The New Royal Baby – ‘The Great Kate Wait’
By Keith Malone // July 21, 2013
NEW BABY THIRD IN LINE FOR KING
ABOVE VIDEO: Kate Middleton Pregnant: Royal shops for baby’s nursery as due date approaches. (ABCNews)
EDITORS NOTE: This story is by Space Coast Daily’s International Correspondent, Keith Malone, reporting from live from Southampton, in county of Hampshire in the south of England.
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND — Her Majesty The Queen was politely asked by a school girl during a Royal visit in London this week, whether she wanted the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton’s baby, to be a boy or a girl.
“I really don’t mind, just so long as it hurries up – I’m going on holiday,” was the smiling reply from Queen Elizabeth, who always retires to her Scottish estate Balmoral with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, for their long summer break from royal duties.
The Queen was referring to what has affectionately become known in Britain as “The Great Kate Wait.”
Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge – and wife of the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William – is expected to give birth any day now to the Royal Couple’s first child.
CLICK HERE: Keith Malone’s Royal Family Recollections
SPACE COAST BRITS
Brits living on the Space Coast in Brevard, who remember the days of Princess Diana giving birth to little princes William and Harry, will know how much the media hype is building up back home in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Britain has just had its first home winner for 76 years in Andy Murray in the Wimbledon singles tennis final.
Englishman Lee Westwood is in contention to become the latest Open Golf Champion after the final round at Muirfield in Scotland on Sunday.
The England cricket team are thumping the Australians after the opening two tests in the Ashes cricket series.
So a new royal baby this weekend would help make it a fantastic summer for Britain, which is currently sweltering in a Florida-type heatwave – the hottest continuous spell in the British Isles for nearly a decade.
Some reports have suggested Kate’s due date was July 13, making the baby a week late. But others have indicated the royal arrival could be as far off as August 2. But whether a boy or a girl, the baby will be third in line to the throne – breaking centuries of tradition giving preference to boys.
This follows a new law passed in April this year by both Britain’s House of Commons and House of Lords dissolving the ancient law of primogeniture that used to give dominance to male heirs.
It now means that Kate and William’s baby – when it arrives – will automatically become the British monarch after The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles – who’s first in line to the throne – and the child’s father, Prince William. (See diagram below)
NEW BABY WOULD BE IN THIRD PLACE, BUMPING UNCLE HARRY INTO FOURTH
And so the Great Kate Wait continues. The Duchess is scheduled to give birth in the Lindo Wing of London’s St Mary’s Hospital. The world’s media have been camped outside the front door for the past two weeks.
Prince Charles’ wife The Duchess of Cornwall has said the Royal Family have been hoping the baby would arrive before the end of this week.
Today, the Duchess of Cambridge is thought to have returned to London, fuelling speculation the arrival of the Royal Baby is imminent, possibly this weekend.
Kate has been dividing her time between her official London residence at Kensington Palace and her parents’ home at Bucklebury, a quiet village in the Royal County of Berkshire about 40 miles from central London.
The Duke is with his wife because he is on annual leave from his job as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. His two-week paternity leave will begin when the baby is born.
However, it is unclear whether the couple have gone straight to the private Lindo wing of St Mary’s in Paddington where Kate is due to give birth, or back to Kensington Palace to sit out the wait.
Kensington Palace has never specified an exact due date.
It’s an indication of how important this royal birth is to Britain because hospital staff expected to be involved with the birth have been ordered to remain teetotal for the past four weeks.
Only four per cent of women give birth on their due date. Most women go into labour one week either side of 40 weeks and statistically women pregnant with girls have shorter pregnancies than those having boys.
My Brevardian niece Grace Malone, from Merritt Island, has asked me what the new baby might be called and one of the favorite games here in the UK is trying to guess the name.
Ancestors from William and Kate’s Windsor and Middleton families have been given the exotic names of Hyacinthe or Theophilus. But the sensible royal couple are more likely to choose Elizabeth or John – the most popular names in the family tree of both Wills and Kate.
William is the second most popular boy’s name in Kate’s family and is third in her husband’s.
But if the couple want something unusual, their forebears have included girls from Kate’s side called Pemelia, Albina and Edezer and boys called Lewen and Uriah.
BREVARD GUESSES THE NAME – LANCELOT OR CHARLOTTE?
And William’s royal lineage includes girls called Eusabia and Thomasin and boys called Lancelot, Marmaduke and Slyvanus.
Whatever the choice of name, the baby will be a much-loved addition to the Royal Family and will make headlines around the world.
UNUSUAL EVENTS – ROYAL PUP GETS HEAD TRAPPED IN GATE
Meanwhile, in response to a question about unusual events in this unfolding royal baby drama from one of my Brevardian colleagues, video producer Jennifer Scott from Melbourne, I can tell Jennifer – plus all the other Space Coast Daily readers – that emergency services were called to Kate’s family home in Berkshire earlier this week.
But the alert wasn’t due to concern over the mother-to-be. It was because Kate’s pet dog Lupo – a black cocker spaniel – had got its head stuck in a garden gate.
Firefighters rushed to the Duchess’ Bucklebury home – along with an animal rescue unit – and freed Lupo, much to the relief of Kate and her family.