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Pregnant Petra Ecclestone has double cause for celebration as she marks her 24th birthday

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Socialite Petra Ecclestone chose a dress that would make a statement on her 24th birthday – and that statement seemed to say, I'm pregnant. The daughter of Formula 1 tsar Bernie showed off a sizeable baby bump as she arrived swathed in a figure-hugging maxi dress, confirming rumours that the blonde and her husband James Stunt are expecting their first child.


Although there has been no official announcement, her curvier figure and knowing smile spoke volumes. News of a baby will be a delight to Petra's mum Slavica, a former model from Croatia, and her sister Tamara, who once described her sibling as "the person I trust the most in the world". While there was no sign of Bernie at the bash, his daughters and ex-wife partied the night away at the Giorgio Baldi Italian restaurant in California, celebrating both Petra's birthday and impending motherhood. The baby news is the latest happy development in the blonde's relationship with husband James Stunt. When the couple married last summer, the medieval Italian town of Bracciano came to a standstill. Their wedding cost a staggering £12 million and took place over three days at the same Italian fort where Katie Holmes became Mrs Tom Cruise.


Those same fairytale nuptials featured the bride in custom-made Vera Wang. Guests toasted the happy couple with £4,000 bottles of Chateau Petrus wine and watched performances by the Black Eyed Peas, opera star Andrea Bocelli and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Some controversy was generated by the final bill of £12 million, which was managed by the mother of the bride, Slavica. With the end of her turbulent marriage to Bernie in 2009, the statuesque brunette received a £750-million settlement meaning she could afford to splash out. Defending her decision, she told Grazia: "I don't care how much the wedding cost, as it was a once in a lifetime occasion. It was worth every penny because it made my daughter happy. Who cares about money?". Now that she's soon to become a grandmother for the first time, Slavica will almost certainly spoil Petra and James' child when he or she is born in the Spring of 2013.

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