Just weeks – or possibly
days – before giving birth to her first child, Kate Middleton has been spotted out and about. Looking
heavily pregnant, the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in Hungerford to do some
antique shopping, accompanied by a protection officer.
The stylish royal dressed her large baby bump in a beige trench coat. She paired the chic number, thought to be by British brand Burberry, with a black top, jeans and ballet pumps. She had pulled her hair into the half-up-half down 'do that she is known to favour.
"Kate looked really happy", an onlooker told US Weekly. "The weather was a bit windy, but she smiled as she walked around the town… Her bump is really big now!" A local added, "Kate often goes shopping in Hungerford when she is staying at her parents' house. She has a good eye for British antiques."
Royal watchers have speculated that Kate and husband Prince William's baby could be due upto ten days earlier than the 13 July due date originally expected. If Kate does give birth earlier than expected, she will be following in the footsteps of her husband William's late mother Diana, who gave birth to William ten days before the official due date.
The potential earlier due date means that the Duke and Duchess could become parents shortly after William's birthday, which falls in June, or at around the time of Princess Diana's, which falls on 1 July.
Kate is already following Princess Diana's example by chosing to give birth in the same hospital where Princes William and Harry were born. The baby, who will become third in line to the throne, will be delivered at the private Lindo Wing in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London .
It has also been revealed that royal gynaecologist, Dr Marcus Setchell, will supervise the birth. Dr Setchell helped Sophie, Countess of Wessex deliver her two children and cared for Sophie following her ectopic pregnancy in 2001.
The Lindo Wing, within one of London's NHS-run teaching hospitals, has welcomed previous royal babies including Zara Phillips and Peter Phillips. According to the hospital's website, a normal delivery package costs $7,951 for the first 24 hours, rising to $10, 282 for the first 24 hours of a Caesarean birth.