Kate and Will’s third child has sparked anger up and down the country

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The announcement that Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are expecting another baby should have been a joyful one.

And for most people, the news was definitely something to celebrate.

Fans rushed to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as Kensington Palace confirmed the pregnancy, revealing Kate is suffering again from the debilitating morning sickness Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

We can look forward to a day in the near future where the whole world’s eyes are trained on one tiny door of a London hospital, waiting for the couple to carry out their blanket-wrapped bundle of joy.

But for many, the announcement was a bitter pill to swallow.

It came in the same year the Tories introduced a cap on the number of children for which struggling parents can claim child tax credits to help with the cost of raising them.

Mums and dads can now only claim the credits – which can be worth up to £2,780 per year for each child – for their first two kids and not their third, nor any subsequent sons or daughters.

There are a few exceptions – regarding adoption, multiple births and kinship care – but one was branded ‘disgusting’.

If a single mum can prove she has been raped or was in an abusive relationship at the time of conception, then she will be excused from the ban.

A woman can claim for a third or subsequent child if it was conceived “as a result of a sexual act which you didn’t or couldn’t consent to” or “at a time when you were in an abusive relationship, under ongoing control or coercion by the other parent of the child”.

Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William with their newborn baby daughter

Dubbed the ‘rape clause’ by campaigners, the controversial caveat has been criticised widely ever since it was introduced in the Budget in 2015 and especially when it came into effect in April this year.

The main concern is that a woman who has been subjected to such horrendous abuse should not have to justify receiving the credits by filling in an application.

Now that Kate and Will have announced their third, the issue is being brought back into the public consciousness again, sparking a wave of anger on social media.

Many are questioning why taxpayers should shell out money for another royal baby when people in struggling households don’t receive help for theirs.

There’s a small issue with that, though, as the Cambridge isn’t funded by the Queen’s Sovereign Grant – Her Majesty received £41.9million in the 2016-2017 period – but rather receive their income from the Duchy of Cornwall, run by Will’s father Prince Charles.

Kate Middleton gave birth to both Prince George and Princess Charlotte in the Lindo Wing, the private maternity unit in the grounds of St Mary's Hospital

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry do both receive support from the Queen’s Grant-in-Aid funding for assistance with official travel and property.

But they also have full-time military roles, for which they receive a salary.