THE NEWS that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her second child was met with joy around the world.

But Royal fans in Oxford were left disappointed as her extreme morning sickness meant she had to cancel her appearance in the city yesterday.

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, instead officially opened the £21m Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building at St Hugh’s College alone.

Speaking after the ceremony he said: “She’s feeling okay. It has been a tricky few days, a week or so, but basically we are thrilled, it’s great news.

“We are hoping things settle down and she feels better.”

Prince William arrived at the St Margaret’s Road college just after 1.30pm to crowds of fans, all eager to congratulate him.

He was greeted by five-year-old Beth Barton, from St Aloysius Catholic Primary School, who gave Prince William flowers and a toy swan.

Beforehand she said: “I’m excited about giving him the toy for the baby.”

There were also 30 pupils from Blackbird Leys Academy, with 10 pupils from each of its three schools – Orchard Meadow Primary School, Windrush Primary School and Pegasus Primary School – taking part in the day.

Waving Union flags, they practiced their Mandarin before Prince William arrived.

Headteacher Jill Hudson said: “We have only just told them who they are coming to meet. We’ve been learning lots of facts about China ahead of this.”

Oxford Mail:

  • The Duke of Cambridge performed the official opening of the new building

Isabella Rawlings, two, from Stokenchurch, presented Prince William with flowers for Kate.

Her father Tom Rawlings, 33, said Isabella had chosen the flowers herself because the Duchess was ill.

Brother and sister Dominic and Antonia Kerrigan, 13 and 14, lined the grounds with Cydney Cooper, 15. The Larkmead School students were joined by Cydney’s mother Nicole, 37, who works within the college’s finance department.

She said: “I have got butterflies in my tummy and goose pimples. He is just so nice.”

Dominic said: “It was amazing. I feel special now.”

Just after the encounter Cydney said: “My heart is still pumping.”

St Nicholas School pupil Joe Gibbs then offered the Duke a medal in celebration of the school’s Diamond Jubilee.

The 10-year-old said: “I was pretty nervous. He said thank you and congratulated us.

“I feel good. I’m going to go home and tell my family.”

While greeting the crowd of young pupils, Prince William asked youngsters if they had had a good morning. He was also heard asking they where they went on holiday and whether they liked maths at school.

Outside the college gates Marie Godard, from Kidlington, brought a present for the new baby.

The 43-year-old, who works for Age UK, said: “I wanted to see Prince William and Kate, I love them. I brought a little toy for the baby.

“I am very happy to hear about another one coming, it means I can’t see Kate but I’m very happy.”

Jean Field, 80, came from her North Oxford home to give Prince William her best wishes.

She said: “I like the Royals. I just want to see Prince William. I sent hand-made cards when George was born and on his birthday, and I got replies both times saying thank you. It’s lovely.”

The Dickson Poon China Centre Building will allow all China studies at the university to take place in the same building.

During his tour of the building Prince William met staff, students, architects and donors and saw the rare Selden Map of China, one of the earliest maps to show shipping routes linking Ming-era China to markets in south Asia and beyond.

He then joined a traditional Chinese ribbon cutting ceremony – where all those involved cut the ribbon at the same time – before unveiling a plaque set to be housed in the centre’s main entrance.

Prince William said: “I'm sorry that Catherine could not join me today. She is sorry to miss it, and she hopes to come back in the future to meet you all for herself.”

Lord Chris Patten, chancellor of the University of Oxford, said he was “delighted” Prince William was there, and added: “The first Chinese book arrived at the University’s Bodleian Library in 1604 so Oxford has a long tradition of scholarship about China.”

Yesterday was the second time Clarence House has been forced to reveal Kate’s pregnancy early because of the condition hyperemesis gravidarum.

In a statement, officials said she is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace and the Queen and both families were delighted with the news.

Fair offers thrills and spills for young and old

WHILE the crowds were awaiting the arrival of a royal visitor, friends Hilda Beesley and Vi Barnes were enjoying more of an Oxford tradition.

Oxford Mail:

ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR: Vi Barnes, left, and Hilda Beesley 

The annual two-day St Giles’ Fair was officially opened by Lord Mayor of Oxford Mohammed Abbasi and officials from the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, which helped to organise it.

Traditional funfair activities were on offer including waltzers, a helter skelter Air – a “thrill ride” which swings some 30 people up to 100 feet into air.

Mrs Beelsey, 86, said she had been going to the fair almost every year for about six decades.

The grandmother-of-four said: “We go every year and walk through and look at everything and it’s always fantastic.”

Upon opening the event, Mayor Abbasi said the fair was one of “the greatest traditions” in Oxford.

He said: “Every year it brings in large numbers of people, young and old, to try out the many attractions.”

St Giles’ Fair dates back to the early 17th century and celebrates the feast of the patron saint of St Giles Church.

For its duration this year, St Giles’ is closed to traffic and diversions are in place via Walton Street, Kingston Road and St Margaret’s Road.


Oxford Mail:

I was disappointed Kate did not come but it was great to see Prince William and get pictures. It was definitely worth it.

Ciara Garbutt, 40, Cutteslowe, beauty therapist

Oxford Mail:

I wish them every happiness with their new child. I hope that George and his new sibling get along.

Elizabeth Friedman, East Oxford, violin teacher, with baby Andrew

Oxford Mail:

I thought it would be nice to come down and show it all to the baby. He’s only three months younger than Prince George.

Zohra Jankinson, 44, North Oxford, tutor, with son Louis

Oxford Mail:

It is very good news about the baby, very exciting for George to have a brother or sister. I cannot wait.

Yvonne Oloo, right, 43, Kennington, chef

Oxford Mail:

It is fabulous news about the second baby. They’ve probably been thinking of a sibling for George for a while.

Edward Anyaeji, 39, economics post-graduate student

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