Visitors gather to take photos of the royal baby's upcoming destination

By Joanne Fowler
April 29, 2015 01:00 PM
Steve Bell/REX

Forget Big Ben.

The Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital has quickly become a top London tourist attraction for royal fans eager to catch a glimpse of Princess Kate as she prepares to give birth to the hashtag royal baby.

“I am a big fan of Kate,” says Joanna Buechler of Munich, who is newly pregnant herself. “Yesterday we went to Kensington Palace and looked around, and we came here because we thought she might give birth today.”

Like most other tourists, Buechler’s husband, Matthias, took pictures of the media throng parked outside St. Mary’s and shot video of his wife in front of the hospital. “I watched on TV when Kate came out of the hospital with baby George [in 2013],” she says, “but now to see it in person is surreal.”

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With Kate’s rumored due date to be April 25, tourists have flocked to the hospital all week with phones and cameras firmly in hand. Japanese tourists, in particular, have shown a keen interest in the imminent royal birth.

“We also have a royal family in Japan, but they are more formal,” says Yuji Watanabe, a TV reporter for Nippon TV, one of four Japanese TV crews parked outside the hospital. “The British royal family is very familiar to us, and Kate is a fashion icon.”

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“When William and Kate got married, the wedding was televised live in Japan and the ratings were really high,” says Watanabe. “That’s why so many Japanese tourists come here. They really, really like Will and Kate.”