The British royal court today announced that the Duchess of Cambridge (aka Catherine or Kate) is pregnant with her first child. The court did not say when the baby is expected to be born, only that “the pregnancy is in its very early stages”. Royal pregnancies are normally not announced until the end of the third month, but it seems this was announced already now to prevent speculations after the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London this afternoon for treatment for very acute morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum).
As the firstborn child of the Duke of Cambridge (Prince William of Britain) the child will be born as third in line to the throne, following its father and its grandfather, the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles). However, if it is a girl she will, under current legislation, be bypassed in the succession by a younger brother, but there is currently a constitutional process going on in the sixteen realms of which Elizabeth II is Queen to introduce gender-neutral succession. If the baby now expected is a girl, this will be done retroactively, so the expected child will be the future monarch whether it is a boy or a girl.
The child will be the third great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, following the two daughters of Peter Phillips (the son of Princess Anne). Although it is not unusual for Britain to have a royal family consisting of four generations (this was the case from 1948 to 1953 and from 1982 to 2002) it will be the first time since 1894-1901 that there will be three heirs in direct line to the British throne.