Royals

Duchess Kate to ease up on packed public schedule 

June 6, 2013 at 11:38 AM ET

Image: Queen Elizabeth II Hosts A Garden Party At Buckingham Palace
John Stillwell
From the moment the royal couple announced in December 2012 that they were expecting, the world has been captivated by Kate's many maternity looks.

Even a royal ribbon cutting can be a strain on an expectant mother in the final stretch of her first pregnancy.

The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, slightly more than a month away from her mid-July due date, finally appears ready to ease up on her current jam-packed schedule of charity work and royal responsibilities.

On June 13, she is scheduled to help christen a Royal Princess cruise ship. But her last public appearance is expected just days later at the annual “Trooping of the Colour,” the official celebration of the queen’s birthday, according to a St. James Palace spokesman. That event will be held on Saturday, June 15 this year.

The palace official would not divulge how much time off the duchess, or the duke, for that matter, planned to take once the baby is born.

“We’re not really in a position to talk about that yet. A lot of this information will come out once the baby’s been born,” he said.

Any time off taken after the birth by Prince William, who doesn't conclude his three-year tour of duty until the end of September, would have to be granted by the UK Ministry of Defence. However, an official from St. James Palace said “it is likely that he will have a couple of weeks leave.”

Duchess Kate would not be the first to take a break from her official responsibilities after having her baby. Other members of the royal family have taken similar leave after having children, including Prince William’s own mother.

But Princess Diana veered from tradition when she brought William on a six-week tour of Australia and New Zealand in March 1983, when the prince was only eight months old. Previously, royals often left their babies back home in England while they traveled abroad for business.

After her hospitalization last December for a severe form of morning sickness, Duchess Kate has taken on an extensive public schedule. The duchess, and the baby bump known around the world, appeared earlier this week at a Westminster Abbey service celebrating the 60th anniversary of the queen’s coronation.

Last month, she greeted guests at the queen’s annual garden party. She also recently added three more charities to her patronage list. She also filmed her first public video announcement for one of the organizations, and attended the official opening of London’s Warner Bros. studio, among numerous other activities.

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