Royal baby: Kate reveals baby kicks 'all the time'

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton

Duchess insists the sex of the baby will remain a surprise until April – but everyone's hoping for a girl

LAST UPDATED AT 12:20 ON Tue 20 Jan 2015

Kate Middleton has insisted that the sex of her second child will remain a surprise, but revealed the royal baby is always kicking.

"It's moving all the time. I can feel it kicking now," she told a teenager at the official opening at the Kensington Leisure Centre in west London, the Daily Mirror reports. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, who is now six months pregnant, was attending her third royal engagement of the day when she made the comments.

"I told her I hoped it was a girl but she said she doesn't know yet," 17-year old Martina McDonagh said after meeting the Duchess. "She said it was moving around a lot."

Royal watchers are predicting that the baby will be girl, as the Duchess' bump "appears to be higher and wider than at the same stage of her pregnancy with Prince George," according to STV.

Last year, Prince Charles said he was "thrilled" to be having a second grandchild and revealed that he too was secretly hoping for a baby girl. The royal baby may be named after her late grandmother, Diana, if she turns out to be a girl, a royal biographer revealed last year.

The leisure centre in Kensington was where both Prince William and Harry learned to swim and Kate said she hoped Prince George would go there too. Both royal babies were given free lifetime memberships to the centre.

Council leader Nick Paget-Brown promised the family, who live nearby, special treatment. "You are always free to contact us if your bins haven't been emptied," he told Kate.

"Or if Prince George develops a taste for noisy parties in his teenage years, just call our noise nuisance service and we'll have a quiet word," he added.

Royal baby bump lands in New York: do Americans care?

08 December

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their royal baby bump were greeted by cheering crowds as they arrived in New York last night for a three-day visit.

Prince William is due to meet Barack Obama, but all eyes are on Kate Middleton and the future royal baby.

"The bump has landed!" announced the Daily Beast. "Kate Middleton, accompanied by her husband, Prince William, and the world's most famous pregnancy bump, breezed into a chilly New York City on Sunday night."

The royals touched down at JFK before they were whisked to The Carlyle, a luxury hotel favoured by the late Princess Diana. The royal couple are planning to watch a basketball game and pay their respects to the victims of 9/11, while William is hoping to raise awareness of illegal wildlife trading.

Prince George, now a toddler, would "no doubt love the bright lights of the big city", says Max Foster at CNN, but he will have to wait to see them himself as sources say it was not "appropriate" to bring him because of the programme of events.

"No other couple in the world has the power to fill a room like the Cambridges can right now," says Foster. "America's fascination with this fairytale is unmatched."

Fashion and gossip columnists are buzzing about the clothes the pregnant Duchess has chosen for the Big Apple. "Is Kate Middleton not the most elegant pregnant woman you have ever seen?" asks Hollywood Life. "This is William and Kate's first trip to the city and Kate's first time showing off her baby bump on US soil – she looks perfect."

But the New York Times notes that the visit has been met with "the blend of enthusiasm, sarcasm and bemusing antagonism that tends to tail the urban celebrity tourist".

Nicole Gelinas, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, jokes on Twitter that "Kate and William's visit will finally put New York on the map", while Jezebel is urging New York to "try to keep calm".

Meanwhile, etiquette experts are issuing advice on what New Yorkers should do if they come across the royal couple and the royal bump. Patricia Napier-Fizpatrick tells the New York Daily News: "Americans are not required to bow or curtsy, but should do so as a sign of respect."  


Royal baby: girl would be named Diana, report says

27 October

The royal baby may be named after her late grandmother, Diana, if she turns out to be a girl, according the author who wrote extensively about the former Princess of Wales.

Royal biographer Andrew Morton told the Sun on Sunday that a daughter would be named Elizabeth Diana Windsor

"Close friends to William and Kate have told me that if it is a girl they want to name the baby after Diana," Morton said.

"They discussed girls' names before George was born and now they're hoping the next one is a girl so they can carry out their wish to honour William's mother. They're not too thrilled at the thought it will be shortened to Princess Di. But it won't change their minds."

The royal baby is due in late April, and is likely to be born at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, where Prince George was delivered in July 2013.

The Cambridges will then return to their home at Anmer Hall in Norfolk, near the Queen's residence at Sandringham.

The Daily Mail reports that bookmakers have adjusted their odds to respond to Morton's claims.

"Elizabeth became 10/1 favourite for the name with MailOnline's betting partner Coral," the paper reports. "James is second at 11/1, Victoria third at 12/1 and Alexandra fourth at 14/1."

The Mail also notes that William and Kate would risk incurring the anger of some members of their family if they named the royal baby after Diana.

"Many royals would be furious if the baby was christened Diana Elizabeth," it says.

Royal baby: Kate back after beating morning sickness

24 October

After several weeks out of the public eye, the Duchess of Cambridge has returned to royal duties this week with three official engagements in three days.

The Duchess, who is twelve weeks pregnant with her second royal baby, had been suffering from an extreme form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.

The debilitating condition had forced her to cancel all official duties since early September, including what was to have been her first solo royal trip abroad.

"Palace official say that while the Duchess hasn't entirely recovered, she is feeling well enough to take on a limited number of engagements on a 'case by case basis'," the Daily Mail reports.

Last night she appeared at a gala dinner in aid of Action on Addiction at L'Anima restaurant in London.

"The Duchess arrived at the black tie event in a knee-length black dress with sheer panels by Temperley London," the Daily Telegraph says.

The paper reports that one guest asked whether royal baby number two would be a boy or a girl, but the Duchess did not answer. It is understood that the couple did not know Prince George's gender before he was born in July last year.

Earlier this week the Duchess and Prince William represented the Queen to welcome the President of Singapore to the UK.

The second royal baby is due in late April next year.


Royal baby due in April, William and Kate confirm

20 October

Prince William and Kate Middleton have announced that their second royal baby is due in April next year.

The Duchess's pregnancy was announced on 8 September, but no due date had been given until today. The official announcement came from Kensington Palace this morning.

The palace said the Duchess is still suffering from extreme morning sickness, but her condition is "steadily improving", according to the BBC.

Reports suggest that she is spending time with her family as she prepares for the arrival of the new royal baby.

"Kate took refuge with her parents while she was 'struggling terribly' with her debilitating antenatal sickness," the Daily Mail reports. "The royal retreated to her family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, last week with her son, Prince George."

The Duchess has cancelled all engagements for the next two weeks, and last month was forced to abandon plans to travel to Malta on her first solo overseas trip.

Prince George, William and Kate's first child, will be one year and nine months old when the new royal baby arrives.


Royal baby: what's in store for 'the spare to the heir'?

9 October

Kate Middleton and Prince William's second royal baby has already acquired the moniker of "spare to the heir".

Royal correspondents have been busy analysing what is in store for Prince George's younger brother or sister, who is not due to be born until next year. Several commentators have been looking specifically at the child's "curious" future as younger sibling to royal heir.

Jeffrey Kluger, editor at large for Time magazine, is so concerned about the baby's "rotten deal" as a second-born that he has written "George's Number Two" an open letter. "Every first child will always be a family's crown prince or princess, which is all the more relevant in your family because the whole crown thing is for real," he writes. "You should get accustomed to hearing your brother and you referred to as 'an heir and a spare', which is a term you won't understand at first, then you will, and will go on to loathe for the rest of your natural life."

While sidelined by history, the siblings of British kings and queen are "an even greater target for tabloid indignity than their more powerful relatives", says Adam Taylor at the Washington Post.

He notes that Prince Harry, the young spare to heir Prince William, exemplifies both the negative and the positive side to the role as a royal sibling. "Despite a number of scandals, including smoking marijuana, dressing up as a Nazi and being photographed naked playing pool in Las Vegas, Harry's notable joie de vivre and military service seem to have endeared him to the British public," says Taylor.

BBC royal correspondent Sarah Campbell notes that on very rare occasions, the "spare" has had to be drafted in, such as the Queen's father George VI who took over from his older brother Edward VIII in 1936.

"Few would argue that the most recent 'spares' – Princess Margaret, Princess Anne and Prince Harry – have been dealt an unlucky hand, but it must be a curious position to hold," says Campbell.

In The Times, Helen Rumbelow describes younger royal siblings as "donor siblings" but "instead of providing a kidney to an older child, they provide playmates to the heir who is isolated by his or her status". In their twenties the younger sibling continues to "frolic for the delight of the tabloids", she says. "But as each new baby pushed out by their older sibling pushes them down the line of succession – hello Prince Harry, now 5th in line! – so the existential crisis closes in."

Paul Harrison, Sky's royal correspondent, suggests the Duchess's second pregnancy may garner "marginally less" interest than that of Prince George. "Yes, the media will flood the street outside the Lindo Wing in Paddington when the time comes," he says. "But the fact of the matter is, William and Kate's second child is unlikely to be this country's future monarch."

Harrison says that this makes the new baby constitutionally "less significant" than Prince George. "But should the Duke and Duchess's second born follow in Harry's footsteps," he says, "it will make plenty of news in the future, should the antics of its red-headed uncle be anything to go by."


Royal baby: Kate Middleton pregnant with second child

8 September

Prince George is due to have a little brother or sister, it has emerged, with Clarence House confirming today that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her second child.

No due date has been announced for the new royal baby.

"Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child," Clarence House announced today. "The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news."

David Cameron has tweeted that he is "delighted" by the "happy news" that they are expecting another baby.

A spokesman for the royal residence said that the Duchess is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that causes nausea and vomiting, which she went through in her first pregnancy.

The Duchess, who is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace, was due to accompany Prince William on a planned engagement in Oxford today, but Clarence House said she would no longer be able to attend.

The birth of Prince George on 22 July last year caused "royal baby mania" across the globe. The international press went into something close to meltdown, with a gaggle of reporters doggedly camping outside St Mary's hospital in London.

Following Prince George's arrival, world leaders and celebrities sent out their best wishes to the couple, while retailers swiftly jumped on the royal baby bandwagon. Marks & Spencer was stocking tins of shortbread inscribed with George's name within just 24 hours, while Asda rebranded its George clothing website with a crown and stocked its shelves with "George Fit for a King" baby-grows.

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