marked her transition from commoner to popular princess and style icon. The media, yearning for a young and beautiful royal, documented and largely admired her every move.

Sunday, the royal couple was out in force, with Kate again the center of attention as she and William arrived at the premiere of Steven Spielberg's movie "War Horse" in London.

Kate is expected to quietly settle into royal duties. For much of this year, that means helping Queen Elizabeth II celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, without upstaging the monarch in her moment of glory, and also playing a supporting role at the London 2012 Olympics.

This week, royal officials gave the first insight into Kate's new role when they announced the charities she's supporting, including the Scouts and a group that helps drug addicts. More organizations will follow later, officials said.

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