Princess Beatrice has brought joy to the royal family by announcing she is expecting a baby in the autumn.
The Queen, who is mourning the death of her beloved consort the Duke of Edinburgh just six weeks ago, is said to be “delighted” at the happy news.
The baby will be the Queen’s 12th great-grandchild following the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s second child in the summer.
Beatrice and her millionaire property tycoon husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi shared the development with the monarch and their families before it was officially announced by Buckingham Palace.
The Palace said: “The Queen has been informed and both families are delighted with the news.”
Philip, who was married to the Queen for 73 years, died on April 9 at the age of 99, and the monarch and the royal family are still adjusting to the loss of their much loved patriarch.
In a further blow this weekend, the Queen was left devastated after the death of her dorgi puppy Fergus.
The pet was one of a pair of puppies given to the monarch by her son the Duke of York after Philip fell ill in February.
The royals have also endured a turbulent time in recent months after the Sussexes used their Oprah Winfrey interview to accuse an unnamed royal of making a racist comment about their son Archie before he was born, and the institution of failing to help a suicidal Meghan.
Harry caused further ructions last week when he appeared to suggest in a podcast chat that his father and the Queen and Philip had failed as parents.
Beatrice’s pregnancy announcement coincided with Harry and Meghan’s third wedding anniversary.
In 2018, the Sussexes told their family they were expecting their first child at the wedding of Beatrice’s younger sister Princess Eugenie.
2021 is proving to be a bumper year for royal babies.
Eugenie, to whom Beatrice is incredibly close, welcomed a baby son, August Brooksbank, in February.
The sisters will be delighted to have their children so close together in age, and to share the experience of being first-time mothers.
Their cousin Zara Tindall welcomed her third child, a son Lucas, in March, while Harry, also their cousin, and Meghan, will welcome a daughter in the next few months.
Beatrice is already stepmother to Mr Mapelli Mozzi’s young son Wolfie, from his previous relationship with his ex-fiancee Dara Huang.
Bookmakers are already taking bets on what Beatrice and her husband will call the new addition to their family when he or she arrives.
Ladbrokes has Florence and Theodore as the early favourites at 4-1 and 9-2, while Coral has Victoria at 3-1 and Arthur at 5-1.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “The latest odds suggest Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo will opt for a traditional name with a nod to the latter’s Italian roots, and as things stand it’s Florence and Theodore leading the way in the betting.”
Beatrice, 32, and Mr Mapelli Mozzi wed last July in a secret lockdown wedding attended by the Queen and Philip after their planned ceremony was postponed because of the pandemic.
Known as Edo, Mr Mapelli Mozzi is the son of former Olympic skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi and Nikki Williams-Ellis.
Beatrice was last seen at a royal event at Philip’s funeral on April 17 wearing a mask and belted black coat, as the Windsors gathered for a socially distanced final farewell to the duke.
The princess is the eldest daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York.
Andrew stepped down from royal duties in 2019 over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Ninth in line to the throne, Beatrice will move to 10th place when the Sussexes’ baby arrives.
The princess’s son or daughter will be 11th in line to the throne.
Beatrice is not a full-time working royal and is vice president of partnerships and strategy at Afiniti, an artificial intelligence software firm.
She has a number of royal patronages including the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre.