Is Kate Middleton Too Thin To Bear an Heir?

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Anwar Hussein/

This week a top UK doctor warned than the Duchess of Cambridge is ‘dangerously close to being underweight’ adding, “if she continues to lose any more weight it’s entirely medically plausible she will have extreme difficulty getting pregnant.” Dr. Chris Steele, who issued the warning, is a well-known television doctor who has appeared on the daytime show This Morning for thirteen years, and is well respected for his common sense as well as his medical knowledge.

wenn3424783.jpgCould he be right? Kate is understood to be a UK size 6 (US size2), which is on the lean side for her tall 5ft 10 frame. I followed the late Princess Diana’s fashion for many years. She was a similar height to Kate, yet I never came across her wearing a single outfit below a UK size 10 (US size 6), although some outfits were clearly hanging off her at some stages in her battles with the eating disorder bulimia nervosa.

Despite her problems, Diana did conceive her two sons, but could Kate’s baby plans really be in trouble? Another expert, Dr. Julian Spinks, who writes for the Daily Star said: “If she loses one more pound, her fertility will be reduced. She’s on the line at the minute and the most important thing is that she doesn’t lose any more.”

Kate has been used recently as a role model for girls who want to be stick-thin, with sick pro-anorexia websites creepily altering her image to make her look even thinner. This is bad for girls who are already inclined towards eating disorders and it’s not good for Kate to be used in such an unfair and unhealthy way.

What then is the healthy way and is Kate really in trouble? Years ago, a relative of a girl who studied at St. Andrews University with Kate told me she was very much part of the dinner party circuit, taking care over the preparation of food and enjoying it. But Kate went to the gym very frequently even then and was also known for early morning runs in her first year so that she would come into breakfast at St. Salvator’s Hall looking fresh and blooming with health. This was no doubt noticed by Prince William, who was also at St. Salvator’s!

A girl who stood next to Kate at the Boodles Boxing Ball, a major charity event in 2008, told me: “I’ve never seen a figure like that - so toned and so thin in the middle.” Kate’s figure has been a topic of discussion among high society for some time. But Kate was thin as a child. She grew up quickly into a tall, skinny girl, who put on a few pounds of ‘puppy fat’ in her late teens, which was soon lost by her exercise regime.

During her training in 2008 for the dragon boat race that she later ditched, Kate lost even more weight and assumed the super-slim, toned figure she has now. She then lost a few more pounds in the run-up to her wedding, allegedly on the Dukan Diet, alongside her mother, Carole, and sister, Pippa. There have never been suggestions from anyone who has known Kate that she has eating problems.

Unfortunately, this is not true of other young girls. I have heard first-hand stories that eating disorders are rife at some of the UK’s top all-girls’ schools. Anorexia and its twin, bulimia, can strike when girls are under serious pressure to perform well and to conform to socially- accepted interpretations of beauty and style. This affects rich and poor alike.

It is well known that Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria recovered from her eating disorders, then married the gym-owner, Daniel Westling, who had helped her back to health. I know of aristocrats and rich-listers who have had terrible problems with their daughters’ excessive dieting that turned into near starvation.

Eating disorders can lead to life-threatening illness. In the UK, the Department of Health bombards us with warnings about fat babies and overweight youngsters who are storing up medical problems for later in life. Yet, there is little attention to the epidemic of anorexia and bulimia, which is now also affecting young men. It is a simple fact that dropping to a very low weight poses a great strain on the vital organs and can lead to premature death far more quickly than being just a little overweight.

Obviously, Kate is not in this category, but she should heed Dr. Steele’s warnings. My view is that there is a happy medium, and while Kate is still well above the danger zone for her own health, she needs to put on a few more pounds by eating well and not overdoing the exercise regime if she hopes to become a mum in the near future.

Do you think Kate is too skinny? Send you views to The Morton Report.

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Margaret Holder has been writing about the Royal Family in newspapers and magazines for thirty years. She also broadcasts frequently on the BBC, both radio and television. She reckons she has now written more royal documentaries than anyone else in the world. Some are still being shown on channels in…

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