After difficult bouts of morning sickness blighted the early stages of her pregnancy, Prince William has treated pregnant wife Kate Middleton to some winter sunshine on the idyllic Caribbean isle of Mustique.
Joining the couple are Kate”s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, who are said to be staying in a nearby villa.
On Monday, a source told The Sun: “The Duke and Duchess have joined the Middletons for a winter break.
“Both William and Kate were hoping her condition would not stop her from making the eight-hour flight to Barbados and the connection to Mustique.
“A month ago such a journey would have been unthinkable for her, so this is a clear sign she has made a virtual recovery.”
The exotic bolt hole is the natural choice for William and Kate”s winter escape. Mustique has become something of a favourite for the parents-to-be, who have travelled there at least four times together.
They know the island well and, above all, enjoy the privacy and seclusion it offers them. The privately-owned retreat employs heightened security measures when the royals arrive, ensuring they have complete peace of mind.
Their most recent trip was in January 2012 when the Cambridges and the Middletons joined forces to celebrate Carole”s 57th birthday under the isle”s blue, balmy skies.
On that occasion, the party chose to rent out the £11,500-a-week Aurora House, a sprawling property which lies on the east coast of the island and offers endless views of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Their winter break came just before Prince William was due to head to the Falklands for an eight week tour of duty, which formed part of his training as an RAF Search and Rescue helicopter pilot. This latest escape may well be their last child-free holiday together for some time, so William and Kate will want to make to make the most of their tropical paradise.
Mustique was made famous by William”s great-aunt, the late Princess Margaret, who constructed the villa Les Jolies Eaux on a parcel of land given to her as a wedding present by Lord Glenconner – the man who originally bought and developed the island.
Towards the end of her life, however, her son Viscount Linley sold the villa and bought a house in France, which he said was “more accessible”. Ironically, his wish was granted, and William and Kate feel victim to that accessibility when intimate pictures of the couple on holiday at the Viscount”s chateau”s surfaced and caused a media storm in September of last year.
By contrast, Mustique is a haven of privacy, and will ensure there is no repeat of the events which overshadowed William and Kate”s last holiday together.
When the couple return from their break, both will be back in action. William is expected to resume duties at his RAF base in Anglesey, while Kate will also return to work.
The Duchess gets back to royal engagements on February 19, when she will visit Hope House in her role as patron of Action on Addiction – a charity which runs a range of projects designed to tackle substance abuse.