Kate Middleton May Not Be Seen For A Few Months – And Here’s Exactly Why The Duchess Is Disappearing

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2018 has been a very busy year for the royal family. After all, in addition to all the usual annual events, such as Trooping the Colour, a new baby came along for Kate and William and Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in a ceremony watched worldwide. So fans of Kate got to see a lot of her. But for the second half of the year, she may disappear from public view.

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To understand why, we need to go back in time a little. You see, on September 4, 2017, the Palace announced Kate’s third pregnancy. The baby would be a new brother or sister for Prince George and Princess Charlotte, both of whom are still young children. And just like with her previous pregnancies, Kate battled hyperemesis gravidarum throughout.

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Hyperemesis gravidarum can, of course, be dangerous or even life-threatening. Pregnant women with the condition can, for instance, lose weight or suffer from dehydration, vomiting and dizziness. And yet Kate seemingly dealt with the symptoms incredibly well. Indeed, she still attended events while pregnant; if not for the announcement and the bump, fans might not even have known that she was carrying a child at all.

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Kate later gave birth to her third child, Prince Louis, on April 23, 2018. And not long after the birth, she and Prince William left the hospital to show the new baby to the media outside. Everyone was amazed at how put-together the Duchess looked considering what she’d just been through. She even wore a red Jenny Packham dress that commentators noted was similar to the one that Princess Diana wore when presenting Prince Harry in 1984.

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And while plenty of mothers wouldn’t feel up to attending a major event a few weeks after giving birth, Kate naturally showed up for the marriage of her brother-in-law and Meghan Markle. The British tabloids were amazed at how good Kate looked; she seemed to have lost the pregnancy tummy and didn’t seem at all tired.

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Mind you, Prince Louis was far too young to attend such a big, crowded event so was left at home. Indeed, Hello! magazine reported that Louis stayed at Windsor Castle while his parents and siblings went to the wedding. He was apparently looked after there by royal nannies – probably the finest childcare that money could’ve bought.

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If Kate was exhausted at any point during the wedding, then, she didn’t show it. Still, royals need a break sometimes as well. So it’s not surprising that Kate may now, according to reports, be taking an extended maternity leave. In fact, she could be absent from royal engagements for many more months, not returning to work until October 2018.

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That doesn’t mean that Kate will be in hiding; she’ll still appear for major royal events. But more casual engagements will be off the calendar. Instead of meeting and greeting people, then, Kate will focus simply on spending time with her children. This could include doing the school run for George and Charlotte and taking the kids on days out.

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For non-royals, this kind of thing is not surprising. After all, it’s mandatory in the U.K. for new mothers to take maternity leave after having a baby. Indeed, women must take at least two weeks off after giving birth and four weeks if they do a factory-based job. After that, they can normally take 26 weeks off and decide whether or not to take an additional 26 weeks, too. By law, employment rights are protected for those on maternity leave – although Kate would obviously not have to worry about that.

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So after Kate gave birth to Prince George, she chose to return to work just over a month after he was born. William, too, returned to work fairly fast, going back to his then-job as a search and rescue pilot just two weeks afterwards. Then with Princess Charlotte, Kate chose to remain at home for longer: four months to be precise.

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But Kate’s decision for her maternity leave with Prince Louis marks a departure from what she did before. Perhaps she thought she returned to work too quickly in the past and wants to make sure that her new baby gets as much attention as possible. Or, perhaps, with two other children in the mix, the Duchess just wants to spend some time being a mother.

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It wasn’t so long ago, though, that being a royal mother was considered very much secondary to, well, being a royal. Queen Elizabeth II, for instance, reportedly focused on her duties more than her children, leaving them in the care of nannies while she toured the Commonwealth.

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Biographies of Prince Charles, the oldest child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, have also suggested that his relationship with his parents was a distant one when he was a young boy. In her 2017 book, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, author Sally Bedell Smith suggested that the pair were not “physically demonstrative” and that Prince Philip even bullied Charles to toughen him up.

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There’s a long royal history regarding children being seen and not heard, too. It wasn’t considered unusual for Queen Elizabeth to go on tour without her children; it was simply part of royal tradition. Likewise, it was expected that children be sent away to boarding school where they could learn independence from their parents, no matter how difficult they found the experience.

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It was arguably Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, who laid the groundwork for modern-day royal parenting. After all, she apparently decided what schools William and Harry would be sent to and took them there herself as often as possible. She also reportedly made sure that her royal duties were arranged around the activities of her children, rather than the other way around.

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Now, then, Kate seems to be doing much the same thing. In May 2018, for example, the mom of three talked about her family in a letter for Children’s Hospice Week. “Spending quality time together is such an important aspect of family life and for me, as a mother, it is the simple family moments, like playing outside together, that I cherish,” she wrote.

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And the proud mom clearly has no qualms about demonstrating affection towards her children in public. There are, after all, countless adorable photographs of Kate holding George and Charlotte, playing with them and introducing them to the wider world. And as soon as he’s a little bit older, Louis will undoubtedly get the same treatment.

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Still, Kate did put in an appearance at Trooping the Colour in June 2018. And while there, she demonstrated again just how good a mom she is. Indeed, Princess Charlotte slipped while the royal family were out on the Palace balcony and banged her head. She then started crying, and Kate quickly moved to comfort and calm her.

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And the following day, Kate was spotted with George and Charlotte watching a charity polo match in which Prince William was competing. She also played with the children and let them sit on her lap. They even ran around barefoot – a far cry indeed from what previous generations of royal youngsters would have been allowed to do.

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It’s also rumored that Kate and William might have a fourth child, intending to match the Queen, who has four. If that happens, Kate will undoubtedly take maternity leave then as well and spend time with all of her children. It’s good to see such a high-profile royal balance her professional life with motherhood so well.

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