The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ‘don’t know sex’ of their baby just yet, and it’s only because they decided not to find out until birth. The baby will be delivered in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital.
The baby is due in mid-July, and Prince William hopes he will be present if his RAF duties allow.
St James’s Palace officials have appealed for an “appropriate degree of sensitivity” regarding the birth.
It is understood Prince William will take two weeks’ paternity leave – as allowed by the Ministry of Defence – but royal officials said the length of the duchess’s maternity leave is a personal matter for her.
The birth was a “very personal matter for the duke and duchess,” officials said. “But they also know it’s a time to celebrate and many will want to share in their joy.”
Asking for “sensitivity,” officials added that events at the King Edward VII Hospital – where a nurse was found hanged after a prank call to the hospital when the duchess was being treated for morning sickness – were “still strong in the memory.”
The unborn child is in line to become the 43rd monarch since the Norman Conquest. BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt added that the birth will “offer the ancient institution of the monarchy the prospect of further renewal in the future.”
Once the duchess goes into labour, there will be no further public statement until the baby is born and the Queen, the Middleton family and other senior Royals have been told.
The baby will be delivered by Marcus Setchell, the Queen’s gynecologist.
When the baby is born, an official announcement will be signed by medical staff and driven to Buckingham Palace – most likely under police escort.
The notice will then be placed at the palace central gates. This will form the official announcement, as was the case when Prince William’s birth was announced 31 years ago this Friday.
Reports suggest there will also be a gun salute to mark the birth.
However, the name of the child – who will be third in line to the throne – remains a subject for speculation. It is not yet known how long after the birth an announcement will be made.
When Prince Harry was born, the public were told his name the day his mother left hospital. Nevertheless, it took almost a week for his older brother’s name to be announced.