Kate Middleton, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

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UPDATE: Kate Middleton has given birth to a baby boy, the first child for the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William.


And now, we wait.

Britain is eagerly anticipating the impending arrival of its future monarch following reports that Kate Middleton has gone into labor.

Shortly before 6 a.m. local time Monday, Prince William's wife was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in London, where she checked into its posh Lindo Wing.

Kensington Palace confirmed that the Duke of Cambridge was by his wife's side as they traveled by car from Kensington Palace to the hospital. "Things are progressing as normal," a palace spokesperson said.

So what happens next until the baby's impending arrival?

As expected, the pageantry surrounding the royal baby's birth will be steeped in tradition.

Per royal protocol, Kensington Palace will stay mum until Kate actually gives birth. When she does finally deliver the child, Kate's doctor will sign an official bulletin announcing the royal baby's birth.

That proclamation will then be brought outside through the main entrance of the Lindo Wing, taken to a waiting car and delivered, via security escort, to Buckingham Palace.

Royal Baby, Duchess Catherine, Kate Middleton, Prince William

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There, it will be placed on an easel right inside the gates of the palace—the very same easel used to announce William's birth 31 years ago.

At this point, members of the public will finally learn the baby's gender, weight and time of birth, along with any other key details surrounding the child's arrival. Those details can prove memorable: When Prince William was born, his proclamation announced that he "cried lustily."

This will all take place as planned should the baby be born between 8 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. local time. If the baby arrives after those hours, the palace states that the bulletin's delivery will be delayed until the following morning.

When Will and Kate are ready to leave the hospital with their newborn, they'll pose for photographers outside the Lindo Wing before making their way out.

It's unclear exactly where the couple will be headed afterward: It's been reported that Kate wishes to forgo a private nurse and is instead planning to move in with her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, at their home in Berkshire, where she supposedly hopes to stay for at least six weeks after the baby is born. Prince William, meanwhile, will be on paternity leave for two weeks from his work as a search-and-rescue pilot for the RAF.

The child, who will be bestowed the title of prince or princess, will now be the third in line to the British throne following Charles and William—a duty and privilege that will now be granted to the heir regardless of gender.

In a historic move, the rules of succession have since been amended to allow for the couple's firstborn child—and not merely a firstborn son—to eventually ascend to the throne.

Should Will and Kate welcome a baby girl, she will only become the sixth woman to be crowned queen in her own right in the 1,500-year history of the British monarchy.

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