In the Final Months of Pregnancy, Duchess Kate Took On More Public Engagements Than Prince William or Harry
In the past, critics have dismissed the Duchess of Cambridge for her demure and opinion-free public persona, but behind closed doors, she has been easing into her royal role carefully and gradually. She clearly understands that members of the family keep working well into their nineties, and so the decisions she makes about the causes she wants to support will likely be for the rest of her life.
As Kate approaches her eighth year as a royal, she is carving out a meaningful role for herself—and instead of slowing down in her third pregnancy, she is busier than ever.
Not only has she performed double the engagements that she undertook during her pregnancies with either Prince George or Princess Charlotte, but Duchess Kate has also undertaken more public engagements than either Prince William or Prince Harry since she returned to work in October 2017, after suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a symposium at the Royal Society of Medicine on March 21, 2018.
While William and Harry haven’t exactly been standing idly by—their diaries are full of meetings, receiving dignitaries and making private visits behind the scenes (not to mention wedding planning)—it was the Duchess who made her mark publicly ahead of her third maternity leave, showing how far she has come since her pregnancy with Prince George five years ago and with Princess Charlotte in 2015.
During her first pregnancy, Kate took ten days off as her hyperemesis gravidarum was managed, before returning to work to attend the Sports Personality of the Year Awards. She undertook 19 engagements in the remaining six months before taking one month off in the lead up to the birth, and one month off afterward. Her first official engagement was the marathon "Ring ‘O Fire" in Anglesey, Wales (where she lived at the time with Prince William) and she went on to perform 18 public engagements in the following six months.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the Irish Guards St Patrick’s Day Parade.
While suffering again with hyperemesis gravidarum in the early stages of her pregnancy with Princess Charlotte, Kate took almost two months off until she was fit enough to return to work, appearing at an event to mark a state visit from Singapore, and then undertaking 25 engagements in the following six months before again taking off the month leading up to her due date, and the month after the birth.
Kate’s first public engagement after giving birth to Princess Charlotte was Trooping the Colour, and she then performed 23 public engagements in the following six months.
This time around, Kate took six weeks off with HG before and returned to work with a mental health reception at Buckingham Palace. She then performed 46 public engagements in the next six months, as compared with 44 for William and 31 for Harry. (Note: we are counting an engagement as a day's worth of work, as opposed to each meeting or appearance being a separate engagement.)
The Duchess of Cambridge on a visit to Pegasus Primary School in Oxford.
The Duchess now has the last month of her pregnancy off, and although it has been announced that she will take six months of maternity leave, it’s likely she will attend Trooping the Colour next June, and assorted other engagements soon after that.
There are more significant changes going on with Kate's work too—in the
Just before going on maternity leave, Kate also established a steering group in the field of early
The Duchess also curated a recent exhibition, and during a pre-recorded conversation released in 2017, William and Harry revealed it was Kate who dreamt up the Heads Together campaign to start a public dialogue on mental health issues. Increasingly Kate is not just putting her name to things or showing up for a day, she is getting involved, and it’s something she’s likely to want to pick up sooner rather than later following the birth of her new baby.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.