On 3 December 2012, St James’s Palace announced that the Duchess was pregnant with her first child. The announcement was made earlier in the pregnancy than is usual as she had been admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. She stayed in hospital for three days. On 14 January 2013, St James’s Palace announced that the child was due to be born in July 2013, and that the condition of the Duchess was improving. The Duchess was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in London in the early stages of labor on the morning of 22 July 2013 and gave birth to Prince George later that day.
The Duchess’s second pregnancy was announced on 8 September 2014. As with her first pregnancy, the Duchess suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum and was required to cancel official engagements. On 2 May 2015, the Duchess gave birth to Princess Charlotte. The Duchess’s third pregnancy was announced on 4 September 2017. She was again forced to cancel engagements due to hyperemesis gravidarum. The child is due in April 2018.
Middleton was formally introduced to public life on 24 February 2011, two months before the wedding, when she and Prince William attended a lifeboat-naming ceremony in Trearddur, Anglesey, in North Wales. A day later they appeared in St Andrews to launch the university’s 600th anniversary celebrations. On 16 February 2011, Clarence House announced that the Duke and Duchess’s first royal tour of Canada would take place in July 2011. In May 2011, shortly after the wedding, Clarence House announced that the Duke and Duchess would extend their tour to visit California. This was to be the Duchess’s first visit to the United States.
The Duchess’s first official engagement after the wedding came in May, when she and her husband met Barack Obama, the President of the United States, and First Lady Michelle Obama. In June 2011, the Duke and Duchess presented medals to members of the Irish Guards. On 26 October 2011, she undertook her first solo event for In Kind Direct, stepping in for the Prince of Wales, who was in Saudi Arabia. On 2 November, the Duke and Duchess visited the UNICEF Supply Division Centre for supplying food to malnourished African children in Copenhagen, Denmark. On St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March 2012, the Duchess carried out the traditional awarding of shamrocks to the Irish Guards at their base in Aldershot; this was her first solo military engagement. On 19 March, she gave her first speaking engagement for the opening of the Treehouse, a new children’s hospice opened by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), a charity of which she is a patron.
In June 2012, The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry was renamed The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, to reflect Catherine’s contribution to the charity. The Duke and Duchess were announced as ambassadors for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, alongside Prince Harry. As part of her role, the Duchess attended numerous sporting events throughout the games. In September 2012, the Duke and Duchess embarked on a tour of Singapore, Malaysia, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. During this overseas visit, she made her first official speech abroad, while visiting a hospice in Malaysia, drawing on her experience as patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
After the birth of Prince George, the Duchess carried out her first engagement in late August when she accompanied the duke to meet runners preparing for an ultra-marathon on the isle of Anglesey, where they have a residence. At the beginning of March 2014, details were announced of the half-month-long tour to New Zealand and Australia that the couple and son would be taking from 16 to 25 April. The tour was Catherine’s first visit to the area and Prince George’s first major public appearance since his christening in October 2013. The tour began in New Zealand where they visited Wellington, Blenheim, Auckland, Dunedin, Queenstown and Christchurch. It ended in Australia where they visited Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Brisbane, Uluru, Adelaide, and Canberra.
On 21 July 2014, it was announced that the Duchess would be making her first solo trip, visiting the island of Malta on 20–21 September 2014, when the island was celebrating its 50th independence anniversary. Her trip was cancelled, with the Duke taking her place, after the announcement of her second pregnancy in early September. In April 2016, the Duchess and her husband undertook a tour to India and Bhutan.
In March 2011, the Duke and Duchess set up a gift fund held by The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry to allow well-wishers who want to give them a wedding gift to donate money to charities they care about instead. The gift fund supported 26 charities of the couple’s choice, incorporating the armed forces, children, the elderly, art, sport and conservation. These causes are close to their hearts and reflect the experiences, passions and values of their lives so far.
The Duchess has a number of patronages: The Art Room, National Portrait Gallery, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice, and Action on Addiction, Place2Be, Natural History Museum, Anna Freud Centre, Sport said, and The 1851 Trust. The Duchess is joint Patron of 100 Women in Hedge Fund’s Philanthropic Initiatives, along with Prince William and Prince Harry. In 2017, she became patron of The Lawn Tennis Association, All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and Action for Children.