Mercury opinion: Kate baby joy! A right royal reason for a bank holiday
We are delighted at the news that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby and send our best wishes to the royal couple. The nation has taken the Duchess to its heart. And many readers will fondly remember her visit to Leicester earlier this year as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK. Kate was greeted by a huge wave of enthusiasm and warmth by the public in Leicester, as she has been everywhere.
There will be a great deal of delight and goodwill across the country at the latest news.
Unfortunately, she is suffering from a severe form of morning sickness, which requires specialist treatment.
It seems that the Palace's announcement of her pregnancy was prompted by the Duchess's medical condition.
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Thankfully, this condition is unlikely to cause harm to the baby, but it will be an uncomfortable time for the Duchess and everybody will be hoping she gets better soon.
The baby will be third in the line to the throne, after Prince Charles and Prince William, helping to further secure the future of the House of Windsor.
Under the existing law, the child, if a girl, would be displaced in the line of succession in the event of the Duke and Duchess later having a son.
However, Commonwealth leaders have agreed to this law being changed so that gender will no longer play a part in succession, thus preventing any chance of such an anachronistic anomaly occurring.
We are delighted that they are taking this step and hope to see it enacted soon.
The Cabinet Office says formal consent is expected shortly and once that has been given the Government will bring forward a bill to change the law.
It only remains then for us to express the hope that the birth of the baby will be marked by a national public holiday.
The Government should seize opportunities to give the nation something to celebrate in these austere times.
As we have seen from the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics, such occasions help to bring the country together and lift the national mood.