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Will and Kate join Prince Charles in Scotland

10:27 AM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
Prince Charles jokes with son Prince William and daughter-in-law Duchess Kate of Cambridge during engagement in Scotland. (Photo: WPA Pool Getty Images)
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Prince William and Duchess Kate continued their two day visit to Scotland today, joining Dad - Prince Charles - at Dumfries House, one of the U.K.'s stately Downton Abbey-style homes that the Prince of Wales himself helped save for the nation.

But let's get the titles straight: That's the Earl and Countess of Strathearn, as they are known in Scotland, and the Duke of Rothesay. More to the point: Two future kings and a future queen with a future monarch in the womb were creating excited buzz in the north country, pressing flesh, kissing babies and chatting amiably about the eagerly awaited royal baby.

Today, Duchess Kate was in a brick-red Armani coat from 2006 with a red-and-yellow plaid scarf around her neck and black gloves and black suede boots. Pictures in the British press showed the royal trio laughing together, especially Charles.

The Scottish engagements have mostly required wrapping up against cold weather, hiding Duchess Kate's pregnancy. Yesterday she wore a Scotland-friendly blue-and-grey plaid (Scots call it tartan) short coat during engagements in Glasgow.

At about six months along, she is still hardly showing signs of it; yesterday, she even played ping-pong with Will and fooled around with a basketball,

Although they're still keeping some things private - is it a boy or a girl? - she revealed a few more details yesterday in exchanges with Scots, who are just as curious as the rest of the world to know more about the royal baby.

Kate confided she's due in mid-July, plans to stop working in June, has a short list of names for boys and girls, and keeps getting text messages from her friends with new suggestions, according to what Scots told British reporters.

Today the royal trio watched a crowd of Youth United kids tackle an obstacle course at the new outdoor center they officially opened at Dumfries House, in Ayrshire south of Glasgow.

On arrival, they greeted well-wishers in a walkabout, where once again they received gifts of flowers and teddy bears. One little girl showed William a stuffed toy she wanted to give to Kate; he said, "She'll love it."

Also, Dayna Miller, an 11-year-old girl in the crowd, showed Kate her $22 Barbie-style "Princess Catherine" doll, the Mirror reported, and the duchess was shocked.

"No! Oh no, is that me? Is that meant to be me? Does my hair really look like that?!" she exclaimed.

Dayna tried to reassure her. "I told her she was much prettier than the doll and her hair was not nearly so big and she laughed and seemed happy," she said. "I can't believe how nice she was, though. She was just lovely."

Dumfries House is one of Charles' many preservationist good deeds; in 2007, the Great Steward of Scotland, as he is also known in the north, led the effort to buy the 18th-century estate and land to preserve it for the nation. Now it's open to the public as a tourist destination, and the new center will host outdoor activities for Scottish schoolchildren and groups like the Scouts.

(Youth United is another of Charles' projects: He created it in 2009 by combining the largest youth groups, such as Scouts, Girl Guides and military cadets, under one organization.)

Later, Will and Kate are scheduled for a visit to "watch the submarine races," as they used to say once upon a time in the USA. Actually, it's serious business: They'll be inspecting a defense contractor plant in Cumbria, in northern England, where they will see the new Astute-class nuclear-powered submarines built for the Royal Navy. They will meet with the crew of one sub, Artful, under construction, before heading home to London.

Maria Puente, USA TODAY

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