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The Duchess Of Cambridge Officially Begins Her Maternity Leave

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In recent months, the Duchess of Cambridge has been out and about on an unprecedented number of royal engagements, from the tour of Sweden and Norway with her husband Prince William to multiple events closer to home (including her first official outing with future sister-in-law Meghan Markle). Indeed, a new report has suggested that Kate has more than tripled her work events compared to the same period last year, all while expecting her third child.

Last year, Kensington Palace confirmed that the Duchess’s due date is in April, and while expecting Prince George, now aged four, and Princess Charlotte, now two, she started her maternity leave in the final month of her pregnancy.

For the month of March, however, Kate's royal schedule has been anything but laid back, starting off with a trip to Pegasus Primary School in Oxford on 6th March, where she learned more about the work of the charity Family Links UK, and the official opening of the new headquarters for children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

After that came the Commonwealth Day celebrations at Westminster Abbey on 12 March, which was widely assumed to be her last engagement before taking a step back from royal duties. However, we were wrong – the Duchess followed up the occasion with a Royal Foundation Symposium on the topic of parenting and early intervention for children’s mental health, before packing her final events before maternity leave into one hectic day: first visiting the Copper Box arena with her husband William, to learn more about the work of SportsAid, then joining volunteers at St Luke’s Community Centre to help prepare food for The Big Lunch Project. Kensington Palace has confirmed that these will be her last engagements before welcoming her third child.

The Duchess’s decision to take maternity leave later than expected has led to further speculation around her due date, pointing towards the last weekend of April. Almost coinciding with her and William’s wedding anniversary, this could mean a double whammy of celebrations for the couple.

Following the birth of her third child, the Duchess’s next public appearance will doubtless come at the wedding of her brother-in-law Harry, which will take place on 19th May at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The Palace has previously confirmed that Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be taking part in the ceremony in some capacity, though it’s very likely that the third baby Cambridge will remain at home.

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