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A Little Princess?

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Still five months to her-or his?-grand debut, the next heir to the British throne is already kicking up its heels. So revealed a chatty and effusive Princess Kate on her March 5 solo outing, bringing cheer to the old English fishing town of Grimsby. “Has the baby been moving?” asked resident Bobbie Brown, 42, outside the port’s museum. “Yes, it is, very much so!” replied Kate, 31. To Claire Moss-Smith, 86, who said she was eager for Kate to be queen, the princess answered, smiling, “You might be waiting a long time!”

Just back from a weekend in Switzerland with Princes William and Harry (see box), Kate was in high spirits on her walkabout from Grimsby’s fishing museum-“so authentic,” she gushed, “the smells and the noises”-to a high school and fire station, where she met young people getting job training through a charity set up by Prince Charles. Along the way, she “had a lovely rapport with the children,” said Mayor Mike Burton. “She was getting lots of offers of babysitting.” But in all the easy banter of her outing, did the duchess let some big news slip? “The lady next to me gave Kate a teddy bear,” recalls Grimsby’s Sandra Cook, 67, “and I distinctly heard her say, ‘Thank you, I will take that for my d-‘, then she stopped herself. I said to her, ‘You were going to say daughter, weren’t you?’ She said, ‘No, we don’t know.’ I said, ‘Oh, I think you do,’ to which she said, ‘We’re not telling.'” And so, we await a July delivery of news.


When Kate, William and Harry (notably without new girlfriend Cressida Bonas) attended the March 2 Swiss Alps wedding of the princes’ polo chum Mark Tomlinson to Olympic equestrian Laura Bechtolsheimer, the British royals hung back as guests waved off the newlyweds. “You had these three famous people and everyone was focused on the new couple,” says a witness. But onlookers couldn’t help but notice that the duchess was cradling her belly “all the time.” Glowing, growing and prudent, “Kate was very careful in her heels,” says the source. She also skipped skiing with the men-though she was spotted with a sled.