The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are “very pleased to announce” that they are expecting their second child, Clarence House said. The news comes less than 14 months after the birth of their first son Prince George, who was born on July 22 last year.
According to a tweet from the royal tweeter, “The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news that Their Royal Highnesses are expecting their second child.”
Royal officials told reporters that the Duchess was being treated for severe morning sickness, and Prime Minister David Cameron revealed he was “delighted by the happy news.” He took to Twitter to say that: “Many congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I’m delighted by the happy news that they’re expecting another baby.”
Scotland’s pro-independence first minister, Alex Salmond, was also among those who congratulated the couple on Twitter: “Wonderful to hear they’re expecting their second baby — very happy news!”
Sources close to the matter said they expect the royal baby, who will be fourth in line to the throne, to be born in the spring next year. Prince Charles is the next in line to the throne, followed by Prince William and Prince George. When the new baby is born, other members of the royal family will move down a peg; Prince Harry, for example, will become fifth in line to the throne.
“As with her first pregnancy, The Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum,” the royal family’s statement said. “The Duchess of Cambridge is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace,” the couple’s official residence, it said.
“The announcement is curiously timed for two reasons – later this week is the inquest into the death of nurse Jacinta Saldanha, who put through the Australian radio hosts who called the hospital during Kate’s first pregnancy,” Smh writes.
“It also comes barely a week before the Scottish independence referendum, sparking furious speculation as to whether it will provide an accidental (or otherwise) badly-needed boost to the Better Together campaign.”
Under the plan which was outlined by the Yes campaign the Queen would stay Queen of Scotland, while royal baby mania is likely to make the Scots look more fondly on their southern neighbours and the Union in general.
In a cheeky attempt to defuse the threat to his independence campaign, Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond drew attention to the couple’s links to Scotland. “Congratulations & best wishes to the Earl & Countess of Strathearn,” he tweeted. “Wonderful to hear they’re expecting their second baby – very happy news!”
To honour their marriage, The Queen gave Kate and William Scottish titles as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn – a title which dates back to the mid-14th century.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott was also quick to pass on his congratulations to the couple. In a press release he said: “It is an exciting time in any young family’s life. People across the country were delighted to welcome the Duke and Duchess and young Prince George to our shores earlier this year.”
“The young Royals’ deep and growing affection for Australia was evident and people delighted in meeting the young Prince. This is an exciting time for the Cambridges and I look forward to welcoming their growing family back to Australia.”