THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a third child who will be fifth in line to the British throne.
Kensington Palace announced the news on Monday, saying that the Queen and rest of the Royal Family are “delighted”.
The Duchess is suffering from an extreme form of morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, as she did with previous pregnancies.
She has been forced to cancel her planned engagement at a London children’s hospital today and is being cared for an Kensington Palace.
The couple are already parents to Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, two. Their third child will be fifth in line to the British throne with Prince Harry forced down to sixth place.
Kensington Palace did not confirm when the baby is due.
MORE: What is hyperemesis gravidarum?
The Duchess was last seen in public last week with Prince William and Prince Harry when they visited a memorial garden dedicated to the princes’ late mother Diana. She was wearing a dress that showed no hint of a baby bump.
The announcement comes after the royal couple travelled to Poland in July and Kate dropped a hint she would like to have more children.
When presented with a gift for a newborn baby, she said “We will just have to have more babies,” raising speculation she knew she was pregnant at the time.
The news comes as Prince George is due to start his first year at school in London this week and following the twentieth anniversary of the death of the Duke’s mother, Princess Diana.
Earlier this week residents near the prestigious school where Prince George will start raised fears about security, claiming it could become a potential target.
Sarah Burnett-Moore, 54, told how she walked into Thomas’s Battersea after the front gate and a main entrance door were left open.
Mrs Burnett-Moore told The Telegraph: “I could have walked in with an IED and set it to go off on Thursday.
“I live just 200 metres from the school and myself and lots of neighbours are worried about the security implications as the prince’s presence will make the area a target for attacks.”
The news could help mark a new chapter for the family who have been at the centre of reporting around the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, that has seen the popularity of Prince Charles dip and led Prince William and Harry to speak out about her death.
In a documentary called Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, her sons revealed their sadness over their last conversation with their mother.
“Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know, ‘see you later’. If I’d known now obviously what was going to happen I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it and everything else. But that phone call sticks in my mind, quite heavily,” Prince William said.
MORE: Prince Harry defends Prince Charles over Diana’s death
Prince Harry said he struggled to recall what they talked about.
“It was her speaking from Paris. I can’t really necessarily remember what I said, but all I do remember is probably regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was,” he said in the show.
“Looking back on it now it’s incredibly hard. I’ll have to sort of deal with that for the rest of my life. Not knowing that was the last time I was going to speak to my mum, how differently that conversation would have panned out if I’d had even the slightest inkling her life was going to be taken that night.”