Royal baby: could an election day birth steer the polls?

The Duchess of Cambridge

Kate Middleton reveals her due date, prompting speculation that royal birth will clash with election

LAST UPDATED AT 11:51 ON Thu 19 Mar 2015

The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed that her second child is due mid-to-end of April, prompting speculation that the royal baby might arrive on election day.

Kate Middleton was asked about her due date during a visit to Brookhill Children's Centre in Woolwich on Wednesday. She apparently told Christine Osborne, a 49-year-old volunteer at the centre: "I'm due mid-April, to the end of April. Not long to go now."

The new prince or princess is therefore set to arrive just weeks before Britain goes to the polls and perhaps on election day if it is a few days late.

"Two of the biggest media circuses are set to collide," warns the Spectator's Steerpike. He suspects political coverage will "grind to a halt for at least 24 hours as all media eyes turn once again to the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington".

Noting that it is customary for party leaders to send their congratulations to the Royal family after a birth, Steerpike wonders if Natalie Bennett, whose Green Party hopes to abolish the monarchy, will get round to sending a card.

"Is new royal baby the most politically charged in history?" asks the Independent, pointing out that the Duke and Duchess confirmed the pregnancy just ten days before the Scottish referendum.

The newspaper suggests that the Tories will be hoping for a "boom in national pride and happiness with the status quo to make people vote Conservative".

Gordon Rayner, chief reporter for the Daily Telegraph, also thinks an "election day baby" could help David Cameron's party.

"That could be good news for the Conservatives," he says, "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."

The Guardian has previously noted that the baby could come as a birthday surprise for the Queen on 21 April or a wedding anniversary surprise for the Duke and Duchess on 29 April.

Royal baby: when is it due and will it be called Elizabeth?

10 March

With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge due to welcome their second child next month, the name Elizabeth is proving to be the favourite among bookmakers.

Betting opened on the name and gender of royal baby number two just hours after Clarence House confirmed that Kate Middleton was pregnant.

The Duchess has insisted that the sex of her second child will remain a surprise, but it is girls' names that currently dominate the bookies' five top spots for royal baby names, with Elizabeth, Charlotte, Victoria, Alexandra and Alice the shortest-priced bets.

The current favourite for a boy is James, which is the name of the Duchess's brother. Henry and Diana also feature in the top ten, but bookmakers haven't ruled out the possibility that the royal couple might opt for a new name rather than a tried and tested royal favourite.

Some are offering odds on the names Tracey, Tyrone, Mohammed and Joffrey. Others are taking bets on the baby's hair colour and the colour of dress Kate Middleton will wear when she leaves the hospital (top three are currently red, white and blue).

Odds on Kate having twins plummeted from 20/1 to 9/1 and were then suspended at William Hill in September after it reportedly received about 200 bets on the arrival of twins, including "a significant gamble" made in York. Ladbrokes is still offering 3/1 on twins, 100/1 on triplets and 500/1 on quads or more.

The exact due date has not been announced, but it is thought to be in late April. The Guardian notes that the baby could come as a birthday surprise for the Queen on 21 April, a wedding anniversary surprise for the Duke and Duchess on 29 April or, if it is late, could arrive on election day on 7 May.

Here are the top ten names, according to OddsChecker:



Royal baby: Kate reveals baby kicks 'all the time'

20 January

Kate Middleton has insisted that the sex of her second child will remain a surprise, but revealed the royal baby is always kicking.

"It's moving all the time. I can feel it kicking now," she told a teenager at the official opening at the Kensington Leisure Centre in west London, the Daily Mirror reports. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, who is now six months pregnant, was attending her third royal engagement of the day when she made the comments.

"I told her I hoped it was a girl but she said she doesn't know yet," 17-year old Martina McDonagh said after meeting the Duchess. "She said it was moving around a lot."

Royal watchers are predicting that the baby will be girl, as the Duchess' bump "appears to be higher and wider than at the same stage of her pregnancy with Prince George," according to STV.

Last year, Prince Charles said he was "thrilled" to be having a second grandchild and revealed that he too was secretly hoping for a baby girl. The royal baby may be named after her late grandmother, Diana, if she turns out to be a girl, a royal biographer revealed last year.

The leisure centre in Kensington was where both Prince William and Harry learned to swim and Kate said she hoped Prince George would go there too. Both royal babies were given free lifetime memberships to the centre.

Council leader Nick Paget-Brown promised the family, who live nearby, special treatment. "You are always free to contact us if your bins haven't been emptied," he told Kate.

"Or if Prince George develops a taste for noisy parties in his teenage years, just call our noise nuisance service and we'll have a quiet word," he added.


Royal baby bump lands in New York: do Americans care?

08 December

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their royal baby bump were greeted by cheering crowds as they arrived in New York last night for a three-day visit.

Prince William is due to meet Barack Obama, but all eyes are on Kate Middleton and the future royal baby.

"The bump has landed!" announced the Daily Beast. "Kate Middleton, accompanied by her husband, Prince William, and the world's most famous pregnancy bump, breezed into a chilly New York City on Sunday night."

The royals touched down at JFK before they were whisked to The Carlyle, a luxury hotel favoured by the late Princess Diana. The royal couple are planning to watch a basketball game and pay their respects to the victims of 9/11, while William is hoping to raise awareness of illegal wildlife trading.

Prince George, now a toddler, would "no doubt love the bright lights of the big city", says Max Foster at CNN, but he will have to wait to see them himself as sources say it was not "appropriate" to bring him because of the programme of events.

"No other couple in the world has the power to fill a room like the Cambridges can right now," says Foster. "America's fascination with this fairytale is unmatched."

Fashion and gossip columnists are buzzing about the clothes the pregnant Duchess has chosen for the Big Apple. "Is Kate Middleton not the most elegant pregnant woman you have ever seen?" asks Hollywood Life. "This is William and Kate's first trip to the city and Kate's first time showing off her baby bump on US soil – she looks perfect."

But the New York Times notes that the visit has been met with "the blend of enthusiasm, sarcasm and bemusing antagonism that tends to tail the urban celebrity tourist".

Nicole Gelinas, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, jokes on Twitter that "Kate and William's visit will finally put New York on the map", while Jezebel is urging New York to "try to keep calm".

Meanwhile, etiquette experts are issuing advice on what New Yorkers should do if they come across the royal couple and the royal bump. Patricia Napier-Fizpatrick tells the New York Daily News: "Americans are not required to bow or curtsy, but should do so as a sign of respect."  


Royal baby: girl would be named Diana, report says

27 October

The royal baby may be named after her late grandmother, Diana, if she turns out to be a girl, according the author who wrote extensively about the former Princess of Wales.

Royal biographer Andrew Morton told the Sun on Sunday that a daughter would be named Elizabeth Diana Windsor

"Close friends to William and Kate have told me that if it is a girl they want to name the baby after Diana," Morton said.

"They discussed girls' names before George was born and now they're hoping the next one is a girl so they can carry out their wish to honour William's mother. They're not too thrilled at the thought it will be shortened to Princess Di. But it won't change their minds."

The royal baby is due in late April, and is likely to be born at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, where Prince George was delivered in July 2013.

The Cambridges will then return to their home at Anmer Hall in Norfolk, near the Queen's residence at Sandringham.

The Daily Mail reports that bookmakers have adjusted their odds to respond to Morton's claims.

"Elizabeth became 10/1 favourite for the name with MailOnline's betting partner Coral," the paper reports. "James is second at 11/1, Victoria third at 12/1 and Alexandra fourth at 14/1."

The Mail also notes that William and Kate would risk incurring the anger of some members of their family if they named the royal baby after Diana.

"Many royals would be furious if the baby was christened Diana Elizabeth," it says.

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