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Pregnancy and privacy: Royal Catherine's dilemma

By Max Foster, CNN
December 4, 2012 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
  • The Duchess of Cambridge has been hospitalized for acute morning sickness
  • Foster: Royal couple face a dilemma as regards their privacy, which they are keen to protect
  • There are occasions when the line between public and private becomes blurred, says Foster

London (CNN) -- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are an intensely private couple. They are also the most famous couple on the planet. This presents a dilemma with which they often struggle.

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Catherine and William usually manage to juggle things by allowing media access to their public work on the basis they are promoting causes they care about. But when it comes to matters they consider private -- whether it be topless pictures or the name of their puppy -- they become very protective.

Catherine obtained an injunction against the magazine that published the photographs of her sunbathing on holiday. She also simply refused to confirm the name of her dog for weeks.

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But there are occasions, often the momentous ones, when the line between public and private becomes blurred. When Prince William married the then-Kate Middleton, he chose a wife for himself but he also chose a future queen of 16 countries.

The couple allowed cameras in to the wedding but kept the reception and honeymoon to themselves.

Read more: Catherine and William baby news sparks media frenzy

When Catherine was forced into an early announcement of her pregnancy Monday for medical reasons, she also revealed that a future head state had been conceived.

The public had a right to know she was pregnant, which is why she told them. But she is also suffering acute morning sickness and needs to think about herself.

Read more: Royal baby announcement marks dramatic break with tradition

I have been told by official sources that we won't be getting a running commentary on her condition. The world's media, camped outside the central London hospital, are gleaning what they can from the comings and goings of visitors. Palace officials are giving next to no guidance as to what's happened or what might happen next.

From past experience of covering the royals, there will be updates at some point, maybe even some camera access when the duchess feels ready.

But for now it's wait and see.

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