Britain on royal baby watch in countdown to arrival

Mon Jul 8, 2013 1:19pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - Photographers are camped outside the hospital, social media are buzzing, and stores are touting baby goods ahead of the expected arrival this week of the future heir to the British throne.

Britain is officially on baby watch with Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton awaiting the imminent arrival of their first child who will be third in line to the throne.

The couple, known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge since their sumptuous royal wedding in April 2011, announced last December that a baby was on its way after Kate was admitted to hospital for four days suffering from severe morning sickness.

With the due date looming, the duchess stopped official duties last month while Prince William, a helicopter search-and-rescue pilot and grandson of Queen Elizabeth, is on standby at an air force base in north Wales to rush back to London.

The couple have remained vague about the exact date the baby is due other than to say mid-July and the arrival will be announced in a combination of the traditional and modern - via Twitter, websites and with a notice outside Buckingham Palace.

However in a sign the baby's arrival was getting closer, royal officials announced that the baby would be known by its given name and would have the title His or Her Royal Highness Prince/Princess of Cambridge.

The Palace also revealed on Monday that the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips and her husband, rugby player Mike Tindall, were expecting their first baby in the new year.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, said the duke and duchess were a private couple and, while aware of the massive global interest, were trying to limit public exposure.   Continued...

Photographers and television crews mark out positions in front of the door to the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, where Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth in central London July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall