Duchess of Cambridge quells pregnancy rumours with activities on NZ trip

Duchess of Cambridge quells pregnancy rumours with activities on NZ trip
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, tries to hit a ball using a cricket bat as she and her husband, Britain's Prince William, attend a promotional event for the upcoming Cricket World Cup in Christchurch.

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton squashed rumours of a pregnancy when she sipped on wine, went on a jetboat ride and even played cricket.

Royal watchers were scrutinising her in New Zealand on Sunday, after her husband, Prince William, appeared to hint that a second baby is on the way.

Prince William, Kate and their son Prince George are on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia.

During a visit to the acclaimed wine-producing area of Queenstown, there was intense interest on whether Kate would indulge in a drop or two.

Central Otago Pinot Noir chairman Lucie Lawrence, who escorted the Duchess at Amisfield Winery, said she had "six or seven" tastes.

"She was drinking it. She really enjoyed drinking the Pinot Noir," Ms Lawrence told AFP.

There was also no keeping Kate from accompanying the Duke on a wild jetboat ride on the Shotover River the same day, racing through shallow water at speeds of up to 85kmh.

The 25-minute river trip - which pregnant women are advised against taking - blasts by rocky outcrops, skims ragged boulders and speeds through narrow canyons.

The driver had taken his hand off the steering wheel to make a helicopter signal above his head - a signal to the royal couple that they needed to brace themselves for a 360-degree spin.

Mr Wayne Paton, 43, who had piloted the boat told the Telegraph: "They loved it.

"The Prince wanted me to go closer to the rocks. He said, 'You can go closer than that'. I was surprised at that."

And to top that off, on Monday, the Duchess played cricket while wearing heels.

The royal couple faced off in a light-hearted match in Christchurch, providing a moment of levity ahead of a remembrance service for victims of an earthquake that devastated the South Island city in 2011.

UNLIKELY SIGHT

Clad in a scarlet Luisa Spagnoli skirt suit and black heels, the Duchess made an unlikely sight as she strode to the crease clutching a yellow plastic bat, her face a picture of concentration as the Prince prepared to bowl from the other end.

His first ball was a fizzing bouncer that narrowly missed his wife's head, prompting her to wag her finger at him while the umpire warned the second-in-line-to-the-throne to find a better line and length.

The Duchess did manage to get bat on ball - and hit the rumours of her pregnancy out of the park.

The pair left for Australia yesterday.

This article was published on April 17 in The New Paper.

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