CONGRATULATIONS came flooding in last night after it was announced Prince William and Kate Middleton are expecting a Royal heir.

Yesterday’s announcement was followed by warm words from the Rt Rev John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron and the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Tim Stevenson.

St James’ Palace also said the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and members of both families were delighted with the news.

The announcement came after Kate was admitted to a private hospital for treatment for a severe form of morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum.

At the start of this year the Duchess became a patron of Oxford children’s charity The Art Room, which uses art therapy to help youngsters with educational difficulties.

Founder Julie Beattie said: “We are delighted to hear the news about Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge.

“Everyone at the Art Room sends their best wishes to the Duke and Duchess.”

Bishop John said: “With all the country I am delighted at the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy.

“She has won the heart of everybody and we share her joy and that of the Duke, while sympathising deeply with her morning sickness – it will all be worth it in the end!

“The Royal Family as a whole has won a very special place in our hearts as we have seen this last year and a Royal birth is always a cause for celebration.

“We look forward to the happy day next year.”

Mr Stevenson, the Queen’s representative in Oxfordshire, said: “I am absolutely delighted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby.

“This is the most heart-warming and wonderful news and on behalf of everyone in Oxfordshire I would like to offer congratulations to the happy couple and their families.”

Reacting on Twitter, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: “I’m delighted by the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby. They will make wonderful parents.”

St James’ Palace said in the statement: “The Duchess was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in central London with hyperemesis gravidarum.

“As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter.”

St James’ Palace would not say when the Royal couple became aware of the pregnancy, only saying “recently”.

It is understood the pregnancy has not passed the 12-week point and the announcement was prompted by the Duchess’ medical condition.

For women with hyperemesis gravidarum their vomiting can be so severe they cannot keep any food or liquid down.

The condition usually continues past the first three months of pregnancy and can pass by week 21, but may also last longer.