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Royals delighted as Kate says third child on the way

By Laura Elston

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are thrilled to be expecting their third baby, a sibling for Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who will be fifth in line to the throne.

Kate is less than 12 weeks' pregnant, with Kensington Palace making the announcement early after the duchess had to pull out of a public engagement on Monday due to severe morning sickness.

Grandfather the Prince of Wales is said to be "delighted" with the news, as are the Queen and other members of William and Kate's family.

Just weeks ago, the duchess joked about having a third child while on a tour of Poland and Germany with William, George and Charlotte. After being given a present designed for newborns while in Warsaw, she laughed and turned to William, saying: "We will just have to have more babies.''

Kensington Palace said in a statement: "Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child.

"The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news."

Prince Harry also expressed his delight, branding the news "fantastic".

Harry, who will be the new royal baby's uncle, declared he was "very, very happy".

Despite Kate's severe morning sickness, he added: "I think she's okay."

The duchess, who is being cared for at Kensington Palace, has hyperemesis gravidarum, as she did in her previous pregnancies. The rare condition, which causes severe vomiting, affects 3.5 in every 1,000 pregnant women.

Belfast's High Sheriff Tom Haire proposed congratulations to the royal couple on their good news at the start of last night's council meeting.

His proposal was met with murmurs of "hear, hear", and no audible opposition.

Lord Mayor, and new mum, Nuala McAllister, who was chairing the meeting, echoed his sentiments and added her own special wishes to the duchess. "I absolutely hope she recovers from morning sickness, it is not fun," she said.

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