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When a wellwisher gave the former Kate Middleton a teddy bear during a rare public appearance Tuesday, one woman in the crowd said she heard Kate respond: "Thank you, I will take that for my d..." before she broke off her comments.
That reported exchange was enough for Britain's tabloids to trumpet "It's a girl" in Wednesday's papers.
Sandra Cook, who was standing near Kate, told reporters that she asked Kate if she had been about to say, 'daughter' and was told at first that the royal couple did not know and then that the couple would not reveal the child's gender.
Last month, Italian gossip magazine Chi published pictures of a bikini-clad royal duchess and mama to be, a tiny baby bump on show with William on the island of Mustique.
"Everybody is entitled to privacy, but it's just different when you're a royal. They all crave normality, but they're not just like everybody else," said Victoria Arbiter, ABC News, royal contributor.
Last summer when a French magazine published photos of a topless Kate sunbathing in a private home in France, the royal couple sued the publication, warning British tabloids that more lawsuits could follow.
The magazine - owned by former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi - published a 26-page special featuring topless photos of the duchess while she and William vacationed in the south of France.
The royal couple took legal action to halt the use of those intimate photos, but had only limited success. Although a French court ordered gossip magazine Closer to stop further publication of the pictures, they went on to be published in Chi, other publications across Europe, and on the Internet.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.