KATE Middleton is expected to take time off from her royal duties until Christmas after being discharged from hospital.
Kate, who spent three nights in the King Edward VII Hospital in London being treated for a severe form of morning sickness, has cancelled two engagements this weekend and is unlikely to be well enough to attend a third next week.
She has been told to rest at Kensington Palace for at least a week, meaning she is unlikely to be seen in public again until the Royal family's Christmas Day church attendance at Sandringham.
Kate (30), smiled broadly as she left hospital at 10.45am holding a bouquet of yellow roses given to her by hospital staff, saying she was feeling "much better, thank you" as she got into a waiting Jaguar with her husband.
A St James's Palace spokesman said: "The Duchess of Cambridge will head to Kensington Palace for a period of rest. Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank the staff at the hospital for the care and treatment the Duchess received."
Meanwhile, bookies have now taken tens of thousands of bets on the royal baby's sex, name, weight, hair colour and the possibility of twins or triplets. Victoria is now the clear favourite, at 9-1 with Coral, followed by Diana and George at 12-1 and John and Elizabeth at 16-1.
Kate, who missed a planned engagement at a fundraising day in the City on Wednesday, has already pulled out of attending a ball in aid of Centrepoint, the homelessness charity, at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night and an appearance at the British Military Tournament at Earl's Court on Sunday, though Prince William plans to attend both events alone.
The couple had also been due to attend the Royal Film Performance of ' The Hobbit' in Leicester Square next Wednesday, but aides said Kate's presence was "doubtful", adding that she would be "governed by medical advice". Maternity experts suggest she will need to take at least two weeks off work.
Kate will remain in London, within easy reach of her doctors, until she is fully recovered, and may also spend time with her parents in Berkshire, but is unlikely to risk returning to the couple's isolated home in Anglesey, Wales, until she is completely over her sickness.
Her condition, hyperemesis gravidarum, usually clears up after the first trimester, but can carry on until full term and sometimes needs further spells in hospital. (© Daily Telegraph, London)