Kate and William: Duchess pregnant, palace says


Royal historian Kate Williams: ''This child will come to the throne as the king or queen''

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The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby, St James's Palace has announced.

Members of the Royal Family and the duchess's family, the Middletons, are said to be delighted.

A spokesman said the duchess, who is thought to be less than 12 weeks pregnant, has been admitted to a London hospital with acute morning sickness and is likely to stay for several days.

The baby - the couple's first - will be born third in line to the throne, after Prince Charles and Prince William.

Catherine and William, who are both 30, were married at Westminster Abbey in April 2011.

As with William and Kate's wedding, this pregnancy will be played out both on a private and a very public stage.

It was the great unsaid. As one historian put it, the first "duty and ambition" of someone in the duchess' position was to produce an heir.

Marriages and births are crucial to the very survival of the ancient institution.

When the baby is born, Prince Harry's importance reduces and he relinquishes the position of third-in-line to the throne.

Even if it's a girl, the government is insistent she will be head of state of Britain and, as things stand, 15 other countries where the Queen still reigns.

The law will be changed, they say, to ensure she would not be overtaken by any younger brother.

The hope in royal circles will be that the future of the monarchy has now been secured for another generation.

BBC's royal correspondent Peter Hunt said William and Kate were staying at her parents in Berkshire at the weekend and travelled to the private London hospital from there by car.

William spent several hours with his wife but left the King Edward VII hospital shortly after 20:00 GMT.

It is understood that Kate is being cared for by gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, who delivered the Countess of Wessex's two children.

The duchess was last seen in public on Friday when she visited her old school, St Andrew's, in Pangbourne in Berkshire.

In a statement, St James's Palace said: "Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby.

"The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news."

It said the duchess was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, which requires supplementary hydration and nutrients.

"As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter," it added.

Press outside Prince Edward VII hospital in central London The media gathered outside the central London hospital after the announcement

St James's Palace refused to be drawn on when the royal couple became aware of the pregnancy, only saying "recently".

But it is understood the palace announcement was prompted by the Duchess's medical condition.

The Queen, Prince Charles and other members of the Royal Family were only told about the pregnancy earlier in the day, our royal correspondent said. Prince William's brother Prince Harry, who is serving with the Army in Afghanistan, is thought to have been told about pregnancy in an e-mail.

Daghni Rajasingham, a consultant obstetrician, told BBC Radio 4's PM programme the sickness will continue throughout the pregnancy in a "very small" number of cases and may result in future re-admission to hospital

"But in terms of any particular complications, if it's treated well and they're kept well hydrated it's something that is relatively easy and well treated."

Asked about having children in an interview after their engagement in November 2010, William said: "I think we'll take it one step at a time. We'll get over the marriage thing first and then maybe look at the kids, but obviously we want a family."

Severe morning sickness

It is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience morning sickness, particularly during the first few months of pregnancy.

But some women (around one in every 200) experience severe nausea and vomiting, which continues throughout pregnancy.

This condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum or HG and needs specialist treatment and often requires a stay in hospital.

The main danger is dehydration - it can be difficult to keep enough fluid down orally.

Doctors can treat HG with medication to help ease the nausea. HG is unlikely to cause harm to your baby. However, if it causes weight loss during pregnancy there is an increased risk that your baby may be born with a low birth weight.

Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on Twitter that he was "delighted by the news...They will make wonderful parents."

Labour leader Ed Miliband tweeted: "Fantastic news for Kate, William and the country. A royal baby is something the whole nation will celebrate."

A spokesman for the Royal Air Force, with which William serves as a search-and-rescue pilot, said: "The RAF is delighted with the news and wishes the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge all the best for the future."

William's uncle Earl Spencer, the brother of Princess Diana, said the pregnancy was "wonderful news and I am thrilled for them both".

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who married the couple, said: "The whole nation will want to join in celebrating this wonderful news. We wish the Duchess the best of health and happiness in the months ahead."

Duchess of Cambridge on 30 November 2012 The Duchess was last seen in public on 30 November

The White House also paid tribute.

President Barack Obama's press secretary Jay Carney said: "On behalf of everyone here... beginning with the president and first lady we extend our congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the welcome news we received from London that they are expecting their first child."

Royal journalist Ingrid Seward said the royal pair were likely to have wanted to start a family "sooner rather than later", but delayed so that they could play their part in honouring the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

She told the BBC: "Kate will be 31 in January and I think by royal standards that is relatively old."

In October 2011, Commonwealth leaders agreed to change succession laws so that the daughter of any future UK monarch will have equal right to the throne as a son.

The law has not yet been altered but a Cabinet Office spokesman says formal consent is expected "very shortly" and ministers have indicated that the legislation will apply to any royal births from the date of the leaders' decision.

The monarch is also head of the armed forces, supreme governor of the Church of England, head of state of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth countries.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 481.

    Wonderful news, very best wishes to them!!

    So many down arrows, what a cynical, miserable lot we are in Britain. Surely the birth of a child is lovely news, even in our ultra critical, post modern age?

    If this is the current mood I don't fancy our chances if things get really tough in a few months/years. Best to celebrate happiness whenever we get the chance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 480.

    Silence, Ed Miliband. You jump on more wagons than Indiana Jones does in the entire quadrilogy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 479.

    Harry must be immensely relieved. :-) Hope the baby is healthy - that's the most important thing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 478.

    Despite agreeing with the majority on here, #112 has really cheered me up. :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 477.

    Karma. I hope that I get it right so I don't have to return to this earth. I just feel a bit sad for babies but as far as perks go...this one shouldn't go hungry.

    btw Why do people put others (who they don't know) on a pedestal? Going so far as to fight for King/Queen and country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 476.

    I'm shocked and saddened to read the negative comments. A baby is expected, his/her mum is in hospital with a very serious condition, and so many of you are making some brutally unkind comments. Congratulations to the Royal couple, and may the rest of the pregnancy be easy with a safe, healthy delivery of a beautiful baby. I'd wish the same for any expectant parents.

  • rate this

    Comment number 475.

    above there are links to 8 other articles about this pregnancy.

    Including this one it makes 9.

    9 seperate stories about 1 everyday mundane event, from just ONE media outlet.

    And people question why others moan about this sort of banal tripe.

    Complete joke, the lot of it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 474.

    Oh good. The Royal Family is extending into another generation. I can hardly contain my excitement.

    Though I suppose Harry will be happy. Now there is almost no chance of him becoming king, he can now keep partying at your expense.

  • rate this

    Comment number 473.

    I really do not see any reason why this should make news. There are hundreds of women in the world who become pregnant and give birth to beautiful babies and they do not make the news. I think BBC should focus on more important news than telling us about a "duchess" being pregnant.

  • rate this

    Comment number 472.

    Good luck to them but I'll just turn off the tv now as we'll have nine months of wall to wall talking heads and baby updates. What will they call it, will it be a girl/boy, will need to change rules about boys taking first place in succession, every kick and cramp will be endlessly replayed. First paparazzi photo of the baby etc etc. Snooooooooze

  • rate this

    Comment number 471.

    Mao Zedong in Cheek....whichever way you want to take it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 470.

    That's very nice for them.However,being a Democrat it's impossible for me to be happier than for any other couple,although,as these two people live off the state,have everything given to them on a plate basically are overprivalidged and contribute nothing to the Democratic system we are supposed to live in they can only be compared to Dole scrounges!

  • rate this

    Comment number 469.

    How very dull!

  • rate this

    Comment number 468.

    Granny wants a great grand child & what granny wants, granny gets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 467.

    @ 385

    What a truly vile thing to say. The poor kid hasnt even been born yet and your calling it a waste of space. Whether you like the royal family or not at least have the human decency to be happy for them. Your the exact reason why i despise Republicans so muc. Your so full of sourness you cant even celebrate new life!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 466.

    i see all the moaners have recovered from slagging off the jubilee and the olympics, didnt take my advice to move across the channel??

    great news, but i agree that BBC will have nothing else to say now until its born!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 465.

    Something that Levenson missed .
    The Obsession the media has in insisting that the "Public" rejoice every time anyone with Windsor in their name has a birthday/gets married/gets pregnant
    and suffers mock hysteria when every anything unpleasant happens to them.
    Approximately 180,000 women get pregnant every day.

    Please explain why this one is news worthy?

  • rate this

    Comment number 464.

    Great British newspapers and news corporations at work!
    I thought the Leveson enquiry revealed that people should be left alone with their private lives... wait!... forgot Cameron said to stuff it...
    What next? in a few months the headlines will be "Kate in hospital for piles"? Come on guys, she is pregnant, they are happy, live them alone! And live us alone while you are at it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 463.

    Headlines today -

    Kate pregnant, white house congratulate

    In other news-

    - Hospitals are "full to bursting"
    - Starbucks have avoiding corporation tax
    - Nasa Robot digging on Mars

  • rate this

    Comment number 462.

    I guarantee the BBC will be keeping all these comments in a safe place with a view to outing people with the most crudest comments, as some sort of Anti Leveson backlash.The same will happen for Twitter aswell.
    Be warned there is a reason why the beeb decided to make this a HYS Topic.


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