The Royal 2017: Kate's new baby and other great expectations

This royal year has given us plenty of happy news and promised yet more to come. For in the last part of the Royal 2017 we got a hat trick of pregnancy announcements which will bring us babies galore in the year to come. As we continue our look back at the last 12 regal months, we arrive at the excitement that is pregnancy announcements and great expectations...

The news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child made headlines around the world. William and Kate announced their happy news on September 4th 2017. The Duchess of Cambridge again experienced Hypermesis Gravidarum, the extreme form of morning sickness which led to her cancelling engagements across several weeks. She also missed Prince George's first day at school as a result. Then in October came confirmation that the new baby is due in April 2018. Prince or princess, they will be fifth in line to the throne behind George and Princess Charlotte. And that means the year to come will bring a little bit of history as Charlotte becomes the most senior royal girl yet to benefit from the changes to succession laws which mean brothers no longer take precedence over older sisters.

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Before baby Cambridge makes their debut, Sweden's royals will be celebrating again. On August 27th 2017, the Swedish Royal Household confirmed that Princess Madeleine is expecting her third baby. The princess, who is seventh in line to the throne, is due to give birth in March 2018. She and her husband. Chris O'Neill, already have a daughter, Princess Leonore who will turn four in February, and Prince Nicolas, who is three in June. Their latest arrival will take spot number ten in the line of succession to the Swedish throne.

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At the end of the year, it was confirmed that Princess Caroline of Hanover is to be a granny again. Her eldest son, Andrea Casiraghi, and his wife, Tatiana, are expecting their third baby in early 2018. The couple have a son, Sacha, born in 2013 and a daughter, India, who arrived in 2015. Their new baby will also be a fourth great grandchild of Prince Rainer and Princess Grace of Monaco and till take the seventh spot in the line to that country's throne. They will also be, quite possibly, the first of the 2018 royal deliveries. The Royal 2017 is finishing with a flourish of great expectations.