With Kate Middleton due to give birth to her first child any day now, last-minute preparations are being made so that things go as smoothly as possible.
Kate's husband, Prince William, is still at work as a search and rescue helicopter pilot in Anglesey, Wales (about two hours from London), and the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK reports that a privately chartered helicopter is waiting on stand-by in the field next to the couple's Welsh farmhouse so that when William gets the call that his wife is in labor, he can make it to her side as quickly as possible. Ideally William is hoping to get to London in time to drive Kate to St. Mary's Hospital.
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Meanwhile, Kate, who's staying in the couple's temporary home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, spent the last week overseeing the renovation of their four-story apartment at the palace, which the new family is expected to move into in the fall.
At St. Mary's Hospital, barricades have been erected across the road to contain the hordes of photographers who are expected to congregate outside, and No Parking signs have been put up. Kate reportedly made a secret visit to the hospital last Monday for "final checks" and possibly to check out the birthing suite in the Lindo Wing. The suite set aside for Kate was recently refurbished and features an en-suite bathroom, satellite TV, safe, bedside phone, fridge and reclining chair for Prince William.
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The couple, who didn't want to know the sex of their baby, have reportedly got a shortlist of girl' and boys' names but will only make their final decision after the baby is born. Until they have chosen a name, their child will just be called "Baby Cambridge."
Kate's mom, Carole Middleton, is expected to be with her daughter when she's in the early stages of labor but reportedly won't be in the delivery room. And once the future heir to the British throne is born, protocol dictates that William's first call must be to the Queen. She's not expected to visit the hospital, but plenty of other family members are expected to visit Kate, William and the baby at the hospital, including Kate's parents and siblings, Pippa and James, William's brother, Prince Harry; his dad, Prince Charles, and stepmom, Camilla.
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Buckingham Palace will release the official notice of the baby's birth by placing it in a glass-fronted easel at the gates of the palace, and within minutes of the birth it's expected that a 41-gun salute will ring out in nearby Hyde Park.
We can hardly wait!
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