On the last day that the Royal couple were publicly visible before their first wedding anniversary, which they will be spending at a friend’s party, the attention paid to a three-week old baby by Will and Kate has once again fueled speculation that Kate may indeed already be pregnant.
It takes very little to get the British people talking about the status of Kate’s belly, and, although she is still alarmingly skinny, and there is no visible sign of a baby bump on Kate’s figure, William and Kate’s decision to spend several minutes cooing and fussing over a newborn baby has, predictably enough, set tongues wagging furiously again in the UK.
Kate was the first to encounter the child, Hugo Eric Scott Vicary, who was dressed in a Superman romper suit and was born three weeks ago. His name features tributes to the famous British polar explorer, Scott of the Antarctic, because his father, Vic Vicary, 41, trekked to the South Pole in the footsteps of Captain Scott to recreate the race to the Antartic against the Norwegian explorer Amundsen that took place 100 years ago.
Kate stroked the child’s head (alarmingly near the soft spot, it must be said) with her thumb for a few minutes and told the boy’s parents he was, ‘very cute.’
But it was William who really stole the show.
When William was first introduced to the couple the baby was being held by his father and the Duke said: “He looks very sweet,” and described the youngster’s name as “fantastic”.
Mr Vicary described William as a “natural” with children, adding: “Kate said the baby was ‘very cute’ and had doting eyes on him. 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.”
William did so like a true professional, nestling the mercifully quiet baby comfortably in the crook of his arm.
It’s hard to believe that William would have allowed himself to be filmed holding a baby boy in his arms at a public event while the video cameras were running without being aware of the headlines the resulting images would generate. William and Kate are both acutely aware of the power of the pictures they pose for, and must have known that a photograph of the future King holding a baby in a Superman outfit was bound to dominate the next day’s papers, along with speculation about their family planning.
And sure enough, the shots of William cradling the infant and gazing lovingly into its eyes are doing little to dampen the constant speculation that Kate may be with child, despite the fact that William was quick to respond with a, ‘No,’ when asked, ‘Are you practicing?’ by a bystander. In fact, a few seconds after the impertinent question was asked, William handed the child back to its parents.
Although one can well understand why Kate finds the constant attention on her body and pregnancy status unsettling, she must also know that it goes with the territory when you marry a future King.
William and Kate have also, perhaps unwisely, allowed themselves to be drawn into commenting on the issue themselves.
In their enagagement interview with ITN, Kate said, “I hope we will be able to have a happy family ourselves,” which prompted the interviewer to ask, “People are bound to ask, do you want lots of children?”
William replied, “I think we’ll take it one step at a time. We’ll sort of get over the marriage first and then maybe look at the kids. But obviously we want a family so we’ll have to start thinking about that.”
Of course, while there are many in the palace who think a boy would be nice, one silver lining is that Kate is not under the pressure that many wives of aristocratic men are under to produce a male heir. A recent change in the laws of succession mean that should Kate’s first-born child be a girl, she will inherit the throne, not lose out to a younger male child.
And, judging by these pictures, one other cause for confidence is that at least William will be doing his fair share of nappies and night feeds.
Sixty years and hardly a slip.