Duchess of Sussex ‘planning to give birth on Lindo Wing’ as staff are advised not to take holiday
Staff at the Lindo Wing have been advised not to take holiday in the spring, sparking speculation the Duchess of Sussex plans to have their baby there. Contrary to reports the former American actress plans to give birth on the NHS, she may instead follow in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cambridge, who had her three children at the private maternity unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. A source told the Telegraph: “Staff at the Lindo Wing have been asked not to take holiday in April. Everyone thinks it’s got something to do with the royal baby but no one is confirming anything.” Although Kensington Palace has only said the royal baby is due in the spring, six-month pregnant Meghan let slip during an engagement in Birkenhead that the baby is due at the end of April or early May. The £6,000-a-night Lindo wing offers a “five-star” birthing experience with expectant mothers accommodated in spacious private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Patients are invited to pick their meals from lavish a la carte menus – including a wine and champagne list – and are offered a celebratory post-labour afternoon tea. William and Kate praised the staff there following the births of Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3 and nine-month-old Prince Louis. William and Harry were also born there. The first night in Lindo wing costs £5,900 for the normal delivery package and then every additional night is charged at £1,175. Patients can pay extra for a deluxe package, where the rooms are slightly bigger, which costs £6,275 for the first 24 hours and £1,550 for extra nights. In what was billed as a “snub” to Kate, it had been reported that Meghan, 37, planned to give birth on the NHS at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, because it is seven miles closer than the Lindo Wing to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, where the Sussexes are due to move in the New Year. The hospital does have a royal connection – Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, gave birth to her daughter Lady Louise Windsor there in 2003 after undergoing an emergency cesarean section. Her son, James, Viscount Severn was also born there in 2007. It is not as luxurious as the Lindo Wing. The large labour ward does not offer private care for maternity patients although private postnatal rooms are available at £100-a-night, without en suite facilities. There are 14 labour rooms available on the general ward, saw 5,350 births from April 2016 to April 2017. Alternatively Meghan could opt for one of the four birthing rooms in The Mulberry Birth Centre, which is more of a “homely environment” where the focus is on “birth without medical intervention”. The rooms have mood-changing lights and a birthing pool is available. Active birthing is encouraged, and rooms come with a bed, chair, a bean bag and an exercise ball available to assist labour. In 2014, Sophie opened the new neonatal unit at Frimley Park Hospital and welled up as she thanked staff for helping her through an ectopic pregnancy which resulted in her losing her first child in 2002. The Countess then almost died giving birth to Louise due to blood loss. Another option for Meghan is London’s Portland Hospital for Women and Children where the Duchess of York gave birth to her daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. With celebrity clients including Victoria Beckham, the Portland has gained a reputation for being a hospital for pregnant women who are “too posh to push”. The most basic maternity package there starts at £8,000. Kensington Palace declined to comment. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which is responsible for the Lindo Wing, did not respond to a request for comment.