1. There Will Be No "Great Kate Wait" Outside the Lindo Wing
That's right, we will not see the enormous global media presence outside the Lindo Wing as expected for the rest of the month. Following careful consideration it has been decided the media will not be permitted to set up camp outside the hospital until after the Duchess is admitted.
More from Rebecca English's story:
'However sources also said the couple wanted to avoid the media circus that greeted Prince George’s arrival given that it was also a ‘private, family moment’.
‘We would appeal to all media to respect the family nature of this moment and provide the appropriate amount of privacy they should be able to expect,’ said an aide.
To that extent, both the hospital authorities and the police are going to prevent cameraman, photographers and reporters from waiting outside the hospital door until after the Duchess goes into labour.'
We're going to see an entirely different set-up this time, much more controlled than the arrival of Prince George which drew unparalleled attention. We can think of a photographer or two who will be pleased to hear the Great Kate Wait 2 will not involve weeks of waiting outside the Lindo Wing!
2. The Duchess of Cambridge Will Take a Longer Maternity Leave
There have been whispers about Kate possibly taking a considerably longer maternity leave this time and several of you correctly speculated so. The precise length of time has not been specified but several royal commentators noted they expected it will be "several months" or "the autumn" before the Duchess undertakes public engagements again. An aide said: "As you suspect with two very young children her focus will be on her family over the summer".
Nonetheless, we do expect to see Kate at Trooping the Colour on 13 June, and equally I wouldn't rule out appearances at The Queen's Garden Party or Order of the Garter.
More from Richard Palmer:
|Richard Palmer Twitter Feed|
When Prince George was born, we first saw Kate in an official capacity five-weeks after the birth for a farewell engagement in Anglesey.
Two weeks after that, the Duchess accompanied Prince William at the inaugural Tusk Conservation Awards wearing a glittering Jenny Packham gown. One could say both of these engagements were not "the norm". Bidding Anglesey farewell was very important to both William and Kate who enjoyed a hugely happy and peaceful time on the isle. As for the Tusk awards, one suspects because it was the first time the event had been held she wanted to support her husband.
Of course, we'll also see photos of the Cambridges leaving the hospital, official photos will be released afterwards and the christening will be in the offing too.
3. Prince William May Face Hospital Dash for Birth of Second Child
Once again, Kate fully intends to deliver at the Lindo Wing, St Mary's Hospital, Paddington and will primarily base herself in London until the baby's arrival, however, royal aides have drawn up contingency plans to rush her to the Royal Berkshire Hospital near her parents' home in Bucklebury, Berkshire and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, close to Anmer Hall.
|Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website|
Prince William will be working as a trainee air ambulance pilot with East Anglia Air Ambulance around the time Kate is due, at three possible different sites - Cambridge, Norwich and Gloucestershire Airport at Staverton. A Palace aide said: "He will never be more than a couple of hours drive from London", but he could face quite a dash as royal staff have ruled out using a helicopter to transport the second-in-line back to London.
William plans to take two weeks paternity leave.
4. A Summer at Anmer Hall
Similar to the pattern we saw with Prince George, the couple will return to Kensington Palace for a couple of days, giving senior members of the Royal family - including Her Majesty - an opportunity to meet Baby Cambridge. Afterwards, the plan is to spend the summer at Anmer Hall in Norfolk. The Cambridges have been spending quite a lot of time there, and it is understood the Middletons will be on hand too.
5. If Birth Occurs After 10 pm It Will Not Be Announced Until the Next Day
If the royal baby arrives after 10 pm no announcement will be made until 8 am the next morning. William and Kate have also vowed, like last time, not to make public his or her arrival until they have informed both families.
The birth will be announced via a press release, followed a few moments later by an announcement on Twitter (this is the account you need to be following) and afterwards the traditional bulletin will be posted on an easel outside Buckingham Palace.
6. The Couple Do Not Know the Gender of the Baby
Contrary to some media reports, during a briefing at Buckingham Palace this morning a spokesman confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge do not know if their second child will be a boy or a girl.
An aide said:
‘For the avoidance of doubt, like last time, the Duke and Duchess do not know if their baby will be a boy or a girl.’
7. The Couple Will Decide on the Day Whether or Not 'Excited' Prince George Will Visit His Sibling at the Hospital
For those of us who are hoping to see the ever-adorable Prince George's arrival at St. Mary's to meet his new sibling, the couple are as yet undecided. I had thought it possible George might accompany Mike and Carole Middleton when they arrive to meet their new grandchild. One source told The Express: "Many parents like to introduce their child to the new arrival but I think they'll wait and see how they feel at the time."
Perhaps the cutest snippet of information from the briefing: an aide revealed Prince George is very 'excited' about the impending arrival of a brother or sister :)
8. Kate's Medical Team!
The couple have chosen obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston, who has over twenty years experience in the field, to lead the team delivering the baby. He was part of the team who delivered Prince George, under the careful eye of Sir Marcus Setchell, who is now retired. Once again, Alan Farthing will assist.
Back to Rebecca English's story:
'The doctor, who says he liked to ‘keep things simple’ by ‘offering honest advice’, specialises in pre-natal diagnosis, deliveries and ultrasound.
He graduated from Cambridge University in 1984 and worked at King’s Hospital in London before becoming a consultant in foetal medicine at Chelsea and Westminster in 1996.'
9. No Plans for Additional Staff
Again, contrary to media reports, officials dismissed claims that the couple plan to hire a maternity nurse in addition the Nanny Maria Teresa, who several people I spoke with earlier this evening described as a "splendid addition" to the Cambridge team. One aide said: "At this stage the Duke and Duchess do not intend to take on any additional staff."
10. William and Kate Are "Hugely Grateful" for Warm Wishes
In a statement read at the briefing, an aide said:
‘The Duke and Duchess are hugely grateful for the warm wishes they have received from people throughout the UK and indeed around the world over the last few months.
‘They know that people are excited Prince George will soon have a little brother or sister and it means a great deal to them that so many will be celebrating this important moment for their family. They are very appreciative that so many people share their excitement as they await the arrival of their second baby.’
I thought it a nice touch to acknowledge the good wishes that have been expressed around the world, congratulating the couple on their second child and it's a lovely note to end our post on!
|Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website|
I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the briefing. Did anything surprise you? Are you surprised at the decision not to allow the media to camp out? And most importantly, do you have Royal Baby fever yet? Punters are placing their bets on 'Princess Alice arriving on 20 April ' :)