A Break For Kate

Kate To Take Maternity Leave From June 14

Alastair Grant/AP

Maternity leave is something princesses need too, as you can't exactly be forced to keep up the arduous business of cutting ribbons in your tenth month. And imagine if your waters broke as you visited a children's charity? It just wouldn't do.

Kate, 31, has one final engagement on June 13 before she disappears from public view, increasing speculation that her due date is July 13.

The Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards will perform as she christens Princess Cruises’ 3,600-passenger Royal Princess in Southampton before taking maternity leave, according to a report in yesterday's Sunday Mirror.

A royal source told the paper: “Kate has really enjoyed her job and wanted to work as close to the birth date as possible. The cruise ship christening on June 13 will be her last official solo engagement.”

The baby means the couple are unlikely to carry out another tour together until 2014. And Kate wants to focus on being a mum before she returns to her public duties.