Kate Middleton goes into labor. Get ready for the next royal baby! (Photo: Getty Images.)
Big news: Kate Middleton is in the early stages of labor and has been admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in London, according to an announcement from Kensington Palace sent via email and Twitter.
On May 1 (in England, May 2), Kate Middleton and Prince William arrived at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s by car—the hospital where Prince George, Prince William, and Prince Harry were all born — and have likely been admitted to a private suite with a medical team led by Guy Thorpe Beeston, who helped deliver Prince George in 2013.
It will most likely be an intimate scene in the delivery room with Prince William the only immediate family member in attendance, just as he was for the birth of his son. “When Prince Charles was born to Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip wasn’t in the delivery room but like most modern dads, Prince William will be, as was his own father Prince Charles when William and Harry were born,” royal expert Victoria Arbiter tells Yahoo Parenting.
Private Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital where Kate Middleton is giving birth. (Photo: Getty Images)
Whether the future heir to the throne is a prince or a princess is anyone’s guess —and that includes the royal couple. In December, Prince William told President Obama that they wanted the gender of their unborn baby to be “a surprise” although rumors that Middleton is carrying a girl have been swirling since March when the duchess visited her favorite clothing store Amaia in London and, according to People magazine, was “very interested” in the girl’s clothing. If the baby is a girl, her grandfather will be happy. Back in September, Charles, Prince of Wales said of the pregnancy, "I’m happy I’m going to be a grandfather again. I’m looking forward to it — but I hope it will be a girl this time,“ when he was congratulated during a royal event.
“It would be wonderful if the baby is a girl,” says Arbiter. “She wouldn’t be the immediate heir to the throne but, she would keep her place in line, and would be called Her Royal Highness Princess [insert name] of Cambridge.” A boy would be given a similar title. The royal lineup would also be rejiggered so the new baby would take his or her place behind Prince George.
As soon as the baby arrives (and per royal protocol, as when George was born), Kate and William’s press secretary will likely transport the official birth notice containing the baby’s time of birth, gender, weight, and length from the hospital to Buckingham Palace, says Arbiter. Once there, an announcement is posted to an easel on the forecourt of the palace. The public will also likely read the birth announcement through a press release and possibly a tweet. “Although Kate and William don’t actually do the tweeting themselves,” says Arbiter. “They have people to do it for them.”
Hospital visitors will include and probably be limited to grandparents Carol and Michael Middleton and Prince Charles and Camilla duchess of Cornwall who will likely arrive very shortly after the baby is born. Prince George may also visit the hospital.
However, the public will also get a close-up glimpse of the new baby. Just as it occurred after Prince George made his way into the world, the duke and duchess will stand outside the hospital to pose for paparazzi photos on their way home to Kensington Palace. In 2013, Middleton made a stunning postpartum appearance with Prince George, wearing a cornflower blue Jenny Packham dress with white polka dots. She also rocked a blowout, nude wedges, and impeccable makeup. “Kate and William know how to play the game and they understand they have to show their baby to the world,” says Arbiter. She adds that a photo of the royal newborn on his 1-month birthday will also be released.
And, of course, there’s the royal baby’s name, which according to Arbiter, we’ll probably learn this week. “When George was born, William was so eager for the press to die down that he released George’s name three days after the birth,” says Arbiter. “He’ll probably do the same this time around.”