Feeling broody, Kate and Wills Duke and Duchess of Cambridge play doting parents as they coo over baby at event for South Pole trek soldiers
17:32 GMT, 26 April 2012
The 'is she, isn't she' rumours concerning the Duchess of Cambridge and her pregnancy status begun to swirl even before the ink had dried on her marriage certificate.
And Kate's quirk of holding her bag in front of her tummy; outfit choices like yesterday's peplum jacket that appeared to conceal the stomach – or that occasion when she refused to eat peanut paste on a UNICEF visit – only add fuel to the flames.
But whether or not there is a royal baby coming in the near future, today Kate and Wills proved that when they do provide a royal heir to the throne, the royal pair will make natural parents.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were charmed by three-week-old Hugo Vicary, the son of a soldier the two met at an event they attended today.
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She's a natural! The Duchess of Cambridge is charmed by three-week-old Hugo Vicary, held by his father Vic
Royal charm: The Duke of Cambridge looked every inch the doting father as he cradled baby Hugo at the event
Treat: The Duke of Cambridge delighted the family of baby Hugo when he took the infant for a cuddle today
William held the infant – the son of one of the adventurers – in the crook of his right arm and looked down with loving eyes.
He was joined by Kate, who, when she
chatted to the baby's proud parents, Vic and Hanna Vicary, described
their son as 'very cute'.
Hugo Eric Scott, dressed in a
Superman romper suit, was born three weeks ago today and his name
features tributes to both Mr Vicary's father who died in March and the
famous British polar explorer.
Mr Vicary, 41, from Cornwall, a
Warrant Officer Second Class with the Rifles, trekked to the South Pole
in the footsteps of Captain Scott, with a team led by Warrant Officer
Another group of soldiers took on the
role of the Amundsen team and, just like the original race staged 100
years ago, the men following the route taken by the famous Norwegian
adventurer reached the South Pole first.
When William was first introduced to
the couple the baby was being held by his father and the Duke said: 'He
looks very sweet,' going on to describe the youngster's name as
Mr Vicary said: 'Two months after I came back from the South Pole we had a healthy baby boy.
'For the name, we came up with Hugo,
Eric – for my father, who passed away – and Scott, after Captain Scott,
because we were in his footsteps.
'The Duke liked the name he thought it was very apt. My wife asked if he would like to hold him and he took hold of him.'
Mr Vicary described William as a
'natural' with children, adding: 'Kate said the baby was 'very cute' and
had doting eyes on him.'
Comfortable: Wills looked entirely at ease with the newborn as he chatted with the boy's parents
The two were attending
a reception at London's Goldsmiths' Hall to celebrate the achievements
of members of the South Pole Scott Expedition group.
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received praise for their involvement in
today's event, which saw them champion a group of soldiers who recreated
the famous Scott-Amundsen race to the South Pole during a visit to the
City of London.
William and Kate were greeted by
sunshine that had followed heavy showers when they arrived at
Goldsmiths' Hall to meet the adventurers after their epic challenge.
Kate wore a 15 enamelled poppy
brooch, sold to raise funds for the poppy appeal, which she pinned to a dark blue
tweed skirt, 250, and jacket, 350 by Australian-born, New York-based designer Rebecca Taylor.
The Duke is patron of the expedition and sent the men a message of congratulations when they reached their goal in January.
The teams were completely unsupported
during the trek, carrying their food and fuel across the ice for 70
days in sledges weighing 140kg each.
Even Duchesses get the blues: Kate wore an indigo tweed Rebecca Taylor suit for her visit to Goldsmiths' Hall today
Kate is known to be fond of the colour blue, and has worn it on many previous occasions
Both groups retraced the exact routes
of the original explorers and carried copies of Scott and Amundsen's
diaries from the original expedition, reading extracts each evening when
The re-enactment repeated history
with the Amundsen team, led by Lieutenant Colonel Henry Worsley,
arriving at the geographical South Pole in January a week ahead of the
Scott group, led by Warrant Officer Mark Langridge.
The challenge has raised vital funds
for the Royal British Legion's 30 million commitment to the Battle Back
Centre, Lilleshall, to help wounded, injured and sick service people
Robert Lee, a spokesman for the Legion, highlighted the importance of the trek having royal backing:
'It was first of all really great for
the personnel taking part in the race to know they had the Duke's
backing, it was a huge morale boost.
'The fact he's here today with the
Duchess of Cambridge is a great recognition of the contribution these
Army personnel have made to the charity and a great boost to the
Kate was accompanied by William at
today's event, which precedes a visit later this afternoon to a WW1
Centenary event where the royal two will meet ex-service men.
Support: The Duke of Cambridge is a patron of the South Pole expedition, and sent the men a message of congratulations when they reached their goal in January
Raining again After last night's wet reception at the African Cats premiere, Kate was once more confronted by inclement weather as she stepped out of the car – and the Duchess showed off some very reddish highlights
Charity: Kate wore a 15 enamelled poppy brooch, sold to raise funds for the poppy appeal
So that's why she looks so healthy! A glowing Kate sipped a glass of water at the event
Kate was accompanied by William at today's event, which precedes a visit later this afternoon to a WW1 Centenary event where the royal two will meet ex-service men
KATE, THE DUCHESS NOT A-FRAYED TO TAKE RISKS WITH HER STYLE
It is not the first time Kate has chosen
blue tweed for a public event – just last month she wore another
frayed-edge boucl coat, by M Missoni, for an engagement in London.
glossy locks, manicured nails and flawless make-up, the Duchess of
Cambridge is the ultimate poster girl for polished perfection. So
when she was pictured at department store Fortnum & Mason last month
wearing the frayed blue coat, onlookers were quick to point out that the seams on her M Missoni coat looked 'tatty'.
But the design quirk is entirely intentional, and is a tailoring flourish frequently used by high-end designers such as Missoni and Chanel to add texture to the finished garment.
Quirk of design: The Duchess of Cambridge has previously worn another blue frayed tweed coat, that time for an appearance at Fortnum & Mason in March
Kate's blue period
Since her engagement to William, Kate has displayed a real fondness for blue when choosing outfits for public events. Just like the Queen, who was recently reported to have worn more blue than any other colour for engagements over the past year, Kate has chosen the shade on myriad occasions. Here is our pick of the best…
In M Missoni at the unveiling of a plaque at Fortnum and Masonin London, 1 March
Double-breasted Reiss – once worn by mother Carole – at the opening of a hospice in March
Vintage-inspired chic in Forties style peplum jacket and pencil dress by Hobbs
In vintage Amanda Wakeley, one week before the Royal wedding in April last year
In sapphire-blue Issa for the official announcement of her engagement to Prince William
Departing by helicopter for their honeymoon, and Kate is wearing a blue Zara dress