Kate Middleton: Royal Pregnancy Mysteries, Solved

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Now that the palace has confirmed that the Duchess formerly known as Kate Middleton is pregnant, questions abound. Does it matter whether the royal couple has a little prince or a little princess? Do members of the British royal family actually breastfeed? What does the royal birth announcement look like? We've gathered up a few of the most-frequently asked questions out there right now, and tracked down the answers.

What is Hyperemesis gravidarium? While Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana are both known to have suffered from morning sickness during their pregnancies, what Princess Kate is experiencing is extreme. Hyperemesis gravidarium affects about one percent of pregnancies, and can lead to severe malnutrition and dehydration if not properly treated. "Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days," a royal representative said in a statement, "and will require a period of rest thereafter."

Why do people think Kate is going to have twins? The fact that the royal newlyweds did not announce a pregnancy soon after their wedding sparked rumors of infertility. IVF treatments often results in twins or more, and the National Institute of Health says that women who are pregnant with twins have a greater chance of suffering from hyperemesis gravardarium.

Will Kate have a baby shower? Baby showers are an American tradition, not a British one, though no doubt well-wishers will send the parents-to-be plenty of presents. As they did during their wedding, the royal couple may encourage friends to make a donation to charity instead.

SLIDESHOW: Kate's Maternity Style

Can a princess show off her belly bump in public? If she does, she'll be very discreet: Until recently, members of the royal family were not supposed to appear in public while visibly pregnant. Princess Diana used to wear modest, flowing maternity smocks that hid her belly, but continued to attend official events well into her third trimester. We expect Kate Middleton to be as stylish as ever, even while she's pregnant.

Does it matter if the baby is a boy or a girl? Not any more: As of September, their firstborn child will be heir to the throne of England no matter whether the baby is a boy or a girl. (Queen Elizabeth was only able to rule after her father's death because she didn't have any brothers; if she had, the throne would have gone to him.) The rule change also allows a member of the royal family to remain in line of succession even if he or she marries a Roman Catholic; previously, Roman Catholics, those who marry a Roman Catholic, and those who were born out of wedlock were not allowed to rule the country.

Does the baby change the line of succession? Prince Charles is still next in line to the throne. Then comes Prince William, and then Prince Harry. Once the new baby is born, however, he or she will bump Prince Henry down in the line of succession, Cabinet officials have said.

Where will the baby be born? Traditionally, heirs to the British throne were born at home, in Buckingham Palace. But Princess Diana bucked the trend when she gave birth to Prince William and Prince Harry at St. Mary's Hospital in London.

Are royal husbands allowed in the birthing room? Prince Phillip played squash with three courtiers while then-Princess Elizabeth was giving birth to Prince Charles (other members of the Royal family waited by the well-stocked bar on the ground floor of Buckingham Palace while the princess was in labor upstairs). But when Prince William was born, Prince Charles stayed by Princess Diana's bedside.

Do queens and princesses breastfeed? Queen Elizabeth was breastfed, and she chose to breastfeed her children, though a case of the measles forced her to wean Prince Charles when he was less than two months old. The Queen's younger sister, Princess Margaret, did not breastfeed at all. According to her biography, Princess Diana breastfed both Prince William and Prince Harry.

Do royal parents get to do any parenting themselves? Of course you'd expect a prince or princess to have plenty of help available. Queen Victoria used to supervise the baths of her nine children, but reportedly rarely touched them herself (Babies, she once said, look "frightful when undressed"). Queen Elizabeth used to bathe and tuck her children into bed when she saw them, but they would spend months being looked after by royal staffers while she was away. Prince William was so close to his nanny Olga Powell that, when she passed away earlier this year, he cancelled several official events in order to attend her funeral.

What does a royal birth announcement look like? Royal birth announcements are traditionally made via a note attached to the gates of Buckingham Palace. Prince Williams' read: "Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales was safely delivered of a son at 9:03pm today. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well." These days, royal births are also announced via the Royal Family's official website as well.

What will they name the child? Members of the British Royal Family usually have several names. Though many people hope that the couple goes with "Diana" if the baby is a girl, Royal family expert Victoria Arbiter says that it's unlikely. "They may certainly use Diana or indeed Diana's middle name, which was Frances, as a middle name for their child, but I don't think they would use her name as a first name," she told Yahoo! Shine's Jessica Ferri. "Too much history and pressure associated with the name, but I'm sure William would like to honor his mother if it feels right." (When Prince William was born, his hospital name tag simply read: Baby Wales.)

What about the baby's last name?According to the official website of the British Monarchy, "Members of the Royal Family can be known both by the name of the Royal house, and by a surname, which are not always the same." The name of the Royal house is Windsor, but the members of the current Royal family use "Mountbatten-Windsor" when a last name is needed. So the newest prince or princess' last name will be Mountbatten-Windsor. When Prince William was born, his father simply signed the birth record as "Charles."

Will this baby have a title? The royal parents-to-be are officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their firstborn child will officially be His or Her Royal Highness the Prince or Princess of Cambridge. Any other children they have will receive the title of Lord or Lady until their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, dies; after that, they will all be Prince or Princess of Cambridge.

Also on Shine:

Royal Baby Mania Begins!
PHOTOS: Royal Babies Through the Years
How Will and Kate's Baby Might Look