The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby are expecting their first born child in July, St Jame’s Palace confirmed while also quashing speculation that the royal couple were expecting twins.
Reports emerged last month that the Duchess may have been carrying more than one child after she was admitted to hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.
The condition, which is often experienced by women expecting twins, causes vomiting during pregnancy and is most common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and often eases off in the middle trimester.
The Duchess is believed to be around 13 to 14 weeks pregnant and confirmation of the birth month means it is likely she has now had her 12-week scan and the pregnancy is progressing well.
Although St James’s Palace declined to confirm the exact due date, Kate looks set to give birth to the future King or Queen in mid July.
If the new prince or princess arrives early, he or she could share a birthday with William’s mother, the Princess of Wales, who was born on July 1.
“Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in July,” a St James’s Palace spokesman said.
“The Duchess’s condition continues to improve since her stay in hospital last month.”
There was a flood of congratulations from members of the public via social networking site Twitter, with some
suggesting a public holiday of the kind announced to mark the queen’s Diamond Jubilee last June.
The brief update comes at a time when William and Kate had most likely intended to announce the pregnancy.
The news was revealed earlier than planned on December 3 after Kate was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital.
At the start of the second trimester, the baby’s fingers and toes have separated and its nails are beginning to form. Some babies even start sucking their thumbs.
Kate was last seen in public on Friday when she visited the National Portrait Gallery in London with William for the unveiling of her first official portrait.
She appeared to be in good health and smiled during the brief appearance.
A spokesman for the couple said they were unlikely to undertake any engagements in the next few weeks as William would be concentrating on his flying with the RAF Search and Rescue Force.
He added that Kate was likely to return to engagements “in the near future”.
The Queen has already acted to ensure the new baby - a future monarch - will be entitled to be a Princess if William and Kate have a daughter.
Under past rules, a daughter would have been styled Lady instead and not known as Her Royal Highness - only a first-born boy born to the Cambridges would automatically have become a Prince.
The Queen has issued a Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm declaring: “all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.”
A Letters Patent in 1917, issued by William’s great great grandfather King George V, limited titles within the Royal Family.
Yesterday’s announcement has left many bookmakers counting the cost.
William Hill has said it has taken a hit after St James’s Palace confirmed today the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child is due in July.
July had been the even money favourite with the firm and its odds now suggest that the baby could be born in the third or fourth week of that month - both offered at 9/4.
William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: “The royal baby is starting to cost us a small fortune, we have already paid out on the year and now the month that the baby will be born.
“We can only hope that they don’t have a baby with ginger hair as that would break the bank.”
A flurry of bets are now expected for the name William and Kate will choose for their baby.
Amongst the favourites with William Hill are George, Victoria and Diana, all 10/1, followed by Elizabeth 12/1 and Charles, John and Phillip, all 14/1.