The Princess of Wales held a “sweet” premature baby in her arms on a solo visit to a maternity unit.
Mother-of-three Kate toured the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford to hear about the holistic support it provides to pregnant women and new mothers.
While in the special care baby unit (SCBU), the princess held Bianca Moran, who was born six weeks prematurely on Tuesday.
Bianca’s mother, Szilvia Novak, 43, who is originally from Budapest in Hungary, asked the royal if she would like to hold the baby while the pair were talking in the hospital’s SCBU.
Kate replied: “Am I allowed to?” before a member of staff helped Ms Novak pass the baby to the princess.
As she cradled Bianca in her arms, Kate said: “She’s very sweet.”
Afterwards, Ms Novak said: “I asked (Kate) if she wanted to hold (Bianca) and she opted for it. I can’t blame her. (Bianca) is cute.
“(The princess) was lovely to speak to. I was really impressed. You don’t feel like you have classes between you. It’s really nice.”
The princess visited different sections of the maternity unit during her tour.
She spoke to staff and service users from the jasmine team, which helps women affected by mental health illnesses during pregnancy and the initial postnatal period.
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In the neonatal ward, she spoke to mothers of newborn babies.
Jess Kemp, 27, from Guildford, who gave birth to baby Hugo on Monday, said Kate “was so warm and lovely to speak to”.
She added: “What a lovely way to introduce the baby (to the world). It’s a lovely thing to tell him when he grows up and to share with family as well.”
Crowds of people lined the hospital’s corridors during the visit.
Phones in hand, they hoped to catch a glimpse of the royal.
Kate stopped regularly to ask questions, showing an interest in the treatment that the hospital offers.
The royal was dressed in an ochre Karen Millen belted dress and Emily Mortimer earrings,
Several people asked for selfies, two children gave her flowers and one woman, who had already had contractions, delayed her epidural to speak to the princess.
When speaking to a soon-to-be mother who had stopped her for a chat, Kate admitted that it “took ages” for her and her husband to choose the names of their children.
The princess’s departure was delayed as she stopped to speak to many people on her way out, with the crowds cheering and waving as she went by.
More than an hour-and-a-half after she had arrived, the princess left the hospital.
The rain had just stopped and she waved to the crowds as she got into a dark Range Rover.