It’s officially Prince William’s 41st birthday, and while it appears the royal family spared no expense when celebrating the future king on his big day, it’s hard to imagine that their sizeable splurge was at the top of William’s wish list. On Wednesday, the royal family marked the Prince of Wales’s birthday by playing a chorus of bells at Westminster Abbey in London. “Wishing HRH The Prince of Wales a very happy birthday today!” Westminster Abbey wrote on Twitter alongside a video of the chimes. “The Abbey bell ringers are ringing 541 changes of Stedman Caters followed by a course of London Surprise Royal in celebration.”
While the grand gesture used to be common practice when it came time to celebrate senior royal family members, it’s actually become rather rare in recent years due to financial issues related to the pandemic. Prior to 2020, the bells would chime on the birthdays of 12 royals: Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and their four children, now-King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward; Charles’ wife, now-Queen Consort Camilla; and Kate Middleton, Prince William, and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Although the honor was reserved solely for Queen Elizabeth and the now-King Charles in 2022, the chimes have since rung for Charles, William, and Kate (who last received the gesture when celebrating her 41st birthday back in January) in the months following the late queen’s passing. According to Westminster Abbey’s website, the tradition will continue with Camilla’s birthday on July 17.