Duchess Kate’s alleged due date has come and gone and still no royal baby, but stepmother-in-law Camilla said today the new third-in-line to the throne is expected by the end of the week.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, was at a public engagement in Cornwall with her husband, grandfather-to-be Prince Charles, when she made an impromptu speech at a children’s hospice they were visiting.
“We are all just waiting by the telephone. We are hopeful that by the end of the week he or she will be here,” she said, according to media coverage of their engagement.
It was the strongest indication so far of when the Duchess of Cambridge’s first baby would arrive, as the United Kingdom waited impatiently in the hottest temperatures of the year and the media sweltered and yawned at the London hospital stakeout.
The duchess wasn’t even in London this weekend, when the baby was supposed to be due. She got out of town and went to her parents’ estate in rural Bucklebury about 50 miles or an hour’s drive outside London, the British media reported.
If necessary, there is a contingency plan to give birth at a hospital near Bucklebury, but St. Mary’s Hospital in London is the preferred venue. Meanwhile, the palace press office remained silent today on the royal baby; the plan is to alert the media only after Kate has checked into the hospital and started labor.
“It’s Monday and a sunny start to the week. Still no sign of The Duchess let alone a baby,” tweeted Dickie Arbiter, a former royal press secretary now working as a royal commentator.
The Cambridge apartment at Kensington Palace, Nottingham Cottage, was too warm, anonymous palace sources told reporters, while her parents’ $8 million mansion is air-conditioned and has a pool. Temperatures in the city were nearing 90 degrees, unusually hot for the U.K.
Father-to-be Prince William was out of town, too. He spent the weekend with his brother, Prince Harry, playing in polo games on Saturday and Sunday to raise money for their charities. Although William was said to be prepared to return quickly if Kate went into labor, apparently that wasn’t anticipated to happen on either Saturday or Sunday.
The due date for this baby has always been unclear. The palace said only “mid-July.” Kate herself mentioned July 13 to someone who asked during an engagement. Her mother, Carole Middleton, was quoted as saying the baby would be a Leo, meaning born after July 23.
But babies, royal or not, rarely arrive exactly when expected, adding to the uncertainty and rampant media speculation. One paper quoted Britain’s National Health Service on how to induce labor (have sex). And a reporter on Twitter calculated that Kate would be due July 27 if she were six weeks pregnant at the time she was hospitalized for acute morning sickness in December.
The waiting journalists have little else to do but tweet about what they know and don’t know. “#GreatKateWait continues as sun goes down over the #Lindo Wing,” tweeted Sky News royals correspondent Paul Harrison late today. The Lindo Wing is the private wing of St. Mary’s, and it’s where William was born 31 years ago.
Arbiter, who’s been watching the media mob and its tangle of stepladders and camera equipment outside St. Mary’s, says bored photographers — some have been camped out since July 1 — amuse themselves by sticking jokey little signs — “for sale” — on their equipment.
“Media tagging to break the monotony of waiting around — ‘for sale, take me away, ladder if success’,” Arbiter tweeted.
- Royal baby: Camilla hopeful Kate Middleton will give birth ‘by the end of the week’ (metro.co.uk)
- Camilla expects William and Kate’s royal baby ‘by the end of the week’ (itv.com)
- Royal baby news: Kate Middleton’s birth plan, name suggestions and all the details (mirror.co.uk)
- Kate Middleton Baby Watch: Duchess of Cambridge In Labor? (VIDEO) (hngn.com)
- Pippa Middleton Partying On Kate Middleton’s Due Date, Royal Baby Really Due This Week? (PHOTOS) (hngn.com)
- Royal Baby Could Arrive ‘by the End of the Week,’ Camilla Says (abcnews.go.com)
- 7 New Developments On Prince William’s & Kate Middleton’s Royal Baby! (radaronline.com)
- The ‘great Kate wait’ continues with royal baby expected any day now (ctvnews.ca)
- Royal baby news: Kate Middleton’s due date is special day for our royal reporter Victoria Murphy (mirror.co.uk)
- Where’s the royal baby? End of the week, says Camilla (usatoday.com)