Kate Middleton Excused From Attending Prestigious Order Of The Garter Ceremony

As Kate Middleton edges closer to her due date, it's thought she has been excused from royal engagements

Kate Middleton has been hard at work throughout her pregnancy, making a string of official appearances right up until last week. But now it’s thought she has been excused from royal duties as she awaits her July 13 due date.

Yesterday, the Duchess of Cambridge skipped the prestigious Order Of The Garter ceremony in Windsor, leaving hubby Prince William to attend alone.

KATE MIDDLETON WOWS IN MCQUEEN AT TROOPING OF THE COLOUR

And she wasn’t the only one. Prince Phillip, who is recovering from a stomach surgery, was also excused from the event.

With two royals down, Prince William joined Prince Charles to escort the Queen during the procession.

The annual celebrations take place every year on the Monday of Ascot week, and see Garter Knights – including the Queen herself – parade the streets of Windsor in lavish velvet robes and white plume hats.

Although Kate Middleton has officially started a period of maternity leave, it’s thought she may make one final public appearance before stepping out of the spotlight.

It’s understood that Kate Middleton and husband Prince William will be guests at the wedding of Thomas van Straubenzee, one of the prince’s oldest friends, and Lady Melissa Percy, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, on Saturday.

According to a story in The Sunday Times, Prince Harry is also expected to attend the nuptials at St Michael’s Church in Alnwick as one of the wedding party ushers, as well as his former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, who is maid of honour, and Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton, who is a close friend of the bride’s brother.

Afterwards, Kate Middleton is expected to travel home to her parents sprawling Berkshire pad, where she will stay for up to six weeks after the birth of the royal baby.

Royal insiders say she and Prince William have also been invited for a ‘babymoon’ at the Queen’s Scottish home of Balmoral, shortly after the tot’s birth.

It’s thought the Queen can’t wait to meet the couple’s little one, and thinks the secluded country estate of Balmoral is the perfect place to do it.

A source told the Mirror: ‘The Queen’s very excited about Kate and Will’s new addition to the family. She sent them a formal invitation asking them to come to Balmoral and is hoping they will be there for the whole week.

‘Her Majesty has hundreds of happy memories from Balmoral dating back to her childhood. She will love spending quality time with William and Kate and their baby away from prying eyes.’

They added: ‘The Queen will want to spend as much time as possible with her third great-grandchild, who will one day be monarch regardless of sex.

‘Her Majesty will relax in the clear Scottish air, enjoy long walks with her dogs, and dote on the new arrival like any loving great-grandparent.’

We’re glad to hear it.

VIDEO: Kate Middleton’s most stylish moments…

What do you think of Kate Middleton’s decision to go on maternity leave? Let us know in the box below…

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