Prince William is left holding the baby


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The Independent Online

The Duke of Cambridge cradled a couple's baby today as he celebrated the achievements of a group of polar trekkers.

William held the infant - the son of one of the adventurers - in the crook of his right arm and looked down with loving eyes.

He appeared to get a little broody at a reception held at Goldsmiths' Hall in London to mark the achievements of a group of British soldiers who recreated the famous Scott-Amundsen race to the South Pole.

He was joined by Kate, who, when she chatted to the baby's proud parents, Vic and Hanna Vicary, separately from her husband, described their son as "very cute".

Hugo Eric Scott, dressed in a Superman romper suit, was born three weeks ago today and his name features tributes to both Mr Vicary's father who died in March and the famous British polar explorer.

Mr Vicary, 41, from Cornwall, a Warrant Officer Second Class with the Rifles, trekked to the South Pole in the footsteps of Captain Scott, with a team led by Warrant Officer Mark Langridge.

Another group of soldiers took on the role of the Amundsen team and, just like the original race staged 100 years ago, the men following the route taken by the famous Norwegian adventurer reached the South Pole first.

When William was first introduced to the couple the baby was being held by his father and the Duke said: "He looks very sweet," going on to describe the youngster's name as "fantastic".

Mr Vicary said: "Two months after I came back from the South Pole we had a healthy baby boy.

"For the name, we came up with Hugo, Eric - for my father, who passed away - and Scott, after Captain Scott, because we were in his footsteps.

"The Duke liked the name he thought it was very apt. My wife asked if he would like to hold him and he took hold of him."

Mr Vicary described William as a "natural" with children, adding: "Kate said the baby was 'very cute' and had doting eyes on him."