LONDON — Nineteen months after a modern fairy tale of a wedding turned the duke and duchess of Cambridge into the world’s most famous newlyweds, the royal juggernaut known as Will and Kate is officially expecting what may very well turn out to be the world’s most famous baby.
Britain’s great and small toasted the eagerly anticipated arrival of the royal child, who will be third in line to the throne and a grandchild of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. But the news of pregnancy was immediately tempered by the hospitalization of the mother-to-be because of an unusually acute case of morning sickness.
Britain's royal family says Prince William and his wife are expecting their first child. The Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, has a severe form of morning sickness and is currently in a London hospital.
And unto the royal couple, a child shall be born.
Pippa Middleton, sister of Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
The duchess, nee Kate Middleton, has done sporting events in style.
Prince William and Kate Middleton are expecting a baby – and the mom-to-be is in the hospital with a severe case of morning sickness.
The duchess, known as Kate Middleton before her marriage, was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, prompting her admission to London’s exclusive King Edward VII Hospital for “several days” of medical care to ensure proper nutrition. Royal officials warned that the duchess would “require a period of rest” after her discharge.
Across Britain, there were expressions of concern for her health, laced with hopes that her illness — severe vomiting that can be accompanied by low blood pressure and other symptoms — would not foreshadow months of difficult pregnancy. The Telegraph reported that her relatively rare condition had forced the royal family to accelerate the announcement, which was initially planned after she passed the 12-week mark. Royal officials would not disclose how far along the duchess is in her pregnancy.
“It’s a serious condition in that it makes you feel awful — the constant vomiting can leave you very dehydrated,” said Tim Draycott, a consultant obstetrician for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and a specialist on Catherine’s illness. “But it’s a condition that has few long-term consequences for the baby. About 30 percent of women get morning sickness; only about 1 percent of women get symptoms like Kate Middleton. Hyperemesis is slightly more common in twin pregnancies.
“Treatment for hyperemesis includes intravenous fluids, anti-nausea medication and extra vitamins. It’s most common from six weeks onwards and starts to settle down around 12 to 13 weeks of pregnancy.”
Draycott added: “Poor her.”
The pregnancy announcement, which brought well wishes from the White House and the crowned heads of Europe, heralds what would be a landmark birth in Britain of a 21st-century monarch-to-be in every sense. The child would be the rare product of a union between a celebrated British royal and a so-called “commoner” who is the great-great-granddaughter of a coal miner. The royal couple’s offspring would be the first born after a historic change was set in motion last year to eliminate the tradition of male hereditary precedence to the throne in Britain and commonwealth nations, where Queen Elizabeth II is head of state. So if the baby — who would leapfrog William’s brother, Prince Harry, upon birth — is a girl, a younger brother would not be able to leapfrog her.
A nation only just emerging from a double-dip recession and perhaps slouching toward a third celebrated the needed dose of good news before the holidays. Tabloids screamed the news in apocalyptic headline type. The BBC News Channel broke in with an urgent bulletin and broadcast running coverage. A rash and swell of British and foreign media flocked to the entrance of King Edward VII Hospital for what appeared likely to be a round-the-clock camp out.