Pregnant duchess laughs after being called ‘a fat lady’ during charity visit

Pensioner makes comment to Duchess of Sussex during tour of animal welfare charity in London.
Pensioner makes comment to Duchess of Sussex during tour of animal welfare charity in London.

The Duchess of Sussex was affectionately described as a “fat lady” when she visited an animal welfare charity – and fell in love with a Jack Russell dog.

Meghan, who is six months pregnant, showed off her large baby bump in a stylish figure-hugging dress by high street retailer H&M, with a coat by Armani, when she visited her new charity Mayhew.

The duchess toured the charity’s north-west London headquarters in Kensal Green to mark last week’s announcement that she has become the organisation’s patron.

When she chatted to a group of pensioners from a local dementia care home who receive petting dog visits organised by Mayhew, she was introduced to Gothrine McEachrom, known as Peggy, who said: “You’re a fat lady”.

Royal visit to Mayhew charity
The Duchess of Sussex  after a visit to Mayhew, an animal welfare charity she is now supporting as patron (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Meghan laughed and replied “I’ll take that.”

When Peggy, who had a strong Jamaican accent, said she thought the duchess might be having a son, Meghan replied “You think it’s going to be a boy, I don’t know either.”

But when the pensioner questioned whether she really did know the sex of her unborn child Meghan added: “I don’t, I promise you – no – we’re going to be surprised.”

The duchess made the group laugh when she said: “I ask everyone what they think and everyone has a very strong opinion about it – and it’s either a boy and a girl.”

During the visit Meghan was introduced to Maggie, a one-year-old Jack Russell who had gone up for “adoption” on the charity’s website.

The duchess picked up the dog when she spotted it was shivering and clutched it to her chest when she chatted to Mayhew staff who told her about the charity’s projects in India and Afghanistan.

Royal visit to Mayhew charity
The Duchess of Sussex with Jack Russell called Minnie (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Meghan had two pet dogs when living in North America but reportedly had to leave behind her dog Bogart, a Labrador-Shepherd cross, who was thought to be 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 and has joined the Sussex’s other pet, a black Labrador.

Holding Maggie, who was brought to the Mayhew in November after her owner was unable to care for her, the Duchess said: “We can’t get another dog before the baby, our hands are full.”

The duchess later described her early experiences with her rescue dog Guy, who had been traumatised by earlier experiences.

She said: “He was petrified to come in the front door, he didn’t know how to go up and down stairs – all the things you’re patient with and then you end up with the best dog in the world.”

Royal visit to Mayhew charity
The Duchess of Sussex meets another Jack Russell, Maggi (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA

It is thought Meghan researched Mayhew on the internet before approaching the charity to learn more about its work, and made two private visits, the first in November, before her public tour.

The charity was founded in 1886 and today sees itself as an animal welfare social worker, keeping cats and dogs, whether family pets or companions for the homeless, safe and well alongside their owners, and supporting communities.

It has a pet refuge service, provides vet services to vulnerable owners and has a team of animal welfare officers who work with local residents helping local communities.

During the visit, the duchess was shown a family of five kittens and their mother being cared for by the charity, who had been brought in by a resident.

Wearing five-inch stiletto heels and her £24.99 H & M dress, Meghan also met many of the staff at Mayhew’s headquarters which it has occupied for more than 130 years.