Prince Charles may miss the birth of Prince William and Kate's royal baby

By Hanna Fillingham

Prince Charles relishes in his role as grandfather, doting on Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, two, but it looks like the Prince of Wales may have to miss the birth of their younger sibling. The royal and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, are scheduled to be in Australia at the beginning of April - the same time Kate is due to welcome his third grandchild. The six-day Commonwealth Games and Australia tour would see Charles and Camilla undertaking engagements starting in Brisbane on April 4, where they will represent the Queen at the opening of the XX1 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. On April 6, Charles will then visit Queensland and the Northern Territory, before leaving on the April 10 to return to the UK.

The father of two enjoys a close relationship with Prince William and Kate's oldest two children, and has previously spoken out about the importance of bonding with his grandchildren while they are young. He said: "It's a different part of your life. The great thing is to encourage them. Show them things to take their interest. My grandmother did that, she was wonderful." He added: "It is very important to create a bond when they are very young."

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Cambridges trooping the colour with Prince Charles and Camilla on the balcony
Prince Charles might be in Australia when Kate gives birth to his third grandchild

Royal onlookers will be on royal baby watch throughout the month of April, with bets already having been made from the newborn's gender to the name. As William and Kate have remained tight-lipped about their baby's gender, there is so far an equal split. Paddy Power's odds currently stand at 5/6 for a baby boy and 5/6 for a baby girl, while William Hill is similarly split at 10/11 for a female and 10/11 for a male. William recently joked that he would struggle if Kate was expecting twins, saying: "Twins? I think my mental health would be tested with twins." He added: "Our third child is due in April, I'm getting as much sleep as I can."

RELATED: Prince Charles bonds with Prince George and Princess Charlotte

Cambridges trooping the colour: Prince William in his usual military red uniform, Kate Middleton and daughter Princess Charlotte are in pink. Prince Harry is seen in the background.
Guesses are being placed on the name and gender of the new royal baby

British bookies have also been taking bets on the names for the Duke and Duchess's third child. The new Prince or Princess will likely have a traditional name that has strong royal connections; Prince George's full name is George Alexander Louis while Charlotte's is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, paying tribute to both Her Majesty and William's mother, Princess Diana. Current favourites for the third royal baby include Mary, which is the front-runner, Alice, Alexandra and Victoria for girls, and Arthur, Albert, Henry and Phillip for boys.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Prince William and Kate's royal baby

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