The #greatkatewait continues.
Speculation around the Duchess of Cambridge‘s due date continues to heat up, along with the stifling temperatures currently gripping London.
Speculation reached new heights Friday, when the Daily Telegraph suggested Kate could have been due July 19 – because medical staff, a source tells the newspaper, were warned to be on best behavior – including staying off alcohol – for a month starting that day.
The royal’s due date – which was the beginning of the week, PEOPLE understands – came under increased scrutiny Thursday, as focus briefly switched to a different hospital outside London: the Royal Berkshire hospital in Reading, near her parents’ manor house in Bucklebury, where she has been spending time.
That’s 55 miles from St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, where she is expected to give birth.
As a result, some media crews and photographers suddenly began checking hotels and arrangements in Reading.
While contingency plans are in place should it be needed, that will only be relied upon in the case of an emergency, Palace sources tell PEOPLE.
Comforts of Home
Hopefully, Kate is ignoring the chatter and enjoying the comforts of home, which include a swimming pool to provide her relief from the 90-degree heat wave in southern England.
Other speculation, that she’s actually expecting later than first believed, hinges on claims that Kate’s mother, Carole, is said to have hinted the baby could be born under the astrological sign of Leo (babies born in the month after July 23 have that star sign).
That could turn out to be the case if Kate delivers a week overdue.
But this still doesn’t mean that was the official due date. Palace sources continue to point to Kate’s own statement of “mid-July,” as she told well-wishers in Glasgow back in the spring.
“It wasn’t a fib,” says a royal source.
Why the Delay?
So what’s the delay? Well, nature. And in the U.K., doctors don’t tend to rush their patients into being induced or a more dramatic C-section operation unless mothers-to-be go more than a week to 10 days over.
Moreover, doctors and midwives will tell expectant parents that due dates can be wide of the mark by up to two weeks either way.
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