Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, leave the annual Easter Sunday service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Sunday April 1, 2018. (Tolga Akmen/pool via AP)
Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, leave the annual Easter Sunday service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Sunday April 1, 2018. (Tolga Akmen/pool via AP)

Royal baby arrival imminent

BRITAIN is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new royal baby with Prince William's wife Catherine reportedly in labour in a maternity hospital in London.

The news was confirmed by Kensington Palace on Twitter.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, ahead of the imminent arrival of the royal couple's third child.

She is being cared for in the private Lindo Wing, where she gave birth to the couple's first two children, Prince George, now four, and Princess Charlotte, almost three.

The Metropolitan Police have set up barricades outside the hospital as the British press, and hundreds of dedicated royal fans, have rushed to stake out positions in the hopes of seeing Catherine and the new baby in coming days.

The 36-year-old Duchess continued working until March 22 then went on maternity leave, although she was seen attending a church service with the Queen and other royal family members at Easter.

British media had earlier speculated that the baby would arrive on April 28-29, as she took leave 38 and 37 days before the arrival of her last two babies.

She has been appearing at public events until recently: 

The new baby will be fifth in line to the throne, behind grandfather Prince Charles, father Prince William, and siblings George and Charlotte.

Prince Harry, William's brother, falls back to sixth in the line of succession and all other royal members shuffle down a further step.

Like most modern dads, Prince William will be at the child's birth, as he was for the arrival of Prince George on July 22, 2013, and Princess Charlotte, on May 2, 2015.

Kensington Palace announced the pregnancy in early September after Catherine became ill with Hyperemesis Gravidarium, or extreme morning sickness. She missed several public events, including Prince George's first day at school. She had suffered the same condition in the early stages of her previous pregnancies.

The Duchess recovered after several months and resumed her busy royal schedule.

The arrival of the new baby will herald the start of a joyous few months for the British royal family.

On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth marked her 92nd birthday by attending a pop concert in London, along with several members of the royal family, raising money for charity.

On May 19, Prince Harry and his glamorous American fiancee Meghan Markle will marry at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, an event expected to be watched by billions of people around the globe through mainstream and social media.

Another of the Queen's grandchildren, Zara Tindall, is expecting her second child with husband, former England rugby great Mike Tindall, in coming weeks.

And Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew the Duke of York and his former wife Sarah, the Duchess of York, will marry her fiance Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel on October 12.

Bookmakers in the UK suggest the most likely name for the new baby will be Mary, which is the 4-1 favourite with several sites. Mary is one of Queen Elizabeth's middle names, and would be in keeping with Catherine and Prince William's earlier, traditional choices of names for their children.

Other names being backed by punters include Alice and Victoria. If the child is a boy, the names Arthur and Albert have attracted interest.

The palace will issue a statement once the baby has arrived.



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