Kate Is Pregnant

The Duchess has been hospitalized in her early stages of pregnancy

Photo: Rex USA

Prepare for a new royal.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 30, is expecting her first child, the Palace has confirmed.

“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby,” read the statement released Monday. “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.”

“The Duchess was admitted this afternoon to King Edward VII Hospital in Central London with Hyperemesis Gravidarum,” the statement continued. “As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter.”

William is with her at the hospital, and the morning sickness is “acute,” the palace says.

The couple have made no secret of their desire to have start a family. Prince William said in their joint interview on the day they announced their engagement that they’d move cautiously “one step at a time.”

“We’ll sort of get over the marriage first and then maybe look at the kids,” he told ITN. “But obviously we want a family so we’ll have to start thinking about that.”

Now the thinking is over – and the speculation that has gripped royal watchers can end.

PHOTOS: British Royal Maternity Fashions

If it is anything like the couple’s 2011 wedding, which was watched so intently and by hundreds of millions of viewers, the excitement is bound to build to the big day of the new royal’s birth.

On Monday morning, Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated the couple, saying, “I’m delighted by the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby. They will make wonderful parents.”

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Like William’s in 1982, the birth will be heralded not just by headlines at home but around the world. Even if William and Kate’s baby is a girl, she can expect to inherit the throne from her father, irrespective of whether any other child the royal couple has is a boy. Until a recent rule change was signalled, boys took precedence.

One thing is certain: They have a wonderful palace home to move their family into when the baby is growing up. The couple will be relocating into the 20-room Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace in early 2013.

In the meantime, they are mainly based in a four bedroom farmhouse at an idyllic location on Anglesey, North Wales, so William can be to his base at RAF Valley, where he’s a search and rescue helicopter pilot.

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