STOP WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING: Kate Middleton is in labor!
Kate was admitted to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London's Paddington early this morning around 6 a.m. GMT, while we were all tucked tightly under the covers. News outlets reported that Kate entered labor naturally, and she and her husband headed off to the Lindo Wing under the cover of darkness together. Kate was already in labor by the time the duo reached the hospital. Palace officials have told news outlets stationed outside the hospital that Kate's labor is progressing naturally.
Here's what we know:
From Windsor Palace, the Queen waited to issue an announcement alerting the world that the ROYAL BABY IS COMING ANY MINUTE NOW until Kate and William had made it to the hospital, seen their team of doctors and were resting comfortably. The announcement reads, "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour. The Duchess traveled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge." The Queen is expected to return to Buckingham Palace sometime this afternoon.
Kate was taken to the hospital via a town car, but there's no word yet on whether or not William was behind the wheel. Photographers stationed outside the hospital noticed the convoy (a town car and a sedan) pull up to the hospital around 5.30 a.m. From there, Kate and William entered the building through the entrance to the Mary Stanford wing. The Duchess used the same entrance to enter the hospital as Princess Diana did, before the birth of William.
Us Weekly reports that "royal officers had a laptop and iPod delivered to the London facility." Looks like Kate forgot her birthing playlist at home!
Leading up to her delivery, William took two weeks of paid paternity leave from his position as a Royal Air Force stud to be by his wife's side. Kate made it to St. Mary's, which is where Prince William was born 31 years ago, as well as her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, was born. Great grandmum-to-be, Queen Elizabeth II, will be waiting for the news of the baby's birth —she'll hear the news of her future heir first, as well as details on the baby's sex and the name, from William before telling anyone else. After the Queen has been told, the rest of the royal family will be notified at the same time as the Middleton family is notified.
What happens next:
Kate is reportedly giving birth the natural way, so labor could take hours.
Right after the royal inner circle hears the happy news, then the formal proclamation (which will be signed by Kate's delivery doctors) will be walked to the entrance of the Lindo Wing, where it will be handed to a royal aide, who'll ferry the birth announcement on over to Buckingham Palace. He, or she, will no doubt be flanked by a police escort to keep prying eyes away from the sealed envelope. But rest assured that once we catch a glimpse of the royal walker, it'll be the first unofficial indicator that Kate and Will's babe has been born. The exciting part is that all of the announcement will be made on the same day as baby's birth, unless the birth announcement comes after 10:30 p.m., in which case the world will get first wind of the news via a press release.
Once the announcement reaches Buckingham Palace, the first time we'll know whether Kate's had an heir or an heiress will come when the royal proclamation is placed on an easel in front of Privy Purse door. Once the announcement is posted on the easel, it will also be posted on the royal website. Kensington Palace, where Kate and William are renovating an apartment together, will most likely also issue a press release with more specific details on baby's arrival.
Stay tuned for more royal baby updates!