The Duchess of Cambridge’s first baby, which will be third in line to the British throne, is due in July and her condition continues to improve, her office said.
The former Kate Middleton, 31, was discharged from King Edward VII hospital in central London on Dec. 6 after a three-day stay caused by hyperemesis gravidarum, or acute morning sickness. The baby is likely to arrive shortly after the 31st birthday of her husband, Prince William.
“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in July,” according to a statement on the couple’s website. “The Duchess’s condition continues to improve since her stay in hospital last month.”
Hyperemesis gravidarum, triggered by pregnancy, causes such severe nausea in as many as 2 percent of women that it prevents food and liquids from being kept down, threatening weight loss and dehydration.
The child will follow Queen Elizabeth II’s son, Prince Charles, and William in the line of succession. The British government said a day after the pregnancy was announced that it will propose giving princesses the same rights to succeed to the throne as their brothers.
Current laws, including the 1700 Act of Settlement, give male heirs precedence over their older sisters. The act also excludes Roman Catholics or anyone married to a Roman Catholic from becoming king or queen. Spurred on by the wedding of Prince William last year, Prime Minister David Cameron agreed the law needed to be changed and lobbied his counterparts from the other members of the British Commonwealth.
The process of getting agreement among the 15 countries that share the monarch to a limited change, which would also remove the bar on those married to Catholics, was completed last month. A Succession to the Crown Bill, which would also remove the bar on those married to Catholics, will be introduced to Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Dec. 4.
The Duke and Duchess, who started dating when they were students at St. Andrews University in Scotland, married in London’s Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, with 1 million people lining the streets of London and millions around the world watching on television.