Royal tour: Kate Middleton reveals baby hopes
The Duchess of Cambridge spoke about her hopes of starting a family when she met the father of a ''beautiful'' little girl.

After being presented with a bouquet by Raffaela, the two-year-old child of David Cheater, a British ex-pat, during a walkabout in Canada, Kate Middleton suggested that she was feeling broody.

When Mr Cheater wished the Duchess well in her efforts to start a family, she thanked him saying: “Yes, I hope to.’’

Mr Cheater, 28, a landscape gardener who moved to Quebec 18 months ago with his wife, said: “Kate said to me 'what a beautiful daughter you have’.

The Duchess laid her hand on the youngster’s head and smiled at her.

It is the first time the Duchess has spoken publicly about having children, although Prince William stated when the couple got engaged that a family was something they both wanted.

If Kate follows royal precedence she could be giving birth to an heir before April next year.

William was born on June 21, 1982 about 11 months after his parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, married in July 1981. The Queen gave birth to Charles on November 14, 1948, just short of a year after marrying the Duke of Edinburgh on November 20, 1947.

Despite the mostly favourable reception the Duchess of Cambridge has had during the couple’s first official overseas visit together, she saw the flipside of royal tours as she had to endure taunts from protesters who branded her and her husband “parasites”.

More than 200 French-speaking separatists from the Réseau de Résistance du Québècois (Quebec Network of Resistance) confronted them with placards demanding “William Go Home!” as the couple arrived at Quebec’s City Hall to be given the freedom of the city.

Other vile messages were directed at the Duchess herself. It was the harshest test the Duchess has had to endure since becoming a member of the Royal family, but she and her husband appeared unfazed by the abuse as the Duke addressed in French a largely supportive crowd and the Duchess stood by his side, smiling.

A royal aide said the couple were “taking it in their stride”, adding: “It is a very warm welcome they are getting on the whole, so they consider it to be all part of the rich fabric of Canada.”

On Saturday, the Duke and Duchess had encountered a smaller protest in Montreal, where a group of about 30 republicans were waiting for them when they visited a hospital. One of the protesters threw an egg at their car, but the couple seemed oblivious to it as they were greeted by hospital staff.

It was all a far cry from their sedate overnight journey up the St Lawrence River from Montreal to Quebec aboard the frigate HMCS Montreal.

Having slept in the captain’s cabin, which had the only double bed on board, the Duke and Duchess attended a Sunday morning prayer service on the bridge before they were taken to see a project for homeless young people.

When they arrived at a drop-in centre, a blue-and-green-haired punk became their latest fan after he impressed the couple by juggling with cigar boxes.

Pierre, 24, a circus skills student, chatted with the Duke who described the juggling as “awesome”. Pierre admitted he was not a monarchist before he met the couple.

“I’m not really a big royalist, but it’s special to meet them, a privilege,” said Pierre, who was living on the streets before the centre helped him find a home and complete his education.

The couple were shown around the centre by Marie-Piper, 23, who wore denim hot pants, and Steven, 21, who wore a bullet through his earlobe.

Prince William could not resist the chance to take on Steven at table football, shouting “Come on the claret and blues” in a reference to the team he supports, Aston Villa, as they drew the game 4-4.