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Duchess of Cambridge leaves London hospital

December 06, 2012|By Janet Stobart | This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

LONDON -- Fragile but smiling, newly pregnant Catherine, duchess of Cambridge left the central London hospital Thursday where she has spent four days recovering from acute nausea in the early stages of pregnancy.  A relieved-looking husband Prince William accompanied her. 

Holding a bouquet, the 30-year-old duchess -- known as Kate Middleton before her royal marriage -- nodded and waved at reporters who asked if she was feeling better.   The couple sped away from the King Edward VII Hospital in a limousine convoy headed for Kensington Palace "for a period of rest,” said a brief statement from a spokeswoman at St. James's Palace, London base of William’s father, Prince Charles.

The couple thanked hospital staff “for the care and treatment the Duchess has received,” the statement added.

The royal pregnancy was forced into the public domain in the early stages when the duchess was hospitalized Monday after falling ill over the weekend while staying at her parents’ home in Berkshire, near London.

Congratulations have poured in from all over the world for the impending birth of Queen Elizabeth II’s third great grandchild. 

An embarrassing breach of the hospital’s normally strict rules of privacy occurred Wednesday when two disc jockeys from an Australian radio station mimicking Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles duped staff into revealing details of Kate’s progress.

Press reports Thursday spoke of Prince William’s fury at the intrusion. His mother, Princess Diana, was a prime target of media attention and died in 1997 during a pursuit by news photographers when her chauffeur-driven limousine hit a wall inside a Paris tunnel.

[For the record, 11:10 a.m., Dec. 6: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that Middleton's impending birth would be Queen Elizabeth II's first great grandchild. The queen already has two great grandchildren.

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