Hundreds gather to see Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton at Emma Bridgewater factory in Stoke

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Kate Middleton's mug design for Emma Bridgewater

Kate Middleton’s mug design for Emma Bridgewater

By Lauren Roberts and Becci Heyes
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Emma Bridgewater factory in Stoke-on-Trent to catch a glimpse of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.

The Duchess visited the Potteries today (February 18) as part of her work for the East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) to view the specially designed charity mugs and teapots.

Kate, who is seven months pregnant with her second child, stepped out in a petrol blue wool MaxMara coat, Séraphine floral dress and navy blue Jimmy Choo court shoes.

She wore her hair in her signature half up, half down style and carried a clutch bag to match her shoes.

The mugs, which will go on sale on March 3, cost £19.95 each with £5 going to terminally ill children and their families to help build a new hospice in Norfolk.

The 33-year-old has been a patron of EACH since 2012.

Emma Bridgewater’s husband Matthew Rice designed the first mug with ladybirds, butterflies and sunflowers.

But when Kate was presented with the design in November 2014, she made her own suggestions for a second mug, which features just the ladybirds.

Duchess of Cambridge with the ceramic tile

Duchess of Cambridge with the ceramic tile

Decorating studio manager Paul Adamiec said: “She was lovely and she asked how long I had been working here.

“This is our third royal visit!”

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton

Duchess of Cambridge with Emma Bridgewater

During her tour around the factory in Lichfield Street, Stoke-on-Trent, Kate spoke to a number of children and their families who are cared for by the Donna Louise Hospice.

Factory tour guide Jan Roberts said: “She did not just come in briefly.

“She sat down and talked to each family.”

The soon-to-be mum-of-two tried her hand at ceramic art as well as making a plate.

Georgina Willott and Evie Whittaker, daughters of factory workers, presented Kate with flowers before she unveiled a plaque with the ladybird and sunflowers design to commemorate her visit.

The Duchess arrived in the city in a dark red helicopter with the royal crest on the side, where she was transferred into a blue Land Rover to take her to the factory.

Pregnant Duchess receiving flowers from Evie WHittaker and Georgina Willott

Pregnant Duchess receiving flowers from Evie WHittaker and Georgina Willott

View StaffsLive’s special video report of the Duchess’ visit, below:

(StaffsLive video report by Ciara Lawn, Ella Coyle, Monica Rimmer and Grainne Mullen)

(Main picture by Benjamin Furst)

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