LONDON, England – Britain’s royal family announced Monday that Prince William and his wife are expecting their first child.

St. James’s Palace said Monday that the Duchess of Cambridge — formerly known as Kate Middleton — has a severe form of morning sickness and is currently in a London hospital.

The palace said that since the pregnancy is in its “very early stages,” the 30-year-old duchess is expected to stay in the hospital for several days and will require a period of rest afterward.

In recent days, Middleton has kept up royal appearances — recently playing field hockey with schoolchildren at her former school.

The confirmation of her pregnancy — following intense speculation ever since their lavish Westminster Abbey wedding last year — was greeted with congratulations.

Prime Minister David Cameron Tweeted that he is “delighted by the news”, saying the couple will make wonderful parents.

Canada’s Governor General chimed in on behalf of Canadians, saying that “we would like to congratulate their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on this wonderful occasion.”

Our leader also took note of the news, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper passing on the best wishes of he and his wife Laureen on Twitter, calling it wonderful news.

Immediately following the announcement, Kate Middleton was one of the top trends on Twitter, with people all around the world buzzing over the news.

The pregnancy is also likely to have an effect on maternity fashion, as Middleton has been somewhat of a fashion icon since her marriage into the royal family.

When Middleton wears a brand of clothing it tends to make waves and quickly become very popular; with the same expected to be true for her maternity wear.

As far as the announcement is concerned, Chairman of the Monarchist League Robert Finch said this is the good news people have been waiting to hear for a long time.

“It’s a great shot in the arm for the Monarchy. It’s been a great year for the crown – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This is a great way to end it, with a focus on the future generation of the Monarchy,” he explained.

Not only are the attractive young couple popular — with William’s easy common touch reminding many of his mother, the late Princess Diana — but their child is expected to play an important role in British national life for decades to come.

As the first-born to William — who is second in line for the throne after his father, Prince Charles — the couple’s child stands an excellent chance of one day becoming monarch.

Whether boy or girl, or twins, the child will be next in line behind William in the line of succession to the throne, Cabinet Office officials have said.

Leaders of Britain and the 15 former colonies that have the monarch as their head of state agreed in 2011 to new rules which give females equal status with males in the order of succession.

Although none of the nations had legislated to make the change as of September 2012, the British Cabinet Office confirmed that this is now the de-facto rule.