LONDON -- Princess Diana is expecting her second child in September, Buckingham Palace said today in an announcement that eclipsed reports of the new Soviet leader in British newspapers.
The announcement said only that a second child would be born to Diana, wife of Prince Charles, in mid-September.
Palace officials said, 'Both Prince Charles and Princess Diana are delighted by the news -- as are the queen, Prince Philip and all the members of both families.'
Betting agents immediately offered odds on the baby's sex and gave an edge to the possibility of a baby girl. Coral accepted bets at 10-11 on a girl, even money on a boy, 25-1 against twins. William Hill set the odds at 4-5 on a girl, even money on a boy, 50-1 against twins.
British media made Diana's pregnancy the day's top news, pushing the choice of Konstantin Chernenko as new leader of the Soviet Union into second place.
Diana spent Monday quietly at Kensington Palace, the royal couple's London home. She and Charles personally told Queen Elizabeth II about the pregnancy several days ago, before Diana paid a 20-hour visit to Norway on her own this weekend.
Diana, 22, gave birth June 21, 1982, to Prince William of Wales - William Arthur Philip Louis, who stands second in line to the British throne behind his father.
The new child will move Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II's second son, one step further down in the succession line.
Diana is 'in excellent health,' a palace spokesman said. 'She will continue her public engagements insofar as is possible,' but 'regretfully' has canceled a tour of Italy she and Charles were to have made in October.
Her doctor will be George Pinker, who looked after her during her first pregnancy, palace officials said.
Diana and Charles told Queen Elizabeth the news, a spokesman said.
'We don't know yet where the baby will be born,' he said. 'It is much too early to decide things like that.'
Diana and Charles, 35, have beenknown to want another child as soon as possible. There was intense speculation last September that a baby already was on the way with a spring birth widely predicted.
But lately speculation has swung the other way. One newspaper even said Diana's desire to lose weight had made her temporarily infertile and that the queen was concerned by the age gap opening between William and another child.
Palace officials ignored such baseless reports.
Charles and Diana went on a skiing holiday to Liechtenstein in January, and Diana made a quick solo trip to Norway last Saturday, her second trip abroad without Charles. Her first was for the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco.