KATE and Wills could be expecting TWINS, it emerged today.
The Duchess Of Cambridge is spending a second day in hospital being treated for a morning sickness condition – linked to mums who have multiple births.
News that Kate’s condition may indicate she is carrying twins has prompted bookmaker William Hill to cut the odds of the royal couple having two babies from 33/1 to 25/1 following a number of bets overnight.
Mothers-to-be who suffer from the hyperemesis gravidarum condition are THREE times more likely to have a multiple birth than other women.
William returned to Kate’s bedside at 11.30am after his pregnant wife began a second day in hospital battling the severe morning sickness.
The Duchess, who is under 12 weeks pregnant, is expected to remain at the private King Edward VII hospital in central London for several days.
Wills and Kate had been hoping to keep the news they were expecting a baby secret until Christmas Day, it was reported.
But they were forced to make the announcement after she was admitted to hospital.
William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: “Kate’s condition is apparently very common in mothers expecting twins and we have had to cut the price accordingly.”
Victoria and George have been the best backed names during the first 12 hours since the announcement was made and they are both offered at 10/1.
Kate was on a drip in hospital last night after suffering severe vomiting since the weekend. She is likely to be kept in for several days as a precaution.
Doctors at central London’s King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone will replace lost fluids to keep dehydration at bay, boost her nutrition and monitor her progress.
Sources said the couple initially had “no plans whatsoever” to announce the pregnancy until after she had had her 12-week scan, it was reported.
They also revealed that the Duke and Duchess had not planned to tell the Royal Family of their news until they were all gathered together at Sandringham at Christmas.
But Kate’s arrival at hospital yesterday forced Palace officials to make the unplanned announcement.
Reports claimed she was barely eight weeks pregnant while the Palace confirmed she was less than 12 weeks pregnant — the earliest point at which a birth is usually announced.
Even the Queen and other senior Royals were taken by surprise because Kate and Prince William had not yet broken the news.
It is not yet known when the baby is due but Kate is believed to have found out she was expecting in the past four weeks.
Betting on the baby’s weight has seen between 7lb and 8lb become the 9/4 favourite but the bookmakers are offering 6/1 that the baby is over 101b.
A Royal source said: “William and Catherine are very happy but understandably nervous given her illness.
“They weren’t expecting to announce this so soon but once it was clear the Duchess had to spend several days in hospital it became clear the news would leak out.”
Palace officials confirmed Kate has the acute morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
Kate and Wills’ baby will be third in line to the throne — and eventually King or Queen.
A Royal aide said The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family were delighted to learn of a new heir.
He added: “We are not giving a medical commentary, it would not be right to do so. It is a well-known medical condition.
“Obviously everyone in the family is very pleased.”
Prince Harry, currently serving with the Army in Afghanistan, is said to be “over the moon” at the prospect of being an uncle.
Kate’s parents Carole and James Middleton were reported to be “elated”.
The Duchess started feeling unwell over the weekend while staying at her parents’ home in Bucklebury, Berks.
It is understood she was so ill she was unable to keep down food or water.
The cause of hyperemesis gravidarum is unknown but experts believe it may be hormone-related.
Worried Wills consulted doctors who advised a trip to hospital. Kate was taken to the King Edward VII by car rather than ambulance.
William yesterday spent hours at his wife’s bedside comforting her. He looked concerned as he emerged from the hospital at 8.10pm, giving a strained smile to waiting wellwishers.
The Prince then climbed into the passenger seat of a Land Rover and was driven away. Kate’s sister Pippa, who lives a few miles from the hospital in Fulham, is expected to visit the Duchess soon.
Wills and Kate have cancelled all engagements.
An official statement from Clarence House said: “As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter.”
William has also abandoned plans to go back to his RAF base in Anglesey where he works as a search and rescue pilot.
It is not known when the child was conceived, but royal experts suggested the couple were trying for a baby around the time of their tour of the Pacific in September.
Speculation of a potential pregnancy was fuelled after Kate was pictured sipping water while her husband drank wine at a reception in Singapore on September 12.
During the trip William hinted the couple were broody by telling locals he wanted two children.
But royal watchers looking for signs the Duchess was pregnant were thrown off the scent on Friday after she was seen energetically playing hockey in high heels.
Kate joined in a game at the opening of a new artificial pitch at her old school in Pangbourne, Berks.
But Kate’s old school pal Jessica Hay predicted two weeks ago that the Duchess was about to make a big announcement.
She said: “They’re planning to make an announcement in December. I have this on the highest authority and it’s not to be taken lightly.
“But I’m happy to tell you it will be soon and it’s wonderful, happy news.”
Jessica, a guest at the Royal couple’s wedding reception last year, said the pair had been “focused on starting a family”.
News of the Royal baby sent celebrities and politicians rushing to Twitter to offer their congratulations.
TV star Kim Kardashian said: “Awww so cute!Congrats to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”
Comic David Walliams added: “Congratuwelldone William and Kate. Very happy for you both.”
Singer Cheryl Cole said: “I’m sooooooo excited that we’re having a royal baby! Congratulations to Kate and Wills!”
The public is already in the grip of Royal baby fever. A website for Clarence House, the couple’s London home, crashed last night as millions searched for news about the Duchess.
WHEN I photographed Kate at her old school on Friday she was glowing and gorgeous as ever.
But it was the behaviour of her aides that made me think something was up.
She was happy to be photographed in her frock coat playing hockey. But later in a classroom the media were ushered out after minutes. People were fussing over her.
I was delighted at the confirmation of her pregnancy yesterday. It’s an important moment for Britain — this child will be our head of state one day. The Queen has had a great Jubilee year. A new great-grandchild on the way makes it extra special.
Wills and Kate will almost certainly have to move from their cottage on the Welsh island of Anglesey to a bigger place.
They will have their own ideas about parenting and will need to find a Royal nanny.
Diana did as much as she could to give Wills and Harry a taste of normality — not always easy when you live in a palace.
I believe Kate will be a natural, loving mum. Remember those heart-warming pictures of her hugging a ten-year-old lad in Newcastle in October? She is great with kids.
Wills has known since he was a boy that he would be required to produce an heir. It’s in the job description.
I believe he will be a good dad too — very hands-on. I’ve noticed he’s always wonderful with kids when he meets them.
A Royal baby will warm the hearts of many in this time of austerity. Yet this child will be born into great privilege. He or she will have the best education money can buy. And the child will learn quickly what it means to be in the public eye.
Prince Harry — in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban — will be absolutely thrilled. I believe he will be the new baby’s godfather.
But it’s the Queen I’m feeling so happy for today.
What a way for her to celebrate 60 years on the throne!
MOST mums-to-be have morning sickness, but the degree of suffering varies a lot.
Some have only a bit of nausea in the mornings, for others it lasts all day.
It’s often aggravated by movement, like travelling by plane or car, so Kate’s busy calendar of engagements may have made her feel worse.
Severe morning sickness, or hyperemesis gravidarum, can cause relentless vomiting, leading to dehydration and weakness through lack of nourishment.
Sufferers may need to go to hospital for fluids and rest and symptoms usually improve over a period of days.
Morning sickness is due to surging levels of pregnancy hormones, but these even out at around three months, when symptoms usually subside.
The other good news for Kate is it’s usually a sign that the pregnancy is going well.
Women carrying girls are said to be more likely to have morning sickness and those expecting two or more babies generally suffer more. But the theories can’t be used to make a firm prediction.
What the baby will look like
HERE’S what the Royal baby could look like.
The Sun’s graphics experts studied photos of Kate and Wills.
They then created pictures of a girl with a cute kiss-curl, below left, and boy with Wills’ fair hair, below right.