After months of anticipation the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are finally expecting their first baby.
St. James’s Palace officially announced Catherine “Kate” Middleton was taken to King Edward VII Hospital Monday afternoon in central London with “acute morning sickness.” Prince William is at his wife’s side.
“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news,” said the couple’s website.
Describing the 30-year-old’s condition, the site states “Hyperemesis Gravidarum is very acute morning sickness, which requires supplementary hydration and nutrients.”
The palace said since the pregnancy is in its “very early stages,” Middleton is expected to stay in the hospital for several days and will require a period of rest afterward. It would not say how far along she is, only that she has not yet reached the 12-week mark.
News of the pregnancy drew congratulations from across the world, with the hashtag "royalbaby" trending globally on Twitter.
Not only are the attractive young couple popular — with William reminding many of his mother, the late Princess Diana — but their child is expected to play an important role in British national life for decades to come.
William is second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, so the couple's first child would eventually become a monarch. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby will also be the Queen’s great grandchild.
In recent days, Middleton has kept up her royal appearances — recently playing field hockey with schoolchildren at her former school.
The confirmation of her pregnancy caps a jam-packed year of highs and lows for the young royals, who were married in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey last year.
They have traveled the world extensively as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and weathered the embarrassment of a nude photos scandal, after a tabloid published topless images of Middleton.
Speculation about when the couple would start a family has been rife since their wedding.
Princess Diana became pregnant just four months after her wedding in 1981. Diana reportedly suffered from morning sickness for months and complained of constant media attention.
"The whole world is watching my stomach," Diana once said.
American tabloid speculation of the pregnancy has been rampant for months. One newspaper even cited anonymous sources talking about Kate's hormone levels. Others have focused on the first signs of the royal bump.
Cabinet Office officials have said whether boy or girl, the child will be next in line behind William in the line of succession to the throne.
On the couple’s recent tour of Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu in September, William reportedly said he hoped he and Kate would have two children.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.