If you thought the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was a big deal, get ready for the massive interest and attention that's about to be showered on their first child. 


Buckingham Palace/Clarence House made the news official today by announcing that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting.


In a statement on the couple's website, they said: "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby.

"The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news."


The news puts to rest months of speculation over hints that the 30-year-old might be pregnant — including the much-talked-about leak by Middleton's former roommate Jessica Hay, who spilled the news in an interview with New Idea magazine last month. 


“They’re planning to make an announcement in December. William and Kate are focused on starting a family,” she said. 


Turns out she was right. 


The timing of the announcement may, however, have something to do with Kate's admittance today to King Edward VII Hospital in Central London with hyperemesis gravidarum. The condition, described as "extreme, persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy," can lead to dehydration and even induce hallucinations. 


"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," palace officials said.


Twitter-savvy royal watchers can already follow the baby at the (unofficial) Twitter handle @RoyalFetus.


Congrats to Kate and Will! We wish them all the best on what's sure to be one of 2013's big events.


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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Kate Middleton in hospital, pregnant with first child
Buckingham Palace finally puts the pregnancy rumors to rest by officially announcing that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting.