Kate Middleton and Prince William baby announcement expected

Speculation that Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their first child is growing by the day, after the duchess’s family arrived in Scotland for a meeting with the royal couple.

Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael, and her little sister, Pippa, 28, arrived in Deeside for a short trip to see Kate and Wills, fuelling speculation that the family summit came as the couple prepare to make a very happy announcement.

A source told the Daily Record that the meeting in Scotland has sparked intense interest among royal watchers. The insider said: “They were all here at the same time last year to discuss the wedding.

“Could it be this time that they were discussing another happy event?”

Now bookies William Hill has even slashed the odds that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will announced they are expecting their first child before the end of 2011 from 4/1 to 6/4. They are also offering 4/7 that the baby arrives in 2012 and Evens that it is a girl.

Rupert Adams, a spokesman for William Hill, said: “We always felt that William and Kate would decide not to wait but the rumours have taken us by surprise and if Kate is already expecting it will cost us a pretty penny!”

Rumours that a royal baby is on the way were first sparked when Kate chose not to drink any alcohol at the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips’ wedding or pre-wedding party in July.

And once again eagle-eyed bystanders noticed that Kate chose to sip water rather than champagne at her first solo royal engagement at Clarence House last month.

However it’s widely known that the duchess is not a big drinker, so it’s not all that unusual that she stayed teetotal during those occasions – especially when Kate would be well aware that  eyes would be on her.

The duchess sparked further rumours that she could be expecting when she refrained from trying peanut paste, given to malnourished children, when helping out at UNICEF’s global Supply Centre in Copenhagen recently.

An onlooker told The Sun that her decision not to try the nut product could be a clear indicator of pregnancy.  "The Duchess does not have a nut allergy, nor is it like her to appear rude," the source said. "The only explanation is that she is pregnant and has been told — like many expectant mothers — to avoid nuts."

Earlier this year, royal biographer Andrew Morton predicted Kate would be pregnant within a matter of months of the couple's April wedding.

Speaking to No.1 magazine, he said: “I’m pretty confident that, according to Royal tradition, she’ll be pregnant within the next few months. Every reigning monarch for the last 200 years has had a child within a year-and-a-half; Diana was pregnant within three months."

Of course, all the rumours are just that at the moment – rumours, and the palace remains tight-lipped about the speculation.

But we have to admit we’d be hugely excited if we ended up hearing the pitter-patter of baby royal feet in the near future!

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