At a Wednesday event, the expectant royal also said her 19-month-old son Prince George is "running around quite a lot"

By Simon Perry
Updated March 11, 2015 01:00 PM
Chris Jackson/Getty

Leave it to Princess Kate to make her eighth month of pregnancy look as easy as, um, breathing.

Wearing a Dalmatian spot coat by High Street label Hobbs that she previously sported in the late stages of her pregnancy with Prince George, Kate charmed locals during a stop at the seaside town of Margate on Wednesday.

“I said, ‘You’re looking very trim,’ ” one resident, Jenny Cranstone, told reporters. “She said, ‘I sometimes forget I’m pregnant.’ ”

“I had five children, and I know how good she looks!” marveled Cranstone. “We both had a good laugh. It was not a Queen Victoria, ‘We are not amused.’ She was amused.”

At the town’s Resort Studios on the second stop of her visit to Margate, Kate, 33 – who was waved off her helicopter earlier by 19-month-old George and his nanny Maria Borrallo – had time for still more baby talk.

Kate said her firstborn was “running around quite a lot,” attendee Tamsin Landells told reporters. “He sounds quite a handful – she is chasing after him a little bit.”

Kate’s appearance was designed to highlight Resort Studios, which provides a working space in Margate for painters, designers, printers, jewelers, writers and other artists.

Earlier, on a visit to Turner Contemporary gallery just above the town’s beach, Kate was taken aback when she was shown a “dead” body lying in the floor.

“Oh my goodness, what’s that?” the startled royal exclaimed at the sight of “Self Portrait as a Drowned Man,” a spookily realistic work by local artist Jeremy Millar.

She also chatted at length with artist Gavin Turk as he showed his work, “A Portrait of Myself I’ll Never Really See.”

The 1997 piece shows him beardless – something that clearly interested Kate, whose brother James currently sports a hairy chin.

“She was worried that her brother might be growing a beard and how I took care of it,” Turk tells PEOPLE. “I told her that it is going soon and I’m going to cut it off in aid of my children’s charity, The House of Fairytales.”

Photographer Trish Morrissey also spoke to Kate, who is patron of the National Portrait Gallery, telling PEOPLE, “I don’t envy her. At that same stage of being pregnant I was lying around at home eating chocolate on sofa. Hats off to her.”

After the exhibition, Kate met with some college students. Harley Russel, a student at the University of Creative Arts in Canterbury, was painting a female sitter. She congratulated Kate, prompting her to stroke her stomach and reply, “Not long now.”

Outside, about 200 well-wishers, some calling out “Princess Catherine,” were rewarded for their patience when Kate crossed the road to chat with them.

Waving enthusiastically at 10-month-old Arabella Page and her 2 ½-year-old brother, “She was saying how big Leyton is compared to George,” his mother Lucy tells PEOPLE.

Among them was Linda Monti, 77, from nearby Herne Bay, who handed over a Tomy “Neil the Seal” toy for Prince George and the new baby.

“I thought she might like one for George and then pass on to the new prince or princess,” said Monti. “She was just lovely and said: ‘You’re so sweet, thank you very much.’ ”