Duchess of Cambridge's third pregnancy means a sibling for George and Charlotte is set to arrive in late April - and the bookies' favourite is a girl called Alice
- Kensington Palace announced Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy this morning
- Kate was forced to cancel planned engagement in London this afternoon
- She's believed to be six to eight weeks pregnant but not yet 12 weeks
- Baby is likely to arrive in late April or early May around Charlotte's birthday
- Alexandra, Elizabeth or Alice are popular contenders for girls names
- Charles, Arthur or Frederick are in the running if baby is a boy.
While most parents don't announced the happy news until the crucial 12-week stage, the Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or severe morning sickness, a condition that is usually detected around the six-week mark.
When pregnant with Princess Charlotte, Kate had to announce the news early after the condition forced her to pull out of planned engagements and today's announcement from Kensington Palace came as she cancelled a planned visit to a children's charity in London this afternoon.
Assuming Kate is around six to eight weeks pregnant, the new arrival can be expected in late April or early the following month, around the time of Princess Charlotte's birthday on 2nd May.
And a new family member around the end of April would be a delightful wedding present for Kate and William, who will celebrate seven years of marriage on the 29th.
The couple will also be busy considering baby names in the next months, with bookies Ladbrokes already taking bets on a moniker for the new arrival and a girl called Alice the favourite at 7/1.
Alice was the name of one of Queen Victoria's daughters and also of the Duke of Edinburgh's mother.
Arthur and Victoria are the next joint favourite at 10/1, followed by Alexander and Alexandra, both at 12/1.
Presuming Kate is around six to eight weeks pregnant' the new arrival can be expected in late April or early May, around the time of Princess Charlotte's birthday
Kate, pictured while pregnant with Prince George, has been suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or severe morning sickness, and is thought to be six to eight weeks' pregnant
The bookies make it even money George and Charlotte are joined by a sister, and the same price is on offer for a brother.
Either way, the couple will keep it classic just like they did for Prince George and Princess Charlotte, but as the new baby will be fifth in line to the throne there's no pressure to name them after a past monarch like big brother and future king, Prince George.
Philip is another strong contender for a boy, in honour of the baby's great-grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh who will turn 97 shortly after the birth.
Other suggestions include Alexandra or Mary, the Queen's two middle names and the names of her grandmother Queen Mary and great-grandmother Queen Alexandra - or Amelia, the name of one of George III's daughters.
IF IT'S A GIRL...
IF IT'S A BOY
Born in 1783, Amelia was the youngest of the king's 15 children. She fell passionately in love with one of her father's equerries, Charles Fitzroy, but was forbidden by her mother from marrying him. She died from tuberculosis when she was just 27.
George II also had a daughter called Amelia. The name has been the most popular girls' name in England and Wales since 2011.
Isabella could also be a contender. There is a young Princess Isabella of Denmark, who was born in 2007.
WHAT WILL THE NEW BABY'S TITLE BE?
If the new royal baby is a boy, he is expected to be given a dukedom in the future, most likely on his wedding day if he marries.
If a girl, it will be Princess Charlotte, rather than the new baby, who may one day have the honorary style the Princess Royal, which is currently used by Princess Anne. It is customarily given by the sovereign to his or her eldest daughter.
The baby will be styled HRH Prince (forename) of Cambridge or HRH Princess (forename) of Cambridge. Should he or she require a surname, such as on marriage, it will be Mountbatten-Windsor.
Elizabeth - after the baby's great-grandmother the Queen - has already been used as one of Charlotte's middle names, as has Diana in remembrance of William's late mother. Dorothy might be selected as a middle name in tribute to Kate's maternal grandmother.
Historically royal names such as James - also the name of Kate's brother - are among the favourite predictions for a boy, along with Philip, which might be chosen out of respect for William's grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Other contenders could be Charles, to honour the Prince of Wales, Albert, Arthur, Frederick or even Henry - Prince Harry's actual name.
Francis is a family name for the Middletons, while Diana, Princess of Wales's middle name was Frances. A middle name tribute might be made to Kate's father Michael, or her paternal grandfather Peter.
Both George and Charlotte have two middle names - George's are Alexander and Louis - so the new addition to the family is also likely to be given two.
William and Kate chose Alexander as a second name for George simply because they liked the name, and they went for Louis in memory of Charles's beloved late great-uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten.
Like they did previously, William and Kate will wait until the Queen has been informed of the baby's name before they announce it to the world.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be considering traditional names with royal significance, just as they did with George and Charlotte
The bookmakers have set the chance that Kate has twins at 4-1.
Coral spokesman David Stevens said: 'Late last month we had to cut the odds on the royal couple announcing this news to 1-2 from 3-1, and that gamble has proved to be spot on.
'It's cost us a few quid but we'll be paying out with a smile after this good news.'
He added: 'Alice is the early favourite when it comes to the potential name of the royal new arrival, while Diana at 14-1 could prove popular with punters.'
Paddy Power also has Alice as the favourite at 8-1, with Arthur at 10-1 and Diana at 20-1.
Alice is the early favourite with the bookies, but Diana could still be in the running given the recent 20th anniversary of her death
A Paddy Power spokesman said: 'Given the recent anniversary, there'll be plenty of interest in the name Diana if the baby is a girl.'
William Hill has Alice as the 8-1 favourite, with Elizabeth and James both at 10-1. With US leader Donald Trump in charge of the White House, Donald is at 50-1.
Joe Crilly, William Hill spokesman, said: 'Royal baby betting is big business and when Prince George was born, we took over £1 million. Turnover looks set to spike again.
'Most of the names towards the top of the betting are ones which have been popular the last two times around and we expect they will be again.'
William Hill set the odds of royal twins at 33-1.
'Last time around, twins was very heavily backed from 33-1 in to 10-1 and it would be no surprise to see the same thing happen this time,' said Mr Crilly.
WHAT'S IN A NAME? WILL IT BE PRINCESS ALICE OR PRINCE ARTHUR
These are the names with royal significance that the couple could consider for their new arrival.
One of the most popular choices so far, Alexandra is one of the Queen's middle names and has a serious royal pedigree.
Her Majesty's cousin is also called Alexandra, as was her great-grandmother, Alexandra of Denmark, the Queen Consort of Edward VII.
Known to her family as Alix, she was considered one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe and was aunt by marriage to another famously beautiful Alexandra - the last Tsarina of Russia.
Famously beautiful: Queen Alexandra was born a Danish princess and married Edward VII
More recent royal Alexandras include Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, the former wife of Prince Joachim of Denmark, and Caroline of Monaco's youngest daughter, Princess Alexandra of Hanover.
A perennial favourite, Alice, which is of Old French origin, is currently leading the field and is hotly tipped to be chosen should the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge produce a girl.
Although a fixture in the baby name top 10, it also has quite the royal pedigree and has been bestowed on blue-blooded babies since the Middle Ages.
One early Princess Alice was Alice of Jerusalem, the daughter of the Crusader king Baldwin II and his wife, Morphia.
Alice: The Duke of Edinburgh with his mother Princess Alice of Hesse, later Greece and Denmark
Royal family: Princess Alice, in a dark dress next to Queen Mary, is seen at the Queen's wedding in 1947
After her marriage in 1126, she became known as Alice of Antioch and famously battled her own brother for control of the city following her husband's death.
More recent royals with the name Alice include Princess Alice of Hesse, the second child and third daughter of Queen Victoria, and Princess Alice of Battenburg - the Duke of Edinburgh's mother.
It's an unlikely contender as Diana is already Princess Charlotte's middle name.
However, the renewed interest in Diana around the 20th anniversary of her death may push it up the list of contenders.
The Duke places great importance on honouring her memory, having already used Diana's sapphire and diamond engagement ring when he proposed to Kate.
Keeping her memory alive: Diana is another possible choice for the new royal baby
It is thought likely they would use the name Diana, if not as a first name, then as one of a baby daughter's middle names.
While there have been few notable royal Dianas throughout history - other than the Duke's mother - holds ethereal nobility as Diana was a Roman goddess of the hunt and moon.
There is speculation William and Kate will pick Elizabeth - if not as a first name then as a middle name - for a girl in honour of William's grandmother and the reigning Queen.
The Queen is held in great respect by her family and William has spoken of how she has become an even more important part of his life as he has grown older, while Kate, for her part, has forged a strong bond with the monarch since becoming a royal.
Pedigree: The baby could be named Elizabeth after its great-grandmother and the Tudor monarch Elizabeth I
Family tradition: Elizabeth is the name of William's grandmother and his great-grandmother
Other royals to have the name include the Queen Mother and the Duchess of Cambridge herself, whose middle name it is.
None of them, however, are quite so famous as Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, who ruled from 1558 until 1603 and is known to posterity as the greatest of the Tudor monarchs.
Another popular choice with punters, Frances doesn't have a particularly royal pedigree but it does come with some close family ties for the Duke and Duchess.
As well as being the middle name of Diana, Princess of Wales, Frances was also the name of William's grandmother, Frances Shand Kydd.
Grandmother: William's maternal grandmother (left with her mother Ruth) was named Frances
It is also a recurring name in Kate's family tree. It was her great-great-great grandmother's first name and appears a number of times in the male form, Francis.
One of the Queen's middle names, Mary comes with an impeccable royal pedigree and is still one of the most popular monikers for European princesses today.
Indeed, the Queen's own grandmother was one such princess, the German Mary of Teck. Known to her family as May, she went on to become a hugely popular Queen Consort following her marriage to George V.
Not every Queen Mary has been a consort, however, and the UK has seen two Marys on the throne in their own right.
Not popular: Mary I has gone down in history as Bloody Mary thanks to her penchant for persecution
Glamorous: Denmark's Australian-born Crown Princess is another royal Mary
First to rule was Mary I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, who went down in history as Bloody Mary thanks to her penchant for burning Protestant 'heretics'.
Next came Mary II who ruled jointly with her Dutch husband William III and whose legacy includes revamping a mansion in Hyde Park that is now Kensington Palace.
But when she died childless, the throne passed to her sister Anne, a woman who, despite having 18 children, also died with no surviving heirs and, as a result, was the last of the Stuarts.
Other royal Marys include George VI's sister Princess Mary and Denmark's Crown Princess, a Tasmanian also called Mary.
FOR A BOY...
Queen Victoria used to insist that the name Albert was used as a middle name by her descendants in honour of her much-loved consort Prince Albert.
Albert, who died aged 42, famously took an active interest in the arts, science, trade and industry and masterminded the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Much missed: An early photograph showing Queen Victoria and Prince Albert during their wedding
Modern monarch: Monaco's Prince Albert II with his wife Charlene and their baby twins (right)
Victoria and Albert's eldest son Edward VII was actually Albert Edward and known as Bertie to his family.
Their other sons all had Albert as a middle name - a tradition that carried on through the generations. Prince Harry has Albert as one of his middle names.
By choosing Albert or Bertie for a boy, William and Kate would also be honouring the Queen's father, George VI who was actually Albert Frederick Arthur George and always known to his family as Bertie.
Shy, stammering Bertie was forced to become king when his brother Edward VIII abdicated, but won the nation's affection by standing firm in London during the Second World War.
Contemporary royals named Albert include Monaco's ruler and scion of the Grimaldi dynasty, Prince Albert II.
Arthur is the middle name of both Prince Charles and Prince William, and was also part of George VI's name.
A royal name with a particularly romantic pedigree, the name evokes thoughts of the mythical King Arthur who, according to legend, is set to return at the moment of Britain's greatest need.
Name with a pedigree: Queen Victoria's son Prince Arthur (right) with the future Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Famous: King Arthur has been the subject of many a drama. Jamie Campbell-Bower is seen here in the role
Quite who the real Arthur was remains a mystery, although some historians have argued that Arthur was really Alfred the Great, the Dark Ages king of Wessex who declared himself 'Rex Angolorum' [King of the English] after defeating a marauding Viking army.
Despite the heroic legend attached to Arthur, the name also has tragic connotations and was given to Henry VII's eldest son.
Arthur, who would have become king in place of his younger brother Henry VIII, died aged 15 and shortly after his marriage to Katherine of Aragon.
More recent Arthurs include Queen Victoria's son Prince Arthur, who became the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.
William is close to his father and is likely to want to show his affection if he has a son, although the name is a more likely choice for a middle name.
Uncle: Charles, 9th Earl Spencer and Viscount Althorp is pictured at the Royal Wedding in 2011
Unlucky: Charles is considered an unlucky royal name because of the fate of Charles I and his son Charles II
It would also reference his mother's side of the family as Charles is also the name of Diana, Princess of Wales's brother, Earl Spencer.
Charles, however, is considered an unlucky royal name with Stuart monarch Charles I becoming the only British royal ever to suffer a full-scale rebellion and be executed as a result.
Although his son Charles II was responsible for the Restoration in 1660, his reign was also notable for a deadly outbreak of plague and for the Great Fire of London in 1666.
One of the most popular choices for punters, Frederick is a name with an impeccable royal pedigree and boasts links to the Dukedom of Cambridge.
That comes in the shape of Prince Adolphus Frederick who lived from 1774 to 1850 and was given the title the Duke of Cambridge by his father George III in 1801 when he was 27.
Family: Frederick comes with a family connection in the shape of William's cousin Lord Frederick Windsor
Pedigree: Frederick or Frederik is a particularly popular name in Denmark and is the name of the current heir
Although he never became a Prince of Cambridge in his own right, his son George, like his modern equivalent, was known as Prince George of Cambridge.
The Duke was described by his father as being 'lively'. He was a military man, a popular figure and a great supporter of charities, literature and the sciences.
He was also apparently very fond of interrupting church services by bellowing out 'By all means' if the priest said 'Let us pray'.
Other royals with the name include William's second cousin once removed, Lord Frederick Windsor - who sparked a scandal in 1999 when he was reportedly spotted snorting cocaine.
The current heir to the Danish throne is also called Frederik, in continuation of a tradition that has seen every Danish monarch, barring the women, called either Christian or Frederik.
46-year-old Crown Prince Frederik appears happy to continue the tradition and named his eldest son Christian when he was born in 2005.
James, the name of the Duchess of Cambridge's brother, is currently leading the field for the boys at the bookmakers.
William, however, already has a cousin called James - the Earl and Countess of Wessex's seven-year-old son Viscount Severn.
Connection: James is another possibility but it has already been given to seven-year-old Viscount Severn
It does, however, have an impeccable royal pedigree and there have been no fewer than seven monarchs called James in British history so far.
Not all ruled over the whole of the UK, however, with the first five in charge of Scotland alone.
That all changed when James VI of Scotland became James I of England and also the UK in 1603 after he was left the throne by his cousin Elizabeth I.
His grandson James II was less lucky, however, and was forced to flee the country and abdicate in favour of his eldest daughter, Mary II.
The happy news that George, four, and Charlotte, two, will have a new sibling next year came later via Kensington Palace, who said in a statement: 'Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child'.
The Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and other members of both families are delighted with the news.
The child will be born fifth in line to the throne, bumping uncle Harry out of the top five and into sixth place.
Most watched News videos
- Moment boy rescued during Taliban takeover is reunited with family
- 2020: Intensive care doctor reveals many Covid patients are fit and young
- Anti-vax group led by ex-soldiers training public for 'war' on govt
- Survivors of rock collapse at Brazil canyon reunited with family
- Brawl breaks out in Tesco as fearless pensioner continues shopping
- Two airliners appear to fly just feet from each other near Luton
- Anti-vaxx group engage in military-style drills to smash police lines
- Rayner: Boris Johnson should be ashamed after 'party' email leak
- Boris avoids answering if he and Carrie attended Downing St 'party'
- Partygate: Labour 'lost for words' at the 'arrogance' of Boris
- Conservative minister says PM Boris Johnson is 'going nowhere'
- Dr Anthony Fauci caught on hot mic calling Senator a moron