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Royal baby could share Diana’s July 1 birthday

AFP-JIJI

The first child of Prince William and his wife, Kate, is due in July, St James’s Palace said Monday.

The palace also said Kate was returning to full health following her hospitalization last month with severe morning sickness.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in July,” the palace said in a statement, suggesting the duchess is at least three months pregnant.

“The duchess’ condition continues to improve since her stay in hospital last month,” it added.

The brief update comes at a time when William and 31-year-old Kate had most likely intended to announce the pregnancy.

But when Kate was admitted to a hospital on Dec. 3 suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that makes it hard to keep down food or liquids, the royals were forced to reveal the news.

She stayed in the hospital for three nights and was not seen in public for weeks after being discharged, although she presented the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award to cyclist Bradley Wiggins shortly before Christmas.

The duchess appeared to be back to full health last week as she watched a performance of the Cirque du Soleil in London for her birthday.

She also attended the unveiling of her first official portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, declaring the painting “amazing.”

Catherine’s hospitalization had forced royal officials to announce her pregnancy before she had yet reached 12 weeks, the point at which the danger of a miscarriage drops off significantly.

Hyperemesis gravidarum is often associated with twins, but the palace confirmed Monday that William and Kate were only expecting one child. They refused to comment on its sex, or whether the couple knew its sex.

If the baby arrives early, he or she could share a birthday with William’s mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who was born on July 1.