'The most nerve-wracking moment of her life': Friend claims Kate and Wills celebrated baby news with a shepherd's pie… and an early night
Royals learnt of pregnancy at their Welsh cottage in October, according to one of the Duchess's oldest friendsFormer school friend Jessica Hay reveals pair wanted to make news public at Christmas
Pregnancy instead emerged when Duchess was admitted to hospital with acute morning sickness
Duchess 'now feeling much better, making plans for Christmas… and craving papaya fruit'Parents-to-be 'have told doctors they don't want to know the sex of baby'
09:42 GMT, 10 December 2012
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated news of her pregnancy with a shepherd's pie and an early night, a friend claimed today.
Former school friend Jessica Hay claimed the Royal couple discovered she was expecting at their small, three-bedroom cottage in Wales in October.
She described it as 'the most nerve-racking moment of Kate's entire life'.
But according to Jessica, there were no champagne corks popping. Instead, the pair tucked into a home-cooked traditional shepherd's pie and went to bed early.
Baby joy: A former school friend of Kate Middleton has claimed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge learnt of her pregnancy at their small, three-bedroom cottage in Wales in October
In an exclusive interview with Australian magazine New Idea, Jessica also tells of the drama which unfolded when Kate fell ill and how the Royal couple's plan to announce their baby news at Christmas was blown.
Jessica was completely correct when she first tipped the pregnancy, with a nod and a wink predicting a Christmas announcement, when she spoke exclusively to the magazine three weeks ago.
Not even the Royal pair could have predicted what would happen next.
The ecstatic Duchess was excited to share
the news with her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, and the couple
visited them at the family cottage in the village of Bucklebury,
Berkshire. Kate was well and putting on weight.
No champagne corks popping: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured leaving hospital on Thursday after she was treated for severe morning sickness) celebrated news she was expecting with a shepherd's pie and an early night, the friend claimed
During a relaxing weekend, Wills and Kate were looking forward to some of Carole's cooking ahead of a busy Christmas when they planned to tell the world Kate was finally expecting.
But on the Saturday morning, December 1, Kate became ill.
Jessica, one of the Duchess's oldest friends, tells New Idea: 'She took to her bed for most of the weekend and on Monday morning, her mother and William told her she must get herself checked out by medics.'
William insisted on driving Catherine himself, keeping things low-key but then Kate was admitted to the private King Edward VII Hospital.
The good news, says Jessica, is that after her hospital ordeal, Kate is now feeling much better: 'I'm hearing she's already craving food again – she particularly wants papaya fruit and they're busy making plans for Christmas.
'She's already feeling much better and, as they do with everything, they're getting through the ordeal by making each other laugh.'
Excited: The friend claimed the couple told the Duchess's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton (pictured left with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Royal wedding) about ten days ago
Although the Royal couple originally planned to make their announcement on December 24, Jessica says a great weight has been lifted from the pair's shoulders because they don't like keeping secrets: 'They're relieved everyone knows and they're just focused on getting her health firmly back on track.'
One that speculation that the early pregnancy condition called hyperemesis gravidarum can be an indication of twins, Jessica says: 'Catherine would love twins and a lot of people in their circle in London say it could indeed be the case that she is expecting twins.
'If it were a boy and a girl, it would be a dream come true for them both.'
However, she reveals that Wills and Kate have told doctors they don't want to know the sex and have not been buying any baby clothes yet, either. They are keeping with tradition and want to find out when he or she arrives.
Jessica's tip for a girl's name for their summer baby is Diana: 'Funnily enough, Diana is a name Catherine has always loved.'
Victoria is another favourite. But Jessica says that Catherine is following her mother's suggestion that she should meet the baby first and then decide on a name.
And the duchess will be a hands-on mum, with very few nannies: 'There will be a house with a lot of laughter rather than staffed with nannies, governesses and butlers and so on.'
Jessica claimed the Royals learnt of the pregnancy after using a simple High Street testing kit which would have revealed the thin blue line the couple had been praying for.