Kate Middleton and Prince William Expecting First Child (VIDEO)

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It’s official — a royal baby is on the way!

Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their first child together, the palace announced Monday.

“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby,” the palace said in a statement. “The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news.”

“The Duchess was admitted this afternoon to King Edward VII Hospital in central London with hyperemesis gravidarum,” the statement continued, noting Middleton’s bout with an acute morning sickness. “As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter.”

The royal revelation follows over a year of baby bump watch, as the public and media endlessly speculated when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would start a family following their royal wedding on April 29, 2011. The palace has yet to announce a due date for baby, who would be the first grandchild for the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

The baby will be Queen Elizabeth II’s third great grandchild. Due to a drastic shift in the rules of succession last year, Prince William and Kate’s first-born will now likely be the heir to the British throne, regardless of the baby’s gender.

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