Duchess of Cambridge in ‘early stages of labor’ with third child

The Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Britain’s Prince William, has been admitted to hospital in the early stages of labor, the royal family announced.

The duchess, the former Kate Middleton, was driven by car from her official residence at Kensington Palace to the private wing of a central London hospital early Monday morning.

“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London earlier this morning in the early stages of labor,” Kensington Palace said.

“The Duchess traveled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.”

The duchess is pregnant with her third child. The baby will be fifth in line to the British throne, after grandfather Prince Charles, father Prince William and two siblings.

The newest addition to the royal family will be a younger brother or sister to Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2.

The new baby will be Queen Elizabeth II’s sixth great-grandchild.

Prince George was born at the Lindo Wing in 2013, and Prince Charlotte in 2015. Their father William was also born at the same facility.

The duchess’ pregnancy was announced in September. At the time, she was said to be suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, which involves nausea and vomiting more severe than the typical morning sickness many women suffer during early pregnancy. The duchess was affected by the same condition during her two previous pregnancies.

As her symptoms eased she returned to the public stage, making appearances alongside William, Harry and his fiancee, Meghan Markle.

The development just weeks before the wedding Harry and Markle marry at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor on May 19.

William and Kate will mark their own seventh wedding anniversary on April 29.

The news of a royal birth is traditionally announced on a gilded easel placed outside Buckingham Palace. Large crowds gathered outside in July 2013 to see the announcement of the arrival of William and Kate’s first child.

The couple announced his name, George Alexander Louis, and that of their daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, a couple of days after each was born.

Among bookmakers’ favorite names for the couple’s third child, are Arthur, Albert and Frederick for a boy, and Mary, Alice and Alexandra for a girl.

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