So far, 2018 has been the Duchess of Cambridge’s busiest year to date. With an overseas visit to Sweden and Norway and a number of appointments closer to home, Kate has so far carried out 38 royal engagements. That’s more than three times as many events (11) as the Duchess carried out in the same period in 2017, despite the fact that she is currently pregnant with her third child and is expected to give birth in April.
In the past week alone, the Duchess has launched a worldwide nursing campaign, visited the National Portrait Gallery and attended the augural Royal Foundation forum with her husband, brother-in-law Prince Harry and future sister-in-law, Meghan Markle.
Last year, it was revealed that Princess Anne was the hardest-working royal according to analysis of the Court Circular, while the Duchess was the royal who carried out the lowest number of engagements, undertaking 63 in the UK and 42 abroad. So what has changed when it comes to planning the Duchess’s diary?
According to one royal expert, this increase in engagements is far from coincidental. Instead, it’s more likely to be a conscious choice on the Duchess’s part, as she may be seeking to account for the time she took off while suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum during her third pregnancy – and for the time she’ll take off following the birth.
‘Royal engagements are planned many months in advance. If one year has a higher number of engagements compared to another, this will be down to what the royal has agreed to do and is happy to carry out,’ Grant Harrold of The Royal Butler told the Daily Mail.
‘The Duchess will of course be having some family time once she has a third child and it is unlikely that she will be seen for a few months after the birth of the next royal baby,’ he explained. ‘It is most likely that she will be trying to fit in as many engagements as possible before the due date, and make up for the time she was unwell and unable to attend some of her previous events.’
There is another reason that Kate has stepped up her duties in recent months: she might be helping Meghan Markle ease into royal life by showing her the ropes at public engagements.
‘Quite possibly, the Duchess is also showing support to Meghan Markle on how to carry out royal duties like we saw at the Royal Foundation’s inaugural forum,’ added Harrold. ‘This was an excellent way to introduce the future Princess Henry of Wales into royal duties and no doubt the Duchess will be a huge support to Meghan.'