Prince William, Duchess Catherine, Kate Middleton

Jesal Parshotam / Splash News

The world is super-excited for the first real glimpse of Kate Middleton's baby bump, let alone the actual baby that's scheduled to show up in July.

But when her and Prince William's child arrives, can you imagine the type of beyond-Brangelina bidding war that will ensue for the first picture of the royal offspring?

Well, that is, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planned to handle such matters like mere civilians. Which they almost certainly will not. Sniff.

"Everyone is going to be racing to get that first picture of William and Kate's baby. It could be worth millions to outlets around the world," a longtime royals watcher tells E! News. "It's the most anticipated baby in years, everyone wants to see that first picture. If any photographer is able to get the first pic, it would be the biggest scoop in the world."

But, what does the royal family want with such an unseemly to-do?

"The palace will do everything they can to reduce the bounty on that baby's head," the expert says. "It is fully expected that William and Kate will walk out of the hospital with the baby in their arms so that the world's media will all get the same picture at the same time."

That was good enough for Princess Diana, who introduced William to the world in that fashion more than 30 years ago.

So, if the first official photograph of the little prince or princess is going to go to everybody for the price of a memory stick, the spoils then go to the shutterbug who gets the first unofficial picture.

"There are some overseas outlets that will pay a fortune for it," says our source, "although in the U.K., it's unlikely anyone will buy it, as they won't want to upset the palace."

"Unfortunately, the child will always have a price on his or her head," the expert adds. "Every exclusive set of pictures, as that child grows up, could fetch tens of thousands."

Same goes for the first picture of the expectant mum's baby bump—which, we admit, we are eagerly awaiting.

"Everyone wants to see the first glimpse of the bump," acknowledges the royals watcher. "But Kate's royal protection officers are doing everything they can to give Kate as much privacy as possible. The likely scenario is that, as soon as Kate starts showing, the palace will organize a public event so Kate can be photographed by everyone. That way they will be able to kill the market and stop photographers following Kate as much."


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