It's been a wilder week than usual for the world's most famous royal couple.
Monday's announcement that Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their first child came on the heels of the 30-year-old Duchess of Cambridge being admitted to the hospital for severe morning sickness. While she recovered, the media exploded with speculation about everything from "Are they having twins?" to "When exactly did they conceive?" — creating a storm of publicity that will saturate much of 2013.
The good news is Middleton left the hospital today after a four-day stay. According to sources, she smiled and posed briefly for a photograph alongside her husband, Prince William, before getting "delicately" into a waiting car. The bad news? She's going home to what has become a massive wave of baby gifts.
TMZ is reporting that the duchess has already received four massive gift baskets from U.S. companies, speculating that hundreds more from around the globe may be on their way. And some of these aren't baskets per se — more like crates of goods.
Only two years ago, Kate and William experienced a similar influx of gifts to celebrate their engagement and approaching nuptials. The couple wisely asked people to donate to some of their favorite charities in lieu of material goods, setting up a gift registry that included 26 organizations "close to their hearts" and reflecting the "experiences, passions and values of their lives so far."
That charity drive ended up collecting $1.6 million for causes covering the armed forces, conservation, children, the elderly, art and sport. It's a good bet that Will and Kate will pursue a similar plan for people interested in celebrating their new baby, with the only difference being the organizations involved.
Since the wedding, Middleton has settled on the charities that she will officially patron. These include the children's charities Action on Addiction, the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, The Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery in London. She also volunteers from time to time with the younger Members of the Scout Movement — Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts.
All of this is to say that considering the royal family's dedication to charitable causes — and the world's particular fascination with Will and Kate — some kind of benefit is likely to come from all this. I mean really ... how many Bugaboo Cameleon 3 strollers does the duchess really need?
Related on MNN: Did William and Kate adopt a puppy?
MNN tease photo of Kate Middleton: Fred Duval/Getty Images