"She felt she came back too soon last time," a royal source tells PEOPLE
Who’s in line to be a godparent to Prince William and Princess Kate’s second child? Subscribe now for instant access to the likely contenders for baby No. 2, only in PEOPLE.
Don’t be surprised if Princess Kate stays out of the spotlight in the months after she has her second baby.
As anticipation builds, and the hospital and doctors are preparing to help Kate, 33, welcome a brother or sister for Prince George, 21 months, the princess has decided to take a longer maternity leave than she did last time, a royal source tells PEOPLE.
She has told friends that she wants to fully enjoy the bonding experience for her two children under 2 years old.
“She felt she came back too soon last time,” the royal source tells PEOPLE. “She wants to have that [family] and enjoy it with George and the new baby.”
Sources have told PEOPLE that the couple are concentrating on family with the full blessing – indeed, encouragement – of dad, Prince Charles, 66, who wants them to have as much of a normal life as possible.
A month earlier, even, she had made a surprise appearance at an event in Anglesey, not far from the home she and William, 32, shared in their early years of marriage.
Now, the couple have their huge country home at Anmer Hall, on Queen Elizabeth‘s Sandringham estate, as a perfect haven for them to raise their children and spend family time in the run-up to George’s second birthday.
The estate is close to where William will work as an air ambulance pilot once his training has finished in early summer, meaning he can often be at home in the mornings and evenings, too.
That is an arrangement that will be going down well with one little addition: George, who a friend tells PEOPLE “is great fun. He is really enjoying the new environment.”
When she returns to royal duties, Kate will continue her push to highlight the difficulties facing vulnerable children and families, especially those with family members suffering with mental health issues.
For more on Kate’s parenthood plans, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, out on newsstands Friday.