The Duchess of Cambridge had her last engagement before starting her maternity leave on Thursday 22 March. She will give birth to her third child next month. The next time we’ll see HRH in public, she will be holding her new prince or princess in her arms on the steps of the Lindo Wing.
The Duchess will be on maternity leave for most of the Summer and return to public duties in the Autumn. The Royal Family returns from summer holiday in the first days of September and it is very much possible that the Duchess will start with her public duties again in the same month (as she did after Princess Charlotte was born). However, it is thought that we will see her before the end of her maternity leave for the following events:
- 19 May: wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle
- 9 June: Trooping the Colour
- June/July: Christening of her new son or daughter
- 2 July-15 July: Wimbledon
Other possible appearances are:
- May/June: Garden Party at Buckingham Palace
- 18 June: Garter Day (annual service for the Order of the Garter)
- 19 June-24 June: Royal Ascot
- Summer: Polo match
On Monday 12 March, the Royal Family celebrated Commonwealth Day with the annual Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance. Afterwards, the couple attended a reception near Westminster Abbey with prince Harry and Meghan Markle. More on the event can be read here.
In the evening, the Duke attended a reception at Marlborough House with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales on behalf of the Queen. During the reception, the Commonwealth was celebrated.
The next day, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry held a reception for the winners of The Met Excellence Awards at Kensington Palace. The two heard from the winners and others from the Metropolitan Police about bravery and dedication. They also talked to volunteers, who help the Metropolitan Police to keep London safe.
While her husband and brother-in-law were talking to the Metropolitan Police forces, the Duchess was meeting with representatives from her tennis patronages, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and the Lawn Tennis Organisation. Later that day, she also received the Rt. Hon. Nicolas Gibb MP (Minister of State for School Standards).
On March 17, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow. The Duke has been Royal Colonel of the Irish Guards since his wedding in 2011. The Duchess presented Shamrocks to the soldiers from the Irish Guards for the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland today. Afterwards, they attended a reception and chatted with the soldiers. More on the event can be read here.
On Tuesday 20 March, the Duke held an investure at Buckingham Palace. One of the recipients was Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. He asked the Duke about the upcoming birth of his third child. The Duke said: ‘Any day now!’
On Wednesday 21 March, the Duchess attended a symposium on early intervention for children and families. The Royal Foundation organised the event on the Duchess’ behalf. HRH has been very interested in early intervention for a few years now and she is said to be keen on learning more on the subject. Leading academics and charities were invited to the symposium to tell more about the importance of early intervention for the health of children. According to experts, serious problems in later life can be avoided with good help as a child. HRH also held a speech at the event.
For her last two engagements before starting maternity leave, the Duchess was joined by her husband to celebrate the Commonwealth in London. They began with a visit to the Copper Box Arena at the Olympic Park to attend an event held by SportsAid. The Duchess has been Patron of this organisation since 2012. The event is leading up to the Commonwealth Games, held in Australia in a few weeks. In this sport event, Commonwealth countries participate in several different types of sport. Prince William tried wheelchair basketball with athletes who are aiming to compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Finally, the Duke and Duchess participated in a Commonwealth Quiz in which athletes, coaches and supporters were questioned on their knowledge of the Commonwealth Games.
Next, The Duke and Duchess took part in preparations for a Commonwealth Big Lunch at St Luke’s Community Centre. On arrival, the Royal couple was first given a briefing on the work of the Community Centre in the neighbourhood. Afterwards, the party headed to the kitchens to start preparing the lunch.
- None [yet], as the Royals are usually taking a break in their schedule for Easter.