London: Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are expecting a baby, palace officials have confirmed.
Kate’s is the most widely anticipated pregnancy since Princess Diana`s in 1981.
St James Palace said that the Duchess of Cambridge has a severe form of morning sickness and is currently in a London hospital. William is at his wife`s side.
The couple`s first child will be third in line to take the throne — leapfrogging the gregarious Prince Harry and possibly setting up the first scenario in which a U.K. female heir could benefit from new gender rules about succession.
Whether boy or girl, the child will be behind Prince William in the line of succession to the throne, Cabinet Office officials said.
The palace would not say how far along the 30-year-old duchess is, only that she has not yet reached the 12-week mark, reported Associated Press.
Palace officials said the duchess was hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum, a potentially dangerous type of morning sickness where vomiting is so severe no food or liquid can be kept down. They said she was expected to remain hospitalized for several days and would require a period of rest afterward.
"It`s not unusual for pregnant women to get morning sickness, but when it gets to the point where you`re dehydrated, losing weight or vomiting so much you begin to build up (toxic) products in your blood, that`s a concern," said Dr Kecia Gaither, director of maternal foetal medicine at Brookdale University and Medical Centre in New York.
News of the pregnancy drew congratulations from across the world, with the hashtag "royalbaby" trending globally on Twitter.
(With Agency inputs)