After weeks of royal baby watch, excitement is mounting that Kate Middleton may finally be in labour and on the way to St Mary's Hospital, Paddington for the birth of her eagerly expected baby.
There has been an escalation in police presence near the Lindo Wing of the hospital and the world's media, who have been encamped outside for the past two weeks, are on tenterhooks. Then again, it could just be a lot of royal baby watchers getting tetchy on the Great Kate Wait.
Earlier this week, it was suspected that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge might have decided the Royal Berkshire Hospital would be a better venue for the royal birth.
The Telegraph has reported that medical staff at St Mary's Hospital were told the due date is actually today, not July 13 as had been claimed. A 'well-placed source' said: "Only a handful of people were told, because there are very few hospital staff who might be needed in the case of an emergency."
That means if allowed to go two weeks past her due date, Kate could give birth as late as August 2. (Cue wails from Parentdish HQ!)
Kensington Palace has only ever said the baby was due in 'mid July', and it had been assumed that the Duchess's baby was now overdue.
A later due date would tie in with Kate's decision to spend this week at her parents' home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, more than 50 miles away from St Mary's, and the Duke of Cambridge's decision to play polo last weekend.
Kate's mother Carole Middleton has told friends she thinks the baby could be a Leo, meaning she does not think it will be born until at least July 24.
And the Duchess's sister Pippa spent last weekend at a wedding in Vienna, adding to suspicions that the Middleton family were not expecting a royal birth then.
The Sun sent Kate and Wills lookalikes to the hospital this afternoon for a publicity stunt. The couple breezed through ranks of photographers for the big reveal - the newspaper's branded T-shirts.
From the back, the pair looked pretty realistic, but judging by the pap power outside the hospital on our live royal baby feed (below), it seems unlikely Kate will be going in through the front door, mid-contraction.
Latest Lindo Wing gossip. Photographers at Kate's place, Berks went to pub. Returned to realise Kate + police had gone. Is she en route?
- Harry Wallop (@hwallop) July 19, 2013
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