Duchess Kate's alleged due date has come and gone and still no royal
baby, but stepmother-in-law Camilla said today the new third-in-line to
the throne is expected by the end of the week.
Duchess of Cornwall, was at a public engagement in Cornwall with her
husband, grandfather-to-be Prince Charles, when she made an impromptu
speech at a children's hospice they were visiting.
"We are all just waiting by the telephone. We are hopeful that by the end of the week he or she will be here," she said, according to media coverage of their engagement.
was the strongest indication so far of when the Duchess of Cambridge's
first baby would arrive, as the United Kingdom waited impatiently in the
hottest temperatures of the year and the media sweltered and yawned at
the London hospital stakeout.
The duchess wasn't even in London this weekend, when the baby was
supposed to be due. She got out of town and went to her parents' estate
in rural Bucklebury about 50 miles or an hour's drive outside London,
the British media reported.
necessary, there is a contingency plan to give birth at a hospital near
Bucklebury, but St. Mary's Hospital in London is the preferred venue.
Meanwhile, the palace press office remained silent today on the royal
baby; the plan is to alert the media only after Kate has checked into
the hospital and started labor.
"It's Monday and a sunny start to
the week. Still no sign of The Duchess let alone a baby," tweeted Dickie
Arbiter, a former royal press secretary now working as a royal
The Cambridge apartment at Kensington Palace, Nottingham Cottage, was too warm, anonymous palace sources
told reporters, while her parents' $8 million mansion is
air-conditioned and has a pool. Temperatures in the city were nearing 90
degrees, unusually hot for the U.K.
Father-to-be Prince William
was out of town, too. He spent the weekend with his brother, Prince
Harry, playing in polo games on Saturday and Sunday to raise money for
their charities. Although William was said to be prepared to return
quickly if Kate went into labor, apparently that wasn't anticipated to
happen on either Saturday or Sunday.
The due date for this baby
has always been unclear. The palace said only "mid-July." Kate herself
mentioned July 13 to someone who asked during an engagement. Her mother,
Carole Middleton, was quoted as saying the baby would be a Leo, meaning born after July 23.
babies, royal or not, rarely arrive exactly when expected, adding to
the uncertainty and rampant media speculation. One paper quoted Britain's National Health Service on how to induce labor (have sex). And a reporter on Twitter calculated
that Kate would be due July 27 if she were six weeks pregnant at the
time she was hospitalized for acute morning sickness in December.
waiting journalists have little else to do but tweet about what they
know and don't know. "#GreatKateWait continues as sun goes down over the
#Lindo Wing," tweeted Sky News royals correspondent Paul Harrison late
today. The Lindo Wing is the private wing of St. Mary's, and it's where
William was born 31 years ago.
Arbiter, who's been watching the
media mob and its tangle of stepladders and camera equipment outside St.
Mary's, says bored photographers - some have been camped out since July
1 - amuse themselves by sticking jokey little signs - "for sale" - on
"Media tagging to break the monotony of waiting around - 'for sale, take me away, ladder if success'," Arbiter tweeted