Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, showed off her growing baby bump during a visit to a treatment center to meet women recovering from drug and drink addiction.
Her pregnancy was clearly visible under her $525 MaxMara studio wrap dress, which she complemented with an Asprey London diamond pendant necklace worth $3,800 and a gold ring.
During her appearance at the South London center, which is run by the Action on Addiction charity, Kate appeared unfazed by recent attacks from an award winning UK author who called her a “shop window mannequin” with a “plastic smile” chosen by the Royal family for no other purpose but to breed.
The author, Hilary Mantel, a double Man Booker prize winner, made the controversial comments during a lecture at the British museum two weeks ago.
The Guardian reports that Mantel said:
“Kate seems to have been selected for her role of princess because she was irreproachable: as painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character.”
“She appears precision-made, machine-made: so different from Diana, whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture.”
Mantel’s comments have sparked robust defenses of Kate by public figures and members of the British public.
Geraldine McArdel, 50, a Middleton fan who traveled from Ireland to get a glimpse of Kate at the treatment center on Tuesday told The Guardian Mantel was “obviously jealous.”
Even the UK’s prime minister, David Cameron, weighed in on the row. During a recent official visit to India, he told the BBC:
“I think she [Mantel] writes great books, but I think what she’s said about Kate Middleton is completely misguided and completely wrong. What I’ve seen of Princess Kate at public events, at the Olympics and elsewhere is this is someone who’s bright, who’s engaging, who’s a fantastic ambassador for Britain. We should be proud of that, rather than make these rather misguided remarks.”
Opposition Labor leader, Ed Miliband, also waded into the fray, saying:
“These are pretty offensive remarks, I don’t agree with them. Kate Middleton is doing a brilliant job in a difficult role. She’s a huge asset to the country. She deserves our support.”
However, some like The Spectator, have defended Mantel, saying her attack was on the UK monarchy’s, arguable, history of preferring its Royal brides as demure and pliable.
According to The Sun, Kate intermittently cupped her hands under her baby bump as she chatted to women at the Hope House center. The Duchess is halfway through her pregnancy and is due to give birth in July.
During the visit, Kate also sat in on an art therapy class and was asked by a recovering alcoholic named Lisa asked if she was nervous about giving birth to what is her her first child.
Lisa, 34, a mom of three, said afterwards: “She said it would be unnatural if she wasn’t. It was nice she just chatted to us.”
The Sun also reports that Kate told one of the women, “Well done for getting sober.”
What do you think of Mantel’s remarks, do you agree with them or do you think the duchess is a great ambassador for Britain?
You can watch a video of Kate’s visit to the treatment center below.