The Duchess of Cambridge is in the early stages of labour with husband Prince William by her side as they prepare to welcome their third child.
Kate arrived at the private Lindo Wing, at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, where she previously gave birth to Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, two.
There had been speculation that Kate, 36, was due on April 23, with Kensington Palace only confirming she that the due date was this month.
Royal family superfans set up camp outside the hospital over a week ago in anticipation.
The Duchess of Cambridge is in the early stages of labour with husband Prince William by her side as they prepare to welcome their third child. The couple are pictured last month
Royal superfans have already started to set up camp outside St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, ahead of the birth of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s third child
Some have even brought along William and Kate facemasks, pictured, for the occasion, with the Duchess due to give birth in the next three weeks
As was the case the last time, the royals entered the hospital through a discreet side door, so as to minimise potential disruption across the rest of the building.
The sex of the child remains under wraps, with the pair deciding not to find out whether it will be a boy or a girl before birth.
Royal enthusiasts camping outside the hospital have proved a colourful presence all week as they eagerly await the new arrival.
Royal supporters have decked their camping equipment out with sparkly banners while some have even brought baby dolls along with them.
Parking was suspended at the hospital last week prompting speculation the baby will be born very soon
Barriers have been erected outside the building to prevent vehicles blocking off the road when the Duchess goes into labour
The Duke of Duchess of Cambridge pose with Princess Charlotte outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London following her birth in May 2015
Prince William and Kate leave the Lindo Wing with their first child, Prince George, in July 2013
THE CHANGE IN SUCCESSION RULES
The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 altered the laws of succession.
It replaced male-preference to allow the eldest child, regardless of gender, to precede their siblings.
The act also ended the disqualification of a person who married a Roman Catholic from the line of succession, and removed the requirement of those outside the first six persons in line to the throne to seek the Sovereign’s approval to marry.
It was brought in accordance with the 2011 Perth Agreement – made by the prime ministers of the 16 Commonwealth realms.
Home-made posters have been stuck on the hospital walls welcoming the child – who will fall behind both George and Charlotte in the line of succession regardless of gender.
One poster features pictures of the Royal couple, who wed in 2011, with the message ‘Kate, please don’t keep us waiting’ alongside a ‘congratulations’.
Kate is likely to have a team of more than 20 medical experts and other staff working or on stand-by from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs St Mary’s.
Consultant obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston and consultant gynaecologist Alan Farthing will be again involved after helping to deliver Kate’s previous children.
Mr Farthing, the Queen’s surgeon gynaecologist, was engaged to BBC presenter Jill Dando when she was shot dead in April 1999.
He was a pioneer in keyhole surgery and today specialises in using the technique to treat gynaecological cancer patients.
Mr Thorpe-Beeston, surgeon-gynaecologist to the Royal Household, delivered Charlotte in 2015.
The birth of the Duchess of Cambridge’s third child will change the current line of succession, but the first four in line (pictured right) will remain the same
Here is how the line of succession will look once the new royal baby is born
HOW THE NEW ROYAL BABY WILL ALTER THE LINE OF SUCCESSION TO BECOME FIFTH HEIR TO THE THRONE
The birth of the Duchess of Cambridge’s third baby will see Prince Harry become sixth in line to the throne, while Princess Charlotte will remain fourth in line to succeed.
The current order of succession is Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George, followed by Charlotte and Harry.
A law change in 2013 before the birth of George means that male members of the royal family no longer automatically overtake their sisters in the line of succession.
This means that Charlotte will remain as fourth in line to the throne – regardless of whether the new royal baby is a boy or a girl.
Prince Charles is currently heir to the throne, and will take over from the Queen when she dies, or if she abdicates. Prince William is currently second in line, and will become King following the death or abdication of his father
Prince George will stay as third in line to the throne and will succeed his father. Princess Charlotte will remain as fourth in line in the throne, thanks to the law change in 2013 that means that male siblings no longer overtake their sisters
Prince Harry will be pushed down into sixth in line following the birth of his new nephew or niece
The Royal Succession bill was rushed through Parliament following the announcement that Kate was pregnant with her first child in 2012.
The law change was made to ensure that William and Kate’s first child could succeed to the throne, regardless if the baby was a boy or a girl.
The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 was brought in accordance with the 2011 Perth Agreement, which was signed off by prime ministers of the 16 Commonwealth realms.
The act also ended the disqualification of a person who married a Roman Catholic from the line of succession, and removed the need for those outside the first six persons in line to the throne to seek the monarch’s approval to marry.
The hospital has seen previous displays from patriotic fans when Prince George was born in 2013 and Princess Charlotte was born in 2015
John Loughrey, left, Maria Scott, centre, and Terry Hutt, right, are all familiar faces at Royal occasions having repeatedly displayed their pride in the monarchy at official events
Some fans posed for pictures with huge Union Jacks in front of the Lindo Wing, where Kate gave birth to her first two children
Mr Loughrey decked himself out in a Union Jack-themed fleece as well as plastering his tent with Royal posters and trinkets
Flags have been put up on the wall along with a poster paying tribute to Kate and William’s Royal Wedding in 2011, with Prince Harry to follow in their footsteps next month when he weds Meghan Markle
Mr Hutt often draws attention due to his Union Jack themed suit and he was spotted chatting away to other Royal enthusiasts at the hospital today
Ten facts about royal births
1. A team of 23 medical staff was on hand for the birth of Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the private Lindo Wing.
A handful of midwives and others led by a consultant obstetrician were in the delivery room, but obstetricians, gynaecologists, surgeons, haematologists and theatre staff were also waiting in the wings in case of an emergency.
2. After William was born in 1982, the Prince of Wales wrote how he was ‘so thankful I was beside Diana’s bedside the whole time’.
‘I really felt as though I’d shared deeply in the process of birth,’ he added.
3. Diana was induced because she could not bear the pressure from the media any longer – and claimed doctors had to find a date that suited Charles and his polo fixtures.
4. The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, was given an anaesthetic to help with the pain while in labour with first child Charles in 1948.
5. A restless Duke of Edinburgh occupied himself by playing squash while awaiting the arrival of his firstborn.
6. The Queen had all her four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward – at home at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.
7. Princess Elizabeth was born at home by Caesarean section in her grandparents’ house in Mayfair, London.
She was breech and it was a difficult birth for her mother the Duchess of York.
8. It used to be the custom that government ministers and other witnesses were present at royal births to ensure no substitute child had been smuggled in in a warming pan or similar receptacle.
9. But Queen Victoria put her foot down when her great-grandchild, the future Edward VIII, was born in 1894 and declared that just one Cabinet minister would be needed, with only the home secretary attending from then on.
10. The birth of the Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra on Christmas Day in 1936 was the last occasion that a home secretary was present, meaning the Duchess of Cambridge has been spared such an intrusion.
Prince Charles’s birth was the first time in centuries that there was not a government minister there to witness the arrival of a future heir to the throne.
Preparations for the media coverage of the birth begin in earnest earlier this month, with crowd barriers going up in the street opposite the Lindo Wing, and parking restrictions coming into force in the area.
Bookies believe Kate will have a girl and a large number of punters have placed bets on the baby being named Mary, the favourite with firms like William Hill and Coral.
Once news of the birth has been announced on the official Kensington Palace Twitter and Instagram accounts, a bulletin notice declaring the birth will go on display on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
Kate is likely to take an extended period off to recover and nurse the latest addition to her family but is expected to attend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on May 19.
As a mother of three children under the age of four, the duchess’s role as a parent is likely to be her focus for the next few years, providing a loving and stable home for her family.
The new royal baby will be born fifth in line to the throne. Once the prince or princess arrives, Prince Harry will shift down the line of succession to sixth place.
The Duke of York will move to seventh and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to eighth and ninth.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s younger sibling will be the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild, and also a great-great-great-great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.
It was always thought that the duke and duchess would go on to have three children.
Kate is one of three and had a happy home life with her sister, Pippa Matthews, and brother, James Middleton, and is close to both of her siblings.
But William may need to adjust to caring for a newborn once again.
Kate joked in the months leading up to her due date that her husband was ‘in denial’ about having a third.
By having more than two children, William and Kate are following in the footsteps of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who went on to have four children – although there was a gap of 10 years between their second child, Anne, and third, Andrew.
As a sibling to both future king George and ‘spare to the heir’ Charlotte, the new baby is unlikely ever to be crowned sovereign.
The Duke of York is the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s third child, but when Andrew was born in 1960 he leapfrogged his older sister, Princess Anne, in the line of succession.
If the Cambridges’ third child is a boy, he will no longer be allowed to jump ahead of older sister Charlotte in the line of succession.
Previously, under the ancient rules of male primogeniture, royal sons took precedence over their female siblings, even leapfrogging first-born royal daughters.
But a radical shake-up of the royal succession rules removed discriminatory male bias and came into force in March 2015, affecting babies born after October 28 2011.
The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 has already impacted the Duke of Gloucester’s granddaughters, Senna Lewis and Lyla Gilman, whose younger brothers, born in 2012, now follow them in the line of succession.
The baby will be a prince or princess thanks to the Queen, who stepped in ahead of Prince George’s birth to ensure all William’s children would become HRHs with fitting titles.
The Queen issued a Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm in December 2012 when Kate was just a few months pregnant, declaring ‘all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of Royal Highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour’.
A Letters Patent in 1917, issued by George V, limited titles within the royal family, meaning daughters born to William or Kate would not have been an HRH but Lady (forename) Mountbatten-Windsor instead and second or later-born sons would also have lacked the HRH title and become Lord (forename) Mountbatten-Windsors rather than princes.
Bookies believe Kate will have a girl and a large number of punters have placed bets on the baby being named Mary, although the couple have left the sex as a surprise. Pictured are excited fans at the hospital
The Royal enthusiasts are all set to bed down outside the hospital for as long as it takes to become the first in line to catch a glimpse of the new addition to the family
It is not the first time fans have camped outside the hospital, with this woman appearing to have come all the way from Australia, based on her flag, in 2015, pictured
One Royal fan made himself very comfortable on a bench before Prince George’s birth in 2013, enjoying a sleep before the big moment
Mr Loughrey is also no stranger to the hospital and is pictured here outside the Lindo wing with a baby doll in 2013
Mary is the favourite name for William and Kate’s baby (with Alice, Victoria and Elizabeth following behind)
The dilemma of what to call the latest addition to their family is something the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be wrestling with but Mary is the public’s favourite moniker.
Punters have been betting that William and Kate will name their baby – which they think will be a girl – Mary, a name which has a long association with the British monarchy.
Bookmaker William Hill has made the name their 3-1 favourite followed by Alice 6-1 and Victoria 8-1, while Coral has Mary and Alice as their joint favoured monikers at 5-1, with Victoria next with odds of 8-1.
Mary – the favourite for the royal baby name – is one of Queen Elizabeth II’s middle names
William’s great-great grandmother, the wife of George V, was called Mary, a woman who the Prince of Wales still speaks of fondly, and Mary is one of the Queen’s middle names.
Britain has seen two Marys on the throne – Mary I, known as Bloody Mary for her persecution of Protestants, and Mary II, who ruled jointly as monarch with her Dutch husband, William III.
William Hill’s odds on the royal baby’s name
- Mary: 3/1
- Alice: 6/1
- Victoria: 8/1
- Elizabeth: 12/1
- Albert: 14/1
- Arthur: 14/1
- Fred / Frederick: 14/1
- Alexandra: 16/1
- Grace: 16/1
- James: 16/1
- Philip: 16/1
Rupert Adams, from William Hill, said more than 90 per cent of bets placed had been for female names: ‘The favourite is Mary but I cannot see it as it is massively over backed. Alice is good but personally I am all over Victoria – which makes good sense to me.’
If William and Kate have a girl they may be considering naming her Alice which was the name of the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother.
Princess Alice of Battenberg was born deaf but learned to speak and lip-read four languages, married Princess Andrew of Greece in 1903 and went on to establish an order of nuns and wore a habit to the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
Her grandmother was another Princess Alice – the third child and second daughter of Queen Victoria – who lived in Germany after marrying Prince Louis of Hesse.
She was said to have had a warm heart and opened hospitals, championed women’s causes, founded women’s guilds and patronised women’s unions. She died in 1878 when she was 35.
For boys names, William Hill has Albert, Arthur and Fred all at odds of 14-1, while Coral has Albert and Arthur at 12-1, and a number of names at 16-1 including Arthur, Fred and Philip.
How Charlotte, George and William are three of the cutest royal babies
As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge prepare for the arrival of their third child, here’s a look at the some of the cutest royal babies through the ages.
1. Princess Charlotte
Newborn Princess Charlotte enchanted royal watchers with her doll-like appearance as she made her debut on the steps of the Lindo wing in 2015.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released sweet photos of the baby princess being cuddled by her older brother Prince George.
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is carried outside the Lindo Wing in May 2015
2. Prince George
Tiny George, wrapped snuggly in a white blanket, also won hearts when he was introduced to the world in 2013.
His next public appearance showed how much he had grown, when the three-month-old was carried into his christening by his proud father William.
Prince George is held outside the Lindo Wing front doors before leaving in July 2013
3. Prince William
William was born in 1982, less than a year after the Prince and Princess of Wales wed.
In a photoshoot when he was six-months-old, the young chubby-cheeked future king chuckled happily as he played with his parents at Kensington Palace.
Blue-eyed William – in a white romper suit with blue embroidered detail – appeared transfixed as Diana waved a coloured toy above his head.
William plays with his parents Princess Diana and Prince Charles in December 1982
4. Mia Tindall
The daughter of the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and former England rugby player Mike Tindall is often spotted at equestrian events with her parents.
Mia became known for getting up to mischief on the sidelines as a toddler.
Rugby player Mike Tindall holds his daughter Mia at an equestrian event in May 2016
5. Prince Andrew
Andrew, now the Duke of York, was a happy youngster – and also one of the cutest royal babies.
He was born in 1960 and is the second son and third child of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.
He was the first child born to a reigning monarch for 103 years.
Prince Andrew was the first child born to a reigning monarch for 103 years
Traditional christening for royal baby whose father William will one day be Head of the Church of England
A traditional christening beckons for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child.
With father William – a future king – one day set to be Head of the Church of England, the royal baby must be welcomed into the Christian faith.
Prince George was baptised when he was three months old, while Princess Charlotte was only nine weeks.
The Duchess of Cambridge carries Princess Charlotte of Cambridge into the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the princess’s christening in July 2015
Just like George and Charlotte, the new baby will wear a replica of the intricate frilly cream lace and satin robe made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841.
The original is too delicate to be worn and a specially made exact copy is now used for royal baptisms.
George was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Revd Justin Welby at St James’s Palace’s Chapel Royal in 2013.
He was on his best behaviour, blowing bubbles beforehand and being quiet and peaceful afterwards.
With a guest list of only 23 people, a number of senior royals were missing including the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.
Those at the private service included the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, the Middletons, plus George’s godparents and their spouses and William’s former nanny Jessie Webb, who had been helping to care for George.
Charlotte was christened at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham in July 2015.
Charlotte was wheeled to her christening service in 2015 by Kate in a vintage traditional 1950s Millson pram previously used by the Queen for Prince Andrew and Prince Edward
She was wheeled to the service by Kate in a vintage traditional 1950s Millson pram previously used by the Queen for Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
A royal baby’s godparents are usually announced on the morning of the christening.
Kate and William previously opted for friends over dignitaries.
George’s seven godparents include Diana, Princess of Wales’s close friend Julia Samuel, William’s cousin Zara Tindall and Kate’s school friend Emilia Jardine-Paterson.
Charlotte has five godparents including William’s childhood friend Thomas van Straubenzee, Kate’s confidante Sophie Carter, and Diana’s niece the Hon Laura Fellowes.
Prince Harry missed Charlotte’s christening while in Africa, but this time will be expected to attend with new wife Meghan Markle, who he marries on May 19.
Kate battles against severe morning sickness to carry out royal duties
Kate made her first public appearance almost five weeks after her pregnancy was announced, at Buckingham Palace
Despite suffering from another bout of severe morning sickness the Duchess of Cambridge has battled through the condition carrying out a significant number of engagements while pregnant.
Kate’s pregnancy was announced on September 4 last year and was prompted because the condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum forced her to cancel an appearance at an event that day.
At the start of all three of her pregnancies Kate has suffered from the condition which causes severe vomiting and can lead to dehydration, weight loss and a build-up of toxins in the blood or urine called ketosis.
But unlike her first pregnancy when she was admitted to hospital and treated for a number of days, she did not need that level of care this time.
A few days after the announcement Kate missed Prince George’s first day at school as she was too poorly to attend.
She made her first public appearance almost five weeks after her pregnancy was announced attending a mental health reception at Buckingham Palace with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
At the time a royal aide said: ‘The Duchess’ condition is improving but she’s still suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum.’
Kate was well enough to make a surprise appearance at Paddington Station, joining William and Harry at the charity event, where she danced on the platform with Paddington Bear.
And the following day Kensington Palace announced the Cambridges’ baby was due in April, interpreted as indicating the duchess’12 week scan had been held.
It is thought a number of Kate’s engagements were postponed due to her illness and in the new year the duchess carried out a significant number as her baby bump became more prominent.
During January Kate attended a string of official engagements and appeared to be back in good health, and at the end of the month she travelled with William to Norway and Sweden for an official visit.
Other high profile events as her pregnancy developed and her baby bump grew included an away day to Sunderland, a Royal Foundation engagement with the duke, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the launch of an expert panel to look at supporting the early years development of children.
Kate bowed out of official duties with a flourish attending two Commonwealth events with her husband before her maternity leave began.
William and Kate’s third baby to be born in St Mary’s Hospital’s Lindo Wing
The Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, where the Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth, is a private facility offering ‘world-class maternity care’.
Kate’s first two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were born in the exclusive unit in Paddington, central London, as were their father, the Duke of Cambridge, and uncle, Prince Harry.
William made his public debut with the Prince and Princess of Wales outside the hospital, wrapped in a white blanket and carried in Diana’s arms, with Charles by her side.
Barriers are erected outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London this morning
Only a handful of midwives and medical staff, led by consultant obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston, were in the delivery room to supervise Charlotte’s birth but waiting in the wings were more than a dozen experts in case of emergencies.
Theatre staff were on stand-by along with a lab technician, replacement anaesthetists and paediatricians – 23 in total – from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs St Mary’s Hospital.
In the Lindo Wing, Kate will again be given a bespoke experience akin to a five-star hotel with en suite rooms available ‘providing a modern, homely environment in which to start your new or expanded family life’, the unit’s website states.
Deluxe rooms and suites are also available.
The latest price list, from July last year to March, states that a standard room package, including a one-night stay, costs from £5,900, while a deluxe package is £6,275 – with an extra night priced at more than £1,000 for both options.
The price of a suite of two rooms, with one used as a living room, is available on application but five years ago it cost £6,265 for a one-night stay.
With standard and deluxe care packages rising by around £1,000 since the birth of their first child, William and Kate could spend close to £7,500 for a suite.
Each room has a satellite TV with major international channels, radio, bedside phone, fridge, free wi-fi and a choice of daily newspapers.
All meals are freshly prepared in a dedicated kitchen and there is even an afternoon tea service, for parents to celebrate their new arrival, the website suggests.
The Lindo Wing’s internationally renowned obstetric unit caters for complex pregnancies and deliveries as well as multiple births and it has the benefit of being based in an NHS hospital if further complications arise, including its facilities for premature babies in the Winnicott Baby Unit.
In 2006, William visited the refurbished NHS neonatal unit at St Mary’s, cradling two tiny premature babies – one weighing just 5lb.
At the forefront of specialist care for premature babies, the Winnicott looks after some of the most critically ill newborns in the UK.
It treats around 350 sick and premature babies from across the country each year, caring for up to 18 infants at a time.
Diana returned to St Mary’s in April 1997 – four months before her death in a Paris car crash – when she toured the paediatric intensive care unit, meeting poorly youngsters.
Three siblings will support each other in the ‘fishbowl’ of royal life
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and the new royal baby will share an important bond as siblings as they face the scrutiny of royal life together.
Historian Judith Rowbotham said the support they gain from their shared experience will be invaluable, particularly for future king Prince George, with the additional responsibilities he faces.
Dr Rowbotham said: ‘One of the downsides to being royal is that you do live in a fishbowl.
The support that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and the new royal baby gain from their shared experience will be invaluable, a historian says
‘Even if you’re a minor royal you can still be picked up, publicised, and having the family around you, you can support each other – and laugh in a way that nobody else can quite laugh.’
The Duke of Cambridge has a good relationship with his own brother, Prince Harry.
‘William has certainly found having one brother to be a great help to him,’ said Dr Rowbotham, a visiting research fellow at Plymouth University.
‘The two brothers are extremely close and Harry understands William, just as William understands Harry, in a way that nobody else can.
‘Siblings know the reality of the family circumstances in which you grow up.
‘Having a cheerful, loving, supportive family, which is what the duke and duchess seem pretty committed to creating, is likely to be a very positive thing for Prince George.’
William and Harry were just 15 and 12 when their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 and the brothers sought comfort from one another during their difficult teenage years.
When Harry turned 21, he described William as the one person on the planet with whom he could talk about everything.
The Duke of Cambridge has a good relationship with his own brother, Prince Harry
‘It’s amazing how close we’ve become,’ Harry said. ‘I mean, ever since our mother died, obviously we were close, but he is the one person on this earth who I can actually really … we can talk about anything. We understand each other and we give each other support.’
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have four children – the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.
But while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have just three years between their second child, Princess Charlotte, and the new baby, the Queen had a gap of 10 years between her second child, Princess Anne, in 1950 and third, Prince Andrew, in 1960.
She had become monarch in the intervening years and was busy adjusting to her demanding role as head of state.
Jonathan Dimbleby, Charles’s biographer, described how the prince doted on Anne and his two younger siblings: ‘His letters from Gordonstoun had been peppered with fond references to her and then to his baby brothers, Andrew and Edward.’
Anne once said of her relatives: ‘Judging by some families, I think we are all on pretty good speaking terms after all this time, and that’s no mean achievement for quite a lot of families. I think we all enjoy each other’s company.’
Andrew, who is a third-born sibling like the new Cambridge baby, was considered the favourite.
The Queen was said to have been a more relaxed mother with Andrew and her fourth child Edward, and found a better work-life balance between family time and royal duties.
Royal baby ‘will be encouraged to forge career, not carry out public duties’
The new royal baby will be encouraged to look for a career outside the royal family when he or she grows up, a historian has predicted.
Judith Rowbotham, a visiting research fellow at Plymouth University, said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child is highly unlikely ever to become king or queen.
Rather than having a public role, the new prince or princess will, as a young adult, be on the fringes of the royal family, Dr Rowbotham suggested.
Born fifth in line, the baby will fall behind both older brother and future monarch Prince George, and older sister Princess Charlotte in the line of succession.
Born fifth in line, the baby will fall behind both older brother and future monarch Prince George, and older sister Princess Charlotte in the line of succession.
‘It’s fairly secure to say that they are going to be encouraged not to worry too much about the likelihood of succession to the throne,’ Dr Rowbotham said.
‘This gives them considerable freedom. Just look at Prince Harry – while limited by the expectation that somebody close to the throne should not for practical reasons risk their lives in battle, he was still able to be an active soldier.
‘From that point of view, I think they’re going to be very much encouraged to look outside the royal family for their opportunities, to go into media or business, or become teachers or academics – whatever their personal inclination.’
The historian said the Prince of Wales was focused on the direct line of succession rather than the wider royal family.
‘Prince William knows that his father’s agenda is to ensure that the present royal family doesn’t get too big, doesn’t become something that’s seen as unwieldy or a burden on the state and the taxpayer.’
She added: ‘I don’t think there’s going to be any expectation that this particular child, once he or she becomes a young adult, will do more than turn up occasionally, on the fringes of the royal family in order to celebrate things with their father or their older brother.’
Those not destined to wear the crown have often been encouraged to pursue different paths.
Second-born King George V only became heir to the throne when his older brother Albert, Duke of Clarence, died of flu in 1892.
Prior to this, he was a career naval officer and was firmly told to focus on this life rather than being a prince. He was only seen as a minor royal.
It is rare for a third-born royal child to end up as monarch and there has been no instance so far in the House of Windsor.
William IV, a Hanoverian king who ruled from 1830 to 1837, was a third child – of George III and Queen Charlotte.
He was known as the Sailor King for his love of the sea and as Silly Billy for his rambling speeches.
Edward VI was a third child of Henry VIII. His mother was Jane Seymour.
He became king aged nine in 1547 until his death in 1553 from tuberculosis at the age of 15.
When will the royal baby be born?
The Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth in April, but when exactly could the royal baby arrive?
With Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Kate gave birth just over five weeks after going on maternity leave.
She went on maternity leave for her third child on March 22, so this suggests the baby might put in an appearance around April 27 or 28.
The birth might even end up being a double celebration if it falls on William and Kate’s seventh wedding anniversary on April 29.
The birth might even end up being a double celebration if it falls on William and Kate’s seventh wedding anniversary on April 29
Kate is thought to have gone overdue with both George and Charlotte, so a lot will depend on whether the same happens this time.
She may have scheduled her final engagements closer to her due date this time, suspecting the baby is unlikely to arrive early.
With Charlotte, parking restrictions outside the Lindo Wing went up on April 15 and she arrived 17 days later.
For George, the traffic notices were posted on July 1 and the prince arrived 21 days later.
Looking at these timelines, with parking restrictions starting on April 9, the new baby could perhaps arrive on April 26 or even as late as April 30.
The Duke of Cambridge, however, told Ringo Starr during an investiture on March 21 that the baby is due ‘any minute now’.
Other suggestions have cited St George’s Day – April 23 – as Kate’s possible due date.
The baby might even end up sharing a birthday with their great-grandmother the Queen, who turns 92 on April 21.
Princess Charlotte might prefer to keep her birthday to herself on May 2 – or alternatively see it as the best birthday present ever if the baby arrives on the day she turns three.
Kate welcomed her first born, George, 38 days after her last public appearance in 2013.
She attended the Trooping the Colour parade in London on June 15 2013 and George was born at the Lindo Wing on July 22.
Princess Charlotte – who was meant to be born in April – finally arrived on May 2 2015 – 37 days after Kate’s final engagement.
In 2015, the Duchess carried out her last public engagement on March 27 when she met Baroness Lawrence at the Stephen Lawrence Centre and saw projects run by the charity eXceL Project in London.
Who might the Royal Baby share their birthday with?
- April 16 – Comedian Spike Milligan (born in 1918), star of The Crown Claire Foy, Queen Margrethe of Denmark.
- April 17 – Novelist Nick Hornby, actor Sean Bean, fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, actress Rooney Mara.
- April 18 – Actresses Hayley Mills, Melissa Joan Hart, and America Ferrera , reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian.
- April 19 – Actress Kate Hudson, actor Hayden Christensen, former Olympic athlete Dame Kelly Holmes, tennis player Maria Sharapova.
- April 20 – Adolf Hitler, TV presenter Peter Snow, actor Ryan O’Neal.
- April 21 – The Queen, Iggy Pop, Princess Isabella of Denmark, The Cure’s Robert Smith.
- April 22 – Actor Jack Nicholson, Vladimir Lenin, footballer David Luiz.
- April 23 – St George’s Day. Actor John Hannah, Lady Gabriella Windsor – daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, model Gigi Hadid.
- April 24 – Singer Barbra Streisand, football manager Stuart Pearce.
- April 25 – Actor Al Pacino, Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus
- April 26 – Duke of York’s ex-girlfriend Koo Stark, Duran Duran musician Roger Taylor
- April 27 – Former ballerina Darcey Bussell, Doctor Who actress Jenna-Louise Coleman
- April 28 – Novelist Harper Lee, cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins, Duke of Kent’s daughter Lady Helen Taylor.
- April 29 – William and Kate’s seventh wedding anniversary. Actor Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, former cricketer Phil Tufnell, actress Michelle Pfeiffer, Edward VII’s mistress Alice Keppel.
- April 30 – King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden, actor Leslie Grantham, actress Kirsten Dunst. The late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.
- May 1 – May Day – International Workers’ Day. Queen Victoria’s Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, actress Joanna Lumley, Lady Sarah Chatto – Princess Margaret’s daughter, actor Matt Di Angelo.
- May 2 – The royal baby’s older sister Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. David Beckham and singers Lily Allen and Engelbert Humperdinck, broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh.
Traditional notice at Buckingham Palace will celebrate baby’s arrival
The royal birth notice at Buckingham Palace for Prince George in July 2013
The arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child will be marked with a traditional bulletin on show at Buckingham Palace.
Just as when Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born, the new royal baby’s birth will be celebrated with the age-old custom of placing a paper proclamation for the public to see at the Queen’s London residence.
A brief formal announcement – on foolscap-sized paper set in a dark wooden frame – will be placed on an ornate golden easel on the forecourt of the Palace.
It confirms the sex of the baby and the time of birth, but gives little else away, other than usually revealing that the baby has been ‘safely delivered’ and mother and child are ‘doing well’.
It used to be hand-written, but is now typed.
It will also be signed at the hospital by the doctors who tended to the duchess, and then ferried back to the Palace by car.
Just like with George and Charlotte, an initial official announcement will be emailed to the press by Kensington Palace, coinciding with a confirmation of the birth via Twitter.
News of a new prince or princess is unlikely to be announced overnight as the Queen and members of both families will have to be informed first.
The names given to royal babies are not usually revealed straight away, and the public is often left guessing for several days.
William and Kate took two days to announce both George and Charlotte’s names, informing the Queen of their choice beforehand.
Crowds flock to see the royal birth notice at Buckingham Palace for George in July 2013
Mike and Zara Tindall used Twitter to unveil their daughter’s name six days after she was born in 2014, with proud dad Mike tweeting: ‘For everyone who has asked what our daughter’s name is, it’s Mia Grace Tindall.’
When Princess Beatrice was born in 1988, it was two weeks before her name was known.
In 1982, the Prince and Princess of Wales waited seven days before deciding upon and announcing Prince William’s name.
The Prince of Wales’s name, however, remained a mystery for an entire month and was only declared ahead of his christening in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace in December 1948.
The birth will be celebrated with a 41-gun salute in Green Park or Hyde Park – and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.
Royal births are registered in the normal way, although the Home Secretary is required to notify certain officials including the Lord Mayor of London, the Governors of Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
The Queen’s top aide, her Private Secretary Edward Young, informs Governor Generals overseas, while announcements are also made on the monarchy’s website and Facebook page.
Aunt Meghan and Uncle Harry ready to call in on royal baby
Aunt Meghan Markle and Uncle Prince Harry will be on hand to dote on the royal baby when the prince or princess arrives.
The couple are neighbours of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace, living in Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of the royal residence.
US star Meghan recently hinted at having her own children with Harry.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are pictured at the University of Bath last Friday
On a trip to Belfast, the American former actress joked when she was shown an innovative range for newborns: ‘I’m sure at some point we’ll need the whole (lot).’
In an interview in 2016, Ms Markle said becoming a mother was on her ‘bucket list’.
US star Meghan Markle recently hinted at having her own children with Harry
‘I can’t wait to start a family, but in due time,’ she said.
Harry has also openly confessed he would love to have children.
The topic cropped up in the couple’s engagement interview.
‘You know, I think one step at a time, and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future,’ the prince said.
Like Harry, Meghan has impressed onlookers with her affectionate nature when meeting youngsters on royal walkabouts.
In Birmingham on International Women’s Day, Meghan hugged 10-year-old Sophie Richards, telling her she could achieve whatever she wanted to achieve, after learning the schoolgirl wanted to become an actress.
Meghan has also been spending time getting to know William and Kate’s eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The celebrity, who shot to fame playing paralegal Rachel Zane in the American drama Suits, already has two ‘fairy god-daughters’.
She described the children of her close friend Benita Litt as such in a 2016 post on her since-deleted Instagram account.
The bride-to-be and Harry, who will wed in Windsor on May 19, will be among close family expected to attend the christening of William and Kate’s baby in a few months time.
Third-time mothers like Kate may need to be watchful in final stages of pregnancy
As a busy mother-of-two, the Duchess of Cambridge has been advised to keep a watchful eye on her baby’s movements in the last few weeks of her pregnancy.
Clare Livingstone, professional policy advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said third-time mothers like Kate – who can be distracted as they care for older children – need to be aware of any changes in the run up to delivery.
Mrs Livingstone, who was a midwife for nine years, said: ‘Third-time mums are more relaxed. They’re busier than before, especially when they’re looking after toddlers.
‘They’re probably more tired so it’s the importance of rest, nutrition, hydration, monitoring baby’s movements and reporting any noticeable difference with that.’
She advised Kate and other women expecting their third ‘to be very aware’.
‘When they’re preoccupied with a busy family… they may not be as aware as they have been with first pregnancies when you’re very watchful.’
When the Duchess gave birth for a second time, she delivered Princess Charlotte just two hours and 34 minutes after being admitted to hospital.
Her third labour will be expected to be as fast – if not faster.
Mrs Livingstone said: ‘It will vary from one woman to another. Some women report a quicker labour with their third baby but not everyone.
‘It seems to be though that they do go more quickly. It’s a very individual thing.’
In 2013, Kate went into hospital at around 6am on the day George was born and he arrived 10-and-a-half hours later at 4.24pm.
It is not known how long the Duchess was in labour with George and Charlotte before she was admitted.
Subsequent labours tend to be much faster, with active labour lasting, on average, five hours, according to parenting site BabyCentre.co.uk.
Mrs Livingstone added that quick labours can appear more painful.
‘I would say that very rapid labour can feel more painful because of the intensity and how quickly it can feel quite overwhelming,’ she said.
‘The body has natural painkillers – endorphins – which build up over a period of time. So a quick labour doesn’t allow the body the opportunity to do that.’
Advice site Madeformums.com said 2 per cent of women experience a precipitate labour – where labour is extremely rapid and lasts less than two hours from first contraction twinge to giving birth.
‘They’re more common among women who’ve already given birth at least once,’ the site said.
‘If you’ve already given birth, your cervix has been stretched, so the uterus may simply know what it’s doing and work a bit too efficiently.’
It adds: ‘If labour starts and there’s any doubt whether you’ll make it to hospital in time, don’t even try.’
If this were to happen to the Duchess, her medical team would decamp to Kensington Palace to assist with the birth.
She could even have a consultant or midwife on standby at the palace ready to help, if she wanted to be prepared for all eventualities.
Mrs Livingstone said: ‘Some women have what are known as precipitate labours. They can be extremely fast. It tends to be the case that if you’ve had one before, you’re more likely to have another one.’
Kate had a straightforward, natural birth with George and Charlotte with no complications.
As well as having a hospital bag packed with nappies and babygros, the Duchess will be making preparations for appearing in front of the world’s media when she takes her baby home.
Her hairdresser Amanda Cook Turner will be on call ready to come to St Mary’s, as will Kate’s stylist Natasha Archer, armed with Kate’s carefully selected outfit.
In quotes: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on George, Charlotte, parenting and the new baby
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have opened up about both the rewards of parenthood and the challenges it brings.
Focusing much of her charity work on children’s mental health and the importance of early intervention, Kate has spoken of how the people she has met have influenced her role as a mother.
From Prince George’s attempts to play tennis to Princess Charlotte’s love of dance and William being in denial about baby number three, here’s a look at the Duke and Duchess’s family life in quotes.
The third baby:
‘We need Catherine to get over this first bit and then we can start celebrating. It’s always a bit anxious to start with, but she’s well. There’s not much sleep going on at the moment’ – William shortly after Kate’s third pregnancy was announced.
‘William’s in denial’ – Kate about the Duke’s reaction to having a third baby.
‘The baby’s due any minute’ – William to former Beatle Ringo Starr at an investiture.
‘Ginger biscuits – but there’s not much ginger can do to stop that – we’ve done all that’ – William on how Kate had tried using ginger to stop her severe morning sickness.
‘It went well. There was one other parent who had more of an issue with their children – so I was quite pleased I wasn’t the one’ – William on George’s first day at school
‘George rules the roost and Charlotte isn’t far behind’ – William after George began full-time education.
‘As a mother, just getting used to leaving my own child at the school gates, it is clear to me that it takes a whole community to help raise a child’ – Kate at a mental health conference.
‘He only wants to whack the ball’ – Kate on trying to teach George to play tennis.
‘Don’t show that to George; we’ll never get any peace’ – William on being given a selection of brass whistles in Birmingham.
‘I think she’s going to be trouble when she’s older. All fathers say that’ – William.
‘My daughter Charlotte loves dancing’ – The Duke at a Commonwealth reception.
‘She likes sparkly things’ – William.
On parenting and childhood:
‘Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience’ – Kate at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London.
‘There is no rule book, no right or wrong – you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can, at times lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance’ – Kate also at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
‘She was saying William was sort of similar and I just wanted to let her know how Family Action have been there for me’ – Single father Billy revealed how the Duchess told him William initially found it difficult adjusting to parenthood.
‘I’ve got such fond memories of being in the garden and being outside from my own childhood, and I’m sharing that with my own children, George and Charlotte, at the moment’ – Kate.
‘Childhood is an incredibly important moment in our lives… Our experience of the world at this early stage helps to shape who we become as adults and how we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin’ – The Duchess in a video marking Children’s Mental Health Week.
‘I know he’s a bit of a motorcycle fan himself. We talked about his bikes and the fact that he has put it on the back-burner a little bit because of his children now’ – World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea on William’s love of bikes.
‘One lesson that we will take home with us is that children are actively encouraged to spend time outdoors, whatever the weather’ – The Duke pledging to adopt the the Swedish way of life after their Scandinavian tour.
‘You can’t help but reflect on your own life and it’s definitely had an impact on how sort of I look at how I mother, how we work as a family and you know, how we hope to bring up our children’ – Kate on how her parenting skills have been influenced by her charity work.
‘Particularly as a mother, there’s an expectation to be super-happy all the time and one in four of us aren’t’ – The Duchess visiting an NHS mother and baby unit in London.
Close friends are likely for the royal baby godparent role
George’s godparents included Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (pictured with his wife), Kate and William’s former private secretary
The newest Cambridge baby’s godparents will be announced just before the christening.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have previously opted for close friends and valued family members for the spiritual role.
They will chose confidantes rather than following the Windsor tradition of selecting older royal relatives.
It is likely that the baby will have five godparents, as does Charlotte, whereas George, a future king, has seven.
George’s seven godparents included Julia Samuel – a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales, the couple’s former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton and William’s cousin Zara Tindall, while Charlotte’s five included Kate’s school friend Sophie Carter and Laura Fellowes – the daughter of one of Diana’s sisters.
Here’s a look at some of the possible contenders:
William and Kate may ask another of the van Cutsem brothers who are old family friends of the Duke.
They selected William van Cutsem for George and may pick one of his siblings – Hugh, Edward or Nicholas – or perhaps Hugh’s wife Rose van Cutsem this time.
The Duke of Cambridge is godfather to Hugh and Rose’s daughter Grace, who was a bridesmaid at the royal wedding and almost stole the show on the balcony after covering her ears during the flypast.
Kate’s Marlborough College friends include Catriona ‘Trini’ Foyle, Alice Avenel (nee St. John Webster), Alicia Stoddart (nee Fox-Pitt) and Hannah Carter (nee Gillingham).
Others in the couple’s social circle include jockey Sam Waley-Cohen and his wife Bella; William’s school friend Tom Sutton and his wife Harriet; heir to Viscount Allendale, Wentworth ‘Wenty’ Beaumont and his wife Vanessa; Lady Iona Hewitt; and Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, an old friend of Kate’s who runs the fashion label Beulah London.
William and Kate’s former uni flatmates are Fergus Boyd and Olivia Bleasdale who also attended their 2011 wedding.
From the royal side, William’s cousin Peter Phillips could be a safe bet.
Other suggestions include the Duke’s former nanny Tiggy Pettifer, William and Kate’s former personal assistant Helen Asprey, Sir David Manning – the former ambassador to Washington who now acts as the couple’s foreign affairs adviser – or perhaps even one of Diana’s sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, or another of of William’s cousins via the Spencer family line.
If William and Kate wanted to fully welcome Harry’s bride to be Meghan Markle into the fold, what better gesture than to make her their new baby’s godmother?
The move would delight Harry and secure Ms Markle’s long-term position as a member of the royal family.
Ms Markle would be on hand at William and Kate’s home Kensington Palace for godmotherly duties, living at a cottage with Harry at the royal residence.
But have the couple known the American actress for long enough to assign her with the responsibility?
William’s former top aide and ex-press secretary Miguel Head is also a possibility.
He has been a trusted member of the KP team and is leaving his post as private secretary in July, but a warm tribute was issued when his departure was announced.
William was described as feeling ‘incredibly lucky to have benefited from Miguel’s advice and support over the last decade’.
Mr Head was described as a ‘valued adviser during an important period in His Royal Highness’s life’.
William was just 16 when he became godfather to Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece and Denmark in 1998.
The Duke’s cousin Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, is only 14 years old, but selecting Louise as a godparent would delight the Queen.
The youngster was one of William and Kate’s bridesmaids.
Q&A: All you need to know about the royal baby
Here is the low-down on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child, which is due to arrive this month:
Where will the baby fall in the line of succession?
A great-grandchild of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, he or she will be born fifth in line to the throne, bumping uncle Prince Harry out of the top five into sixth place.
The Prince of Wales is first in line, followed by William who is second in line, Prince George third and Princess Charlotte fourth.
Younger male siblings are no longer allowed to jump ahead of their older sisters in the line of succession.
Will he or she ever be monarch?
Unlikely. It’s rare, but not unheard of, for a third-born royal in direct succession to become king or queen.
This Cambridge sibling will live their life happy in the knowledge they will not be expected to wear the crown, leaving that role to older brother George.
William IV, a Hanoverian king who ruled from 1830 to 1837, was a third child – of George III and Queen Charlotte.
He acceded to the throne when he outlived his older brothers, George IV, who died without an heir, and Frederick, Duke of York.
What will the baby be called?
After picking the regal George and Charlotte for their first two, William and Kate will not be expected to suddenly choose an unusual name for their third.
Alice, Mary, Alexandra or Victoria for a girl, or Frederick, James, Arthur or Philip for a boy are good bets.
Will they be a prince or princess?
Yes. The new baby will be an HRH and a Prince or Princess of Cambridge – thanks to the Queen who stepped in ahead of Prince George’s birth to ensure all William’s children had fitting titles.
Will they hire a second nanny?
Kate and William already have the help of George and Charlotte’s full-time live-in nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.
But Maria could be given a helper – perhaps a fellow Norland nanny – as she cares for the three youngsters.
William and Harry had two much-loved nannies at the same time when they were young – Barbara Barnes and her deputy Olga Powell, who later took the lead role.
When and where will the baby be born?
With Kate experiencing two successful, straightforward deliveries at the Lindo Wing in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London, she will head back to the exclusive private delivery suite for the arrival of her third child.
Charlotte’s birth appeared to be much quicker than George’s so there is always the outside chance this baby could make a speedy, surprise arrival at home.
Kensington Palace has only said the baby is due sometime in April. Suggestions have included St George’s Day – April 23.
Looking at when Kate went on maternity leave last time and when her babies arrived, the baby could arrive as late as April 27 or April 28.
Will there be the same level of baby fever?
Although this baby will only be fifth in line, the popularity of William, Kate, George and Charlotte across the globe means the arrival of the newest member of the Windsors will be high-profile once again.
In May 2015 ahead of Charlotte’s birth, scores of foreign media outlets descended on the Lindo Wing. Her birth dominated the news agenda in the UK and hit the headlines around the world.
Will they stop at three?
Who knows? The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had four children and the Queen was 37 when she had her youngest, Prince Edward.
Kate is only 36 so has time to even out the numbers.
William’s great-great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria had nine children.
A home in a palace, a private education and a focus on mental well-being
Growing up as part of the Cambridge family, the new royal baby will be one of the most famous youngsters in the world.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, however, work hard to make sure their children have as much of a normal life as possible.
The baby’s milestones – leaving hospital after being born, their christening and their first public engagement – will be covered in minute detail by the media.
William and Kate will release photos of their third-born at key moments to encourage the press to avoid using paparazzi shots instead.
But for the most part, the baby’s early years will be spent happily away from the cameras.
So what will the royal baby’s childhood be like?
The baby’s main home in London is Kensington Palace’s Apartment 1A, which used to belong to Princess Margaret.
It was refurbished at a cost of £4.5 million to the taxpayer and with a big, private walled garden, there is plenty of space to play outside, as well as some 20 rooms to explore.
The baby’s main home in London will be at Kensington Palace in the west of the capital
The baby’s nursery may well feature some Ikea furniture.
William and Kate revealed they turned to the popular Swedish firm for George and Charlotte’s rooms.
The second home
William and Kate also have a 10-bedroom Georgian Grade II listed house – Anmer Hall on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate – in Norfolk.
It has its own private swimming pool, a full-size, artificial grass tennis court and vast grounds.
The palaces and castles
Christmases will partly be at Sandringham House in Norfolk with the royals, at Anmer Hall or with the Middletons in Berkshire, and trips to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle will expose the youngster to opulent surroundings.
At the age of two, the third Cambridge child will start nursery.
Charlotte attends Willcocks Nursery School – a short distance from Kensington Palace – which charges fees of just over £3,000 a term.
Kate, a keen amateur photographer, will take snaps of her youngest child on their first day to release for the public to see.
Charlotte attends Willcocks Nursery School – a short distance from Kensington Palace
The school has been described in reports as having a loyal following of ‘old English families and chic foreigners’ and is something of a ‘hidden gem’ in the shadow of the Royal Albert Hall.
This new royal baby will probably follow George to his private school Thomas’s Battersea – which Charlotte is expected to attend as well.
Fees at the south London school cost more than £17,600 a year.
The school’s most important rule is ‘Be kind’ and it expects its pupils ‘not just to tolerate but to celebrate difference, including faith, beliefs and culture’.
William boarded at Eton, while Kate was a part-time boarder at Marlborough College – but it is not yet known whether their children will go to boarding school.
Kate supports a range of mental health charities and will be tuned in to looking after her children’s mental health.
She has opened up about how she wants to raise her children, saying qualities such as kindness were just as important as academic or sporting success.
The duchess said: ‘My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect and honesty, and I realise how central values like these have been to me throughout my life.’
William too has spoken about the importance of talking about mental health.
‘Everybody has mental health and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it and just having a conversation with a friend or family member can really make such a difference,’ the duke said.
Nanny and other staff
There will always be a nanny on the scene, as is customary for royal children.
George and Charlotte’s full-time live-in nanny is Spanish-born Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, who trained at the prestigious Norland College.
Help from housekeepers and aides will also be the norm.
Royal protection officers will always be close by, but hands-on parents the duke and duchess will strive to make up for the lack of freedom that royal childhoods can sometimes provide.
George and Charlotte’s full-time live-in nanny is Spanish-born Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, who trained at the prestigious Norland College. She is pictured above in May last year
Trooping the Colour
William and Kate’s children have already made appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the annual parade marking the Queen’s official birthday.
Royal youngsters also get to witness historic occasions first hand such as royal weddings and even coronations.
But the new baby will still be tiny by the time of Harry and Meghan’s wedding – and will be expected to stay at home with the nanny.
The family has a black cocker spaniel called Lupo and Charlotte has a hamster called Marvin.
The baby will also have to get used to the Queen’s beloved corgis and dorgis – a cross between a corgi and a dachshund.
William and Kate are both keen skiers and took George and Charlotte on their first skiing holiday to the French Alps in 2016.
The Middletons have enjoyed frequent breaks on the Caribbean island of Mustique, and part of the summer holidays will be spent with the Windsors at Balmoral in the Scottish Highlands with grandfather the Prince of Wales and great-grandmother the Queen.
Royal children greet the Queen with a kiss on both cheeks and a bow or a curtsey.
Prince Harry is already a doting uncle to George and now new aunt-to-be Meghan Markle is on the scene as well.
The Middletons will also play an important part in the baby’s life. Kate is particularly close to her family – mother Carole, father Michael, sister Pippa and brother James.
Timeline of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy
Here is the timeline for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third baby:
- September 4, 2017 – Kensington Palace announces that William and Kate are expecting their third child.
- The Duchess, who is suffering from severe morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum, pulls out of a planned appearance at the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in London.
- September 5 – At his first public appearance since it was disclosed he was to become a father again, William says, at the National Mental Health and Policing Conference in Oxford: ‘It’s very good news,’ but admits the family is not getting much sleep.
- September 7 – Prince George starts school – but Kate is too poorly to accompany him to the school gates, with William taking the young prince on his first day.
- September 14 – William says Kate is doing ‘very well’ when he visits Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool.
- September 18 – The Duchess appears in a video message, backing the You’re Never Too Young To Talk Mental Health campaign run by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.
- October 10 – Kate, showing a slight baby bump, makes her first public appearance since her pregnancy was announced as she attends a Buckingham Palace reception honouring mental health campaigners.
- October 16 – Kate makes a surprise appearance at Paddington Station, joining William and Prince Harry at a charity event, where she dances on the platform with Paddington Bear.
- October 17- William and Kate reveal their baby is due in April. BBC newsreader Simon McCoy reacts by declaring on air: ‘Clear your diaries. Get the time booked off, ‘cos that’s what I’m doing.’
- The Palace also announces William is to make a solo trip to Finland. A visit to Sweden and Norway by the Duke and Duchess is shifted to January to ensure Kate is well enough to attend, it is thought.
- October 18 – Kate makes another surprise visit when she turns up at West Ham’s London Stadium for a Coach Core event with William and Harry.
- October 31 – Kate steps out in sports gear for a visit to the National Tennis Centre.
- November 7 – The Duchess, in a black floor-length dress by Diane von Furstenberg, attends an Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families gala in Kensington Palace’s 18th-century Orangery.
- November 8 – Kate addresses a Place2Be mental health forum and stresses that getting help and support to young children at the very earliest stage helps improve their outcomes later in life.
- November 12 – Kate joins other royals to watch the Remembrance Day service from a balcony overlooking the Cenotaph in Whitehall, central London. The night before, the Duchess attended the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
- November 14 – The Duchess tells a single father how William initially found it difficult adjusting to parenthood when she visits Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in north London.
- November 20 – William, Kate and the rest of the royal family celebrate the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s platinum wedding anniversary at a special party in Windsor Castle.
- November 22 – The Duke and Duchess visit Solihull where Kate takes part in an off-road Land Rover driving experience not recommended for pregnant women.
- November 24 – William, in black tie, and four months pregnant Kate, in a sequinned cornflower blue Jenny Packham gown, attend the Royal Variety Performance, but their arrival is delayed by an hour after an incident nearby which saw armed police rush to London’s Oxford Street.
- November 28 – Kate congratulates Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their engagement.
- November 29 – William makes a solo visit to Finland, celebrating the centenary of the country’s independence.
- Kate visits Robin Hood Primary School in south-west London to see its work with the Royal Horticultural Society’s campaign for school gardening.
- She tells pupils she has ‘fond memories’ of being outdoors as a child and is passing that passion on to her own children.
- December 12 – The Duchess hears stories of mothers caught up in the Grenfell Tower blaze as she visits the Rugby Portobello Trust centre which is supporting the local community.
- William and Kate receive Gold Blue Peter badges from the CBBC children’s show for their work around mental health issues affecting children.
- December 14 – William and Kate join victims of the Grenfell Tower fire at a memorial service in St Paul’s Cathedral.
- December 25 – The Duke and Duchess, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the royal family attend church at Sandringham on Christmas Day.
- January 8 2018 – Two-year-old Princess Charlotte starts at Willcocks Nursery School, with Kate taking the photographs released to celebrate her big day.
- January 10 – The Duchess speaks about the addictive nature of social media, saying it can be ‘hard to break away from’ as she meets teenagers at the Reach Academy Feltham in west London.
- January 17 – Kate pats her bump and jokes how she is less ‘sporty’ with two children and a third on the way as she visits a tennis session for pupils at Bond Primary School in Mitcham.
- January 23 – The Duchess says she is committed to helping the ‘youngest and most vulnerable’ in society as she launches a mental health website for teachers supporting pupils.
- January 24 – Kate sympathises with the mental health plight faced by many mothers, saying how generally they were supposed to be ‘super happy’ but one in four were not, as she meets psychiatrists, midwives and health visitors specialising in treating mothers with mental health issues.
- January 30 – William and Kate pay an official visit to Sweden and Norway. Engagements amid freezing temperatures include playing an unusual form of hockey called bandy in Stockholm, and joining children round a camp fire in Oslo.
- February 5 – Kate records a personal message to try to spur
- children on to be comfortable in their own skin as part of Children’s Mental Health Week.
- February 7 – Kate, as patron of the Action on Addiction charity, opens a new community-based treatment facility in Wickford, Essex. Her heel gets stuck in a grate as she arrives.
- February 18 – Kate wears dark green to the Baftas. Most nominees and other guests wear black to the awards in support of the Time’s Up campaign in the wake of the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal.
- February 19 – The Duchess shows off her growing baby bump at the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at Buckingham Palace.
- February 21 – The Duke and Duchess go on an away day to Sunderland to open the music and arts hub The Fire Station and visit the new Northern Spire, bridge over the River Wear.
- February 27 – The Duchess hugs Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, who helped to deliver one of her children, when they are reunited during Kate’s visit to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London.
- She also jokes William is in denial about a third baby while visiting the Snow Leopard ward at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, to launch the Nursing Now campaign.
- February 28 – Kate, Meghan Markle, Harry and William appear on stage at a Royal Foundation forum – the first time the ‘fab four’ have carried out an official engagement together.
- March 6 – Kate visits Pegasus Primary School in Oxford and is given a book of lullabies to help the new baby sleep.
- March 7 – Kate opens the new Place2Be headquarters in central London.
- March 12 – The Duke and Duchess join the Queen, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the royal family at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.
- March 17 – Pregnant Kate sips water, while the Duke has a pint of Guinness with the Irish Guards during the St Patrick’s Day parade in Hounslow, west London.
- March 21 – Kate attends a symposium on early intervention with social and emotional support for children.
- March 22 – The Duchess carries out her final engagements before going on maternity leave. She shows off her culinary skills with William and takes part in a general knowledge Commonwealth quiz.
- March 26 – Kensington Palace announces that Kate has become the first royal patron of the V&A museum.
- April 1 – Kate attends the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.