So what if she does have twins Kate will make history if she and William are found to be expecting two babies
Duchess of Cambridge more likely to be having twins because of her age and her acute morning sicknessBookies have slashed the odds on twins from 50/1 to 8/1
Just seconds could be the difference between one ruler and anotherDuchess of Cambridge was taken to hospital yesterday and forced to announce her pregnancy before 12 weeks



09:09 GMT, 5 December 2012

Some experts are predicting that Kate and William will end up with twins – and if they do, there could be more than just the usual parenting headaches ahead for the royal couple.

No mother of a future monarch has given birth to twins in Britain since the 15th century – so nobody is quite sure what will happen if Kate makes history and produces a brace of infants next summer.

And if she does, the intriguing question is: which of the children will end up on the throne

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Beautiful babies: Danish Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik with their one-year-old twins Josephine and Vincent (in their arms) and children Isabella and Christian (in front)

Beautiful babies: Danish Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik with their one-year-old twins Josephine and Vincent (in their arms) and children Isabella and Christian (in front)

Normally, of course, this would be
little cause for discussion during a royal pregnancy. But the
debilitating symptoms currently suffered by Kate in the King Edward VII
Hospital in central London point to hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition
experienced slightly more often by women expecting twins.

One baby will be third in line to the throne and if there is a second baby, it will be fourth, pushing Harry back into fifth

If it did prove to be the case that
Kate was carrying two children, and she gave birth to them naturally,
the rule of primogeniture that has dictated the royal succession for
centuries would mean that if the twins are boys, the first-born would
ascend the throne.

And until recently, if the twins were boy and girl,
it would be the boy who got to wear the crown. But under new
legislation, if Kate gives birth to a mixed pair, it will be the
first-born who succeeds – no matter their gender.

All that seems straightforward. But
if Kate were to require either an emergency or an elective caesarean,
then things get very much more complicated.

Last year, Crown Princess Mary of
Denmark – that country’s next monarch – gave birth to twins.

There was
some anxiety beforehand that her babies might have to be delivered by
caesarean section, leading to speculation that it would be the
obstetrician who chose which child to deliver first and thus which would
eventually rise to the throne.

Happily, she didn’t have to go
through with a caesarean section birth, and gave birth to Prince
Vincent, the nation’s future monarch, 25 minutes ahead of his sister,
Princess Josephine.

Were those circumstances to arise
here and a caesarean be required, the task of picking who would be the
future king or queen would fall, in theory, to Alan Farthing – the royal
gynaecologist still better known as the former fiance of murdered BBC
presenter Jill Dando.

Mr Farthing, 47, now a distinguished
figure in the world of obstetrics, has held the royal post since 2008,
and experienced himself the joy of fatherhood for the first time early
last year when his wife Janet, 33, gave birth to a boy.

But while he will be more than
prepared for the challenges ahead, it’s unlikely Mr Farthing would want
to shoulder the responsibility of choosing whom he brought into the
world first. Which begs the question – who would

Would it be William, who’s expected,
like most modern fathers, to be present at the birth Would the royal
family have to revert to the odd practices of yesteryear, where a
government minister had to be present at the accouchement to act as an
observer and ensure everything was above board

Last time that happened to a future
monarch was in 1926, when the present Queen was born and home secretary
Sir William Joynson-Hicks was required to be present, albeit in an
adjoining room. Should that be the case again next year the job will
fall to Theresa May, the present home secretary.

The Duke of Cambridge

Duchess of Cambridge

Concerned: William, left, visits his pregnant wife, right, at King Edward VII Hospital in Central London

Twins: A mother cradles her 2 week old twin girls (file photo)

Twins: A mother cradles her 2 week old twin girls (file photo)

If Kate and William really are set for double joy, there are various unusual factors to expect.

Around 12,000 twin births occur each year, with around 200 triplet births and a handful of higher order births.

numbers have been on the increase since 1980, thanks to factors
including the use of fertility drugs, assisted conception techniques and
even maternal age (older mothers are more likely to conceive

Non-identical twins are created when a
woman produces two eggs at the same time and both are fertilised, each
by a different sperm. The fertilised egg is called a zygote, and these
non-identical twins are known as dizygotic or fraternal twins. The
babies are no more alike than any other brothers or sisters.

twins occur in about A third of multiple pregnancies. Known as
monozygotic twins, a single egg is fertilised splits into two (or, very
rarely, three or more) creating identical babies with the same genes,
features and sex. They may or may not share a placenta. Characteristics
such as size and personality depend on non-genetic factors, so may

Triplets and
higher order multiples are formed this way too, but you may have a set
of triplets where two are identical and one is not.

Source: Twins and Multiple Births Association

Faced with the prospect of choosing
which twin became the heir, the Cambridges would be able to consider
various precedents set when similar situations have arisen.

Their friend the Marquess of
Cholmondeley faced such a situation three years ago when his twin sons
were born by caesarean. In the end, his ancient title went to his
first-born, Alexander, who now bears his father’s courtesy title Earl of
Rocksavage; his twin is more simply known as Lord Oliver Cholmondeley.

What Kate and Wills can’t do is draw
on any recent experience in either family tree, for there’s almost no
history of twins in William’s extended family, and a trawl back through
Kate’s rich and varied ancestry comes up with very few examples – and
none in recent times.

Should Kate actually prove to be
carrying twins, though, she will hope they find better fortune than the
last pair of royal infants. In 1430, King James I of Scotland’s wife
Queen Joan gave birth to two boys. The first, Alexander, was named as
the heir to the throne and given the title Duke of Rothesay – a title
still carried today by William’s father as Prince of Wales.

The second twin, James, would have
expected an easy life – except that within a year his elder brother had
died and he assumed the Rothesay title. /12/1418450360_2012393335001_vs-50bf0949e4b03111ecca740c-1592194016001.jpgpubId=1418450360″ class=”plcHlder” />

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