THE DUKE and Duchess of Cambridge have confirmed Kate is pregnant with their third child.
The news was revealed in a statement from Kensington Palace which read: “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child.
The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.”
The new baby will be fifth in line to the throne, after grandfather Prince Charles, father Prince William, and elder siblings Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte can expect a new baby brother or sister early next year.
The Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or morning sickness, and will not carry out her royal duties today while she is cared for at Kensington Palace.
Britain’s Royal Family has seen their popularity soar in recent years as Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge have moved further into the spotlight.
Billions watched as Prince William wed Kate at a lavish ceremony in 2011 before the Royal couple returned to the world’s attention when the Duchess gave birth to George in 2013, and Charlotte two years later.
Prince Harry has already spoken of his happiness for his brother and sister-in-law.
Asked about the news as he arrived for a visit in Manchester, Harry said: “Fantastic. Great. Very, very happy.”
And asked how Kate was, he said: “I haven’t seen her for a while but I think she’s OK.”
The news of the pregnancy emerged as it was revealed that the Duchess is once again suffering from extreme morning sickness.
She suffered during both of her previous pregnancies and was even admitted to hospital in December 2012 while she was pregnant with George.
Doctify gynaecologist & obstetrician Mr Mahantesh Karoshi has explained that women who suffer from the condition during their first pregnancy are likely to experience it in subsequent ones.
“In women who have suffered recurrent bouts of severe morning sickness, studies suggest a markedly higher recurrence risk (80 per cent) of severe nausea and vomiting in subsequent pregnancies,” he said.
“Although the risk for hospitalisation in subsequent pregnancies is likely to be lower, morning sickness can get progressively worse.”
Mr Karoshi added that because Kate is now older, at 35, than she was during her first two pregnancies, she might notice a few differences during her third pregnancy.
“Her belly might look much farther along than she appeared in her previous pregnancies at the same gestational periods because of repeated stretching of abdominal muscles,” he explained.
The announcement comes just days before four-year-old Prince George is set to start school, with the young Royal due to enroll at Thomas’s in Battersea on Thursday.
Betting on a third child for William and Kate began to take off in the run-up to Charlotte’s christening when the princess was only nine weeks old.
On a royal tour of Poland in July 2017, Kate joked about having a third – after being given a present designed for newborns.
She speculated about the prospect of another child when she was offered a cuddly toy designed to soothe tiny babies during an event in Warsaw, Poland.
Saying thank you for the present, she turned to the Duke, laughing, and said: “We will just have to have more babies.”
The couple talked openly about having a family when they announced their engagement and planned ahead by saving the top of their wedding cake in 2011 – traditionally served at the christening of a first-born.
On an overseas tour to Singapore in 2012, when he was asked by a group of teenagers how many children he would like to have, Prince William said he was “thinking about having two”.
News of the pregnancy has prompted a flurry of rumours and speculation about the new baby, with Royal fans across the world describing their excitement at the announcement.
Asked about the Prime Minister’s reaction to the news, a spokesperson for Theresa May said: “It is fantastic news and she passes on her congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”
With William and Kate choosing traditional regal names for their first two children, it would be a huge shock if the royal couple suddenly opted for a more unusual name for their third born.
Alice and Alexandra were among the favourites with the bookies for a girl when Kate was pregnant with Charlotte, while Arthur, James or Philip are considered likely options for a boy.
Questions are also being raised about whether the couple will stop at three children, given that large Royal broods have been common in recent history.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had four children, with Her Majesty giving birth to Prince Edwards when she was 37-years-old. Meanwhile, William’s great-great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria had nine children.
After two successful and straightforward deliveries at the Lindo Wing in St Mary’s Hospital in central London, Kate is expected to head back to the exclusive private delivery suite for the arrival of her third child.