Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, may just have let slip the gender of her and Prince William's baby during a public appearance in Grimsby on Monday. A well-wisher in the crowd handed the Duchess a teddy bear, and as she accepted the gift, Kate seemed to start to say the word daughter. Middleton stopped herself short, but onlookers heard it and questioned her about it, according to the Irish Independent today.
“Thank you, I will take that for my d…” was what the Duchess was overheard to say. Sandra Cook, 67, who was in the crowd next to Kate, told the Times, “I said to her, 'You were going to say daughter weren't you?' and she said, 'No, we don't know'. I said, 'Oh I think you do', to which she said, 'We're not telling’”.
However, that exchange of words was enough to set the British tabloids ablaze with “It’s a girl!” splashed across their front pages today. The Daily Star reports the Duchess was greeted by huge crowds in the Lincolnshire town, even though she was more than an hour late due to her helicopter being grounded by fog in London.
The prospective news is exciting since if true, England would have another Queen. Even if Kate and Prince William were to later give birth to a boy, he would not overtake his big sister's claim to the throne.
Succession laws were just changed in 2011, whereby gender no longer plays a role. Order of birth is now the primary determinant. In recent times, Queen Victoria ascended to the throne at age 18 when her uncle King William IV died in 1837. Victoria was his closest and sole descendant between he and his two brothers.
Current Queen Elizabeth II likewise rose to power after the death of her father George VI in 1952. He took over as King from his brother Edward VIII, who abdicated in 1936 in order to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth was the eldest of his two children, both daughters.
The royal baby which is due in July, will be third in line to the British throne regardless of gender. He or she will follow behind Prince Charles and Prince William.
As Kate continued her royal walkabout Monday, 86 year-old Claire Moss-Smith said to the Duchess, “I'm waiting for you to be Queen”. Kate smiled and replied, “You might be waiting a long time”.