Royal couple expecting a baby; Kate hospitalized for severe morning sickness
BY CASSANDRA VINOGRAD Associated Press
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
12/04/12 at 6:41 AM
LONDON - The most widely anticipated pregnancy since Princess Diana's in 1981 is official: Prince William's wife, Kate, is pregnant.
St. James's Palace announced the pregnancy Monday, saying that the Duchess of Cambridge - formerly known as Kate Middleton - has a severe form of morning sickness and is currently in a London hospital. William is at his wife's side.
News of the pregnancy drew congratulations from across the world, with the hashtag "royalbaby" trending globally on Twitter.
The palace would not say how far along the 30-year-old duchess is, only that she has not yet reached the 12-week mark. Palace officials said the duchess was hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum, a potentially dangerous type of morning sickness where vomiting is so severe no food or liquid can be kept down. They said she was expected to remain hospitalized for several days and would require a period of rest afterward.
The condition is thought to affect about one in 200 pregnant women, according to Britain's health department.
William is second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles. The couple's first child will be third in line to take the throne - leapfrogging the gregarious Prince Harry and possibly setting up the first scenario in which a U.K. female heir could benefit from new gender rules about succession.
The leaders of Britain and the 15 former colonies that have the monarch as their head of state agreed in 2011 to new rules which give females equal status with males in the order of succession. Although none of the nations had legislated the change as of September, the British Cabinet Office confirmed that this is now the de-facto rule.
Those changes make Kate's pregnancy all the more significant for the royal family, according to Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine.
"This is the first child who will be an heir to the throne whatever sex they are," she said. "It's a new beginning."
Original Print Headline: Palace says Prince William, Kate expecting a baby
The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant and in the hospital for treatment of severe morning sickness. NICOLAS ASFOURI / AP