She wasn’t supposed to attend, but Kate Middleton couldn’t stay away from an Oct. 16 children’s charity event in London. Dancing with a life-size Paddington Bear and mingling with kids aboard a vintage train, the Duchess of Cambridge, who’s due in April, had a smile for everyone, even though a palace aide says she’s still suffering from severe morning sickness.

The truth is, pregnant Kate will do anything for children — especially her own. And her brood is about to double. Life & Style has exclusively learned that Kate and husband Prince William are expecting twins in April! “Kate and William were both shocked when they found out,” reveals a royals insider. Those close to them say that Kate is having girls and they are identical!

kate middleton prince william george charlotte - splash

(Photo Credit: Splash)

The first people to find out about the couple’s special double delivery? Kate’s mom, Carole Middleton, and sister, Pippa. “She excitedly called to tell them the news,” the royals insider reveals. Though some parents like to dress identical twins alike, don’t expect that from Kate. The protective mama, 35, is already adamant her offspring “be seen as individuals and allowed to develop their own personalities,” says a palace source. So while “Kate and William haven’t decided on names yet, they don’t plan to coordinate them to start with the same letter or rhyme.”

Instead, the pair is eyeing names that pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the House of Windsor. “They’ve drawn up a list of baby names they both like, which include Victoria, Alice, Olivia, Alexandra, and Elizabeth,” says the royals insider. The twins will be living in style alongside older siblings Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2. The family occupies the four-story Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, which includes a whopping nine bathrooms, three kitchens and a $50,000 Persian rug to crawl on. “Kate and William are in the process of designing the nurseries now,” says the palace source. “The twins will sleep in separate bedrooms but will share a playroom with George and Charlotte. Kate feels that it’s important for her eldest two to bond with the newborns. She’s obviously worried that George and Charlotte will be jealous of the babies, especially Charlotte, who loves being the center of attention. But Kate knows that sibling rivalry is all part of the process of growing up.”

The Duchess wasn’t always so confident in her parenting skills. Kate initially worried about having four kids age 4 and under, the palace source reveals. But now she’s gotten used to the idea, and instead of hiring extra help for her and nanny Maria Borrallo, “she’s determined to remain a hands-on mom and keep their staff numbers as low as possible, with just Maria working as the nanny,” says the palace source. “William thinks Kate is being unrealistic, though, and is trying to convince her to hire someone else. He fears Kate will be taking on too much once the twins are born, especially as the couple will continue to balance family life and royal duties.”

Kate could use a little extra help right now. She’s still suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness, and comments William made in September suggest the condition has gotten worse with each successive pregnancy. “She’s sometimes bedridden for days,” laments the royals insider. But in moments when she feels better, Kate “has been craving chocolate,” adds the royals insider. “She doesn’t usually have a sweet tooth, but since becoming pregnant she loves to eat Cadbury chocolate and Kit Kats.”

If only her family’s relationship with her in-laws was so sweet. Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith, 52, was arrested on Oct. 13 for allegedly assaulting his wife — and the queen, 91, was not amused. Already peeved that Gary, who attended William and Kate’s wedding in 2011, was reportedly caught using cocaine and bragging about his royal connections in 2009, Queen Elizabeth “now wants him banned from all royal events and would rather he stayed away from Charlotte and George,” says the palace source. “She’s reached a boiling point over the negative attention surrounding Gary.” His sister, Kate’s mom, Carole, 62, hasn’t escaped the queen’s wrath, either. “Elizabeth has never been a big fan of Carole’s,” reveals the palace source. “She feels that Car- ole dresses inappropriately for her age. Poor Kate is more stressed out than ever before as she deals with pregnancy and being a mediator between the royals and the Middletons.”

Luckily, William, 35, is always on Kate’s side. As Life & Style previously reported, the future king confronted his grandmother when she scoffed at his wife’s request to scale back her appearances. William didn’t back down, says a second insider, and “the queen was a bit stunned.”

He’s always ready to step up when it comes to George and Charlotte, too. “He is a great father,” notes the royals insider. “He’s very active with George and Charlotte and thinks it’s important for them to be outdoors as much as possible. George loves it when William chases him around Kensington Gardens and Charlotte enjoys spending time on the swings and slide.”

William will have to be even more active once the twins arrive. But he and Kate are both more than ready. And they’re not the only ones ecstatic about the new additions. Despite lingering drama over the Middleton family, shares the palace source, “The queen is thrilled to hear that her grandson and Kate are expecting twins.”