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A 'nervous' Kate shows off bump; Charity visit coincides with furore.

Byline: Tony Jones? 0191 201 6262 ? jnl.newsdesk@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE Duchess of Cambridge confessed yesterday that she is nervous about giving birth, as she showed off her baby bump for the first time at a public event.

Kate's admission came as she chatted to a group of women recovering from drink and drug addictions at a treatment centre run by the charity Action On Addiction of which she is patron.

The duchess spent time with an arts therapy group at Hope House in Clapham, London, where the centre's clients had completed paintings charting their battle with substance abuse.

Lisa, a mother-of-three who did not want to give her full name, said: "I did ask her if she was nervous (about giving birth). She said it would be unnatural if she wasn't, she's human like us."

The 34-year-old, who turned to drink during a violent marriage which lasted 18 years, said: "I said 'Congratulations and good luck, I hope it all goes OK'."

Kate also chatted to Natalie, who has a two-year-old daughter and is due to give birth to a second child in July, the same month as the duchess who is more than four months pregnant.

The 28-year-old said the talk also turned to babies when they chatted: "We're due about the same time. She's been unwell and feeling better now, and I felt pretty much the same the first time." Several times during her visit, the duchess clasped her hands around her small baby bump and seemed completely at ease with her growing figure.

Her visit coincided with the furore over comments by novelist Hilary Mantel.

She has suggested that the duchess is a "shop-window mannequin" with no personality, whose only purpose is to breed. During a lecture at the British Museum, the double Booker Prize-winner said Kate appeared to have been "gloss-varnished" with a perfect plastic smile in contrast to Diana, Princess of Wales, whom she described as awkward and emotionally incontinent.

She seemed to suggest that the "painfully thin" Duchess was selected for her role because she posed no risk of showing any character.

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GUEST The Duchess of Cambridge on a visit to Hope House residential centre yesterday. Right, the pregnant duchess holds her baby bump
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 20, 2013
Words:374
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