It seems the whole world is waiting excitedly for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, nee Kate Middleton, to enter St Mary's Hospital and welcome their new addition, a younger brother or sister for Prince George. But how will it all go down?
As more and more royal enthusiasts gather outside the Lindo Wing, we exclusively reveal everything you need to know about the dazzling duchess’s plans for the next royal birth.
If all goes well, the Duchess of Cambridge will once again deliver at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London. The private wing where she delivered Prince George in 2013 (and where Princess Diana gave birth to princes William and Harry), is around the corner from her Kensington Palace apartment. (It also offers her a 10 per cent loyalty discount to returning mums!) Even though her previous doctor, Sir Marcus Setchell, has retired, Kate will be in good hands with Guy Thorpe-Beeston, gynecologist to the royal household and a high-risk pregnancy specialist, and Dr. Alan Farthing, both of whom were present at George’s birth. Kate was thought to be due April 25, a date that's come and gone, and it seems the Duchess may be induced the second time around. And this might not be the last time she devises a birth plan - her uncle Gary is certain this won't be the Cambridge's last child!
NO GREAT KATE WAIT
The duke and duchess issued a public thank you, saying they “know that people are excited that Prince George will soon have a little brother or sister and it means a great deal to [us] that so many will be celebrating this important moment for [our] family.” That said, the couple are eager to scale back the hype surrounding the birth of their second child. Accredited media have not been allowed to line up outside the hospital as they did before George’s birth. Instead, they have to wait until it is officially announced that the duchess has been admitted - which is okay since they've been assigned positions. News of the birth will be shared with the Queen and family first, then emailed to the media, shared on Twitter and Instagram and announced on an easel at Buckingham Palace. The U.K. is in the midst of an election, so the royals will wait for any conferences or speeches to end so as not to interfere with the political process.
BUILDING HER NEST
Royal sources say William and Kate plan to take their new baby home to Kensington Palace for a few days so the Queen can meet her fifth great-grandchild. Then the new family of four will head to their country home, Anmer Hall, at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk (Read all about Amner Hall here!). Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, are said to already be living at the newly renovated 10-bedroom Georgian home, where the last coat of paint was only recently applied. They are helping with logistics until William and Kate hire a new housekeeper. “William is very happy to sit back and let Carole take up the reins. She is ensuring that Anmer runs like clockwork,” says a source. Carole will also be on baby duty, along with George’s nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, and the parents themselves. For the time being, William and Kate have agreed not to hire a baby nurse. “They are happy with the arrangement,” says a royal source. “If anything changes it wouldn’t be for a while.”
HOW WILLIAM WILL HELP
As Kate prepares to put her parenting skills to the test – juggling the demands of both a newborn and a toddler – we can reveal that William will be right by her side. He passed his air transport pilot licence exams and is now undergoing training before he begins flying for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service, but he’ll be based less than 80 km away from Anmer Hall and less than two hours by car from London. Having been allotted the traditional two-week parental leave to immerse himself in life with his newborn, William is currently with his wife in London. It is sure to be a busy period for the devoted father, who will not only be supporting his wife, but will also be continuing his royal duties on behalf of the Queen, both in the U.K. and overseas. Of all the items on his to-do list, he’s most excited to become a father again and has said this baby is a “game-changer.”
MAKING GEORGE FEEL SPECIAL
One of the most touching moments after the royal birth will come when George meets his new sibling. Charles and Diana introduced their sons at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s, with Charles helping his first-born up the steps to meet his brother. But as much as we’d love to see that photo op repeated with William and George, it’s not known whether or not the meeting will happen at the hospital. “I think they’ll wait and see how they feel at the time,” said a source. Still, George is over the moon about the arrival of a sibling, according to travel agent Claudia Gordon, who met Kate at a luncheon. “I asked her if Prince George was excited about the new prince or princess that was coming and she said yes and that he is a toddler and is talking and walking.” Kate also shared the most adorable anecdote about her little prince, said Claudia. When told that his father was away travelling in China, he promptly went to look for his dad in the china cabinet, announcing, “Daddy is not here.” In order to ease George’s transition, Kate and William have reportedly purchased some special toys for their eldest so he doesn’t feel left out. Kate has also tried to have more mommy-and-me time with “Georgie,” as she calls him. She and George recently enjoyed a day out at Snettisham Park, a 329-acre farm, not far from their Norfolk home where George played with the animals, went on the slide and even bottle-fed a piglet.
THE SECRET TO HER GLOW
THE LENGTH OF HER MATERNITY LEAVE
Kate was back in the public eye – and as slender as ever – five weeks after giving birth to Prince George. She surprised onlookers when she joined her husband in Anglesey, Wales, to kick-start the Coastal Ultra Marathon. This time, according to insiders, her maternity leave will be more of a marathon. Some reports are saying we won’t see her until after George’s second birthday on July 22. According to royal sources that’s because Kate wants to stay focused on George and his little sibling. “She felt she came back too soon last time,” says a source. “She wants to have that [family time] and enjoy it with George and the new baby.” We’re sure to get a glimpse of Kate when she and her family pose for a royal portrait introducing their newest member and also at the baby’s christening.
In the final stages of her pregnancy, the duchess looked more radiant than ever. Fertility expert Zita West explains why. “In the weeks before delivery, women can experience a happy, positive feeling of euphoria as endorphins are produced, which could be why Kate is looking so well,” she says. “Most women find their hair and nails look great when they’re pregnant and Kate’s hair is looking glossier than ever and her skin definitely has a glow about it.” Zita credits that to a combination of vitamins and hormones, but Kate’s strict beauty regimen surely helps. The future Queen is a fan of Heaven skin care and its bee venom-based products as well as the oxygenating Karin Herzog skin-care line. As for her signature locks, she’s kept her colour bright during pregnancy with an organic vegetable dye. (Plus, read all about Kate's favourite makeup products here!)