Prince William and Kate Middleton on November 28 (Getty Images)
After nearly two years of rumors, it's official: Kate Middleton is pregnant!
"Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby," a spokesperson for the couple, who married in April 2011, said in a press release on Monday. "The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, and members of both families are delighted with the news."
However, Middleton's pregnancy, which is in its early stages, hasn't been an easy one. The spokesperson confirms that the 30-year-old mom-to-be was admitted to a London hospital Monday with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, an acute form of morning sickness. "Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter."
Middleton's baby plans have been a hot topic since she became engaged to her college sweetheart, Prince William, in 2010. Before they even walked down the aisle, the tabloid Star dubbed Middleton a "pregnant bride," said the couple would make the "announcement after the honeymoon," and noted that they planned to name their first daughter Diana — after William's late mother. Later that year, the magazine came up with a whole other story, reporting that she was "pregnant with twins."
The rumors have continued ever since — often sparked by Middleton's dietary decisions. For example, she passed on wine several times during her royal tour of Asia and the Pacific Islands recently, prompting speculation that she was in the family way. And in November 2011, she opted not to taste peanut butter at an event. That sparked a whole new set of stories because some expectant moms are advised not to eat peanuts in order to prevent the development of allergies in their babies. Middleton's outfit selections have also been scrutinized. If she was photographed with even the tiniest bit of bloat, headlines have appeared touting "Kate's first bump photos." And if she failed to take off her coat at an event, she was accused of trying to hide her pregnant belly.
Chatter started again last month when when Middleton's purported friend Jessica Hay, who was Middleton's schoolmate and was a guest at the royal wedding, told New Idea magazine that the duchess was expecting and the couple was "planning to make an announcement in December." Hay then told Life & Style magazine, "I have this on the highest authority, and it's not to be taken lightly. It's going to be wonderful, happy news when it's announced."
Kate visiting St Andrews on November 30 (Getty Images)
In a recent cover story, Us Weekly reported that the couple had been "actively trying" for a baby since they returned from their royal tour of Asia and the Pacific Islands in September. "Once their malaria medication had run its course, then it was safe to start," an insider told the magazine. Us Weekly also reported that they were looking forward to moving into their 20-room apartment in Kensington Palace because it would be a great place to raise their family.
For her part, Middleton has chosen to stay focused on her royal duties rather than baby chatter. Just last week she appeared at St Andrew's School in Pangbourne, England — which she attended as a girl — to open a new playing field. While there — and pregnant! — she also showed off her field hockey skills, hitting around the ball in high-heeled boots.
The baby will make his or her debut next year. And, whether it's a boy or girl, will eventually be heir to the British throne, according to new legislation awaiting final approval.