It's now the 20th of April and royal baby fever is firmly upon us! On an engagement in March the Duchess of Cambridge confirmed her second child was due "mid-late April" meaning the arrival could be any day now (While it has been repeatedly suggested the actual due date is around the 25th we all know it's really unpredictable.). I've noticed excitement has been building considerably in recent days as royal fans around the globe wait in anticipation.
Signs the birth is imminent were evident at the hospital during the week as security barriers were put up in preparation for the world's media and positions for photographers, reporters and camera crews were allocated.
Parking restrictions were put in place reading "Parking Suspended from 15 April to 30 April" citing a "special event" as the reason.
|BBC Peter Hunt|
Dedicated royal fans outside the hospital in good spirits as they wait for the news.
While the media are not permitted to wait outside the hospital this time, there has been quite a presence outside Kensington Palace where reporters are preparing their offerings on the big event. CNN's Max Foster shared a photo of the "media machine firing up".
|Max Foster CNN Twitter Feed|
Speaking of preparations, I've been putting some thought into how best to cover the birth once the Palace officially announces the Duchess has been admitted. Do you all recall the Live Blog we had when Kate went into labour with Prince George? I think it might be most prudent to cover it that way again, as there are endless updates, photos of visitors, updates from the Palace, etc. to share. I'd like to cover it in the most timely fashion possible and think this is the most suitable option.
Let me know what you think!
As expected, a plethora of articles surrounding the royal arrival have been circulating across all various news outlets. Let's take a look at some of the most interesting ones. We begin with an update on bets on the royal baby being named 'Princess Alice' from the Telegraph:
'The Duchess of Cambridge will give birth to a blonde daughter called Alice on Monday, according to the instincts of the British betting public.
Despite the seeming impossibility of anyone knowing the name, so much money has been placed on Alice that the odds with the bookmaker Ladbrokes are as short as 5/4 – little more than even money, despite there being thousands of possibilities.
Jessica Bridge, the company’s spokesman said: “The support for Alice is starting to get silly now, but we’ve been left with no option but to cut the odds as punters relentlessly back the girl/Alice combination.” Two people have bet more than £2,000 each on the baby being a girl, helping to shift the odds to 8/15 for a girl, with a boy now an 11/8 shot.'
The Telegraph also has an interesting article from Ingrid Seward, focusing on the vital role Carole Middleton will play in the coming months.
'What is certain is that she has been a godsend to her daughter and son-in-law over the last 21 months, as a hands-on grandmother to Prince George, and that she is all set to help when baby number two arrives.
In the early weeks following George’s arrival in July 2013, I have no doubt that Carole will have taken George off his parents’ hands from time to time to give them a chance to sleep; she will have helped them establish a routine with him; and reassured them each time he will have screamed for no apparent reason – and kept on screaming, spurning every effort to calm him.
As he has grown older, she will have been the one with the time and patience to play the same repetitive games to make him laugh, to read him the same story again and again, to sit on the floor with a jigsaw puzzle and to take his hand as he tottered round the garden. They will have drawn and painted together and might even have done a bit of cooking.'
People reports from Kate's home town of Bucklebury.
'"The excitement is bubbling away, but Bucklebury is just as sleepy as ever," says local shop owner Lynda Tillotson. "Nothing really changes here. In fact, just about the only sign that a famous new member of their tight-knit country community is about to arrive is the sudden appearance of some die-hard royal fans.
"The real royalists and the people who get really excited have started to come into the village," adds Tillotson, mirroring the gathering at the London hospital where Kate, 33, will give birth. "They are beside themselves in anticipation. So you could say the official countdown has started!"'
For Prince George's pram, Kate stuck with royal tradition choosing a Silver Cross pram for her son back in 2013. With the guidance of her mum Carole, Kate asked for specific features to be included in her son's pram, and the item, which costs approximately £1,600, was made to her exact needs. One of the extra add-ons that the Middletons requested was an insect net, which has now become a standard feature across all Silver Cross prams. More from Hello!'s article:
'"The Duchess of Cambridge is certainly helping us with our product development," said Nick Paxton, CEO of the brand.
When asked whether it was nerve-racking to design the future king's pram, Nick said: "It is, it is, it's a huge honour. Safety is a top concern in all of our products but obviously for a future monarch. It was made in the same manner as all of our products, it was just made with that extra special ingredient for an special extra customer."'
You can see CNN's Erin McLaughlin taking a look at the prams in this video.
|CNN Erin McLaughlin|
I found it a thoroughly enjoyable watch!
In fashion news, I was most surprised to see news of a collaboration between one of Kate's favourite designers, Alice Temperley, and... the Kardashians (with thanks to What Kate Wore).
More from the Mirror's story:
'A source close to Kris, 59, told the Sunday People: “The older girls, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, have their own shop but Kendall and Kylie don’t. This is a chance to get a range out with the credibility of someone like Alice to design it.
“Alice is one of the finest British designers and Kris’ friend. She is over the moon this partnership has worked out, she couldn’t stop smiling after the meeting. Temperley met Kris at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood to show her designs and talk about who would style the girls."'
I thought the story somewhat questionable until Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner posted a photo on Instagram of herself with the British designer.
|Kris Jenner Instagram|
What surprises me about this news is how Alice Temperley's whimsical, feminine designs are not at all in keeping with the edgier looks we see Kim Kardashian and her family sporting. One wonders what type of garments will be produced, and what sartorial "comprises" will be made on both sides. Alice has established herself as a go-to designer, not only for Kate, but for Hollywood's elite. In terms of perception and the brand's look, one wonders where this collaboration will lead.
UPDATE: Temperley London has confirmed the reports are "categorically untrue" (with thanks to What Kate Wore.
Looking through the current collection, we see some stellar possibilities for Kate. Below we look at the Checked Linen and Cotton Blend Trench Coat, one of the first looks to grace the label's Spring 2015 runway. It's a versatile, stylish piece also available in powder-crepe blue.
The Novah Quilted Satin and Crepe Coat is an outstanding piece. It is described as a coat "that will flatter every figure - the full, pleated skirt creates the illusion of a smaller waist." Panels of crepe at the sleeves and back add structure and definition to the piece.
I expect the 'Novah' may be an updated version of the 'Noa' coat Kate owns. There are some definite similarities.
As always, there are endless gorgeous gowns available. A cursory look at the Floor-length Silk Embellished Gown, the Ariel Lace Gown - an opulent gold piece, and the beautiful icy-blue Klara Embellished Gown.
Next, we have a Fug-Tastic Giveaway to share with you. The terrifically talented Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks from the enormously entertaining Go Fug Yourself website have released a fabulous novel titled The Royal We.
|The Royal We|
Inspired by our favourite royals, William, Kate and Harry, the story offers a new twist on the royal love story and characters you will come to love as you go through the pages. As one would expect from Heather and Jessica, it's enthralling, witty and a real treat for royal lovers. The book is available at a selection of retailers including Amazon.
More from the description:
'"I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next." American Rebecca (Bex) Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune.
Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face. Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie.'
We have one signed copy of the book to giveaway. It is open internationally. To enter, simply leave a comment and let us know the name of your favourite royal/fairytale book! We wish Heather and Jessica every success with the book, I know I very much enjoyed every word!
Following a few days in Bucklebury, Kate is now at Kensington Palace as she, William and George anxiously await the arrival of the newest addition to their family. Our favourite photographer James Whatling took a beautiful photo of the Palace last week; it looks incredible at this time of year.
Perhaps the next time we see you, we'll have some very big news to share :)