Duchess Catherine Is Pregnant

Palace confirms the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting, after months of rumors

Will and Kate are having a baby.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — formerly known as Prince William and Kate Middleton — are expecting their first child, the St. James's Palace said Monday. It said the rest of the Royal Family was "delighted" with the news of her pregnancy, which it said was in its "very early stages."

Kate was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London on Monday with very acute morning sickness, the Palace said. She was expected to remain in the hospital for several days and then rest at home.

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"I'm delighted by the news that the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby. They will make wonderful parents," British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted just after the announcement.

The couple's child will be the next in line for the throne after William — who himself is next in line after his father, Prince Charles — and will stand a good chance of becoming monarch.

That's true regardless of the child's gender, since British Commonwealth leaders agreed last year to scrap the law of male primogeniture and give female heirs equal status to male ones. Although the change has not been formally enacted, the British Cabinet office confirmed it was the de facto rule, the Associated Press reported.

The Palace told NBC News there was not yet a due date for the baby, as the pregnancy was not yet to the 12-week point.

The Duke and Duchess had been dogged by rampant pregnancy and baby bump rumors ever since they wed April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey in a lavish ceremony that attracted global audiences.

Fueling the pregnancy speculation was scrutiny of the Duchess' daily choices — for instance, of her opting for water instead of wine at a state banquet in September, or her wearing loose-fitting clothes instead of the youthful but formal ensembles for which she had become a global style favorite.

She and William have faced intense scrutiny and have been hounded by tabloids ever since their engagement. That came to a head when photographs of her sunbathing nude in France were published in a magazine, prompting the Palace to call the incident "grotesque and totally unjustifiable" and to threaten legal action.

Monday's announcement, however, came as the newest in a spate of high-profile celebrations surrounding the Royal Family, most recently with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, celebrating the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

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