It has been a whirlwind week for Kate Middleton and Prince William as St James's Palace announced that the couple are expecting a royal baby. Spokespeople for the royals were prompted to announce the happy news after Kate was admitted to the King Edward VII hospital in London.
Monday, December 3: The 30-year-old royal was suffering an accute version of morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum and was consequently treated at a hospital in the capital. Eager to be by his wife's side, Prince William was seen anxiously entering the hospital. Having to act more prematurely than they had hoped, Clarence House released an official statement that confirmed the news which read "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess is expecting a baby. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news."
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Wednesday, December 5: Kate remained in hospital for several days but was kept company by William and members of her family. On Wednesday the Duchess received a welcome visit from her siblings James and Pippa Middleton, as well as from her parents Carole and Michael Middleton. The couple left their Berkshire home to visit their daughter, whose little one will be their first grandchild.
Pippa's visit prompted speculation from royal watchers about who the royal duo will choose to be godparents. Kate's party-planning sister, known for her starring role as bridesmaid at William and Kate's 2011 wedding, quickly became a hot favourite for the position of godmother. If Pippa and William's 28-year-old brother Harry were chosen, this would be in keeping with the tradition of choosing the maid of honour and best man as godparents.
As Kate's condition steadily improved, dad-to-be William remained loyally by her side. The Prince had sparked rumours of a royal pregnancy during the couple's trip to Cambridge when he accepted an adorable onesie from Suffolk mum, Samantha Hill.
Just two days after the news had broken the couple had their first media incident when an Australian radio station obtained personal information about the Duchess's well-being by calling the hospital she was recovering in. Presenters Mel Grief and Michael Christian were told the Duchess had had a "comfortable night" after pretending to be the Queen and her son Charles. In response to the incident King Edward VII hospital issued an apology saying the call "was transferred through to a ward and a short conversation was held with the nursing staff. King Edward VII's Hospital deeply regrets this incident."
In a tragic turn of events, the hospital has been saddened to announce that the receptionist on call during the hoax call, Jacintha Saldanha, has commited suicide. Named by the hospital as "a very well respected and excellent nurse", a St James's Palace spokesman has said that the Royal family are deeply saddened by the news.
The official statement said: "Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha. Both their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well by everyone at King Edward VII’s Hospital. Their thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues at this hard time.”
Thursday, December 6: On Thursday the nation breathed a sigh of relief as Kate was released from hospital. Clutching a bouquet of yellow flowers and wrapped in a navy blue coat the Duchess emerged with her husband looking tired but delighted. Now that the mum-to-be is on the mend the global excitement surrounding her baby can continue, including the hotly anticipated name the couple will choose for the baby that will one day be King or Queen.
All the news as Duchess Kate's due date draws close...