The Duchess of Cambridge is to scale back her royal commitments as her due date gets closer.
Kate, who married Prince William in April 2011, is expecting her first child in July and is expected to take maternity leave around mid June.
The mum-to-be is determined to work as close to her due date as possible, and will visit Southampton on June 13th as she officially names Princess Cruises’ new Royal Princess.
The royal will be following tradition as both Princess Diana and The Queen have taken part in similar ceremonies.
As the Duchess christens Princess Cruises’ 3,600-passenger Royal Princess, the Royal Marines and the pipers of the Irish Guards will perform at the Southampton celebration.
The ceremony will be Kate’s final solo engagement before she takes maternity leave ahead of her July birth date. The engagement will begin the Duchess’s break in her royal working life, and the event echos her very first engagement.
In February 2011, Kate and William, just two months before their wedding, attended Trearddur Bay, near William’s Anglesey base, where the royal couple took part in a RNLI lifeboat naming ceremony.
Since then, Kate has increased her royal duties, and become an essential member of the Royal family. Kate has taken on several charities close to her heart including children’s hospices and spent time volunteering with the Scouts.
The pregnant Duchess has also travelled abroad with the Prince on royal tours, including visits to Canada, US, Denmark and South-East Asia.
In December 2012, the royal couple announced they were expecting their first child as Kate was admitted to hospital with severe morning sickness leading the Duchess to pull out of several engagements before resuming them in early January.
A royal source told The Mirror: “Kate has really enjoyed her job and wanted to work as close to the birth date as possible.”
After Kate’s final solo engagement she will join the Royal Family for Trooping the Colour on June 15, which St. James’s Palace confirmed earlier today.
It is expected after the birth Kate will take time off as she begins life as a mother, although it is not known how long the Duchess will take time off for, with a spokesman revealing details would be confirmed at a later date. “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”.
Last month, it was suggested William and Kate will take their baby on tour with them in 2014, similar to Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales who took William with them as a baby.
Prince William, as a baby travelled to Australia with his parents, and like William’s mother Kate will juggle royal duties with parenthood.
“Just as Diana had to cope with a baby and an increase in duties, so will Kate.” royal correspondent Robert Jobson explained.
Earlier this week, Kate showed off her blossoming baby bump as she attended the Queen’s Coronation service at Westminster Abbey, the first time The Duke and Duchess had visited the Abbey since their lavish wedding ceremony in 2011.