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Kate Middleton pregnant: Where is the child in the line of succession?

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Not only are the attractive young couple popular — with William's easy common touch reminding many of his mother, the late Princess Diana — but their child is expected to play an important role in British national life for decades to come.

Whether boy or girl, the child will be next in line behind William in the line of succession to the throne, Cabinet Office officials have said.

Leaders of Britain and the 15 former colonies that have the monarch as their head of state agreed in 2011 to new rules which give females equal status with males in the order of succession.

Although none of the nations had legislated to make the change as of September 2012, the British Cabinet Office confirmed that this is now the de-facto rule.

On the couple's tour of Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu in September, William reportedly said he hoped he and Kate would have two children.

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Associated Press writers Jill Lawless and Paisley Dodds contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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