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The Great Kate Wait is over! After initial reports that the royal baby was due on July 14, leading hordes of media and fans to camp outside St Mary’s Hospital for the past fortnight, the Duchess of Cambridge is labouring in her private birthing suite.
The official Duke and Duchess of Cambridge website has announced: "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour.
"The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge."
The couple arrived at the hospital around 6am London time. There will be no further public statement until the baby is born, but according to Kate's spokesman: "Things are progressing as normal".
Kate's uncle, Gary Goldsmith, has tweeted that today is "very very exciting". Understatement!
Before proceeding to the hospital Prince William alerted the Queen using a special phone with an encrypted signal to make the call. When the baby is born, the Queen will be the first person to be informed, via a handwritten note signed by medical staff taken from the hospital. The note will be delivered to Buckingham Palace under police escort.
Within an hour of the birth, a bulletin will be propped up on an easel outside Buckingham Palace announcing the royal baby’s arrival. A 41-gun salute will follow.
The gender of the baby is unknown as Prince William and Kate wanted it to be a surprise. The child will be third in line to the throne, and will become monarch regardless of its sex.