The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to hospital in the early stages of labour on St George’s Day.
Kate was taken by car before 6am this morning to the private Lindo wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, as she prepares to give birth to her third child.
Given that the births of her two previous children happened so quickly – within a matter of hours of her being admitted, in fact – it is anticipated that her third child will be born today, assuming there are no complications.
The baby prince or princess will be fifth in line to the throne, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s sixth great-grandchild and a younger brother or sister for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: ‘Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London, earlier this morning in the early stages of labour.
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 in Stratford, East London
Royal fan Sharon McEwan is camped today outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London
Royal fans John Loughrey (left) and Terry Hutt (right) hold dolls outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital this morning
Supporters of the royal family stand outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London this morning
‘The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.’
The baby’s title will be HRH Prince or Princess of Cambridge.
Excitement is building outside St Mary’s Hospital, where some fans have been camped out for 15 days hoping for a glimpse of the royal baby.
The timing of today’s announcement, falling on St George’s Day, added to the occasion for waiting royalists outside.
John Loughrey, 63, who is part of a group who have been camped outside the hospital, said: ‘We are so pleased. We have been here for 15 days.
‘I’m so pleased it’s St George’s Day. St George himself would be very pleased if the baby’s born today.’
An unsuspecting couple emerged from the Lindo Wing with their newborn baby to be greeted by the world’s media. They posed for photographs outside the famous door in front of dozens of journalists and photographers before leaving in a taxi
Royal fans stand this morning outside the Lindo Wing, where the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted after going into labour
A police officer stands outside the Lindo Wing this morning after Kate was admitted ahead of the birth of her third child
Members of the media gather outside the Lindo Wing today after Kensington Palace announced Kate had gone into labour
Royal fans are interviewed by journalists outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington this morning
Well wishes hold flags outside the Lindo Wing this morning as they await news of the new royal baby
Two cameras are fixed on the front door of the Lindo Wing which is being guarded by police this morning
Mr Loughrey, from Streatham, South London, said he plans to celebrate the birth with English flags and a portion of fish and chips.
‘It doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl as long as it’s a healthy baby and a healthy mother,’ he said. ‘It’s very good for our country and of course Her Majesty the Queen.’
Another member of his group, 82-year-old Terry Hutt, also welcomed the news.
‘It’s fantastic to have another newborn baby,’ said Mr Hutt, who turns 83 at the end of the month and was hoping to share his birthday with the new royal. ‘If they were born on my birthday, I would have got a birthday cake.’
Maria Scott, 46, from Newcastle, added: ‘I think it’s going to be a boy and I think it’s going to be quick.’
The group were talking in front of their make-shift camp, including royal memorabilia and a Union Flag tent.
The Duchess is being cared for by consultant obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston, who is the surgeon-gynaecologist to the household, and consultant gynaecologist Alan Farthing, the Queen’s surgeon-gynaecologist – part of the trusted team who delivered George and Charlotte.
Highly-trained midwives will also be on hand, while experts will be waiting in the wings in case of an emergency.
The official announcement that Kate had gone into labour was released by Kensington Palace this morning
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
For her previous births, Kate had a 23-strong team of top medics working or on stand-by from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – which runs St Mary’s Hospital.
Fast labour expected for Duchess of Cambridge’s third baby
The Duchess of Cambridge’s third labour is expected to be fast – if not faster – than before.
Although it varies from woman to woman, some mothers report a speedier delivery third time around.
For first-time mothers, active labour may take around eight hours and in a second labour around five hours, according to Babycentre.co.uk.
When Kate gave birth for a second time, she delivered Princess Charlotte just two hours and 34 minutes after being admitted to hospital.
With Prince George in 2013, the duchess went into hospital at around 6am and her son arrived 10-and-a-half hours later at 4.24pm.
Clare Livingstone, professional policy adviser at the Royal College of Midwives, 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.’
It is not known how long the Duchess was in labour with George and Charlotte before she was admitted.
Mrs Livingstone added that quick labours can appear more painful.
‘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,’ she said.
Advice site Madeformums.com said 2% 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.
Kate had a straightforward, natural birth with George and Charlotte with no complications.
Theatre staff were ready, along with a lab technician, replacement anaesthetists and paediatricians, a back-up for the consultant, and workers from a special baby care unit.
With the baby on its way, press pens will now open outside the hospital as journalists, photographers and camera crews wait for confirmation of the baby’s arrival.
Royal watchers will be expecting a swift delivery.
With George, the duchess gave birth 10-and-a-half hours after being admitted to hospital, but Charlotte was born just two hours and 34 minutes after Kate arrived at the Lindo Wing.
The birth will be declared in both conventional and contemporary ways.
An announcement will be emailed to the press and a celebratory tweet posted on the Kensington Palace Twitter feed – @KensingtonRoyal.
There will also be the traditional custom of placing a framed paper proclamation on an ornate gold stand behind the iron railings of Buckingham Palace.
Just like with her first and second children, Kate is hoping for a natural birth and does not know whether she is having a boy or a girl.
Bookmakers will be waiting to see whether they have to pay out on the name, delivery date, hair colour and weight of the baby.
Predicted names include Alice, Alexandra, Elizabeth, Mary and Victoria for a girl and Arthur, Albert, Frederick, James and Philip for a boy.
George and Charlotte may visit the hospital to see their mother and baby sibling, just as George did when his younger sister was born three years ago.
But it depends how quickly Kate wants to head home.
While Kate is in labour, George and Charlotte are likely to be cared for by their full-time, live-in nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.
The duchess’s pregnancy was announced by Kensington Palace on September 4 last year.
Kate again suffered from extreme pregnancy sickness hyperemesis gravidarum.
She went on maternity leave on March 22, but the duchess – and her large bump – attended an Easter Sunday church service in Windsor with the royals on April 1.
She has joked that William is ‘in denial’ about having a third child.
Although the Queen has four children, the duke is the first future king to have a third for more than 120 years.
In 1897, George V, then the Duke of York, welcomed a daughter – Princess Mary – the younger sister of Edward VIII and George VI.
Unlike William, George V never expected to be king and only became heir to throne when his older brother, the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, died from flu in 1892.
If the baby is a boy, William and Kate will be following in the footsteps of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who had a son, a daughter and then another son.
But the Queen and Philip also went on to have a fourth child – Prince Edward.
Kate and Wills’ new baby will be fifth in line to the throne – pushing Prince Harry down to sixth
The new Prince or Princess of Cambridge will be born fifth in line to the throne.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child – a younger sibling to Prince George and Princess Charlotte – will be the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s sixth great-grandchild.
They will also be a great-great-great-great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.
Here is how the line of succession will look once the new royal baby is born
Once the baby arrives, Prince Harry will shift down the line of succession to sixth place.
The Duke of York, who was born second in line, will move to seventh and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to eighth and ninth.
It was always thought that William and Kate 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.
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
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.
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
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 affected 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 new 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.
Arthur is the favourite name for William and Kate’s baby (with Mary, Alice and James following behind)
Alice or Mary? Victoria or Elizabeth? Albert or Philip? – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are likely to seek regal inspiration for their imminent arrival.
After opting for the traditional names George and Charlotte for their first two children, William and Kate are expected to keep it classic once again for baby number three.
According to bookmakers, Mary has been the front runner for a girl for some time, closely followed by Alice and then Victoria and Alexandra.
For a boy, Arthur is leading as the favourite, and then Albert, Frederick, James and Philip.
So what will the new prince or princess be called? Here are some of the contenders:
FOR A GIRL
Latest odds on the name of Kate and William’s third baby
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes
Alice has been popular at the bookmakers. The Duke of Edinburgh’s mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg.
She saw little of Philip when he was a child. She fell ill and was committed to a sanatorium.
In later years, she went to live at Buckingham Palace and was said to walk around in a nun’s habit, smoking Woodbines. She founded an order of nuns.
Mary became the favourite at the bookies after a flurry of bets. It is one of the Queen’s middle names.
It was also her grandmother’s name. Princess Mary of Teck, who was born in 1867, was married to George V, becoming Queen Mary.
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.
There has also already been a Princess Mary of Cambridge.
Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge – who was born in Germany in 1833 – was the original ‘People’s Princess’ and a granddaughter of George III.
Affectionately known as ‘Fat Mary’ for her girth, she was one of the earliest royals to support a wide range of charitable organisations, but lived extravagantly beyond her means, running up huge debts.
Queen Victoria was previously the longest-reigning monarch in British history before she was overtaken by Elizabeth II in 2015.
Victoria – figurehead of a vast empire – was queen for more than 63 years, acceding to the throne in 1837.
She married Prince Albert and had nine children, but mourned Albert’s early death for the rest of her life.
The name has been a popular choice for princesses in the British royal family in tribute to Victoria.
Media to descend on Lindo Wing as barriers open to the Press
The end of the Great Kate Wait 3.0 is in sight with news that the Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to hospital in labour.
Press pens for journalists, photographers and camera crews have been opened up in front of the private Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, central London, to allow the world’s media to report on the impending royal birth.
After Prince George was born in July 2013, William and Kate were keen to avoid a repeat of the media circus surrounding his arrival.
Scores of press were camped outside the Lindo in the weeks leading up to the big day, as the media enduring scorching temperatures during a summer heatwave.
With the birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015, press pens were only opened outside the hospital after Kate was admitted in labour, and the plans were the same this time around.
Kate went on maternity leave on March 22 and parking restrictions notices and barriers were put in place in front of the Lindo Wing on April 9.
Photographers have had their camera bags packed and ladders at the ready since then, waiting for the announcement that Kate had been admitted.
Alexandra is another of the Queen’s middle names.
It is also the name of her cousin, Princess Alexandra. The Queen’s great-grandmother was Queen Alexandra.
Queen Alexandra, who was born in 1844, was married to King Edward VII.
A Danish princess, she had a happy childhood and was known to her family as Alix.
She was once considered one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe.
Elizabeth has already been used for one of Princess Charlotte’s middle names.
But the monarch is held in such esteem by her family that it is not inconceivable it could be used for a first name if the Cambridges have another girl.
The Queen, who is now Britain’s longest reigning monarch, was known as Lilibet as a child.
Amelia was the name of one of George III’s daughters.
Born in 1783, Amelia was the youngest of the king’s 15 children.
She fell passionately in love with one of her father’s equerries, Charles Fitzroy, but was forbidden by her mother from marrying him.
She died from tuberculosis when she was 27.
George II also had a daughter called Amelia.
The name was the most popular girls’ name in England and Wales for five years from 2011, until it was knocked off the top spot by Olivia in 2016.
Isabella could also be a contender.
The name is a variation of Isabel, itself a variation of Elizabeth, meaning ‘devoted to God’ in Hebrew. Nicknames could include Bella, Izzy, and Izzie.
Kate might choose to remember her grandmothers Valerie and Dorothy. Harriet is also a family name on her father’s side. She could decide to use her mother’s name, Carole, or a form of it, such as Caroline or Carolina.
FOR A BOY
Royal baby in numbers
Here is a look at the royal baby by numbers:
2 – Baby Cambridge has two homes – Kensington Palace’s 20-room Apartment 1A in London and 10-bedroom country residence Anmer Hall in Norfolk.
3 – The new royal baby will be the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child – a younger sibling to Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
5 – William and Kate’s baby will be born fifth in line to the throne. The baby is also a 5 x great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.
6 – The baby is the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild. The baby will bump Prince Harry down to sixth in line.
7 – The Cambridges celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary on April 29.
9 – Weeks of age Princess Charlotte was when she was christened. George was 13 weeks old at his christening.
15 – Years William and Kate have been together.
35 – Number of months between Charlotte and the new baby. Kate and William will have three children aged four and under.
36 – Kate is 36. William turns 36 in June this year.
41 – Royal births are celebrated with a 41-gun salute.
£7,500 – Cost of a one night stay and delivery package at the private Lindo Wing including a suite of two rooms, but excluding consultants’ fees.
£9,450 – Cost per year for Willcocks Nursery School, which Charlotte attends.
1.2 million – Followers of the Cambridges’ official Twitter account @KensingtonRoyal.
£4.5 million – Cost to the taxpayer of refurbishing William and Kate’s Kensington Palace apartment in 2012.
£42.8 million – The amount the Queen received from the taxpayer via the Sovereign Grant in 2016-2017 – 65p for each person in the country.
One of Charles’s middle names, Arthur is also one of William’s middle names and was a middle name of the Queen’s father, George VI.
The legendary King Arthur was the mythical leader of the knights of the Round Table, who supposedly lived in the 5th or 6th century.
Once popular, the name fell out of fashion but has had a revival in recent years. Former prime minister David Cameron has a son called Arthur.
Queen Victoria used to insist that the name Albert was used as a middle name by her descendants, if not a first, in honour of her much-loved consort Prince Albert.
By choosing Albert or Bertie for a boy, William and Kate would be honouring Queen Elizabeth II’s father, George VI, who was actually Albert Frederick Arthur George but always known to his family as Bertie.
Shy, stammering Bertie was forced to become king when his brother Edward VIII abdicated, but won the nation’s affection by standing firm in London during the Second World War.
A lasting tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh might see a Prince of Cambridge called Philip.
Both Charles and William have Philip as a middle name.
The Duke – known for his dedication to duty and his acerbic wit – has been married to the Queen for more than 70 years and is the nation’s longest serving consort.
A Prince Freddie of Cambridge would have a historical link to the 1st Duke of Cambridge.
Prince Adolphus Frederick lived from 1774 to 1850 and was a son of George III.
He was apparently very fond of interrupting church services by bellowing out ‘By all means’ if the priest said ‘Let us pray’.
William may want to pay tribute to his father – but perhaps as a middle name as it may be considered to similar to Charlotte.
James could be chosen to signify Kate’s affection for her brother, the baby’s uncle, James Middleton.
William already has a cousin James, the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s son, Viscount Severn.
James is a Stuart name. James I, son of Mary, Queen of Scots, had been king of Scotland for 36 years as James VI when he became king of England in 1603.
They could choose William as a middle name for a boy, but also perhaps Michael as a middle name out of respect for Kate’s father.
Kate’s grandfather on her paternal side was called Peter, while on her maternal side, her grandfather was Ronald.
Thomas also appears several times in Kate’s family tree as does Francis.
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 to carry out a significant number of engagements while pregnant.
Kate’s pregnancy was announced on September 4 last year, after she was forced to cancel an appearance the same day due to the condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
At the start of all three of her pregnancies, Kate has suffered from the same problem.
Hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes severe vomiting, 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, the duchess did not need that level of care this time.
A few days after the announcement that she was expecting her third child, 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 later, 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 in October, joining William and Harry at a charity event, where she danced on the platform with Paddington Bear.
And the following day Kensington Palace announced that the Cambridges’ baby was due in April, interpreted as indicating the duchess’s 12-week scan had taken place.
It is thought a number of Kate’s engagements were postponed due to her illness, and in the new year she 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
Royal tradition of taking toddlers to the Lindo
Prince George and Princess Charlotte could pay a visit to the Lindo Wing to meet their new baby sibling when he or she arrives – if the Cambridges keep up with tradition.
George visited newborn Charlotte a few hours after she was born in 2015, arriving with his father, the Duke of Cambridge.
The 21-month-old slightly nervous looking youngster was carried up the steps to the private hospital by William, and gave the crowds a small wave.
George, dressed in blue shorts, a white collared shirt, a blue pullover, long blue socks and black bar shoes, was given a reassuring a kiss on the forehead by the duke.
More than 30 years earlier, two-year-old William held hands with his father, the Prince of Wales, as he entered the hospital in Paddington, London, to see his mother, the Princess of Wales. and one-day-old Prince Harry early on September 16 1984.
The newspapers at the time reported how William, who was dressed in red shorts, a white shirt with red embroidery, white ankle socks and traditional leather bar shoes, ran down the corridor into Diana’s arms as she called his name.
He was said to be ‘very, very excited about seeing his new brother’.
The introduction was judged a success, with William holding baby Harry’s hand as he lay in his cot.
He spent 20 minutes at the hospital before waving to the crowds as he was taken home by his nanny, Barbara Barnes.
While four-year-old George has already experienced adjusting to a sibling, it will be Charlotte, who is nearly three, who will need to get used to no longer being the baby of the family.
Parenting site madeformums.com offers advice on ensuring first meetings go well.
‘Make sure you are not holding the new baby when your toddler first sees you after the birth,’ it said.
‘Give your toddler a big hug first, then introduce her to the new baby after a few minutes. Buying a present for the new baby to give to his or her older sibling may help.’
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.
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.
William and Kate look set to have a St George’s Day baby
The Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour on St George’s Day with the baby most likely to be born this morning.
Royal watchers will be expecting a swift delivery at the Lindo Wing with the child also sharing a birthday with William Shakespeare.
With George, Kate gave birth 10-and-a-half hours after being admitted to hospital, but Charlotte was born just two hours and 34 minutes after Kate arrived at the Lindo Wing.
The third child is most likely to be born quickly unless there are any complications.
The Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour on St George’s Day with the baby likely to be born this morning
If the Duchess of Cambridge gives birth by the end of the day as expected, the royal baby will be born on patriotic St George’s Day.
The patron saint of England, St George is heralded for his honour, bravery and gallantry. Surrounded by myth, one legend tells of St George’s defeat of a dragon.
The actual St George was born in Cappadocia – an area now in Turkey – and he lived during the 3rd century.
He became a Roman soldier and protested against Rome’s treatment of Christians, was imprisoned and eventually executed for refusing to denounce his faith.
The flag of Saint George – a red cross on a white background – is the flag of England and is incorporated into the Union Jack.
The royal baby would also share their birthday with Lady Gabriella Windsor – the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, who was born at the Lindo Wing, where Kate is in labour, on April 23 in 1981.
Famous names celebrating their birthdays on Monday include the model Gigi Hadid and actor John Hannah.
The baby has just missed arriving on the Queen’s 92nd birthday which was on Saturday.
William and Kate are set to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary on April 29, while Princess Charlotte turns three on May 2.
If the child was born yesterday it would have shared a birthday with the Queen.
Going into Labour on St George’s Day ended hopes of a double celebration because the birth will now not happen on William and Kate’s seventh wedding anniversary on April 29.
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.
The Duke of Cambridge, however, told Ringo Starr during an investiture on March 21 that the baby is due ‘any minute now’.
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 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 and football manager Stuart Pearce;
Traditional notice at Buckingham Palace will celebrate baby’s arrival
The royal birth notice at Buckingham Palace for Prince George in July 2013
Now that the Duchess of Cambridge is in labour, the wait is on for the official announcement of the royal baby’s birth.
Just like with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, news of the arrival of a new prince or princess will be emailed to the press by Kensington Palace, coinciding with confirmation of the birth via Twitter by @KensingtonRoyal.
William and Kate will want to inform the Queen and their families first before sharing the news with the world, so any announcement is unlikely to be made overnight.
The statement traditionally takes the form of saying the Duchess has been ‘safely delivered’ of a son or a daughter, stating the time of birth and the weight of the baby.
It also usually reveals whether William was present at Kate’s side, which he is due to be, whether mother and baby are doing well, and how the news has been shared with delighted family members.
The arrival of the Cambridges’ third child will also be marked with a traditional bulletin on show at Buckingham Palace.
Just as when George and Charlotte were born, the age-old custom of placing a paper proclamation for the public to see at the Queen’s London residence will be carried out.
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 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.
The names given to royal babies are not usually revealed straight away, and the public is often left guessing for several days.
Crowds flock to see the royal birth notice at Buckingham Palace for George in July 2013
William and Kate took two days to announce both George and Charlotte’s names, informing the Queen of their choice beforehand.
Mike and Zara Tindall used Twitter to unveil their daughter’s name six days after she was born in 2014, with the proud father 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.
- April 9 – Parking restrictions and barriers are put in place outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital.
- April 16 – William welcomes delegates to UK for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and holds audiences and attends events throughout the week.
- April 21 – William and the rest of the royal family – minus Kate – celebrate the the Queen’s 92nd birthday at a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
- April 23 – Kate is admitted to the Lindo wing at St Mary’s in Paddington in the early stages of labour.