Baby rumours rife after Prince's hint

By Chris Morris of the Otago Daily Times, APNZ staff

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walks across the tarmac at Dunedin International Airport. Photo / Getty
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walks across the tarmac at Dunedin International Airport. Photo / Getty

Calm down and carry on - reports a second royal baby could be in the offing appear premature.

The story broke, and quickly spread around the world, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Dunedin this morning.

It was based on a reported comment Prince William made to Cambridge woman Cynthia Read during the couple's visit to the Waikato town on Friday.

Mrs Read had crafted New Zealand's official gift to the royal couple - a lace shawl celebrating the arrival of their son, Prince George - and was on hand to chat to the pair during their visit to Cambridge on Friday.

The couple stopped to talk to Mrs Read about her shawl, and it was reported Prince William ended the chat with the comment: "You might have to make another one soon.''

However, Mrs Read told the Otago Daily Times today the comment had been misreported and she had no plans to start work on a second royal shawl.

"He said 'you might need to make another one sometime'. It wasn't soon or anything like that.

"It was just a throw-away comment, that's all. I don't think he meant anything particular by it.''

That didn't stop New Zealand media outlets joining Britain's Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sunday Express and Daily Star in reporting the story.

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Earlier, Mrs Read, who emigrated from Newcastle, in north-eastern England, with her Scottish husband Ken, eight years ago, said: "The way William said it was like he was dropping a hint, letting me in on a secret.''

Asked if she thought he meant a brother or sister for eight-month-old George would soon be on the way, she replied: "Maybe. I couldn't possibly comment. Obviously if I'm asked to do another one I would be honoured, but we'll wait and see.''

Mrs Read, 61, was commissioned by New Zealand's government to knit the lace shawl after spinning it from merino wool.

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An award-winning member of the Creative Fibre circle, she told William that the Filmy Fern pattern white shawl, with intermingled fern leaves, was designed by Margaret Stove, who also made one for William when he was a baby.

The duchess told Mrs Read they were delighted with the shawl.

"Kate told me they were really happy with it and George wore it a lot,'' Mrs Read said.

"She said it was so lovely and soft. They have brought it to New Zealand and he is wearing it, but she apologised for not so far finding an appropriate event outdoors to wrap him in it.

"I shouldn't think he will wear it much more as he is nearly a little boy.''

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- APNZ

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