Great Expectations: Kate Middleton's Pregnancy Style Will Be Very Different From Princess Diana's

Bob Thomas/Popperfoto; AFP/Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge's maternity clothing bound to be slimmer, shorter, more revealing than that Prince William's mother.

Seems like there have been rumors about Kate Middleton being pregnant since her wedding day. But  today the palace has officially confirmed that the royal couple is expecting their first child.

Kate and Prince William's firstborn, whether it’s a boy or a girl, will be next in line to inherit the throne of England. So you can well imagine how over the moon the entire country is.

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Now that the happy baby news is out, it's time to think about maternity clothing for the Duchess, still in her first trimester and currently in the hospital to monitor dehydration caused by her bouts of morning sickness.

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Clearly, Kate will have no problem getting fabulous maternity couture for big events, should she need them for the upcoming holidays  and through next spring: Her pals at Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Alice Temperley will happily oblige at the drop of a Philip Treacy hat 

But as the UK’s international style ambassador, Kate is known for mixing High Street with less expensive items. And she will continue to rely on sporty and casual maternity clothes, such as her favorite skinny leg jeans. Luckily, her favorites -- by J Brand -- do come in maternity sizes. And of course, she’ll also be stocking up on baby clothes pretty soon. But that’s getting about seven months ahead of ourselves.

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Not since Princess Diana’s pregnancies in the early 1980s has the British maternity fashion world been so excited. Diana’s style was decidedly more Sloane set meets Laura Ashley, with old-fashioned frilly floral prints and dots; ruffled, flouncy and wide sailor-style collars; and long sleeves and concealing silhouettes. But today, maternity clothing is far more revealing, slimmer and body-conscious. Bumps are no longer hidden, they are flaunted and wrapped in stretchy Lycra. 

Not that we think the Duchess would ever wear anything that could ever be considered inappropriate. And she'd never appear in any outfit that is too revealing of the royal baby-on-board. 

Regardless, such top London maternity shops as Pretty Pregnant on Kings Road, a great place for maternity jeans and sporty separates, are no doubt palpitating over the possibility of their designs being worn by the international trend-setter. Blossom Mother and & Child has a shop at 60 Marylebone High Street. And Seraphine has a boutique in Kensington. Isabelle Oliver is another popular line available online with fabulous leggings and jeans. 

Let  the royal bump watch -- and maternity fashion show -- begin.

Tell us: Are you excited to see Kate Middleton's maternity fashions?