A colleague has a West African in-law who recently lost a loved one. It was a sudden death in the home, and when she (the in-law) got there, the property was surrounded by the flashing blue lights of emergency vehicles.

As a devout Christian, the woman was desperate to anoint the dying, but found it impossible to break through the line of first responders. Increasingly frustrated, the heartbroken woman began yelling at the paramedics, explaining that her faith meant she must be permitted to enter the house and retrieve the anointing oil.

“Do you believe in God?” she shouted at them in turn, until one answered her question.

“Yes,” he replied, and allowed her through.

Only later, with the cooling of her grief, did she realise that the paramedic had been Prince William.

Will our future head of state have any more children? As a former royal correspondent – and a cheerleader for larger families – I find myself musing on the question and wondering whether the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge feel inclined to set an example, and if so, what kind.

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