With a second royal baby now officially on the way, Prince Charles took some time to publicly reveal his feelings about the prospect of yet another addition to Britain's royal family — despite instructions from palace aides, the behind-the-scenes operatives who wield the real power in the royal clan, that he shouldn't talk about the baby.
The reason; the aides believe that Kate Middleton's pregnancy is still way too early for the royals to celebrate in public. The Duchess of Cambridge remained hospitalized Tuesday evening with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness.
The pregnancy-related illness is the only reason that the world already knows about the next royal baby, with the 32-year-old Kate Middleton believed to be no more than eight weeks into her second pregnancy. As with many expectant mothers, the royal family preferred to wait until the 12-week mark — the conclusion of the first trimester — before announcing the pregnancy.
But their hand was forced when Middleton's illness forced her to cancel a planned event last week.
Prince Charles is now 65 and first in line to assume the English throne once his mother, Queen Elizabeth II passes away. But the Queen appears to be still going strong at age 88, and the Prince is highly active, particularly with his Prince's Trust charity.
It was at a Prince's Trust event for new entrepreneurs in south London that Charles was asked point blank by well-wishers about the new baby.
After first responding, "It's not here yet!" Charles loosened up and declared, "It's wonderful. We are very happy. It's splendid, very exciting."
Charles was confronted on the street outside the event by well-wisher Corey Johnson, 36, who congratulated Charles on becoming a grandfather.
"I already am. But it's wonderful to have another one," he said. And then Charles delivered the big royal news of the day by breaking protocol and expressing a preference for the gender of the child, whose expected due date is in the spring of 2015.
"I'm happy I'm going to be a grandfather again. I'm looking forward to it," Charles told Johnson. "But I hope it will be a girl this time."
Charles now has two sons of his own, and one grandson, Prince George.
Princess Diana, the late ex-wife of Prince Charles and mother to Prince William, father of the royal baby, once confided in a biographer that Charles had wanted a female child and was disappointed when the couple's own second royal baby, Prince Harry, was a boy.
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