How Will Artists React to Second Royal Baby?

Clarence House says Kate and William are expecting again.

How very modern. Clarence House took to Twitter to announce that Kate and William are expecting their second child.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child,” stated the tweet. The Queen and members of both families are said to be “delighted.”

The Duchess, who is reported to be suffering from acute morning sickness, hasn’t yet passed the 12-week mark. Third in line to the throne Prince George is now 13 months old.

The news instantly triggered a global online frenzy. According to the Guardian, bookies are already recording bets on the child’s name (Elizabeth, Henry, and Victoria are the three favorites). Journalists are speculating on the links between the early announcement and the forthcoming Scottish Referendum. Nissan even pulled out a royal baby-theme ad a whole seven minutes after the announcement.

But what artists will make of the news remains to be seen. When the Duchess was staying at St. Mary’s Hospital’s Lindo Wing during her first pregnancy, the Spaniard Kaya Mar dropped off a picture described by the Huffington Post at the time as “the weirdest portrait of the duchess ever.”

It features a smiling Catherine, haloed, breastfeeding a crowned baby. Surprisingly for a royal globally praised for her timeless elegance, the Duchess is represented with one skinny leg sticking out of a brown dress, her foot absurdly covered with a red, holed sock.

Lydia Leith, who made a name for herself with a limited edition of Royal Wedding sick bags, will no doubt add a Royal Baby 2 barf bag to her range.

Little is known of the Duke and Duchess’s taste in art, although both studied art history at St Andrews University, where they met in 2001. The Lingo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital was refurbished ahead of the first royal birth, and decorated with 40 panels by Julian Opie. It is unclear whether the British artist was hired at the couple’s request.

For his part, Prince George started a collection before reaching his first birthday. In September 2013, the Duke and Duchess accepted a landscape by Tazia Fawley, an artist with Down Syndrome, promising to display it in George’s nursery.

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