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How Meghan Markle Has Helped Duchess Kate During Her Difficult Pregnancy (Exclusive)

Giving herself a once-over before she and husband Prince William made the mile-long journey from Kensington Palace to the Royal Albert Hall, Duchess Kate felt she’d nailed it. As with the Golden Globes, there was chatter that those attending the February 18 BAFTA Awards would wear black in support of the Time’s Up initiative battling the mistreatment of women. And she felt that by tying a black sash around her dark green Jenny Packham and adorning herself in emerald jewels (one of the hues of the British suffragette movement), she could give “a nod” toward where she stood, a Kate insider reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly, “without making a full-blown statement.”

Related: Princess Charlotte of Cambridge’s Royal Life in Photos

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Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Christmas Day December 25, 2017. Karen Murdoch

As she and William mingled with nominees Allison Janney and Daniel Kaluuya, “she felt confident,” says a source. “But evening engagements get harder the later into pregnancy Kate gets.”

At seven months, appearing regal can be a royal pain. Plagued by the same severe morning sickness she endured with both Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2, the 36-year-old has nodded in agreement as well-meaning friends “have told her it gets easier every time,” says a family insider, “but I think she’s found it challenging. It’s taken quite a toll.”

Fortunately, her future sister-in-law Meghan Markle is just a short walk away. The former Suits star often pops over from the palace’s Nottingham Cottage, where she lives with fiancé Prince Harry to share a cup of tea or offer up some advice. Says one source, “She shares tips she’s read about healthy eating.”

Kate’s charming prince, 35, dotes on her as well. “William does all he can to make sure she’s comfortable,” says an insider. “He just wants her to feel supported.”

Prince William Kate Middleton BAFTA
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Duchess Kate attend the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) held at Royal Albert Hall on February 18, 2018 in London, England. Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Related: Prince George’s Grumpiest Faces

Come late April — when she’s set to welcome her third heir — Kate will have more helpers in waiting. As they did with George and Charlotte, she and William plan to draft a few baby nurses for the first six to eight weeks, “mostly to help with establishing a sleeping routine,” says a source.

Us Weekly cover Jennifer Aniston Justin Theroux

But after the initial two months, they’ll whittle the staff down to longtime nanny Maria Borrallo and a house assistant. Notes an insider, “They feel they can handle everything with the same arrangements as before.”

For more on the royal pair’s baby prep — including what they know about the gender — pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now!

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