Learn More About Princess Kate's 'Private' Birthday Plans
01/08/2015 AT 02:40 PM EST
The pregnant princess turns 33 on Friday, and is "spending the day privately," says a palace source. She is not in London and is believed to be at her newly renovated country home, Anmer Hall, with husband Prince William and 17-month-old son Prince George.
The couple enjoyed their first Christmas at the 10-bedroom mansion located within Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, 110 miles north of London, hosting Kate's parents, Carole and Michael, and siblings Pippa and James. The Middletons also quietly joined the Queen and her extended family for a Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene church on the estate.
The low-key celebration stands in contrast to her birthday celebration two years ago, when Kate and William and some friends headed out to see a Cirque du Soleil show to mark her big day. Last year, she marked her birthday in London.
After her birthday weekend, Kate will start preparing for a series of engagements for next week and the following, as she steps back into public appearances for the first time in 2015.
A set of those visits, on Jan. 19, will see her having a day in and around their neighborhood in London, where her official home – Apartment 1a in Kensington Palace – is located.
Despite its posh location, Kensington also has areas of deprivation and families facing great challenges. Kate is planning to attend a coffee morning with a group called Family Friends, which supports vulnerable families by sending volunteers to homes to offer practical and emotional support to parents and children.
Then, she heads to a new school and opens a leisure center – both of which have been built on the site of a swimming pool where William and his brother, Prince Harry, learned to swim when they attended nearby Wetherby school. Kate will catch a dance performance in the school's theatre, and visit the school's Creates Hub for young entrepreneurs. There, students design items for sale at the nearby famous Portobello Road Market, featured in movies like Notting Hill.
"She thought it would be a good idea to visit organizations that work with families in the area and help celebrate those who help with leisure activities," a palace source tells PEOPLE.
Previous to that are two days of outings. On Jan. 15, she will officially name The Clore Art Room at Barlby Primary School in north London, and speak to children who attend workshops run by The Art Room, which provides art therapy to children. The following day, Kate will visit The Fostering Network to celebrate the work of foster caregivers who provide support to vulnerable young people.
As Kate gets back to royal duties, husband William, 32, hits the books. He "is in the midst of his theory" exams (he has to take 14), the source adds, as he bids to get his commercial pilot's license so he can work as an air ambulance pilot.