Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge has started the early stages of labor and has been admitted to a London hospital, according to Kensington Palace. Prince William accompanied his wife as she was transported by car to St. Mary’s Hospital in London.
The 31 year-old Duchess of Cambridge will be having the baby in the private Lindo Wing of the hospital. The same place that Princess Diana gave birth to both her husband Prince William and his younger brother, Prince Harry.
Once the baby is born, it will be third in line for the British throne, behind 64 year-old Prince Charles and 31 year-old Prince William, and it is thought that the babu will one day be the new king or queen of England.
The royal palace spokesperson spoke to CBS News just after Kate Middleton was admitted to hospital and confirmed that things were progressing, “as normal,” but they weren’t allowed to relay any further information about the impending birth. The baby will be the first child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after they married in 2011.
Once Kate has the baby, a royal aide will leave the hospital with a formal birth announcement and drive the two-and-a-half miles to Buckingham Palace so the announcement, which will give the baby’s gender, weight and the time of birth, in the forecourt on an easel. The last time this has been done, was to announce the birth of the baby’s father, Prince William, 31 years ago.
In terms of royal hierarchy, the baby will bypass Prince Harry in the line to the throne, Harry is now fourth in line to become king. Regardless of whether the baby is a boy or a girl, in the past if the baby had been a girl, the status would have been different. The succession change comes after a 2011 decision by leaders of Britain and 15 Commonwealth nations enacting a new rule that ensured girls had equal status with boys in the order of succession.
On Monday, the expectant grandfather, Prince Charles was asked what he knew about the impending birth by a reporter during a non-baby-related function in northern England, “absolutely nothing at the moment, we’re waiting,” was his answer, Prince Charles and wife Camilla were in York which is about three hours from London. Apparently, neither he nor Camilla were aware of anything other than Kate Middleton’s admittance to hospital, in the early stages of labour, or if they were, they were not at liberty to say.
William and Kate’s child will officially be known as His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess of Cambridge. The title follows the dukedom bestowed on William by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on his wedding day in 2011. Earlier tin 2013, Queen Elizabeth issued a royal decree allowing the first royal baby, and any more of William and Kate’s children to have the title prince or princess. The decree states “that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.”
St Mary’s Hospital in London has been besieged by the world’s press, waiting for the big day. In anticipation of the baby’s arrival, the Royal Mint has minted 2,013 silver coins bearing the shield of the Royal Arms, to be given to all newborns who share their birthday with the third successor to the British throne. As with all royal events of significance, souvenirs and commemorative memorabilia will be flooding Britain’s stores.
Since the first announcement of Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, the world has been watching the young royal couple with special interest. Quite a lot of concern for Kate was expressed when it was discovered that she was suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is a potentially dangerous type of morning sickness that no food or liquid can be digest because of the violent sickness the sufferer endures. Kate was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London on the same day the pregnancy was announced. After three short days, Prince William and Kate were photographed leaving the hospital with the Duchess of Cambridge holding a bouquet of flowers.
Kate Middleton made her last public appearances on June 13, when she formally named a cruise ship and paid an official visit to Windsor Castle. In June, she withdrew from her public duties to get ready for the birth. The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to hospital in London as she began the early stages of labour.
By Michael Smith