LONDON -- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, heirs to the British throne, are expecting their first baby, Buckingham Palace announced on Monday.
Confirmation came from the royal household after Kate Middleton, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter-in-law, was admitted to King Edward VII hospital in central London suffering from acute morning sickness. The announcement said Kate was likely to remain in the hospital for several days, but that her illness was not serious.
The hospital was quickly besieged by national and international media. Television cameras and press photographers camped outside the front door.
The announcement on the Buckingham Palace website said Queen Elizabeth and members of both families "are delighted with the news."
Prime Minister David Cameron reacted quickly on Twitter with the message, "I'm delighted by the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby. They will make wonderful parents."
Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labor Party, followed with his tweet: “Fantastic news for Kate, William and the country. A royal baby is something the whole nation will celebrate.”
The popular royal couple’s wedding in April 2011 sparked immediate speculation about when they might start a family. But the timing was a surprise. On a visit to her old school in Berkshire last Friday, Kate played a little field hockey wearing high-heeled boots.
The couple presently lives in North Wales where Prince William is a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot.
Queen Elizabeth’s first great grandchild will have a rightful claim to the throne, regardless of whether it is a boy or girl. The royal act of succession was changed last October to admit the eldest child whether son or daughter, rather than the eldest son to inherit the throne.