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Royal baby news: How the Obamas react to Kate Middleton pregnancy

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(Read caption) Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen meeting James William Davies, the five month old son of Tessa Davies (r.) who was named after Prince William, following a visit to the Guildhall in Cambridge, central England in November.

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Fiscal cliff? Syria? White House spokesman Jay Carney was on the verge of taking his first serious question at Monday’s briefing, when he remembered he had something far more joyous to discuss: the news from London that the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is expecting.

“Oh, wait. I have one more thing I wanted to mention,” Mr. Carney said, after reciting the presidential rundown for the day. “And that is that on behalf of everyone here in the White House, beginning with the president and the first lady, we extend our congratulations to the duke and duchess of Cambridge on the welcome news this morning out of London that they are expecting their first child.”

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Carney was asked if the Obamas have any advice for the parents-to-be. He said he hadn’t had that conversation with them. “But,” he added, “I know they both feel that having a child is one of the most wonderful parts of their lives, so I'm sure that will be the same for the duke and duchess of Cambridge.”

In what People magazine described as their first royal duty since their wedding on April 29, 2011, the duke and duchess of Cambridge met briefly with the Obamas in May of last year at Buckingham Palace. The young royals were looking ahead to their tour of the US last summer. Now they have an expanding family to look forward to. According to press reports, the duchess’s pregnancy is at an early stage.

And at the White House, Carney threw in another baby announcement, this one about a commoner.

“I also want to congratulate Brian Deese of the NEC [National Economic Council] and his wife on the birth of their child, Adeline Sutton Deese, over the weekend,” Carney said.