Kate Middleton has officially debuted her new baby bump — and the outfit she chose for the occasion immediately had fans of the royal family talking.
It’s no surprise that the Duchess of Cambridge’s latest fashion choice is making the news. From practically the moment she stepped onto the scene as an official member of the royal family after her 2011 wedding to Prince William, women around the world have been obsessed with the beautiful Brit’s style.
But the beautiful gown in which Kate made her post-pregnancy announcement debut has people talking for an entirely different reason. Namely, many think the dress is a clue about the newest little prince or princess.
Unfortunately, while many fans are simply excited to see Kate out and about after so long out of the spotlight during her battle with severe morning sickness, some chose to body shame the Duchess.
Scroll through to learn more about Kate’s latest appearance, the possible meaning behind her dress, and the unjustified criticisms about her body.
Thumbnail Photo: Heathcliff O’Malley – WPA Pool/Getty Images
The royal family officially announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were expecting their third child back in early September 2017.
The new baby boy or girl will join Prince George and Princess Charlotte when he or she finally makes their arrival sometime in 2018.
According to Vanity Fair, Kate’s last appearance prior to the pregnancy announcement was just a few days before, on August 30, 2017.
At that time, she accompanied her husband Prince William and her brother-in-law Prince Harry on a tour of the Princess Diana garden at Kensington Palace in advance of the 20th anniversary of her late mother-in-law’s death.
The public got its first glimpse of the officially pregnant Kate during her appearance at a Buckingham Palace reception in honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2017.
According to PEOPLE, an aide told reporters, “The Duchess’ condition is improving but she is still suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.”
“She is delighted to be able to be here tonight.”
The reception was in honor of those working in the mental health field and with Heads Together, a campaign founded by the three royals.
Kate (alongside Prince William and Prince Harry) met with guests, many of whom have worked in the mental health sector for years, according to Kensington Palace.
Kate wore a light blue Temperley London dress, which hugged her very small baby bump.
The relatively tiny size of the Duchess’ belly seems to suggest that the royals may have needed to announce the pregnancy prior to Kate reaching 12 weeks, due to her severe morning sickness.
It didn’t escape anyone’s notice that the dress Kate chose for her first appearance since the pregnancy news was blue. Many believe this was a purposeful hint that the baby is a boy.
Express points out that parents typically find out the sex of an unborn baby at the second scan, between 16 and 20 weeks, so it’s possible the Duchess is that far along and that they do know the baby’s sex.
In a speech earlier that day, Prince William revealed that it was Kate who was the one to come up with the idea for Heads Together.
“It was Catherine who first realized that all three of us were working on mental health in our individual areas of focus,” Prince William said, according to Hello! Magazine.
“She had seen that at the core of adult issues like addiction and family breakdown, unresolved childhood mental health issues were often part of the problem.”
Many fans took to Kensington Palace’s photos of Kate and Prince William at the event to thank them for their work in the mental health sector and to voice how happy they were to see Kate out and about and looking so well.
Fans of the Duchess and the royal family were so glad to see that Kate was apparently feeling better and looking so healthy in light of her severe morning sickness.
Unfortunately, others had less kind things to say about the beautiful Duchess.
Some less harmful comments were just people voicing their disbelief that Kate could be pregnant while she looks so thin.
But others had crueler things to say.
One person even insisted that Kate’s thinness is due to a “severe eating disorder,” going as far as to call her “emaciated” and “anorexic.”
The same user even claimed elsewhere that “there is no such thing as morning sickness” and that Kate’s condition is caused by “severe malnutrition” and a vitamin deficiency.
Thankfully, other users who have experienced hyperemesis gravidarum chimed in to shut this body-shamer down.
“As someone who has suffered hyperemesis more than once I really feel for the poor woman. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” one woman said. “I’m sorry Kate you’ve had to go through hg again […] People often criticize what they don’t understand.”
Personally, I think the Duchess looks radiant. It can’t be easy dealing with a condition like that, but the mental health campaign is so important to her that she fought through to be there in support of it.
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