Baby number four? Duchess of Cambridge 'feeling broody'

Hannah Furness
The Duke of Cambridge greets crowds gathered outside the Braid Arts Centre in Ballymena - PA

The Duchess of Cambridge admitted to feeling a “little broody” today, inspiring speculation her children might be joined by one more.

During a walkabout in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, the Duchess met five-month-old baby James Barr and told his father Alan: "He’s gorgeous. It makes me feel a little broody."

Mr Barr asked: "Baby number four?"

The Duchess laughed and conceded: "I think William would be a little worried." 

The Duchess, who comes from a family of three children herself, also commented on a little girl’s coat, saying, "I love your cool coat. Charlotte loves pink."

The royal couple were greeted by hundreds of cheering well-wishers in Ballymena on the second day of their Northern Ireland visit.

The Duke of Cambridge greets crowds gathered outside the Braid Arts Centre in Ballymena Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

The Duchess also met a schoolgirl who is writing a project about her, inviting her for an impromptu interview.

Hannah Ritchie, nine, is studying biography in her literacy classes at Ballykeel primary school, with the Duchess kneeling down so she could tell her all about it.

Teacher Susan McKeegan said: "I told her that in literacy we are doing biography, and one of my pupils is doing a biography about her. She asked who the pupil was. I introduced her to Hannah.

"She very nicely went over and spoke to her, and asked if she had any questions."

Hannah said: "I asked if she liked being a princess, and is the palace big?

"She said she liked being a princess because she can travel around the world and meet all the lovely children. She gets to talk to them - she loves meeting and talking to the children."

The Duchess told her: "I love working with young people. Everyone is so brave and strong in some of the places we go. It's very nice to meet you. Good luck with the biography!"

Ms McKeegan told the Duchess: "She is going to have a quote direct from you for the biography!"

She added: "Hannah was excited, and really hoping she would get a chance to speak to her. She [Kate] was lovely and genuine."

The royal couple wave at well-wishers Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP

Several hundred people lined the streets of the Co Antrim town as William and Kate went on a walkabout. The crowds, many waving flags, braved the cold outside the Braid Centre.

The couple were there to learn more about the work of Cinemagic - a charity that uses film, TV and digital technologies to inspire and educate young people.

The couple made their way into Braid Centre, where they were welcomed by CEO of Cinemagic Joan Keatings MBE, international executive of Cinemagic Shauna Shivers McAtammey and Michael Lennox, who is director of Derry Girls, Cinemagic alumni and a Bafta winner.

Cinemagic is a educational charity for young filmmakers. Over the last 30 years it has delivered highly-successful young film programmers and young film critics panels.

Wearing a Mulberry coat, Kate chatted to officials from Mid and East Antrim Council while William spoke to DUP MP Ian Paisley, who presented him with a wooden walking stick.

It was the first public engagement on the second and final day of their visit to Northern Ireland.

They started on Thursday with a private meeting with officers and staff from the Police Service of Northern Ireland at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down.

The visit to Ballymena comes after a range of high-energy engagements on Wednesday.

William and Kate played football at Belfast's Windsor Park and took part in a canoe race in Co Fermanagh, before rounding the day off by pulling pints at a reception for young leaders at Belfast's famous Empire music hall.