I have ridden in a horse-drawn carriage once. It made me feel jolly sick.
And I wasn’t even pregnant.
Now, admittedly, Kate Middleton was today being towed around in the luxuriously upholstered Scottish State Coach, and I was bouncing round Central Park in a ramshackle old jalopy, to which clung the overpowering stench of horse excrement.
But still, a carriage ride in an antique vehicle seems a particularly cruel and unusual punishment for a woman whom, as the palace expressly told us on Friday, is still suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a particularly violent form of pregnancy sickness which can cause the sufferer to vomit over 20 times a day and is nothing like morning sickness OK?
But Kate showed the solid peasant stock she is made of today, and didn’t blanch or throw up in her McQueen purse as she rattled and lurched across the cobbles.
Instead she waved pleasantly to the crowd of well-wishers and the army of photographers who had come to see her on her first public appearance since the news of her pregnancy was announced. Kate was her usual smiling self – indeed radiant would not be too strong an adjective to deploy - as she and William hosted the opening hours of the state visit of Tony Tan Keng Yam, the president of the Republic of Singapore and his wife.
Kate even found time to share a joke with the president, telling him she had been “looking forward to getting out of the house” sounding for all the world like an overworked housewife, not a princess of the realm.
She didn’t even let yet another gust of wind blowing her skirts up around her knees phase her.
There was, much to the scarcely concealed disappointment of all present, not a baby bump in sight on Kate’s skinny frame.
Indeed, it was rather the opposite; the only clue that she might have been unwell over the past few weeks was her exceptional slenderness, and if she was feeling a little green on this cold and blustery London day, well, it was nothing a heavy slather of make-up couldn’t hide.
And if she was faking the smiles, then she must have a damn fine acting coach.
But, as the couple posed for official photographs in the state rooms, outside, on Horseguard’s Parade, the Spewmobile was pulling up.
The Scottish State Coach – to give the landau its proper name - is an enclosed, four horse-drawn vehicle, built in 1830 for Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge. His family used it for many years until they sold it to William Keppel, 7th Earl of Albemarle. In 1920, the Keppel family returned the coach to the royal family by presenting it as a gift to Queen Mary.
Many women find a car journey with regular morning sickness quite an ordeal.
And Kate visibly blanched as she approached the vehicle. It was the first moment she actually looked slightly under the weather.
And who can blame her.
But, she got in. She traveled to Buckingham Palace. And then scarpered back home before lunch, because there’s only so many cooking smells a suffering pregnant princess can take.
But still, the fact remains, today, a pregnant lady suffering from HG traveled in an almost 200 year old coach. With her grandmother-in-law.
Just to make our country look good.
Just to make sure the President of Singapore had a good story to go home with.
Talk about taking one for the team.
Let it never be said again that Kate Middleton does not earn her keep.