Children give Cherie a show of support

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The Independent Online
CHERIE BLAIR is "thoroughly looking forward" to enjoying the pregnancy which took her and her husband by surprise, she said yesterday. The Prime Minister's wife spoke about her feelings for the first time publicly since the news that she was expecting her fourth child broke last week.

Mrs Blair, guest of honour at the first performance in London's newly refurbished Royal Opera House, said: "Every baby is a miracle and this one was certainly a surprise. I am looking forward to going through this pregnancy."

There was rapturous applause from the 350-strong audience, mainly children from London, for Mrs Blair, now 13 weeks pregnant. Earlier she had mingled with the excitable children, many of whom tried to clamber over the seats just to shake her hand.

She appeared on stage with Sir Anthony Dowell, director of the Royal Ballet, to introduce an hour-long performance by the Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School. She told her audience she had thought her time caring for babies had passed and she remembered those times with nostalgia.

This, she said, had turned to anticipation with the knowledge that she would be seeing another child growing up.

She added that she and her husband were "overwhelmed" by the response of their friends, family and the public who had showered them with kind words, flowers and even baby clothes.