It’s a done deal. Kate and Wills are hitched and the two are officially the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
They’ve barely said their vows and talk is already turning to when the couple will produce a royal heir.
“If Kate is not pregnant in the next nine months, she will be defying 200 years of royal tradition,” said Andrew Morton, a biographer of William’s late mother Diana who has just written a book about the newlyweds.
The 29-year-old will be expected to quickly to produce an heir for the second-in-line to the throne, to ensure there is no break in the line of succession.
Her predecessors certainly wasted no time — William was born barely 11 months after his mother Diana married his father Prince Charles in 1981.
And Charles himself, the heir to the throne, was born almost exactly a year after his parents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip married in 1947.
Asked about his plans for children in an interview in November to mark his engagement, William said: “I think we’ll take it one step at a time. We’ll sort of get over the marriage first and then maybe look at the kids.”
In the past, Kate has said very much the same thing. Robert Jobson, who has also written a book on the couple, reported in the News of the World on Sunday that Kate has told friends she is in no rush to have a baby, saying “one thing at a time — we want to enjoy being together.”
Royal historian Hugo Vickers said her duties are clear, however. “If I’m being brutal about it, Catherine’s duty is to make her husband happy and to produce an heir,” he said.
William’s marriage “makes it possible to have another generation of the House of Windsor in direct line to the throne — a boy who will automatically become king or a girl who might be queen”.
Under the law of succession, the first son Kate has would be next in line to the throne after Prince William. But if they have a girl, her place would be behind any brother she may have.
The British government has indicated it would be open to amending the law to ensure that any of Kate’s children has a chance at the throne.