Excitement surrounding the royal baby‘s imminent arrival is at an all-time high.
The press pens on South Wharf Street outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington are filling fast with reporters and photographers from around the world vying for the first glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s first born child.
Although there’s no news yet as to when the Duchess of Cambridge’s baby might arrive, celebration preparations are in full swing elsewhere as the nation gets ready to welcome the little Prince or Princess.
! Online looks at what’s going around the country to celebrate the birth of the third in line to the throne.
As part of the official process and in keeping with age-old tradition, an announcement will be posted on an easel in front of Buckingham Palace. The baby’s gender, weight and time of birth will be revealed but the name will be revealed at a later date, a source told !.
Following the display of the document, 62 shots will be fired from a cannon at the Tower of London and another 42 will be fired at Green Park where thousands of people are expected to gather to witness the historic moment.
The London Eye
London’s landmark attraction will turn the colours of the Union Jack in honour of the future King or Queen’s grand entrance into the world. The striking red, white and blue colours will light up the iconic riverside attraction.
The Museum of London – ‘A Royal Arrival’ exhibition
This museum has delved deep into its collection to showcase royal baby clothing and memorabilia from previous royal babies including dinky shoes and booties worn by Queen Victoria’s children Princess Beatrice, Princess Alice and Prince Leopold.
The Athenaeum Hotel – ‘The Royal Child’ photography exhibition
Royal baby fever has hit the Athenaeum Hotel too. Against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace, what better spot for ‘The Royal Child’ photography exhibition. They will offer private viewings of more than 40 rarely seen photos of little Princes and Princesses from Victorian times to present day. Curator Ian Pelham-Turner is an expert in the field having worked as the royal family photographer for four generations.
© Ian Pelham-Turner and Helena Chard from theroyalchild.com. With help from John Wreaves at Royal Life magazine
St James’s Hotel – a ‘Royal Baby Shower’
Another plush hotel just a stone’s throw from the Palace embracing the baby mania is St James’s Hotel. They are offering a ‘Royal Baby Shower’ package which includes a fine selection of cakes and delicacies including fondant fanices and heart-shaped macaroons with raspberries and rose petals, a Ralph Lauren baby gift and a blissful pregnancy treatment at the Spa Illuminata in Mayfair.
The Royal Mint’s commemorative coins
The Royal Mint has announced the release of a silver £5 coin with the image of St George and the Dragon engraved into it to commemorate the baby’s birth. This same image was engraved on coins last year to commemorate the Queen’s spectacular Diamond Jubilee. Babies born on the same day as William and Kate’s will be given a ‘lucky silver coin’ inside a tiny blue or pink bag depending on the sex of the baby.
Royal baby fever goes global
A whirl royal baby festivities are expected outside the UK too. In Canada, Vancouver’s CN tower will be lit up either blue or pink on the evening the baby arrives, depending on whether it’s a boy or girl. There have also been calls for Niagara Falls to receive the same treatment.
In New Zealand, the day after the baby’s birth they will honour the arrival by lighting twenty of the countries famous landmarks including Auckland’s Sky Tower and Hamilton’s Victoria Bridge with blue or pink lights overnight.