The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her third child, it has been announced.
Kensington Palace released a statement on Monday morning confirming the news.
“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child,” said the statement.
“The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.”
The new baby will be fifth in line to the throne, after Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
If the latest addition to the Cambridge family is a boy, his arrival will be historic, as he will be the first royal child not to displace his older sister in the line of succession. Until the introduction of new legislation in 2015, boys were always given priority over their sisters in the line to the throne.
However, thanks to reform measures known as the Perth Agreement, all royal girl children born after 2011 now hold their place in the line of succession – even if they have younger male siblings.
The Guardian reports that Middleton cancelled an engagement at a children’s centre in north London on Monday because she is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness.
This was confirmed in the official statement announcing the pregnancy, which said that the “Duchess is being cared for at Kensington Palace”.
Middleton experienced similar problems when pregnant with her first two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, now aged four and two.
According to NHS Choices, hyperemesis gravidarum “is much worse than the normal nausea and vomiting of pregnancy”, with symptoms including being sick up to 50 times a day, weight loss and low blood pressure.
The news of Middleton’s pregnancy comes in a week of milestones for the family. Prince George is due to start primary school on Thursday, at Thomas’s Battersea in London. The school has found itself subject to security concerns after a local resident filmed herself walking through the building unchecked.
Sarah Burnett-Moore told The Telegraph that while she acknowledged that term had yet to start when she entered Thomas’s, it was still worrying that nobody in the building asked her what she was doing there.
“I could have walked in with an IED and set it to go off on Thursday,” she said, adding: “Myself and lots of neighbours are worried about the security implications as the prince’s presence will make the area a target for attacks.”
It is not yet known how far along Middleton is in her pregnancy. More details as we have them…
Images: Rex Features