Baby crowning moment for royals

2012-12-03 22:12
London - The news that Prince William and his wife Catherine are expecting a baby is the culmination of an 11-year relationship that began as friendship, blossomed into love and saw them marry as the world watched.

The royal couple have never hidden their desire to start a family of their own, a new phase that will require them to juggle their high-profile public lives with nappy changing, sleepless nights and the other demands of parenthood.

They will also have to handle the global interest in their newborn baby, which will be third in line to inherit the throne after its grandfather Prince Charles and William.

Despite their glittering wedding in April last year, the couple have always been happy to keep their private life low-key.

They live in a small cottage in remote northeast Wales, close to the airbase where William works as a search and rescue helicopter pilot.

It is in keeping with how their relationship began, out of the public glare in a small Scottish town.

Catherine has admitted that at her first meeting with the second-in-line to the throne in September 2001, when they both arrived to study at the University of St Andrews, she "went bright red" and quickly excused herself.

William, however, said in a joint television interview in November 2010 to mark their engagement that he always knew "there was something very special about her.

"We went through a few stumbling blocks as every relationship does, but we picked ourselves up and carried on," he said, adding: "It's just really easy being with each's really fun."

He ribbed her about reports that she had a poster of him on her bedroom wall as a teenager.

"He wishes!" she replied with a smile.


The poster story sparked suggestions that the young Kate Middleton went to university with the aim of capturing the prince.

Catherine made her mark early on when William was unhappy with his university course - like hers, history of art - and almost quit.

She persuaded him to stay but to switch to studying geography.

In turn, William is very protective of her.

He saw how his mother Diana, Princess of Wales struggled with royal life and said he waited to propose to give her a chance to "back out if she needed, before it all got too much".

In June 2003, William told reporters he did not have a "steady girlfriend", while Catherine was dating someone else.

By Christmas 2003, however, they were reported to be a couple and when they were photographed on a skiing holiday in March 2004, the palace did not deny that they were together.

The course of true love never runs smoothly, though, and in April 2007 palace officials confirmed they had broken up, a fact blamed variously on William's career and his being pictured out partying with various women.

Kate admitted she "wasn't very happy" about the split but insisted: "It made me a stronger person."

Within months they were back together.

After the couple effectively moved in with each other when William began work at the RAF Valley airbase, he finally popped the question on a holiday in Kenya in October 2010, giving her Diana's engagement ring.

Ceremonial duties

Their wedding on 29 April last year was a mix of glittering pageantry and spontaneity, breathing new life into Britain's monarchy.

A million people lined the streets and two billion television viewers worldwide watched as Catherine swept up the aisle of London's Westminster Abbey.

Baby talk was immediately in the air but William said they would take things "one step at a time.

"We'll sort of get over the marriage first and then maybe look at the kids...but obviously we want a family so we'll have to start thinking about that," he said.

They undertook their first royal tour in June and July 2011, visiting Canada and California on a trip that saw them carve out their own style, mixing ceremonial duties with light-hearted events.

They also got through a six-week separation when William deployed to the Falklands in February, though Catherine bought a dog to keep her company.

In September this year, they travelled to Singapore, Malaysia, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands on behalf of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II as part of the year-long diamond jubilee celebrations marking her 60 years on the throne.

Commentators speculated that they would not want to eclipse the jubilee with a baby announcement, but the new arrival means the British royals' reborn popularity will continue well into 2013.


  • sally.lewitt - 2012-12-03 22:44

    Wish them all the best and thank the stars there is no mistress lurking in the 'back ground' ! They deserve happiness :D

      peter.swale.9 - 2012-12-04 14:22

      Can only imagine what the headlines are going to be in "Die Son" tomorrow: "Kate het 'n Brood ini oond! Hulle het Lego gespeel, sy't geLE en hy't geGO!"

  • tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-12-03 22:48

    fantastic news! The crown Jewels are still in working order. Maybe Huisgenoot Will give Steve and Joost a break now.

  • graham.greeff - 2012-12-04 00:25

    This is fantastimical. Hope it's a boy ! Go go Kate and William !!!!

  • brionyl.french - 2012-12-04 05:02

    Wooo hooo! a new baby in the Royal family

      sindiswa.salakha - 2012-12-04 21:58

      congratulAtion to William n Kate .thy gnna hv a boy .

  • joy.termorshuizen - 2012-12-04 09:57

    Fabulous news! A new baby Prince or Princess. Congratulations.

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