The world’s media is on high alert for dispatches from Kensington Palace, the rails outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s in Paddington have had a fresh coat of paint and dedicated royal fans are already setting up camp outside, presumably to ensure a ringside spot for the inevitable hospital steps photo call. Royal baby watch is now in full swing, with the Duchess of Cambridge expected to give birth to her third child in the next week or so (her due date is inadvertently patriotic according to some reports, apparently falling on St George’s Day).
As with the birth of the new baby's siblings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, we'll first learn of William and Kate's new arrival through the royal family's social media accounts (time to turn on notifications?) before the traditional paper announcement is placed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace, confirming the baby's sex and the time of birth, but not the name. It'll take a simple format, most likely along the lines of 'The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son or daughter,' and we'll have to wait a little longer to learn what the new Prince or Princess will be called.
Before the official naming announcement, there'll be the usual waving for the photographers on the Lindo Wing steps, with the baby wrapped up in a GH Hurt & Sons blanket, following a tradition that's nearly 70 years old. Plus, there's the potential for guest appearances from George and Charlotte, and the inevitable discussion of how Kate's hair looks so glossy just days after giving birth (spoiler alert: she'll have her hairdresser Amanda Cook-Tucker on call).
As the countdown to the arrival of Kate and William's third child steps up a gear or three, we've looked back at royal babies past and present, from the Queen herself to Princess Charlotte in 2015, in the gallery below...
Queen Elizabeth II
Born: 21st April 1926
When Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York was born in 1926, it was not expected that she would ever become Queen: she was third in line to the throne, only becoming heir presumptive after the abdication of her uncle.