It’s the birth the world is waiting for. The public are on tenterhooks as Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, is just moments away from delivering her third child.
But the most excited of all have to be Kate and William.
A royal insider said: ‘It’s a wonderful time and they are just like any other family.
‘William and Kate want to get out of London as soon as possible and decamp to Norfolk, where they feel most at home.
‘Their children George and Charlotte have spent most of their childhoods there so far, and they adore it.
‘The couple have so many happy memories and want their kids to associate the new arrival being there right from the start.
‘Of course, they won’t be able to go to Norfolk until the Queen has seen the new baby – that’s a given – but after that the family will be on their way,’ the insider adds.
After the birth of a new royal, tradition dictates a framed notice be put on display on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, the news is officially announced in The London Gazette and Court Circular, and flags are flown from government buildings, ships and flag stations.
Gun salutes are fired in royal parks, and the bells are rung in celebration at Westminster Abbey and other churches.
Previously, William and Kate surprised many with their choice of godparents for George and Charlotte, choosing mainly friends in their inner circle.
Word has it Diana’s sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes plus Meghan Markle could be potential godparents to the newborn. And William’s cousin Peter Phillips is a favourite to be named as one of the new arrival’s guardians.
During this time, Kate’s mother Carole Middleton will be staying with them some of the time and, of course, their Spanish nanny Maria Borrallo is on call all the time to look after George and Charlotte, ‘who love her to bits’.
The new baby is Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s sixth great-grandchild and will be fifth in line to the British throne after Charles, William, George and Charlotte.
Royal succession laws discriminating against women were changed in 2011 and Prince Harry now drops down to sixth.
If Kate and William give birth to another son, it will mark the first time in history that a female’s royal spot won’t be bumped by a male – meaning Charlotte still keeps her position as fourth in line to the throne.
Despite reports that Kate wanted a home birth, she was advised by royal doctors that ‘no chances could be taken’ and has instead opted for the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London, where her two other children were born.
Crowd barriers were erected outside on April 9, and the same team who delivered Charlotte, surgeon-gynaecologist Alan Farthing and obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston, were put on stand-by.
A close friend of Kate said she had suffered from morning sickness during this pregnancy, but not as badly as she had done with her two previous children.
‘It has got better, which is a relief,’ said the source.
‘However much she suffered, Kate thinks it’s worth it.
‘She always wanted a third child as she comes from a family of three children herself.’
George and Charlotte are expected to take part in the upcoming wedding of Meghan and Harry, but nothing is likely to match the excitement of having a new brother or sister.
‘To be 100 per cent honest, I’m not sure William wanted a third child, but Kate was always determined to have one.
‘She would obviously love Charlotte to have a sister – just as she had Pippa as hers – but of course she doesn’t mind if it’s a boy or a girl as long as the baby is healthy, just like any other mother.
‘In recent years all the royals have had just two children, partly because Prince Philip believes over-population is the world’s biggest problem and encouraged them to do so.’
William and Kate obviously respect Prince Philip, ‘but Kate was adamant she would do things her way’.
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!