Duchess Kate of Cambridge, wife to Prince William, turns 36 in January. Not too long after that day, she will also give birth to her third royal child.
It was announced Monday that William and Kate, the current beloved royal couple, are expecting once again.
This changes the line of succession for Britain’s royal family. “The new baby…becomes fifth behind sister Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, 2, brother Prince George of Cambridge, 4, father Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, 35, and grandfather Prince Charles, 68, the prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son.”
George and Charlotte are already referred to colloquially as the “heair and spare.” Why this particularly succession line up proves important is that it reflects recent modernizations to succession law; previously, if this new royal bun-in-the-oven were to come out male, he would jump ahead of Charlotte in that line of succession. Now, however, he will remain in line according to birth order, and Charlotte would retain her fourth position.
This also moves Prince Harry, now 32, down to sixth in line and the Queen’s second son, Charles’ borther Prince Andrew, down to seventh. It goes on from there, with the upcoming prince or princess bumping Andrew’s children down in succession and so forth.
The royal pregnancy announcement came 5 days after the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana’s, beloved Princess of the People. “No one would have been more thrilled about another baby than Diana,” who, according to William and Harry “had a special rapport with children.”
Queen Elizabeth, who is now 91, and Prince Phillip, her husband who is now 96, had four children; but, most in the modern royal family have only had 2 children total. No one has gone above four since King George V who had six. This has people speculating as to how many “spares” Will and Kate will go for.
Prince George, 4, begins school for the first time Thursday at Thomas’s Battersea, a reputable private school just across the Thames from Buckingham Palace. Kate and Will have asked for minimal media coverage for this event, especially considering the press’s previoius obsession with would-have-been-grandmother Diana when she made the same journey with Harry and William. To call them “mob scenes” would be an understatement.
Uncle Prince Harry said that he is thrilled with the news and “very, very happy for” his brother and sister-in-law. Despite dropping down the line of succession, as the sixth person in line, he is still required by law to ask Elizabeth’s permission to marry. He is currently dating American actress Meghan Markle, 36, having just returned from an African safari vacation; people are paying close attention to the pair considering the fact that Will and Kate became engaged in Africa back in 2010. Markle currently films Suits in Toronto, where Harry hosts the Invictus Games, now for his third year, which is a competitive event for wounded warriors.
Prince Charles’ brother Andrew, now no longer has to seek his mother’s official approval should he want to remarry. He divorced wife Sarah Ferguson in 1996 but the pair still reportedly share the same royal mansion and are friendly.
The new baby will be Elizabeth and Philip’s sixth great-grandchild and Charles’ third grandchild.
Kensington Palace made the announcement Monday because of Kate’s acute morning sickness, which she dealt with during both of her previous pregnancies. The sickness caused her to miss a scheduled appearance at a mental health facility in London, which was announced at the last minute. She is reportedly less than 12 weeks pregnant. She was also unable to attend an event for William and Harry’s foundation Support4Grenfell Community Hub on Tuesday.
William made an appearance at a National Mental Health and Policing Conference Tuesday. He stated: “It’s always a bit anxious to start with, but she’s well,” about wife Catherine and her struggle with severe morning sickness. “We need Catherine to get over this first bit and then we can start celebrating.”
He also said there wasn’t “much sleep going on at the moment” in their home.
The particular condition Catherine is dealing with affects one in approximately 200 pregnancies; its medical term is hyperemesis gravidarum. One of the biggest risks for Kate is that the severe sickness can result in dehydration.
She made it through the other two pregnancies just fine and having experienced this before, hopefully everyone involved knows what to expect. The condition is the same reason that the royal couple had to announce both prior pregnancies before the 12-week mark as well.