The Duchess of Cambridge proudly displayed her baby bump for the first time today, looking vibrant, healthy and happy.

She looked amazing as she made her first official engagement since she became pregnant and was clearly happy to show off her growing bump to an adoring public.

Kate, who is almost halfway through her pregnancy, visited Hope House, a 22-bed residential facility for women from all over the country to get over addictions to drugs and alcohol.

Duchess of Cambridge shows off her baby bump in the face of 'plastic princess' attack by author Hilary MantelPA


Looking tanned after her recent holiday in Mustique, Kate braved a chill morning in London wearing only a grey patterned wrap dress by upmarket High Street range Max Mara.

She was greeted by a small crowd of wellwishers, waving and smiling back, before telling waiting staff how delighted she was to be visiting.

"At least the sun is out," she said as she readjusted her dress.

Her natural cheeriness and easy charm with her adoring fans was in stark contrast to comments made by Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel, who said the media saw her as a 'plastic princess' with her 'only point and purpose to give birth.'

The head of a charity supported by the Duchess of Cambridge hit back author's comments, saying she is an 'intelligent' woman who is proving to be a huge asset to the causes she backs.

Nick Barton, chief executive of Action on Addiction, said: "I can only speak of what I know, and having met the Duchess several times I find her to be engaging, natural and genuinely interested in the subject.

"You can tell a lot about someone from the questions they ask and she asks really good questions, the questions of someone who wants to learn. She is also an intelligent woman."

See more pics of the Royal bump below