The joyous news was announced on December 3, 2012 in a statement from St James's Palace:
'Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby.The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princes of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news.'
The couple were forced to announce the pregnancy much earlier than they would have wished because the Duchess had taken ill while she was staying with her parents at their home in Bucklebury, Berkshire. She was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital and treated for hyperemesis gravidarum, acute morning sickness. Kate was visited regularly throughout her stay by William and the Middletons.
Naturally the good news spread all over the world and became the headline story the following day (and on many days afterwards).
During Kate's stay at King Edward VII two radio DJs from Australian radio station 2Day FM called the hospital under false pretences impersonating the Queen and Prince Charles. They managed to acquire information about the Duchess's condition much to the disgust of the Palace. Very sadly the nurse who answered the phone, Jacintha Saldanha, committed suicide shortly after the incident. A heartbreaking story which once again reminds us of the affects of inappropriate media intrusion.
Following a three night stay at the private facility, Kate left the hospital with William by her side at 10.45 a.m. on December 6 carrying a bouquet of flowers. The Duchess looked pale and delicate but said she was "feeling much better" and returned to Kensington Palace for a period of rest.
Kate had to cancel three engagements due to her illness which William attended alone, saying Kate was getting better but "felt it was going to go on forever". However, the Duchess surprised fans by presenting an award with David Beckham at the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Awards in a striking Alexander McQueen Bell-Sleeve Gown with a high slit.
William and Kate were present at the Queen's Pre-Christmas Party at Buckingham Palace and hosted a Christmas party for their staff at local restaurant chain Bumpkin in Notting Hill in December.
They attended a quiet service at St Mark's Church in Englefield where they listened to Christmas carols with the residents of Bucklebury.
The Cambridges rang in the new year quietly and were next photographed in the audience of Cirque Du Soleil, which they attended with the Middletons and friends for Kate's 31st birthday.
The couple's first public appearance of the year was a visit to the National Portrait Gallery, where they viewed Kate's first official portrait by artist Paul Emsley. The divisive portrait received very harsh criticism with many stating it made the Duchess look older and failed to capture her sparkle. Kate wore the French Connection Katherine Plains Top for her portrait sittings and the very pretty Whistles 'Sofia' dress for the viewing.
In the following weeks Kate was spotted out and about shopping and grabbing lunch in Pret A Manger in a Zara Checked Print Cape and her Really Wild Seville Boots.
In February, the Cambridges holidayed in Mustique with the Middletons before Kate returned to engagements later that month with a visit to Action on Addiction's Hope House. The Duchess looked tanned and rested in a grey MaxMara Studio wrap dress.
In March, William, Kate and Harry travelled to Switzerland for the wedding of Mark Tomlinson and Laura Bechtolsheimer. The trio were all smiles at the event and appeared to have had a wonderful time.
Upon their return, Kate paid a solo visit to the seaside town of Grimsby where she revealed the baby was kicking. There were many memorable moments from the visit most notably when Kate made an unscheduled stop at St Andrew's Hospice where she met ten patients. One of the elderly patients said, "I'm waiting for you to be Queen". Kate laughed and said, "You might be waiting a long time!"; and a local thought the Duchess had accidentally let slip she was expecting a girl.
The town of Grimsby were incredibly excited and Kate looked lovely in her Hobbs 'Celeste' coat and Great Plains 'Cezanne' Dress.
Next, William and Kate made an unexpected appearance at Cheltenham and at the St Patrick's Day Aldershot Parade Kate revealed "she'd like a boy" and William would like a girl.
On March 19, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the offices of Child Bereavement UK, at the charity's headquarters in The Clare Charity Centre in Saunderton, Buckinghamshire. During a walkabout the couple were given two teddy bears for Baby Cambridge. It was the first time I thought Kate was beginning to show and the Goat Redgrave Coat and Topshop Contrast Collar Dress were stellar choices for her.
Whilst William and Kate were talking with bereaved parents William said, "I feel like I should give you all a hug". Each of the mothers and fathers in the group then took it in turns to hug the couple. A very touching visit for the Duke and Duchess!
There were some very cute photos shared via twitter from the event, such as this one of the Cambridges popping bubble wrap with a group of children.
William and Kate posed for a photo with a very excited little girl.
The following morning, Kate joined the Queen and Prince Philip at Baker Street station to mark 150 years of the London Underground. When Kate heard the Queen and Prince Philip had planned to undertake the engagement she asked if she could be part of the visit and the Queen formally invited her. A senior royal aide said, "she just fancied it, she asked if she could come along."
It must be a very exciting time for the Queen and Prince Philip knowing they'll be meeting their great grandchild soon :)
In late March, Kate volunteered with the scouts in the snow and appeared to have a wonderful time outdoor cooking and fire-lighting with the group despite the cold climate.
|Paul Berenton Twitter Feed|
William and Kate made a two-day trip to Scotland and began the visit with a tour of the Emirates Arena, one of the venues for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games (there's a very cute video of Kate talking to a baby from a walkabout afterwards). The couple also accompanied Prince Charles, known as the Duke of Rothsay in Scotland, in opening the new Tamar Manoukian Outdoor Centre at Dumfries House and toured BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines. It was great to see Kate smiling and enjoying her pregnancy.
Kate enjoyed some retail therapy in Holt, Norfolk in April near the couple's reported new country home Anmer Hall. No doubt it will be a wonderful place to bring up Baby Cambridge privately when the couple do not have royal duties.
On April 19th, the Palace announced the Duchess had decided to lend her patronage to three new causes, The Natural History Museum, Place2Be and SportsAid. Three excellent choices combining Kate's love of working with children and sports.
Kate and Carole were photographed shopping for a moses basket.
Kate chose a mint Mulberry coat for the Queen's Scouts Parade at Windsor.
Kate chose the Erdem Sophia dress for her first public visit to patronage Place2Be where she launched a counselling programme and took part in a tree planting ceremony.
|Place2Be Facebook Page|
Who could forget the beautiful bespoke Emilia Wickstead creation for an Art Room reception at the National Portrait Gallery. We had been hoping to see the Duchess in a custom made piece and the empire line garment accommodated her bump perfectly. The sleeveless garment featured a round neckline in front and the pale blue colours was very pretty on Kate.
William, Kate and Harry had a magical time at the Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden where they indulged their love of Harry Potter :)
To mark Children's Hospice Week, Kate recorded her first video message speaking about the "inspirational" work carried out by hospices. She also paid a visit to hospice Naomi House where she spent time with staff and patients.
The Duchess brought back her Topshop Florence Maternity Style for the wedding of close friends William van Cutsem and Rosie Ruck Keene in Ewelme, South Oxfordshire.
|Tily Pudwell Twitter Feed/Topshop|
And brightened up the Queen's Garden Party in Emilia Wickstead.
A radiant Kate joined the rest of the Royal Family for the Queen's Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey in a bespoke Jenny Packham outfit. The Duchess was very much blooming at the service and enjoyed talking with the younger royals outside afterwards. I'm sure the baby was the main topic of conversation...
In her final solo engagement before taking maternity leave, godmother Kate christened Royal Princess in Southampton wearing a Dalmation Print Coat by Hobbs. The print was an unexpected choice but it's always interesting for anyone to change things up and she looked radiant.
Kate was pretty in pink McQueen for this year's Trooping The Colour.
The Duchess made the cover of several publications, shopping at Bernard Thorp and getting her hair done at Rossano Ferretti's Mayfair salon wearing pieces from maternity brand Séraphine and Asos Maternity.
|Daily Star/Woman's Day/WHO|
With only days to go, it's an incredibly exciting and life-changing (if not a nerve-racking) time for William and Kate. We know they'll be wonderful parents and Baby Cambridge will have the love and support of the Middletons and the Royal Family as well as two doting parents. I know we all hope Kate has a very easy delivery and - whether it's a boy or a girl - gives birth to a healthy baby.
We all looking forward to seeing the Cambridge family leaving St. Mary's together :)