When is the Duchess of Cambridge’s baby due and where will she give birth?
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has announced. If you’re already starting to feel gripped by royal baby mania, here’s your essential guide, from the due date to potential baby names.
When will the royal baby be born?
The Duchess is less than 12 weeks pregnant, but was compelled to bring forward the announcement after being too unwell to attend a planned public appearance. This means the baby won’t be born for over six months at least, making March 2018 the earliest potential month for the royal birth. Both Prince George and Princess Charlotte are thought to have been born slightly late: in 2015 the Duchess of Cambridge let slip that her due date was towards the end of April, however Princess Charlotte was born on 2 May. This might mean another longer-than-average pregnancy is on the cards for the Duchess.
Where will the royal baby be born?
Both Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, making it likely that their sibling will also be born there. The private wing of the NHS hospital charges £5,215 for the first 24 hours if a baby is born naturally, or £6,745 for a Caesarean section, plus £1,155 for the deluxe package for each additional night. The Telegraph’s Anna Maxted had all three of her children there, and describes the rooms as basic, but the care as first-class. When the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with Princess Charlotte in 2015, contingency plans were put in place. If the Duchess unexpectedly went into labour while visiting her parents in Bucklebury, she would have been taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, while if she went into labour at Anmer Hall, the couple’s country residence in Norfolk, she would have given birth at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.
What baby names are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge considering?
The Duke and Duchess have chosen solidly traditional royal names for their children in the past, making it likely they will reference previous monarchs this time as well. The couple’s first child will in time become King George VII, following a tradition dating back to German-born George I, the first Hanoverian king of Great Britain who acceded to the throne in 1714. The last was the Queen’s father George VI who died in 1952 but was known to his family as Bertie. Among the previous monarchs to have had the name is George III – on the throne from 1760 to 1820 – who is predominantly remembered for losing the American colonies and his sanity. However, the Prince of Wales has previously disclosed that he is the king he most respects, describing him as a good man who was simply misunderstood. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge honoured both royal tradition and family ties by naming their second child Charlotte. The name’s royal pedigree includes Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, who bore him 15 children and helped found Kew Gardens. Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital, which is named after her, is part of the same NHS Trust as St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, where Princess Charlotte was born on Saturday in the private Lindo Wing. Her granddaughter Princess Charlotte of Wales, who married on May 2, the day the new Princess Charlotte was born, died in childbirth in 1817 at the age of just 21. She was the only child of George, Prince of Wales, who would go on to become King George IV. Charlotte also happens to be the middle name of the Duchess’s sister, Pippa Middleton, and goes back in her family to her paternal great-great-great-grandmother Charlotte Ablett, born in 1825 and therefore possibly named for Princess Charlotte.
How will this affect the succession?
The new baby will be fifth in line to the throne, behind the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. It means Prince Harry will drop down to sixth in line, and every other member of the Royal family will be one step further away from the throne. Because of recent changes to the laws governing succession, the baby’s sex will make no difference, as boys no longer have precedence over girls. If the change hadn’t been made and the third baby were a boy, he would be fifth in line instead of Princess Charlotte – however that will now not be the case.
Will the Duchess of Cambridge have a natural birth?
Both Prince George and Princess Charlotte are believed to have been born by a natural delivery, meaning the Duchess of Cambridge will presumably be planning to have a natural birth this time as well. In 2015 Pat O’Brien, a consultant obstetrician at University College Hospital, said that because of the speed with which the Princess Charlotte was delivered after the Duchess was admitted to hospital, it is likely that she went into labour naturally. He said: “The fact that she went into hospital at around 6am and had the baby by 8.34am would not imply that she was induced at all. “Second time labours tend to be quicker than first time labours. Everything tends to go faster. The dilation stage is quicker, the pushing stage is usually quicker and easier as well, and the baby comes out more quickly. You would expect it to be an easier labour anyway.”
Who will deliver the royal baby?
The medical team in charge of safely delivering Princess Charlotte was led by Guy Thorpe-Beeston, Surgeon Gynaecologist to the Royal Household. Mr Thorpe-Beeston, an obstetrician who specialises in high-risk pregnancies, has a private Harley Street practice and is a consultant at the Portland private hospital and at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in the NHS. A Cambridge graduate, he worked at King’s College Hospital in London before becoming a consultant in foetal medicine at Chelsea and Westminster in 1996. He was assisted by Alan Farthing, Surgeon Gynaecologist to the Queen, who was the fiance of the television presenter Jill Dando at the time of her murder in 1999, and has been part of the Queen’s medical household since 2008. In 2014 Sir Marcus Setchell, the recently retired surgeon gynaecologist to the Queen who delivered Prince George, told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour: “What happened in labour is an entirely private matter, but I do think there are certain situations when someone is giving birth that it’s important…to have a specialist…in the same room to deal with anything that’s immediately going to be wrong.”
How will news of the birth be announced?
After the Queen, other members of the Royal family and the Middletons have been told the good news, the royal communications team will email media organisations with the sex, weight and timing of the birth. Moments later the news will be announced via royal Twitter and Instagram accounts before a traditional paper announcement is placed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace.
When will we see the royal baby?
After the birth of Prince George, the Duchess left hospital the next day, while she left the hospital to go home on the same day after giving birth to Princess Charlotte. But the length of the Duchess’s hospital stay this time around will be entirely down to how she is feeling, so there is no guarantee we will see the baby within 24 hours of its birth. The Duke and Duchess are expected to leave the Lindo Wing by the front door to give the waiting media the chance to take the photographs that will no doubt adorn the front pages of newspapers the next day.
Where will the Duke and Duchess go when they leave hospital?
After the birth of Princess Charlotte, the Duke and Duchess spent the first nights of her life at Kensington Palace before driving north to their country home, Anmer Hall, on the Queen’s Sandringham estate, where they were likely joined there by the Duchess’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, who often stay over to help look after Prince George.
Will the Duke and Duchess take maternity and paternity leave?
They have on previous occasions: after the birth of Princess Charlotte, the Duke took two weeks’ statutory paternity leave from his job as an air ambulance pilot and the Duchess took maternity leave from her official royal duties. After the birth of Prince George, the Duchess was back in action after five weeks, joining her husband to start the Anglesey Coastal Ultra Marathon. However she maintained a light workload for several months after both births.
Will the Duchess hire a maternity nurse?
As well as having a full-time nanny and plenty of help from the Middletons in 2015, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hired another temporary nanny to help them through the first weeks of Princess Charlotte’s life. The couple were determined to manage without professional help when Prince George was born, but he was not a good sleeper and the Duchess became exhausted after countless sleepless nights.
They eventually accepted they needed help, and hired Spaniard Maria Borrallo from the world-famous Norland nanny agency when Prince George was seven months old. When Princess Charlotte was born they reportedly made arrangements through Norland for a maternity nurse to work full-time for at least three months, to get them through the most difficult period of their new baby’s life. The couple were determined to manage without professional help when Prince George was born, but he was not a good sleeper and the Duchess became exhausted after countless sleepless nights.
Will I be able to buy lots of royal baby souvenirs?
Inevitably, the answer will be yes. Perhaps the most tasteful souvenir will be a commemorative £5 coin that is likely to be a hit with collectors. When Prince George was born the Royal Mint produced 10,000 solid silver coins, which cost £80 each, and 2,013 22 carat gold sovereigns, priced at £800. They all sold out within days. Babies born on the same day as Prince George were also entitled to a free “lucky” silver penny minted for the occasion. When Princess Charlotte was born the Royal Mint produced four coins, ranging in price from £13 to £1,800. The Royal Collection Trust, which runs the official souvenir shops at royal palaces, is likely to bring out its own range of commemorative china. When Prince George was born, official plates, cups and other chinaware was on sale just two days later. The usual unofficial range of tea towels, postcards and crockery will no doubt follow.
Was Prince George’s new teacher, Helen Haslem, channeling the Duchess of Cambridge?
The Head of Lower School at Thomas’s Battersea, Helen Haslem, was thrown into the spotlight this morning as she the greeted Prince George- third in line to the throne- for his first day at school. In the weeks leading up to the big event there has been much fashion chatter about what her new pupil’s mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, might choose to wear on her first run to the school gates and how exactly she might fit in with the SW11 set. What Haslem perhaps hadn’t anticipated though, was that Kate’s loyal fashion followers would be out to analyse the outfit that she had chosen for the big day too. And in the end, it was her look which gleaned the most style analysis after Kate was forced to stay at home, suffering from severe morning sickness. The teacher wore a soft pink, knee length dress for the occasion – granted not a look that may be suitable for a day of finger painting and glitter throwing, but one that looked smart and approachable all the same. Making an impression on both new parents and new students is undoubtedly vital on the first day back, especially when the former is paying upwards of £7,000 per term for their child to be there. Commentators were, however, quick to point out the similarities between Haslem’s choice of silhouette and hue, with those favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge. Blogs like What Kate Wore identified the dress as being a £250 ‘Amana’ style from one of Kate’s favourite British brands L.K. Bennett. Does it matter what the teacher wore? Probably not in the grand scheme of things and perhaps tomorrow she’ll be in suede elbow patches, tweeds and every other sartorial cliche that has ever plagued the education system. But in the absence of the Duchess herself this morning, Haslem’s repli-Kated style was bound to cause a stir.
To three or not to three: Why William and Kate will love being part of the third baby boom
With Prince George off to school and Princess Charlotte nearly out of nappies, there was light at the end of the tunnel for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They could have given away the Millson Prince pram (or saved it for Auntie Pip), bid goodbye to sleepless nights and embraced a civilized future with their neat and tidy, two-point-four girl-boy family. But no, the Cambridges have opted instead for chaos. Yesterday the Royal Household announced that the Duchess is expecting baby #3, and is, as with her previous two pregnancies, experiencing severe morning sickness, also known as Hyperemesis Gravida-rum. As bewildering as a third baby might seem to parents of pairs or onlies, particularly when you already have “one of each”, the news is hardly surprising. Not just because Kate herself is one of three – and hinted that she and William would “just have to have more babies” when handed a newborn toy on their recent tour of Poland – but because so many of her generation are opting to roll the dice for a third. Historically, big families have been the preserve of the very rich and the very poor, but three is fast becoming a middle class norm. To three or not to three is the question bandying around the country, far beyond Will and Kate’s friendship circle – recent figures suggest a small but steady baby boom for mothers in their early and mid-30s, with families bigger than they have been for a decade, despite the intrinsic costs. For me, the decision to have a third child was easy – as one of a neat boy-girl duo, I always craved the chaos and companionship of a larger family. With two boys already, I spent my third pregnancy being asked if I was hoping for a girl; an irritation that Kate will thankfully be spared. I honestly didn’t care what I had, I just wanted three and when a third boy duly arrived, earlier this year, the jigsaw was at last complete. Some say the jump from two children to three is the most profound but I don’t think Kate should be concerning herself about that. Surely zero to one is the ultimate challenge? There can be no denying, however, that we had to make some major changes to our lifestyle. Kate will have no problem fitting three car seats in her Range Rover but we had to buy a bigger car – a Volvo, naturally – and a larger house, with space for a live-in nanny. I invested in a Bugaboo Donkey, a beast of a buggy that can transport all three children at once in various different configurations. Our holiday options dissolved – do you know how expensive family friendly resorts are? – along with invitations from friends who couldn’t handle an invasion of three small, sticky fingered males. Still, none of this affected the family mood. Research suggests that larger families tend to be more pleased with their lot than those with one, two or no children and I can see why. As Kate will no doubt discover, life is much more fun once perfection is simply no longer an option. Sometimes, I look at a new mother in a café, having a peaceful moment with her newborn and feel guilty that Horatio, my number three, didn’t enjoy many of those with me. His needs were always eclipsed by those of his elder siblings; we didn’t go on shopping trips to buy babygros and swaddles – he wore faded handmedowns – and we never darkened the door of a mummy baby yoga classes. As a result he is a pack animal, used to muddling along with whatever everyone else is doing – but he is all the more gorgeous for it. And while he gets less of me, he’s arguably had the best of me – as a third-timer I was much more relaxed as a new mum. I didn’t fret about sleep routines – or indeed any routine – and I let him sleep in our bed until he deigned to stay in his cot, I left off the horrific tasting quinoa and kale purees and fed him what he liked. Shock horror, he still has a dummy at night, because I forgot to wean him off it when he was small. My husband, the second of three brothers, refuses – conveniently – to believe that Middle Child Syndrome exists but this was one of my major concerns about having a third child. What affect would it have on Alfie, who was just 22 months when Horatio arrived and already tantruming hard? A week before I gave birth, he was lying prone on the gravel outside Battersea Zoo, punching his little fists into the ground and I wondered how either of us would cope. It wasn’t always elegant but we managed. If anything, the arrival of Horatio and the responsibility it brought with it, drew the older two closer. When Alfie’s tantrums vanished on his third birthday, I stopped blaming them on MCS and realized they were just part of being a toddler. Rather than feeling miffed by the new arrival, both Hector, four, and Alfred are endearingly protective of their younger brother, as I’m sure George and Charlotte will be of their little sibling. “Mummy, stop him!!” Hector will yell as Horatio careers off in a different direction in the supermarket. “Lego! Lego! Don’t let him swallow it!” they shout, as he enters the playroom. They’re also hugely proud of him, introducing him to strangers on the bus and attempting to push his buggy. I’m looking forward to the time when Horatio is old enough to play their games – when two fall out, which will inevitably happen, there will always be someone else to turn to. In Royal circles, one can only imagine that the solidarity will be even more pronounced – lengthy state occasions, church services and tours can only be more fun in a gang. There are times when I’m alone with the two oldest and I see how much more straightforward life would be with two. As Kate will discover, two hands are just not enough when it comes to crossing a road with three little ones. But then I see them all capering about together and, selfishly, feel grateful that I have more of them, more school plays to watch, more birthday parties. And when things are tough, they’re crying or scrapping over a toy, I console myself with the fact that at least there will be three of them to look after me when I’m older. A word of warning to the Duchess, though. Your third is likely to be your loudest. A high-pitched shriek to make yourself heard is what comes of being ignored in a bouncy chair from day one, while the others are demanding your attention. After two children, though, you have undoubtedly already m astered the art of selective hearing.
7 things you only know as a mother of three under five
- The baby carrier will be your life saver. Not only will the littlest be much more likely to sleep next to your skin, but it frees up your other hands to make Lego/ do sticker books with the older pair
- With TV shows, go for the lowest common denomi-nator – even older children will watch Peppa Pig if it’s the only thing on offer.
- Bedtime – once the preserve of 7pm(ish) – will shift to the highest common denominator: that of the eldest.
- Always buy nappies three sizes too big – the larger the nappy the more surface area it will protect, so one size can fit all.
- There’s no point dressing them in matching clothes – yes, they’ll look sweet, but it’s far too much hassle separating the correct sizes from the washing pile.
- A sense of humour is essential. Someone will always be unhappy, someone will always be sick and someone will always need their bottom wiped.
- There’s nothing wrong with being boring: if it all gets too much, stay at home. There is so much pressure for mums to be doing constant activities with their children, but independent play is also essential.
Royal baby to make Prince Harry sixth-in-line to throne – one away from marrying without Queen’s permission – Prince Harry has hailed news he is to become an uncle again as “fantastic”, saying he feels “great” about the prospect of a new niece or nephew. The newest Royal baby will become fifth-in-line to the throne, pushing him down to sixth; one person away from being free to marry without the Queen’s permission. The news takes significant pressure off Prince Harry, who has been the subject of much speculation about an imminent engagement to girlfriend Meghan Markle. As it stands, he will still have to ask the monarch’s permission to marry the American actress. According to the legislation brought in in 2013, the first six people in the line of succession must obtain the monarch’s permission to marry. Previously, under a law dating back to 1772, all descendants of George II had to seek the monarch’s permission. The birth of a new baby for the Cambridges will mean Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, can technically marry without the express permission of his mother. The new line of succession will see the baby follow the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The announcement of the Duchess of Cambridge will take the pressure off Prince Harry, who has been subject to endless speculation about a future engagement since it was announced he was dating divorced American actress Meghan Markle. The pair have just returned from holiday in Africa, heralding a spate of predictions about an imminent announcement from fans and Royal watchers. Prince Harry today gave a thumbs up when he was asked about royal baby as he arrived for a visit in Manchester, adding: “Fan-tastic. Great. Very, very happy for them.” The Duchess is less than 12 weeks pregnant, with Kensington Palace revealing the news after had to pull out of a public engagement on Monday due to severe morning sickness. The Prince of Wales, grandfather-to-be, is said to be “delighted”, as are the Queen and members of the Middleton family.