Kate Middleton, Duchess Catherine


As The Great Kate Wait stretches on—and as royal watchers speculate on exactly when Kate Middleton is supposed to be due—palace insiders have reportedly pegged the royal baby's arrival to be behind schedule.

A source exclusively tells E! News that Kensington Palace has been operating under the assumption that the Duchess of Cambridge is two to three days late at this point.

The revelation comes amid conflicting reports that have surfaced on Kate's due date—and whether she is indeed late.

Initial reports claimed that the royal baby was expected to arrive on July 13 or 14, a time frame that has led royal watchers to believe that Kate has missed her due date.

But the U.K.'s The Telegraph has a very different story: The paper reports that hospital staffers were told that the duchess is actually due today, July 19, and that they were asked to be on standby for as early as a month before.

"A small number of staff at St Mary's who might be called upon when the duchess gives birth were told they had to remain teetotal for a month before the duchess's due date," a source purportedly revealed to The Telegraph.

"They were told the due date was July 19, meaning they couldn't drink from June 19 onwards," the insider added. "Only a handful of people were told, because there are very few hospital staff who might be needed in the case of an emergency."

This is, of course, assuming that Kate actually gives birth to the baby there. Although the duchess is indeed expected to welcome the future British monarch at the posh Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London, a contingency plan has supposedly been put into place should Kate go into labor elsewhere.

And that would be in Reading.

Per previous reports, Kate has been hunkering down with her parents at their home in Bucklebury—which happens to be 53 miles away from London's St. Mary's Hospital.

Royal Baby, Duchess Catherine, Kate Middleton, Prince William

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The town of Reading, on the other hand, is only a half hour away from Kate's parents' house and is home to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

According to The Telegraph, should Kate go into labor while in Bucklebury—and should her labor progress rapidly—the duchess may instead be taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, which delivers 6,000 babies a year.

Ultimately, whenever the royal baby is born, grandma Queen Elizabeth II is at least hoping for one thing: that it arrives soon.

On Wednesday, during a visit to Cumbria in northwest England, the queen told well-wishers that she didn't mind whether the child was a boy or a girl, but that she "would very much like it to arrive because I'm going on holiday" to Scotland.

And there you have it, royal baby: an order from the queen herself. Chop, chop!

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