The midwife praised the royal parents-to-be as "devoted" and offered empathy for Kate's condition
Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

With a lively 14-month-old son and a wife suffering from severe morning sickness during her second pregnancy, Prince William can use all the support he can get.

So when he met a leading midwife, he made the obvious pitch: “Come and help!”

William, 32, was awarding an honor at Windsor Castle Thursday to Professor Lesley Page, who is president of the Royal College of Midwives, when he joked to her: “I don’t suppose you’d like to come and help us out, would you?”

Page, 70, tells PEOPLE, “I said ‘I’d love to!’ ”

Kate, 32, is at home resting, as she continues to suffer from the effects of acute pregnancy sickness, medically known as hyperemesis gravidarum.

Page met the prince as he handed over a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) medal for her services to midwifery. It is one of the occasions that William stands in for his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, 88.

The royal father and Page didn’t talk directly about the specifics of Kate’s condition. “I’m a midwife, so he talked about Catherine’s pregnancy, and [we] talked about being a midwife for well over 30 years and what’s changed,” Page says. “I’m very busy in that role and I still do hands-on practice.”

Page, however, offered empathy for the ailing princess. “I feel sorry for her because I had the same condition when I was pregnant. It usually gets better at 12-16 weeks. Nowadays, there are ways of alleviating the condition. But it does make you feel really awful. It can be different for different pregnancies,” she tells PEOPLE.

“He said that during the last pregnancy that they had been well looked-after by midwives. I’m sure she is getting really good help at the moment.”

Of the happily expectant couple, “they look like really devoted parents, so I can really understand them wanting to have babies close together like that,” Page said.

She described William as “charming and personable,” adding that, “I felt he was taking a personal interest in everyone who went up. He’s enthusiastic.”

While Princess Kate hopes to get back to royal duties as soon as she can, she canceled an engagement earlier this week as scuttle and odds-making continues over whether she could be having twins.

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