The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace confirmed yesterday.
The announcement came as Kate, who is less than 12 weeks pregnant, was forced to cancel a planned engagement due to severe morning sickness, the same condition she had in her previous pregnancies.
The Queen and both families are said to be “delighted with the news”, while Prince Harry said he was feeling “fantastic” about the prospect of becoming an uncle for the third time.
In a statement, Kensington Palace said: “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 palace issued the statement as Kate was due to visit the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in London to hear about the mental health impact of becoming a mother.
However, she is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, which can result in nausea and vomiting so acute it can require hospitalisation. She is currently being cared for at the palace.
Clarence House said of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall: “They are delighted at the news.”
Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted a message of congratulations to the couple, calling it “fantastic news”.
Just weeks ago, Kate joked about having a third child while on a tour of Poland and Germany with William and the couple’s two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
After being given a present designed for newborns while in Warsaw, she laughed and turned to William, saying: “We will just have to have more babies.”
The announcement comes as William and Kate are preparing to send their eldest child to school. Four-year-old George starts at fee-paying independent school Thomas’s Battersea in south London on Thursday.
The past year has already been one of big changes for the Cambridges. Their main home is now their Kensington Palace apartment rather than their Norfolk mansion Anmer Hall, and William quit his job as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance in July to become a full-time royal.
The couple’s third child – who will be the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild – will be fifth in line to the throne, bumping uncle Prince Harry into sixth place.
However, Prince Harry was clearly delighted yesterday when asked for his reaction to the news while on an engagement in Manchester. He replied: “Fantastic. Great. Very, very happy.”
Asked how Kate was, he added: “I haven’t seen her for a while but I think she’s OK.”
As Harry talked to people in the Newton Heath area of the city, local resident David Masterson shouted to him: “Congratulations on your kid having a baby.” The Prince gave Mr Masterson a thumbs-up and said: “Thanks.”
Mr Masterson managed a handshake with Harry as he left, and later said: “I grew up on the street all my life so to see Prince Harry on it is a bit of a shock. I just congratulated him. I didn’t think I’d get a chance to.”
His nine-year-old daughter Lisa said she was looking forward to the royal baby’s birth.
She said: “I think its going to be really nice.”