Prince William and Kate Middleton probably have big plans for Prince George’s 7th birthday, especially since they already arranged self-isolation celebrations for his two siblings, Princess Charlotte (5) and Prince Louis (2). However, there’s one royal tradition that Prince George will miss out on (by a matter of days).
Westminster Abbey typically rings in (literally) birthdays of the royal family by chiming the church’s bells. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ritual is currently suspended and is expected to resume in August when the U.K.’s social distancing restrictions are lifted.
Since Prince George is set to turn 7 on July 22, he will miss the special birthday tradition by a few weeks. (The same thing happened to Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.)
The Westminster Abbey bells are considered an honor, since they’re reserved only for specific royal family birthdays. This includes Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Prince William, Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Everyone else—like Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice—receive normal birthday celebrations, just like us plebeians.
If everything goes according to plan, Princess Anne will be the first member of the family to be honored after the suspension is lifted. (The Princess Royal will turn 70 on August 15.)
On the bright side, Prince George will have Middleton’s homemade cake to cheer him up in lieu of the bells. Maybe even a special “Happy Birthday” performance by Prince Louis? It’s his favorite song, after all.