Here's the news you've been waiting for, royal watchers:
"The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby, St James's Palace has announced." (BBC News)
That would be Catherine, wife of Prince William (the Duke of Cambridge). They, of course, are the potential future king and queen.
The BBC adds that:
"A spokesman said the duchess has been admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in central London with very acute morning sickness and is expected to stay for several days."
There's no word just yet on when the baby is due. We expect London bookmakers will soon be taking bets on whether it's a boy or a girl, the name and the date of birth.
Update at 1:20 p.m. ET. Remember That Vacation In France? And, Yes, The Betting Has Begun:
It was early September, some readers may recall, when the Duke and Duchess vacationed in the south of France and a photographer managed to get some long-range shots of a topless Kate. Just saying ...
Meanwhile, as we expected, betting is underway at British websites.
At Oddschecker.com, for example, there are ways to lay some pounds down on:
-- The name
-- Hair color
-- How long Kate will be in labor
-- The day and time the baby will be born
-- The baby's weight
-- Whether there might be twins
"Odds are 10/11 for a boy and the same for a girl. Favorite names are Frances and John, both at 9/1, while Charles, Victoria and George are 10/1.
"Odds for other names include Anne, Diana, Phillip, Richard and Spencer at 12/1; Mary, Henry and Sarah at 14/1; Carole, William and Edward at 16/1; Alice, David, Victoria, Albert and Arthur at 20/1; and Elizabeth at 25/1.
"The bookmaker is even offering odds on the color of the newborn's hair — 6/4 brown, 2/1 blonde, 5/2 black, and 8/1 ginger."
As for the issue of a name, Mumsnet.com has a survey going. The choices there include the traditional or family-related — "George" or "Diana" — and the not-so-normal — "Hastag."
"If Kate gives birth to a girl, many will expect the Duke and Duchess to pay homage in some way to William's late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as to the Queen. Likewise, the arrival of a boy could see a tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales or even Prince Harry. But the Cambridges are also likely to take inspiration from Kate's side of the family.
"Royal children often boast an array of middle names - William's own being Arthur Philip Louis - so the couple are likely to pick several - offering them the chance to include a nod to both sets of relatives.
"They also might incorporate a Welsh name to reflect their links to Wales, a name with historical connections to the city of Cambridge or perhaps something Scottish to represent the time they spent together in St Andrews."
Update at 12:25 p.m. ET. The Line Of Succession:
A baby — boy or girl — would be No. 3 in the line of succession. That's currently Prince Harry's spot.
Update at 12:15 p.m. ET. The Official Word.
"Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby.
"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. 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.
"Hyperemesis Gravidarum is very acute morning sickness, which requires supplementary hydration and nutrients."
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