AYRSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM- MARCH 05: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, known as the Duke of Rothesay, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, known as the Countess of Strathearn, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn, when in Scotland during a visit to Dumfries House on March 05, 2013 in Ayrshire, Scotland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge braved the bitter cold to attend the opening of an outdoor centre in Scotland today. The couple joined the Prince of Wales at Dumfries House in Ayrshire where Charles has led a regeneration project since 2007. Hundreds of locals and 600 members of youth groups including the Girl Guides and Scouts turned out for the official opening of the Tamar Manoukin Outdoor Centre. (Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“Prince William’s Driving Lessons” Photocall at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire in 1999.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attending the unveiling of the Duchess’ first official portrait.
I’ve always loved these pictures. Sweet moment.
The past couple of days have really opened my eyes to what royal life must be like.
Royal Baby: Reaction as William and Kate reveal Pregnancy
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child, the have announced.
Regardless of whether the baby is male or female, the child will succeed the throne after William.
Reaction has been quick to emerge from public figures and royal-watchers.
Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to offer his congratulations. He used social-media website Twitter to say: “I’m delighted by the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby. They will make wonderful parents.”
Mr Cameron later told BBC News that he had been “tipped off” about the news shortly before it was made public: “A little note came into the meeting I was having and I found it quite difficult to keep it to myself.”
After being alerted to the news by BBC chief political correspondent Norman Smith, Ed Miliband tweeted: “Fantastic news for Kate, William and the country. A royal baby is something the whole nation will celebrate.” The Labour leader had been in a House of Commons meeting on the findings of the Leveson report.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond released the following statement: “My warmest congratulations and sincere best wishes to the Earl and Countess of Strathearn on this wonderful news. Everyone in Scotland will join me in wishing the couple the very best as they prepare for the birth of their first child.”
The news was broken in a statement from St James’s Palace, which said: “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.”
William’s uncle Earl Spencer welcomed the announcement, saying in a statement: “It is wonderful news and I am thrilled for them both.”
The baby would have been a first grandchild for William’s late mother and the Earl’s sister, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Meanwhile the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who married the royal couple in Westminster Abbey in April 2011, said: “The whole nation will want to join in celebrating this wonderful news. We wish the Duchess the best of health and happiness in the months ahead.”
Further afield, the recently re-elected President of the United States, Barack Obama, congratulated the royal couple via a White House spokesman: “On behalf of everyone here in the White House, beginning with the president and first lady, we extend our congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the welcome news this morning out of London that they are expecting their first child.”
Many American newspaper websites featured the news on their front pages, with the New York Times urging the royal couple to “get the nursery ready” and USA Today greeted the “happy royal news” by asking “can you hear the trumpets blowing?”
The broadcaster CNN invited mothers in the US to write in with their stories of how pregnancy changed their lives, while ABC News ran a pollasking readers what they would name the child.
The poll featured the top ten boys’ and girls’ names in the UK and invited readers to choose their favourite.
The news also appeared on the front page of media websites in Argentina, India, Canada, France and South Africa.
German tabloid Bild meanwhile, splashed the news across their web front page with a full width picture banner and speculation as to whether the baby would be a “prince or a princess”.
Kate Williams, Royal Historian
Royal historian Kate Williams said Monday’s announcement tops what has been a stellar year for the British royal family: “The royal popularity is really soaring high after some pretty steady lows over the past 50 years or so.”
She said the announcement of past royal pregnancies had been “exciting, thrilling” moments, but the reaction to the duke and duchess’ firstborn was likely to be unprecedented.
She added: “The bells rang across Britain when Queen Victoria had her son, the future Edward VII. But it’s nothing like this.
“We’re in a global media world… when this child is born there’ll be battles for photographs of it.
“I think William and Kate are now going to be besieged by babygros, toys and tables and all kinds of books.
“This is a global phenomenon and is perhaps the most famous child in modern history.”
JOURNALISTS AND ROYAL-WATCHERS
Royal journalist Ingrid Seward said the news would be embraced by the nation: “Everybody loves a royal wedding and everyone loves a royal baby, and so it’s wonderful news for all of us media. It’s also a very happy occasion for the duke and duchess.”
She believes the royal pair are likely to have wanted to start a family “sooner rather than later”, but delayed so that that could play their part in honouring the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
She added: “Kate will be 31 in January and I think by royal standards that is relatively old. [Princess] Diana was pregnant with Prince William very very quickly, as was Princess Margaret.
“It is inclined to happen sooner rather than later in a royal marriage.”
Royal-watcher Penny Junor said the duchess’s pregnancy was “very, very good news and the news everyone has been waiting for”.
She added: “I imagine they will be treated with a little more privacy… William is a highly private man. I think that the press, particularly in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry, will be a little more restrained.”
RAF (Royal Air Force)
A spokesman for the RAF, with which William serves as a search-and-rescue pilot, said: “The RAF is delighted with the news and wishes the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge all the best for the future.”
“ We moved in together as friends because we were living together, we lived with a couple of others as well, and it just sort of blossomed from there really.”
Prince William as toddler in Kensington Palace