A sign went up over the weekend outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s hospital in London, alerting drivers there will be no parking there for the month of July. The space across the street was also recently the location of a modern-day, urban stampede as the media rushed in to mark their spots.
Welcome to Baby Cambridge Watch. And on day three, two days after the first press arrived, 60 photographers’ ladders are in position 40 feet from the front steps of the hospital, where Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge will emerge, according to royal protocol, with her husband, Prince William, and their newborn baby.
“We all want a front row position to see history in the making and to record the first appearance of William and Kate’s new baby,” says photographer Mark Stewart, who got there early. “There is quite a limited space to see that front door properly so you have to get in there early. It’s one of the biggest stories in the world right now and everybody wants to get a good vantage point.”
The world media aren’t the only ones at the ready. Kate’s medical team, led by the Queen’s surgeon gynecologist, Dr. Marcus Setchell, is also in place.
“He was telling people at a charity cricket match last weekend that he has stopped drinking for the last few weeks,” a source says of Dr. Setchell, 69, who can also request a police escort if he finds himself out of town when the all important call comes from the palace.
That moment will come in mid-July if the baby sticks to Kate’s own public assertion of her due date. (Despite some speculation that she may in fact be due earlier, those close to the couple are working on the mid-July date.)
William has time off from work as a rescue helicopter pilot in North Wales at various points between now and the supposed due date, and the palace says there are contingency plans to get him to London should Kate go into labor early. But, royal watchers believe, he has likely taken days off well in time for the expected birthday of his first child.
Away from all the activity surrounding the royal baby’s arrival, the mom-to-be has been lying low. Since her last official engagement on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as Trooping the Colour ended, Kate has been spending time in London and at her parents’ home in Bucklebury, around 55 miles west of London.
She even stayed home while William performed best man duties at the wedding of his close friend Tom van Straubenzee in Northumberland. “They were apparently nervous about her traveling north when it has all been so carefully worked out for her in London,” a friend of the couple says.
Kate has since been spotted at a Rossano Ferretti hair salon and browsing for antiques at Hungerford, near her family home.
Says another source: “She’s now very much looking after herself.”