The Duchess of Sussex has met staff - and dogs - at the animal welfare charity she recently became a patron of and received a rather unexpected remark about her growing baby bump.

Meghan visited the headquarters of Mayhew which works to keep cats and dogs, whether family pets or companions for the homeless, safe and well.

On being introduced to the six-month's pregnant duchess, one bold volunteer said "you're a fat lady".

Meghan laughed and said, "I'll take it".

The dogs and cats she met were a little more tactful. Among them was Jack Russell Terrier Maggie who was adopted last year and Pomeranian Foxy who is off to her new home this week.

The charity also does outreach work in the UK and internationally with initiatives such as its TheraPaws animal therapy programme which works to improve wellbeing in their local community.

Their homeless Pet Refuge service provides shelter and care for the pets of people in crisis for short periods of time.

Meghan with ex-resident Maggie (previously known as Truffle), with her new owner Emma. Credit: Twitter/Kensington Palace

Meghan, who revealed earlier this week she is six months pregnant with her baby due around the end of April beginning of May, looked stylish in a dress and an Armani coat.

She was named as a patron of Mayhew, based in north west London, last week, one of four patronages announced at the time, reflecting her interest in supporting the arts, vulnerable women and education.

A dog lover, the duchess supported various animal rescue centres in her home city of Los Angeles.

Meghan had two pet dogs when living in North America but reportedly had to leave behind one of her dogs Bogart, a Labrador-Shepherd mix, who was deemed too old to make the move to the UK.

Her other dog Guy, a Beagle, did make the journey and is now part of the family.

Meghan wore an Armani coat for her visit. Credit: PA