Kate Middleton

Royal baby sparks British media frenzy

Speculation at fever pitch as Kate stays in hospital with morning sickness

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 May, 2015, 4:46pm

The news that Britain's Prince William and Kate are to become parents has sent the world's media into overdrive.

Will it be a boy or a girl? Is she expecting twins? How fat will she look in her pregnancy clothes?

And then there's this question: where did the royal couple conceive the child that will be third in line to the throne?

Speculation among some news organisations - including The Guardian in London - is that the Duchess of Cambridge isn't quite past the 12-week mark, when it is considered safe to announce the pregnancy.

According to Buckingham Palace, the pregnancy is in its "very early stages" and it is thought the news was released because her admission to hospital for morning sickness would have made her condition public.

So is it possible the child was conceived during the couple's "second honeymoon" tour of Asia Pacific? The tour took place between September 11 and 18, with the 11th being 12 weeks ago.

The nine-day trip through Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu featured the former Kate Middleton's first overseas speech as she settled into her royal duties.

A stay at a resort popular with newlyweds on the private island of Tavanipupu led to their trip being billed as a second honeymoon. The pair also stayed at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. And it was there that the duchess set tongues wagging over why she might be avoiding alcohol when she opted to toast with a glass of ice water instead of champagne during a banquet.

The confirmation of her pregnancy caps a packed year of highs and lows for the couple, who wed at Westminster Abbey last year.

They have travelled the world extensively as part of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and weathered the embarrassment caused when a French magazine published topless images of the duchess.

Until Monday's announcement, the duchess had shown no signs of being pregnant.

She was photographed just last week bounding across a field clad in black high-heeled boots as she played field hockey with students at her former school.

Palace officials said the duchess was hospitalised with "hyperemesis gravidarum", a severe form of morning sickness that affects about 1 in 200 women and can lead to dehydration or worse if left untreated.

They said she was expected to remain hospitalised for several days and would require a period of rest afterwards.

The headline in The Daily Telegraph yesterday asked "Could it be twins for the Duchess?", pointing out that the condition is more often experienced by women expecting twins.

The Times used the headline "We're Expecting" on its front page, but warned that the couple would be likely to face a new level of press scrutiny.

The New York Times, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press