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Kate meets with Scouts at prestigious celebration

Four hundred youngsters and their families from across the UK and around the Commonwealth flocked to the prestigious National Review of Queen's Scouts at Windsor Castle.

The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge handed out Scouting honours in a light green Mulberry coat.

Kate Middleton meets Scouts at the annual celebration.
Scouting band plays for Kate Middleton.
Kate talks to Scouts honoured at the annual celebration.

Duchess of Cambridge hands out Scouting awards

The Duchess of Cambridge has honoured the high achievements of hundreds of Scouts at an annual celebration at Windsor Castle.

Kate Middleton hands out Scouting awards.

Despite being six months pregnant, the royal is increasing her charitable workload and is now patron of seven organisations as well as being a volunteer with the Scout Association. Kate joined the Scouts last year.

Today most of the youngsters received Queen's Scouts awards - the highest a Scout can gain - for achievements including carrying out regular community service for a year.

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LRB defends Hilary Mantel over Kate comments

The London Review of Books has attempted to clarify comments made by Hilary Mantel about the Duchess of Cambridge, saying the author was actually criticising the media.

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What Mantel really wrote is about how the media make the royals suffer: 'I’m asking us to back off and not be brutes.'http://t.co/ZG8Rms8u

In pictures: Duchess of Cambridge's charity visit

The Duchess of Cambridge, as Patron of Action on Addiction, is visiting the charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, south London.

The Duchess of Cambridge is greeted by staff at Hope House in Clapham. Credit: Pool
The Duchess of Cambridge talks to charity staff. Credit: Pool
The Duchess of Cambridge talks to women who have benefited from the charity. Credit: Pool

Charity chief shows support for 'natural' Kate

The Duchess of Cambridge has been defended by a charity chief executive after a scathing attack by novelist Hilary Mantel.

Nick Barton, who heads Action on Addiction, which Kate supports as patron, described her as an "intelligent" woman genuinely interested in the work of his organisation.

During a lecture, Mantel, the double Booker Prize winner, said Kate appeared to have been "gloss-varnished" with a perfect plastic smile, in contrast to Princess Diana, who she described as awkward and emotionally incontinent.

Kate is currently touring the addiction charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, south London.

Asked for his reaction to Mantel's criticisms, Mr Barton said: "I don't think it's for me to comment on that kind of stuff. I speak of what I know - somebody who wants to help, is helpful and genuinely interested and is intelligent.

"I can only speak (of) what I know. I've met her several times and I found her to be engaging, I found her very natural, I found her actually genuinely interested in the subject."

Duchess of Cambridge visits London treatment centre

The Duchess of Cambridge, as Patron of Action on Addiction, is visiting the charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, south London this morning.

The Duchess of Cambridge. Credit: ITN

Hope House offers a safe, secure and comfortable place for women to recover from substance dependence and receive additional support for other compulsive disorders.

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Hope House. Credit: ITN

It is the first time Kate has been seen in public after photographs of her on holiday in Mustique were published by foreign media.

Read: Novelist attacks Duchess as 'shop-window mannequin'

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Clegg 'modernising out-of-date' royal succession rules

The reforms couldn't be more timely, given the fantastic news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby.

The other Commonwealth countries where Her Majesty The Queen is head of state have just given us the green light to change the law, and we are wasting no time.

At the moment, if the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is a girl, any younger brothers she has will overtake her in line to the throne.

We're modernising these out-of-date rules so that men and women in line to the Throne have equal rights.

– Deputy Prime minister Nick Clegg

Royal succession bill to be debated in Commons

The House of Commons will debate changes to the laws of royal succession today.

Royal Succession
If the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first child is a girl, she could become the future monarch. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The legislation would end discrimination against female royals so that men no longer took precedence over women in the order of succession.

That would mean the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first child can become monarch even if it is a girl who later has younger brothers.

The proposals will also end the bar on royal heirs marrying Catholics if they want to keep their entitlement to the throne.

Bookmaker suspends betting on Duke and Duchess having first child next year

The Duchess pictured yesterday during her visit to Cambridge.
The Duchess pictured yesterday during her visit to Cambridge. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Bookmaker Coral has suspended betting on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having their first child in 2013.

David Stevens, of Coral, said: "We saw numerous bets for a Royal new arrival throughout the Jubilee summer, and the betting went through the roof again this week when Prince William accepted a babygro while on a tour of Cambridge.

He added: "We cut the odds to 1-4 and then again to 1-8, at which point we decided to suspend the betting. If the money talks, 2013 will see a new addition to the Royal family."

For more on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Cambridge yesterday visit ITV Anglia.

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