Kate Middleton, the girlfriend of Britain’s Prince William, celebrated her 26th birthday without her royal lover last night (09.01.08).

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The brunette beauty hosted a cocktail party at her flat in Chelsea before heading out to dinner with her sister Pippa and parents Carole and Michael.

Kate’s 25-year-old boyfriend Prince William was unable to attend the celebrations because he has just started his four-month pilot training course at the RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

Following the family dinner at Tom Aikens Restaurant, Kate and Pippa headed
to Kitts nightclub, in Sloane Square. Kate – wearing precariously high black pointy heels – and her younger sister danced the night away, before finally leaving the club at 3am.

Meanwhile, it was reported yesterday that Kate is to be given her own royal bodyguards, despite not yet being an official member of the British Royal Family.

Scotland Yard is said to be putting together a new security contingency for Kate, possibly signifying impending news of an engagement between Kate and William.