Follow the week.co.uk

Royal baby: Kate Middleton's child 'four days overdue'

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton

Whitehall sources say second royal baby was due last week, and may be induced within two weeks

LAST UPDATED AT 13:21 ON Mon 27 Apr 2015

 sources have told the Daily Telegraph they were briefed that the Duchess of Cambridge's due date was Thursday 23 April.

One parent whose children were born in the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington told the newspaper: "The doctors don't normally wait for more than a week.

"They will probably already have been in touch with Kate and talked about which day would suit her best to go in and be induced if the baby doesn't arrive in the next couple of days."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be delivered by royal gynaecologists Guy Thorpe-Beeston and Alan Farthing. The two men helped deliver Prince George, who reportedly arrived three days late in July 2013.

Pat O'Brien, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, told the Telegraph that it was "down to the individual consultant" as to when it is appropriate to induce labour. "Because it's such a safe procedure, particularly with women who have given birth before, they tend to be pretty relaxed about inducing any time after the due date if the mother is getting fed up," he said.

O'Brien added that doctors tend not to leave it more than two weeks after the due date and, if it is a big baby, it is sometimes better to induce before it gets any bigger.

"The mother will normally have a scan on or around the due date to make sure the baby is fine and it's safe to press on a bit longer," he said.

Alice is currently the bookies' favourite name for the new baby, followed by Charlotte and Elizabeth, with seven out of the top ten predictions going to female names.

Phillip has overtaken Henry as the third favourite boy's name, with James and Arthur in first and second place.

 

Royal baby: inside Lindo Wing where Kate Middleton is due to give birth

24 April

Royal 'superfans' are already camping outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington hoping to catch a glimpse of Kate Middleton arriving to give birth.

The due date for royal baby number two is rumoured to be this week, although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have said only that it is mid to late April.

Police have been making final security checks outside the hospital, with parking restrictions in place from 15 to 30 April for an undisclosed "special event".

Media outlets have agreed to wait until after Kate has been admitted before they begin reporting from the scene. TV crews and photographers swarmed the pavement outside for weeks before the birth of Prince George, a commotion the hospital was keen to avoid a second time around.

So what do we know about the Lindo Wing, where Kate is due to give birth?

'Discretion is key'

The Lindo Wing, which was opened by the Queen Mother in 1937, promises "world-class maternity care" with private en suite rooms and a "modern, homely" environment. Deluxe rooms are available for "patients who would like to take advantage of a larger space". The hospital says: "Discretion is key to our service, and we will ensure that you have the space, security and privacy you need to enjoy these precious early moments as a family."

Packages cost £5,000+

A "normal" delivery package at the Lindo Wing costs £5,215 for the first 24 hours, plus £945 for any additional night's stay. Instrumental delivery and caesarean sections cost more, with upgrades to deluxe rooms also available. It's a hefty increase since 1937 when the maternity unit charged seven guineas a week before consultant fees. Fortunately, the Duchess of Cambridge has been offered a ten per cent discount after having Prince George there two years ago, says The Independent.

Royal connections

Both Prince William and Prince Harry were born in the Lindo Wing. Princess Anne, the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Michael of Kent also had children in the private maternity unit. Instead of using the Lindo Wing's obstetricians, Kate's baby will be delivered by royal gynaecologists Guy Thorpe-Beeston and Alan Farthing, who helped deliver Prince George.

'State-of-the-art' facilities

Recently refurbished, the Lindo Wing offers WiFi, satellite television with major international channels, a radio, bedside phone and fridge. Patients are also offered a choice of daily newspaper every morning throughout their stay. According to the Daily Mirror, the unit also boasts art installations and a secure, supervised nursery. Images on the Lindo Wing's website show luxury White Company toiletries, a fresh fruit platter and afternoon tea served on a three-tiered stand.

Extensive menu

As well as afternoon tea, the maternity unit offers chef-made food and a wine list, giving patients the option to celebrate their new arrival with a bottle of bubbly. The Lindo Wing says its "extensive and nutritious" menu caters for special dietary, cultural and religious requirements, including vegetarian, kosher and halal meals with chefs preparing meals on site to order.

 

Royal baby: Kate Middleton's baby may be born outside London

April 20

Kate Middleton may visit Berkshire and Norfolk in the next few days, raising the prospect that the new royal baby will not be born a Londoner.

The last member of the Royal family born outside the capital was Princess Margaret, who was delivered at Glamis Castle, Scotland in 1930.

The likely venue for the birth of the new royal baby, which is due any day now, remains the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in west London, as the Duchess is currently staying at Kensington Palace.

But the Daily Telegraph reports royal aides saying that she may visit her parents in Bucklebury, Berkshire, this week. They say there is also a chance she will choose to stay at Anmer Hall, the couple's country home in Norfolk.

A hospital in each location – the Royal Berkshire in Reading and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn – has been put on standby to deliver the royal baby. The Duchess's obstetricians have been warned that they could be summoned to either location.

St Mary's has been the hospital of choice for two generations of the royal family. Prince George was delivered there in 2013, as were his father and his uncle, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Previous generations of the royal family were more usually delivered at home. The Queen was born at her grandparents' London residence in Mayfair, and her childen, Prince Charles, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, were delivered at Buckingham Palace.

Wherever the new royal baby comes into the world, it is likely that Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales will miss the birth.

Bookmakers predict that the baby will arrive on 24 or 25 April, when both Harry and Charles will be in Turkey, attending services marking the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign. But if the royal baby does not arrive until 29 April, his or her arrival will coincide with William and Kate's wedding anniversary, says the Daily Mirror.

The Daily Express, meanwhile, reports that "the spirit of Princess Diana" has told a clairvoyant that "Kate Middleton is having a girl on Saturday".

Although the royal couple have said they do not know whether their second child will be a boy or a girl, the public seems to be convinced that Prince George will be getting a sister. The three favourite names with bookmakers – Alice, Charlotte and Elizabeth – are all female.

 

Royal baby: how will Kate Middleton's child change the world? 

15 April

A second wave of royal baby fever is on its way, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge prepare for the arrival of child number two later this month.

Media outlets across the world have been busy speculating on the baby's gender, Kate Middleton's due date and the impact that the "spare to the heir" will have on the election, economy and retail. (Prince George is apparently excited too, although he has been busy looking in the royal china cabinet after hearing his father was visiting China.)

So what can we expect when his little brother or sister arrives? Here are five predictions: 

Fashion

The Kate Effect was swiftly followed by The George Effect. As soon as photos appear of Kate in a pair of LK Bennett shoes or Prince George in a Cath Kidston tank top, the tills can be heard ringing as demand skyrockets for their latest royal outfits. Prince George was even ranked among GQ's 50 Best Dressed Men in Britain. Will the second royal baby have as much impact on the fashion world as his or her older brother? 

Markets

Whether the Duchess of Cambridge's second child is a boy or girl, it's likely to be good news for City, claims This is Money. The Dow Jones rose by an average of 2.4 per cent in the week following the births of Princesses Anne and Margaret and Queen Elizabeth, says the website. Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, says: "Births in the royal family have been cause for celebration around the world. This can spill over into the stock markets as well."

Food and booze

Food and drink sales achieved their best performance for five years in July 2013 thanks in part to the arrival of Prince George, says The Grocer. A heatwave and several sporting wins for Britain were also given credit for the boost. "Sales of food and drink soared as consumers popped open the bubbly and held barbeques to celebrate the royal family's newest arrival, Murray's Wimbledon triumph and the warm delights of summer," said KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale. Will the second baby have a similar effect?

Election

Kate and William's second child is due mid-to-end of April, prompting speculation that it might arrive on election day and steer the polls. Gordon Rayner, chief reporter for the Daily Telegraph, has suggested an "election day baby" could help the Conservatives "as anything that gives the country a feel-good boost so close to polling day is usually regarded as a plus for whoever is in power".

London traffic

The Daily Express is predicting "traffic chaos" and "parking mayhem" in London as police put up barriers outside the hospital where Kate is due to give birth. Officials are trying to prevent journalists from camping outside the private Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, weeks before the birth as they did two years ago.

 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 8 issues for £1.

Read next

Prince George
Royal baby: the perfect plot to foil Scottish independence?