After months of anticipation, the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, in the early stages of labour. Kensington Palace confirmed the news early Monday morning, revealing the Duchess had travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing with her husband Prince William by her side.
At around 6 a.m. on Monday, a royal convoy was spotted arriving at the hospital's rear entrance, and at 7:30 the statement was issued confirming the news the world has been waiting for.
Watch our LIVE STREAM of the action in front of the Lindo wing NOW!
Kate and William have never revealed their baby's due date, but it is widely thought that their firstborn is overdue. The fact that the Duchess arrived by car, and not by ambulance, would suggest that she has gone into labour naturally.
The nation must now patiently await the arrival of the royal baby, which will be delivered by the Queen's former gynaecologist Marcus Setchell and the Queen's current gynaecologist Alan Farthing. It is highly unlikely that there will be any updates during the labour stages, with the first sign that the child has been born being the exit of a royal official from the Lindo wing.
As soon as the new Prince or Princess has made their grand entrance, an official announcement will be signed by Kate's doctors. It will be driven to Buckingham Palace, probably with a police escort. Only then will the public find out the sex, weight and possibly the name of the Queen's third great-grandchild.
The world's press has been camped outside the hospital for well over a week now, and excitement is at an all-time high following the news that the Duchess is now in labour. In scenes that echo the feverish atmosphere surrounding William's birth, followers of the royal family have also joined the throngs.
It’s believed that Kate’s doctor — the Queen’s former gynecologist, Marcus Setchell — is attending to his famous patient after being contacted on an encrypted line by Prince William and Kate’s press secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.
William is by Kate’s side, of course, and her mother, Carole Middleton, and sister, Pippa, are also likely to be at the hospital for the delivery. Royal visitors — including first-time grandfather Prince Charles will be eager to see the baby as soon as they can. But the first to be informed will be great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth.
Once the monarch gets the news, details of the heir-to-the-throne’s birth will be announced by the Palace outside Buckingham Palace and on Twitter.
It has been reported that the new mother will spend the first few weeks following the birth at the home of her parents Carole and Michael to give her the privacy and support she needs during this special time. The Middletons' over $7.6million Georgian home is situated in the quiet Berkshire village of Bucklebury.
Carole was certainly very involved in preparations for the little one's arrival. She helped her daughter buy a Moses basket from an exclusive baby boutique in the capital's South Kensington district.
Later mother and daughter visited department store Peter Jones to shop for a buggy.
Kate has fitted out a nursery at the couple's London home in Kensington Palace. The couple are currently based in Nottingham Cottage, before they move to neighbouring apartment 1A, Princess Margaret's former home in the complex. Currently being refurbished at a cost of over $1.5 million, it boasts fours storeys and 21 rooms.
Ahead of becoming parents the Duke and Duchess hired a housekeeper. Antonella Fresolone, 42, previously worked at Buckingham Palace for 13 years, during which time she became one of the Queen's most trusted servants.
As well as reorganizing their household, the royals will have turned their attention to the question of godparents.
It is thought Kate's sister Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry will be entrusted with this task when the baby is baptized — a ceremony which is likely to take place in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace, where both William and his father Prince Charles were christened, although the private chapel at Windsor Castle is also a possibility.
The new dad will undoubtedly take a hands-on role in looking after the little one. Asked a few months ago if he was looking forward to the baby's arrival, the Prince replied: "Very much so."
William, who was visiting a rehabilitation centre for injured servicemen, added: "All the mothers have been looking at me, saying 'Just you wait, just you wait. Long sleepless nights!'"
There's been no announcement made on how long his wife's maternity leave will be. But the hardworking royal was attending engagements well into her last trimester.
Here at HELLO! Canada we excitedly await new details and will update when more information becomes available.
Photos: Getty Images
A version of this article appeared at Hellomagazine.com with the headline "Kate Middleton admitted to St Mary's in early stages of labour."