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Pregnant Kate Middleton to return to The National Portrait Gallery

11 April 2013
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With just a few months to go until she welcomes her first baby, Kate Middleton is showing no signs of slowing down. St James' Palace have confirmed that the pregnant royal will spend an evening meeting with children at a special reception at the National Portrait Gallery on 24 April. Prince William's expectant wife will be guest of honour at the event where she will spend time with children who have benefitted from The Art Room's charity programme.

It's a cause close to her heart. The Duchess of Cambridge is royal patron of The Art Room, which offers art as therapy to young people to help raise their self-esteem, self-confidence and independence. While she is there, of course, Kate can drop by her own official portrait which proudly hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. Painted by award-winning artist Paul Emsley, the artwork initially received some criticism from the press – but the public have taken to it in a big way. Kate's picture has become the best-selling postcard in the National Portrait Gallery's shop, selling more than 3,000 reproductions in the first few weeks after its unveiling on 11 January.

The portrait's royal subject was herself delighted with the result, calling it "brilliant, amazing, absolutely brilliant".Kate's diary is packed with royal engagements ahead of her maternity leave in June. Earlier this week, it was confirmed that she would visit a Manchester primary school to launch a counselling programme on 23 April, and on 13 June, when she is eight months pregnant, she will christen a ship at a naming ceremony in Southampton.

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