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Craving more pomp and circumstance with your baby-birthing news? Then England will be the place to direct your attention in the coming weeks.
The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—aka Prince William and Kate Middletonis due on July 13 or 14 (feel free to consult your local betting house if you want a piece of the odds) and, though nature will take its course as it is wont to do, the baby's journey from in there to out here has otherwise been meticulously mapped out ahead of time.
Here is everything we know about the royal birth:
• Labor Day: When Kate's water breaks, experiences her first contraction or otherwise encounters the first sign that she's going into labor, she will be rushed off St. Mary's Hospital in London's Paddington district to await her child's arrival. William is planning to take two weeks of paid paternity leave from his day job as Royal Air Force hero, but should his wife go into labor early and he is still on duty, a helicopter will be at the ready to whisk him to London.
• Plan B: If Kate should go into labor so early that she's not even in London, there are contingency plans in place to get her to Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, if she's at her parents' home, or a hospital in Bangor, closer to her and William's home on the isle of Anglesey, off the coast of Wales (their home base when he's pulling RAF duty).
• Location, Location, Location: St. Mary's is the same hospital where Kate's husband was born 31 years ago, as was her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, a few years after that. William was actually the first future king of England to be born in a hospital, his father, Prince Charles, having been born at Buckingham Palace and Charles' sister, Princess Anne, at Clarence House.
• How Suite It Is: The Lindo Wing of St. Mary's is, quite literally, fit for a queen. Each individual suite is decked out like a boutique hotel with a satellite TV, a radio, a safe, a bedside phone, Internet access and a refrigerator. Sure enough, a hotel services team will cater to Kate's dietary needs and there's a wine list in case any of her visitors fancy a drink (or they need to quickly procure champagne for a post-birth toast). A "normal" delivery package in the Lindo Wing requires a £5,500 ($8,600) deposit, and rates run £1,000 ($1560) per 24 hours stayed over any originally scheduled time.
• The A Team: Dr. Marcus Setchell, former OBGYN to the queen, will lead the delivery, with an assist from the queen's current gynecologist, Dr. Alan Farthing.
• Eyewitness News: Along with baby daddy Will; Kate's mum, Carole Middleton; and sister, Pippa, will likely be in the delivery room with the duchess. Fun fact: According to the BBC, royal birthing suites used to be a lot more crowded many years ago (we're talking centuries), such as in 1688, when 42 people were on hand to verify the birth of King James II's son at St. James' Palace. And, what with it being the 17th century and all, they were probably all dudes.
• Heir Apparent: The royal baby's great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II will be waiting at home for the news—which just may come in the form of an excited call from grandson Will. The rest of the immediate royal family will be notified at the same time as the rest of Kate's nearest and dearest, no playing favorites.
• Baby's First Proclamation: After immediate family have been notified, a formal proclamation signed by the delivery doctors will be walked to the entrance of the Lindo Wing, where it will be handed to a royal aide (we so want to call him a liveried footman), who will ferry the birth announcement—with a police escort, of course—to Buckingham Palace. The emergence of this fellow will be the world's first indicator that the royal baby has arrived. All of this is same-day stuff, unless the baby arrives after 10:30 p.m., on which occasion the world will be alerted via press release that the baby is here.
• The Big Reveal: No matter how we end up hearing that the baby has arrived, no mere commoner will officially know whether Kate birthed a prince or princess and what the child's name is until the proclamation is delivered to the palace. Upon arrival, it will be placed on an easel set up in front of the palace gates, and from there its contents will be unveiled for the world to see, after which the palace will post the info on its website. (Not exactly ole King James II's way of doing things, is it?) Kensington Palace, where Kate and Will keep an apartment, is also expected to issue a press release with more specifics, such as the royal baby's weight. (Aw, which will probably be in kilograms...)
• It Might Get Loud: Per the BBC, royal births are usually punctuated with a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, fired in Green Park.
• The Even Bigger Reveal: History would have it that the world get its first glimpse of the royal baby when Kate and William bring him or her out in front of the hospital to meet the press, as Diana did with her boys. Everybody wins: Mum and dad are prepared and know what to expect (sheer madness, most likely) and we don't have to wait! But even if the proud parents don't go that route, an official pic will be forthcoming. No magazine-cover haggling for this family.