Kate twins speculation triggers internet storm
News of the pregnancy of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge - announced by the British royal family on Twitter - has been met with an explosion of posts on social networks.
It was perhaps of little comfort to Catherine, in hospital for a second day yesterday, with severe morning sickness, that within minutes of the announcement her baby had a slew of spoof accounts "live-tweeting from the royal womb".
"CURRENT STATUS: DARK IN HERE, WILL UPDATE," tweeted @RoyalFoetus, which has 6000 followers. The rival @RoyalFetus, which has 9000 followers, added: "I may not have bones yet but I'm already more important than everyone reading this. #royalbaby #sorry".
Interest was so great that the official website of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge crashed under the overload.
Online topics of royal-babyrelated conversation have ranged from likely names and godparents to the probability that the child will inherit the ginger locks of its uncle, Prince Harry.
The name of William's late mother, Diana, is among the early front-runners if it is a girl; John, George and Charles are among the favourite boys' names.
Mischievous web users have suggested "Austerity", to reflect the public mood in Britain as it struggles to climb out of recession, and "Kevin", a down-to-earth name that would bring the monarchy "closer to the people".
Online chatter has turned to reports that Catherine might be carrying twins - potentially spelling constitutional double-trouble for the royal family.
"So if Kate has twins and a C-section," wrote one tweeter, "does the doctor get to choose who will be next in line for the throne?"
The Daily Telegraph reports that Catherine was admitted to hospital with a rare form of severe morning sickness.
She is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.
Mothers-to-be who suffer from the condition are three times more likely to have a multiple birth than other women.