Let the countdown begin!
Temporary parking restrictions were put in place outside the hospital where Kate Middleton will give birth later this month, and areas were marked out for the media on Monday.
It is the first official sign that preparations are underway at St. Mary’s Hospital, in Paddington, West London, before Kate, 36, enters to have her third child.
The notices are up in South Wharf Road, suspending parking from April 9 to April 30 for an “event.”
Palace officials will not reveal Kate’s due date but it has been reported to be April 23 (they have only announced that she is due this month).
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Unlike the time leading up to George’s birth on July 22, 2013, media will not be able to stand in place opposite the famous door of the Lindo Wing until word has come from officials at Kensington Palace that Kate is in labor and has gone to the hospital with husband Prince William, 35. Then, photographers, reporters and television crews can set up.
Inside the private Lindo Wing of the publicly funded National Health Service hospital, Princess Kate will be cared for by a team led by Dr. Guy Thorpe-Beeston and Dr. Alan Farthing. They also led the team that helped Kate deliver Charlotte almost three years ago — on May 2, 2015.
The next news that the public will hear is that Kate has given birth. At first, all that will be revealed is the baby’s gender, weight and time of birth. An official notice will then be posted on an easel in the Buckingham Palace forecourt. Put in place by a palace footman, it will be the same easel as was used to announce Kate’s other babies.
The pattern of Kate’s third birth will match the organization around Charlotte’s arrival, rather than George’s. All announcements are being made via press release and Kensington Palace’s twitter account.
The next key moment will be the announcement of when Kate and her baby are departing the hospital. It is unknown yet whether the couple’s children will join in the welcome for the new arrival at the hospital – and the posing for pictures on the steps.
The family will then return to Apartment 1A of Kensington Palace, from where they will issue a bulletin with the baby’s name.
There are some caveats to the revelation of the big news, though. If the birth happens in the middle of the night, Kensington Palace will not make any announcement before 9 a.m. U.K. time (4 a.m. EST). The latest they expect to make an announcement would be 10 p.m. (5 p.m. EST). The announcement would only be made when the William and Kate have informed the Queen Elizabeth and other members of their families.
Should Kate give birth on April 21, her child will share a birthday with the Queen, who turns 92 that day. And on April 29, it is William and Kate’s seventh wedding anniversary.