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Dutiful husband Prince William takes over pregnant Kate's Malta trip

Prince William has saved the day, taking over some official duties for his pregnant wife, who was supposed to visit Malta this weekend in what would have been her first solo trip abroad.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who is in the first 12 weeks of her second pregnancy, had to bow out of the overseas trip because of her bout with severe morning sickness, according to palace officials.

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The former Kate Middleton was scheduled to visit the Mediterranean island nation as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence.

"Her Royal Highness continues to suffer from the effects of Hyperemesis Gravidarum," the palace said. "The decision not to visit was taken by the Duke and Duchess on the advice of the Duchess's doctors."

Instead, the 32-year-old duchess' dutiful husband will represent the queen on his wife's behalf. The official itinerary remains unchanged, the palace said.

William is expected to arrive in Malta on Saturday for the weekend-long visit. He'll be staying in San Anton Palace and is scheduled to meet with the republic's president, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Malta Today reported.

The duke of Cambridge, who is second in line to the British throne, will also attend a tree-planting event, meet with the prime minister and his wife (yes, Malta has both a president and a prime minister), visit the National Library, unveil a plaque and give a speech at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, the nation's capital.

On Sunday, William will attend an Independence Day service at St. John's Co-Cathedral and visit a community social-services center. He'll take a boat tour on the Grand Harbor and attend a garden party at British High Commissioner Rob Luke's home.

For the second time, the Prince George's parents were forced to announce a pregnancy earlier than usual because Catherine's illness interfered with her royal duties. In December 2012, the Cambridges shared their first-baby news while Kate was still in her first trimester because she was hospitalized to treat her hyperemesis gravidarum and had to provide an explanation for missing scheduled appearances.

This time around, her morning sickness is reportedly being treated at home in Kensington Palace.

For more celebrity news, follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.

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