Kate attends first public engagement since illness

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Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge walks out to present Lord Sebastian Coe with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 in London, Sunday Dec. 16, 2012. AP/David Davies, PA

LONDON – Prince William’s pregnant wife Catherine on Sunday made her first public engagement since being hospitalized for severe morning sickness, presenting cyclist Bradley Wiggins with the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Kate, 30, presented the main award and a lifetime achievement honor to London Olympic Games organizer Seb Coe at a ceremony in the British capital.

The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital on December 3, a development which prompted the palace to announce that she was in the very early stages of pregnancy.

She left the London hospital after three nights and had not been seen in public since.

The duchess took to the stage in a full-length green dress to present Coe with his award, sharing a private conversation with the former Olympian.

She was also quiet as superstar footballer David Beckham announced Wiggins as the winner, but handed over the famous trophy to the Tour de France and Olympic time-trial champion.

Stars from the London Olympics dominated the award shortlist, and Kate was understood to be keen to attend to continue her involvement in the summer Games, during which she, her husband and brother-in-law Prince Harry were official ambassadors.

“She will not stay for the whole thing but she really wanted to be there,” a royal source told AFP.

The baby is the first for the royal couple, who married in a lavish ceremony in April 2011, and will be heir to Queen Elizabeth II’s throne after William’s father Prince Charles and William himself.

The news about the royal baby was overshadowed, however, by the apparent suicide of a nurse working at Kate’s hospital after she took a hoax call from two Australian radio presenters that led to details of the duchess’s condition being made public.

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