Ever since the announcement that Prince William and Kate Middleton are expecting a royal baby was made, there has been much speculation about the new arrival – from names to hair colour and birthing methods to possible future careers.
Rumours swirled that 31-year-old Kate let slip that they were expecting a girl and that Prince Harry told friends that his brother and sister-in-law were having a boy – but it was revealed last week that the prospective parents had opted not to find out the gender of their first born child.
Public interest in the little one is at an all-time high with the hashtag #RoyalBaby trending on Twitter for most of Thursday afternoon and evening. Research reveals that in the UK, 52 per cent of the population think the future monarch will be a girl.
The same survey, conducted by Research Now, surprising revealed Elizabeth as the most popular girl’s name and Spencer, a reference to Diana’s maiden name, as the most likely boy’s name.
Previous research and bookies odds have often revealed George and James as the favourite names for a little Prince while Alexandra and Diana are often cited as top choices for a little Princess.
While the name and sex of the much-awaited baby remains unknown, William and Kate have revealed details of the birth.
He or she will be delivered in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington — where Prince William and Prince Harry were both born.
The baby will be delivered by Marcus Setchell, the Queen’s gynaecologist.
Royal aides have appealed for an “appropriate degree of sensitivity” regarding the royal arrival. The birth was a “very personal matter for the Duke and Duchess,” they said. “But they also know it’s a time to celebrate and many will want to share in their joy.
After the arrival, an official announcement will be signed by medical staff and driven to Buckingham Palace, almost certainly under police escort. The notice will then be placed at the Palace central gates.
It’s not known how long it will be before the baby’s name is revealed. When Prince Harry was born, the public were told his name the day Princess Diana left the hospital. But it took almost a week for his older brother’s name to be announced.
It is thought that the Duchess of Cambridge will spend the first six weeks of motherhood at her parents’ Berkshire home.
It’s understood that the new dad will take two weeks paternity leave, as allowed by the Ministry of Defence.