Kate Middleton full birth details revealed as Duchess plans natural birth in same hospital as Diana
The arrival of the new heir to the throne will be announced on a formal notice to be placed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace
The Duchess of Cambridge is following in Princess Diana’s footsteps by planning a natural birth in the Lindo wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.
Kate, who is expecting her first baby in the next few weeks, will give birth in the private wing of the central London NHS hospital where Prince William was born 31 years ago.
And the arrival of the new heir to the throne will also be announced in the same way as William’s birth was – by delivering a formal notice to be placed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
St James’s Palace aides confirmed details of the plans in place for the birth of the royal baby – which will be third in line to the throne and one day be King or Queen.
And they also confirmed that Prince William and Kate “do not know and do not plan to find out the gender of the baby in advance”, squashing previous speculation they have told friends or unwittingly revealed its sex.
The plans reveal that, despite advances in technology that see royal announcements now Tweeted and posted online, the Royal Family have decided to preserve the centuries-old tradition of announcing the arrival of a new heir outside the Queen’s London home.
After Kate has given birth, and once the Queen, Royal Family and Middletons have been told, an official will be seen leaving the hospital with a piece of paper bearing the announcement.
This will be put into a car and driven with a police escort to Buckingham Palace where it will be positioned on the easel in the forecourt for well-wishers to see.
The easel is the same one used for William’s birth and has not been used since.
A source said: “We very much wanted to preserve the theatricality of the tradition.
“The announcement will be tweeted but not until after the formal printed notification has been positioned.”
Shortly after this, again in keeping with precedent, the baby’s gender, exact time of birth and weight will be revealed.
In what is shaping up to be a carbon-copy of Prince William’s birth, Kate will check herself into the Lindo Wing which boasts it provides “the best private obstetric and neonatal care for mothers and their babies since 1937.”
Royal sources confirmed that, like Princess Diana, she is hoping for a natural birth unless made impossible for medical reasons, rubbishing the idea she is “too posh to push” and having a planned c-section.
The baby will be delivered by obstetrician Marcus Setchell, who has been gynaecologist to the Queen since 1990 and delivered Sophie Wessex’s two children.
He will be assisted by Alan Farthing, former husband of murdered TV presenter Jill Dando, who has his own private Harley Street gynaecology practice.
Costing a minimum of £4,965 for a 24-hour “normal delivery” with hefty extra charges for more than one overnight stay, instrumental delivery or an emergency c-section, the Lindo wing boasts a luxury service similar to a high-end hotel.
Partners can stay overnight and, depending on the time of his baby’s birth, Prince William is expected to stay with Kate overnight at the hospital as well as being by her side when she has the baby.
But he may have to rush to get there when she goes into labour as aides have confirmed that the prince plans to be on shift in Anglesey until right up until his son or daughter is due.
A source said: “He will be working up until the birth and plans to take the two weeks paternity leave he is entitled to with the RAF.”
And the doting dad is also likely to say a few words on the steps of the hospital when he and Kate appear for the first time with their baby, just as his dad Charles did three decades ago.
But where they will be heading off to next – and for how long – remains a mystery.
Aides have said the length of Kate’s maternity leave is “a matter for her and the royal household” and it has not yet been decided where they will make their main home for the first few weeks.
With their large Kensington Palace apartment 1a still not yet ready, the couple may stay in their smaller Nottingham Cottage, but it has been speculated Kate wants to move in with her parents in Bucklebury.