Prince Harry was once dubbed the life of the party among his family because he knew how to have fun. He and his brother, Prince William, and sister-in-law Kate Middleton especially knew how to make birthday celebrations memorable. But this time would entirely be different given the alleged rift within the family.

Royal expert Duncan Larcombe looked back on the close bond the trio once shared days before the Duchess of Cambridge turns 40 years old on Jan. 9. He said her birthday celebration this year will be a "contrast" to what it used to be when the Duke of Sussex was involved.

The journalist remembered how Prince Harry used to play an important role in making family gatherings lively and fun. "There was a time when Harry would have been instrumental in any celebrations or any fun that the couple were having, but those days are long in the past," he told OK! magazine.

Larcombe also recalled what the Duke of Sussex once said about Kate Middleton being the "sister he never had." But "clearly that is not the case anymore" as the 37-year-old royal has grown apart not just from Prince William but also from his sister-in-law. With this said, the royal expert wondered how Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, will commemorate the Duchess of Cambridge's birthday this weekend.

"It will be very interesting to see what messages Harry and Meghan send Kate. This is the problem, as the rift continues, as the war between the boys seems to show no sign of finishing, days like Kate's 40th birthday milestone immediately become events that can be contrasted with how it used to be," Larcombe said.

It is understood that Kate Middleton will have an intimate birthday gathering with only close friends and family in attendance. There will reportedly be no lavish party because of COVID-19 fears. A source claimed that "there are likely going to be low-key celebrations" because having "anything flashy" is not her thing. The insider added that "particularly given the current climate anything is likely to be scaled down."

Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Prince William
Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Prince William Getty