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No travel for pregnant Kate

Hopes of a 2013 trip to Australia by popular royals Prince William and wife Catherine have been dashed as palace aides rejig the couple's schedule around the mid-year birth of their first child.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 30, is expected to take maternity leave from her royal duties and may not embark on any official tours outside the UK in the new year, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

"No overseas tour has yet been planned for next year, and obviously the arrival of the baby will have an effect on the Duchess's diary," a royal source told the newspaper.

The British Foreign Office which organises royal tours, is aware that Commonwealth countries including Australia are keen to host the celebrity-status couple in the near future, the article read.

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It is unlikely William would be sent on a tour alone, so bets are on 2014 for the next excursion abroad.

In March 1983, Prince Charles and wife Diana went on a six-week tour of Australia and New Zealand with 10-month-old William, after then prime minister Malcolm Fraser encouraged the new parents to bring the baby prince with them.

A nanny cared for William in NSW while Charles and Diana carried out official duties, visiting their son during breaks in the schedule.

That trip is likely to be used as a precedent by the Duke and Duchess, the Telegraph reported.

Kate has pulled out of official engagements in the past month as she battles acute morning sickness which saw her hospitalised for three nights at the start of December.

Since their marriage in April 2011, the Cambridges have toured North America and Canada, and in September they touched down in Brisbane to refuel at the end of an eight-day visit to Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

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- AAP

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